Fundraising Fun: Brookridge pig roasted for alzheimer’s walk

Roast pork is cut and prepared for the Brookridge Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care annual Pig Roast Fundraiser to support the local Walk to End Alzheimer’s. (Journal photos by Cecilia Brown)

MARQUETTE — People of all ages gathered together at Brookridge Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care on the evening of Aug. 9 to enjoy the annual pig roast fundraiser in support of the Sept. 8 local Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

All proceeds from the fundraiser, which brought the community together for food, games, music, and fun, were donated to the Alzheimer’s Association, which holds the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

“This is a fun, family-friendly event that helps us support a cause that is truly near and dear to our hearts,” said Brookridge Heights Executive Director Neal Crothers in a press release. “The local Alzheimer’s Association provides a great deal of support to families and loved ones who are living with Alzheimer’s. We’re proud to be able to help support their mission and raise funds for such a valuable cause.”

Funds were raised through the sale of tickets to the event, silent auction items and raffle tickets, organizers said.

“We have multiple ways for people to get involved, we’re doing a 50-50 raffle here tonight, we have bucket raffle tickets and a lot of generous donations that came in through auction items and bucket raffles,” said Jennifer Huetter, director of sales and marketing at Brookridge Heights.

Organizers sell raffle tickets at the event. (Journal photo by Cecilia Brown)

The western-themed fundraiser offered the community a chance to come together and support the local Alzheimer’s Association while spending time with loved ones and having fun, organizers said.

“It’s a great event, it’s a lot of fun,” Huetter said. “And it brings a lot of folks together, all for a good cause, it’s a great thing.”

Brookridge has been doing the fundraiser for over 10 years, Huetter said.

“Each year it’s grown and gotten bigger as we go,” Huetter said. “And as it continues to grow, we continue to be able to raise more funds and raise awareness for Alzheimer’s and the (Alzheimer’s) Association and everything they’re doing in our community.”

Jake Bilodeau, regional director for the Alzheimer’s Association-Greater Michigan Chapter, said Brookridge “takes care of the food and fun” for the fundraiser, noting “they do a lot of work and they have a lot of volunteers that are really invested in this.”

Organizers sell raffle tickets at the Brookridge Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care annual Pig Roast Fundraiser to support the local Walk to End Alzheimer’s. (Journal photo by Cecilia Brown)

Staff from the Alzheimer’s Association was available at the event to help “make things as easy as possible for team members and participants to register here on site,” he said.

Bilodeau says the walk is important because it helps raise funds that allow the Alzheimer’s Association to continue providing services.

“It’s really our biggest way to provide the necessary awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research, so that’s really important,” he said.

Bilodeau emphasized that anyone who is looking for support regarding Alzheimer’s disease can come to their office, located at 309 S. Front St. #233, in Marquette, or call the 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900, noting “events like this and our walk fund that.”

Bilodeau and Huetter encourage the community to sign up for the walk.

“The walk is on Sept. 8 and anyone who has a loved one or interest in helping showing support for the organization is encouraged to come,” Huetter said. “You don’t have to necessarily walk, they just want you to be a part of it and help raise awareness.”

Participants can choose to walk as an individual, start a team, or join a team for the walk — the Brookridge team is one of 33 registered teams at this time and Huetter encourages interested parties to join the Brookridge team.

“We welcome anyone to go the Alzheimer’s Association website and look for the walk and register and then be part of the Brookridge team,” she said. “We want lots of folks who want to be a part of this to join our team and be a part and make a difference.”

The walk will be held the morning of September 8 at the Northern Michigan University Jacobetti Complex, located at 2296 Sugar Loaf Ave. in Marquette, Bilodeau said.

“It will be held Sept 8 at the Jacobetti Center, registration starts at 9 a.m., we’ll get the walk kicked off, our opening ceremony is going to start right around 10 a.m., then at 10:30 we’ll send everyone out on the walk and hopefully have everyone back around noon,” Bilodeau said. “It’s not a huge time commitment, but it will definitely be a family-friendly event, all ages are welcome.”

He also encouraged interested parties to volunteer for the event.

“We are really looking for volunteers, so if anyone is interested in volunteering, they can reach out to our local office and we’ll set them up with whatever they’re comfortable with,” Bilodeau said.

For those who would like to support the walk, but are unable to participate, there are still ways to contribute, Bilodeau said.

“There’s a lot of people that think that you need to walk in order to support the walk to end Alzheimer’s and that’s really not true,” Bilodeau said. “We know people are really busy in the late summer, early fall, so people can go to our local Marquette walk website and donate right there if they’d like to contribute to the walk,” he said.

Organizers were grateful for the support of sponsors and attendees, they said, thanking Miracle Ear, Peninsula Pharmacy, Closner Construction and Northern Orthotics for their “generous contributions.”

For those who would like more information about the Marquette walk, how to volunteer, sign up as an individual, join a team, or start a team, visit http://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk2018/MI-GreaterMichigan?pg=entry&fr_id=11290 or contact Bilodeau at 906-228-3910.

For updates on the walk, visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/walk2endalzMQT/

Cecilia Brown can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is cbrown@miningjournal.net.