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AgingNext, Alzheimer’s Association raise funds

by Andrew Alonzo | aalonzo@claremont-courier.com

Back in June, AgingNext CEO Abigail Pascua was excited to share it was holding talks to enter into a partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association California Southland Chapter to help raise funds for the Claremont nonprofit’s memory care center’s upcoming 30th anniversary.

More details emerged last week on how the pair plan to not only raise awareness on the degenerative disease, but also for AgingNext’s not so well-known memory care center.

The center will celebrate its 30th anniversary on October 13, and to commemorate the occasion, the duo is hosting Swing 4 Alzheimer’s, a family friendly afternoon from 5 to 8 p.m. at Topgolf, 1050 N. Archibald Ave., Ontario, 91764.

Tickets begin at $125 for those looking to drive some golf balls for a good cause and have a nice dinner.

Sponsorship opportunities begin at $1,000 and come with a variety of perks such as dinner for two, social media shoutouts and more.

Info is available at agingnext.org, by calling (909) 621-9900, or by email at liz@agingnext.org.

On Saturday, October 15 the association’s southland chapter will hold its local walk to end Alzheimer’s at the Quakes’ LoanMart Field, 8408 Rochester Ave., Rancho Cucamonga 91730.

Along with helping to facilitate festivities, AgingNext will for the first time have a team in this year’s walk. The nonprofit’s friends and families have previously participated under the team name “love never forgets,” said Zaira Ballin Tinsley, an Alzheimer’s Association California Southland Chapter committee member and former care partner director at AgingNext.

Before coming to AgingNext, Tinsley had previous experience in 2019 as an Alzheimer’s Association walk coordinator. Despite no longer working for either organization, Tinsley will be a captain for AgingNext’s team during the walk.

With deep ties to both organizations, Tinsley said, “Even though I’m not working there anymore, I’m still very much involved with AgingNext. I walk for all those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, especially those in the memory care center at AgingNext.”

With a goal to reach $100,000, the two organizations will split the net total of proceeds from the Topgolf fundraiser.

For AgingNext, the generated funds will go toward a feasibility study to explore expanding all aspects of the center. The move would allow AgingNext to extend the center’s hours, hire more staff and potentially find a new, larger location.

When its board of directors approved AgingNext’s three-year strategic funding plan in 2021, part of the budget was to include research on the “town square” model for the memory care center. Currently the center utilizes a “social” model, Pascua said. “As a nonprofit, funding is always a challenge. But to start with a fundraiser like this, we can move forward and start the feasibility study.”

For the Alzheimer’s Association local chapter, Tinsley said its half of donations will go to help cover local programs, educational resources and opportunities at its Ontario center.

For more details on the Alzheimer’s Association’s Southland Chapter, visit https://www.alz.org/socal.

 

AgingNext CEO Abigail Pascua stands outside the nonprofit’s memory care center, located at 763 W. Harrison Ave. last Tuesday afternoon. COURIER photo/Andrew Alonzo

 

When Pascua learned the memory care center was going to be celebrating its 30th anniversary, she began digging through its archives for news articles recounting its history.

The center was established in 1992, back when AgingNext was still Pomona Valley Community Services, and was located on the grounds of Pilgrim Place, in Claremont. The center was then overseen by three organizations, the two already mentioned as well as First Baptist Church of Claremont.

The center used to be open just three days a week, but in recent years has become a full-time operation. The center is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is now located at 763 W. Harrison Ave., just behind the Joslyn Center.

The memory care center serves two main purposes: to provide respite for family caregivers of loved ones with mild to moderate dementia, and to ensure participants are looked after while doing stimulating brain activities, Pascua said.

Those activities include exercise, arts and crafts projects, gardening, sing-a-longs, and community lunches. When the COURIER dropped by, the day’s five participants wrapped up the session with a round of the matching game jingo, then wore themselves out dancing to Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” and “No Parking on the Dance Floor” by Midnight Star.

 

Memory care center participants Michon Johnson, left, and Esther Eustey, right, along with AgingNext CEO Abigail Pascua, center, sing along to the classic children’s rhyme, ‘Old MacDonald had a Farm’ at the center last Wednesday afternoon. COURIER photo/Andrew Alonzo

 

The memory care center services seniors from West Covina to Rancho Cucamonga, and charges $45 for a half-day of care and $77 for a full day.

Transportation to the center can be arranged through Get-About, Dial-a-Ride or from ride-and-go, AgingNext’s volunteer driver program.

For more information about the memory care center, call (909) 621-9900 or visit agingnext.org/our-programs/memory-care-center.

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