Volleyball tourney next step in Alzheimer's fight
The net proceeds from an upcoming volleyball tournament will benefit the Central Ohio Alzheimer's Association.
The association's junior committee will host Spike ALZ at 11 a.m. Aug. 31 at Woodland's Backyard, 668 Grandview Ave.
Teams of seven people can register for the event by visiting the Spike ALZ website, ACT.ALZ.org/site/TR/ActiveEvents. Participants also can register the day of the event.
"The junior committee is a group of young professionals in their 20s and 30s with a goal of raising funds for and awareness of Alzheimer's," said Heather DeSantis, a committee member who's helping to organize the volleyball tournament.
"Alzheimer's isn't something that a lot of young adults think about; they think about it as something that affects their grandparents," she said. "But more and more people end up being caregivers for their parents who get the disease.
"We also want to get the message out to young adults that the healthy choices and active lifestyles they lead now will impact their health as they get older," DeSantis said. "Your brain can start changing 20 years before you see the symptoms of Alzheimer's."
The junior committee hosted a flag-football fundraising event earlier this year.
"We're looking for fun, active events that people will enjoy," DeSantis said.
Along with volleyball, the Aug. 31 event will feature music from local bands and will showcase area restaurants and companies.
Ohio State football fans won't have to miss the Buckeyes' opening game.
"We'll have a bunch of TVs set up everywhere for people to watch the game," DeSantis said.
The volleyball tournament will be set up as a bracket event, like the NCAA basketball tournament, she said.
"Some teams will only play one game while others will advance to the other rounds," DeSantis said.
A variety of prizes will be awarded to the top teams, she said.
"It's going to be a great Labor Day weekend event," DeSantis said. "Our goal is to have 32 teams participate. We also encourage people to come out to Woodland's Backyard and watch the fun, even if they aren't athletically inclined."
Along with raising funds and awareness, junior committee members volunteer once a month at First Community Village, she said.
"They have about 20 residents with Alzheimer's and we look forward to seeing them every month," DeSantis said. "About two months ago, we went out and helped plant a community garden for the residents. The plants have different scents and textures the residents can respond to."