Alzheimer’s benefit to celebrate solstice

The summer solstice lands on June 20, but the Alzheimer’s Association is celebrating early this Saturday with live music, games, food and more in Soldotna Creek Park starting at 10 a.m.

The Longest Day is a global event organized to show “love for all those affected by Alzheimer’s disease,” according to Alzheimer’s Association literature.

This will be the third year the annual event is being held in Soldotna, with the help of Alaska’s ambassador to the Alzheimer’s Association, Cindy Harris.

“Alzheimer’s was in my family before it had a name,” Harris said. “I lost my mom and three of her sisters to Alzheimer’s disease, so I started the very first Longest Day in Alaska and this is my third year.”

The event is held from sunrise to sunset and symbolizes the challenging journey of those living with the disease, and that of their caregivers.

The Alzheimer’s Association invites representatives and groups around the globe to choose any activity loved by participants to help end Alzheimer’s.

“From swimming to scrapbooking, you’re limited only by your imagination,” according to The Longest Day’s website.

Harris, though, decided to make her activity more attainable to the whole community.

“Each group picks something they’re going to do, whether it’s bowling or fishing or quilting, but I picked a lot of different activities for everyone,” Harris said. “I’m hoping one day it will look like the Wednesday market.”

The event is open to all ages and will feature music from local bands including The Mabes.

“This is a family event,” Harris said. “We want everyone to come down. Jumping Junction will be here, face painting, massages and we’re going to have a corn hole contest.”

As Alaska’s ambassador, Harris often travels to Washington D.C. to speak out for issues facing the Alzheimer’s community in Alaska.

“Our community needs a lot of help,” Harris said. “I believe that we need a facility specifically for dementia and I would like to make sure that all the elderly people are safe in their homes or nursing homes.”

The Longest Day event will start at 10 a.m. and run until about 6 p.m. Admission to the event is free. There will also be a golf tournament at Bird Homestead Golf Course started at 4:30. For more information contact Harris at 907 262 4506 for more information.

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