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A beautiful day

Longest Day teams honor Alzheimer’s victims by doing things they love

Created date

August 29th, 2017
Maris Grove resident Geri Eisenstein shows her delight at participating in the community’s Longest Day butterfly release.

Maris Grove resident Geri Eisenstein shows her delight at participating in the community’s Longest Day butterfly release.

 

On June 21, 3,200 teams in all 50 states and 12 countries participated in The Longest Day activities and events to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Maris Grove, Erickson Living’s retirement community in Delaware County, Pa., was one of the teams that participated. 

To honor caregivers, people living with Alzheimer’s, or loved ones lost to the disease, Longest Day participants spent the day doing things they loved.

At Maris Grove, a NuStep relay in the on-site fitness center, a scavenger hunt for rocks painted with colorful designs and inspirational words, and two butterfly releases were among popular Longest Day activities.

Symbolic meaning

The butterfly releases sent a dual message. First, because the butterfly is a symbol of hope, it expressed the hope for a cure. And because individuals with Alzheimer’s tend to withdraw into a cocoon and become different people, the butterfly release symbolized being freed from that cocoon. 

Looks of enchantment beamed from the faces of those lucky enough to watch a butterfly take flight from their open palms. 

Besides the activities, Maris Grove’s sale of official Longest Day purple T-shirts raised $1,580 for the Alzheimer’s Association.

In October, Maris Grove will hold an Alzheimer’s Day walk.

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