NEW YORK: The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) will unfold its "AFA Quilt to Remember" in Manhattan's Central Park on November 3rd as part of a larger campaign to raise awareness about the disease and honor those who have lived and died with it.
The quilt will consist of panels contributed by families and organizations nationwide. The AFA is anticipating at least 300 submissions measuring about 24,300 square feet, the equivalent of three baseball diamonds. The quilt will remain on view in New York through November 4th before traveling around the country, with stops in Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles scheduled for 2007.
PR, handled in-house, has been in effect since the company announced the solicitation of panels in late 2005, with a focus on both national and regional general-interest media, as well as crafting and quilting magazines. When Arden Courts, a New Jersey assisted living facility, completed their panel, AFA worked with local media to cover the donation. For the Central Park event, the AFA plans to attract media that can best convey its visual nature. A helicopter provided by Project Lifesaver International will fly overhead. In October, a Web site www.alzquilt.org featuring a photo gallery, personal stories, and contribution guidelines is expected to launch.
"Our main goal is to bring the issue of care of those with the disease to the national stage," said Carol Steinberg, EVP of the AFA. "Just like the AIDS quilt, it will bring out the people who aren't impacted, but are thinking, ‘Is this in my future or my family's future?'"
Alzheimer's disease causes loss of brain function and is the seventh leading cause of death among Americans.
In addition to the "AFA Quilt to Remember," the foundation is recognizing both National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and the centennial anniversary of the discovery of Alzheimer's.
"We're spreading the word that resources are available to help those with Alzheimer's, either in their community, in the community next door, or through the Alzheimer's Foundation," said Steinberg.