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Alzheimer’s Association California Central Coast Chapter Fifth Anniversary ‘Your Brain Matters’ Luncheon

November 30, 2018 @ 11:30 am PST

This will be a credentialed event. Please notify in advance if you plan on attending.

The Alzheimer’s Women’s Initiative, Santa Barbara County, led by Chair Katina Etsell of the Alzheimer’s Association California Central Coast Chapter, presents the Fifth Anniversary ‘Your Brain Matters’ Luncheon at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort (formerly the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort) on Friday, November 30, 2018, at 11 a.m. Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree is the Honorary Chair for the fundraising event honoring actress and Alzheimer’s Champion Sarah Rafferty, who is also the Keynote Speaker, with the Alzheimer’s Leadership Award. Heather Snyder, Ph.D. will be featured as the scientific speaker, presenting on recent research updates from the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, including the link between controlling blood pressure and reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment, why diet is so impactful in the gut-liver-brain connection, and more.

More than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease – two-thirds of who are women. In her early sixties, a woman is about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s over the course of her life than she is likely to develop breast cancer. The volunteer-led Alzheimer’s Women’s Initiative of the Alzheimer’s Association California Central Coast Chapter is driven by influential women who bring community leaders together to support the Alzheimer’s Association.

“Alzheimer’s is the third-leading cause of death in California and the fourth-leading cause of death in Santa Barbara County alone,” said Rhonda Spiegel, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association California Central Coast Chapter. “More than 10,000 people live with Alzheimer’s in our county, and women are disproportionately affected by the disease.”

The luncheon will feature exciting raffle prizes and a live auction, including a two-night stay package at the new Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito. There will also be special recognition of world-renowned and local Santa Barbara artist Flavia Weedn, who passed away from Alzheimer’s, by showcasing her original art and items from Flavia’s estate.

The luncheon will also include a special tribute to Gerd Jordano for five years of leadership and service as Co-Founder of the Alzheimer’s Women’s Initiative. Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Expert and Advocate for the Alzheimer’s Women’s Scientific Advisory Council Pam Montana will also give her voice to the experience of those living with Alzheimer’s.

For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please visit act.alz.org/awisb.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Women

Alzheimer’s is a global epidemic. Worldwide, an estimated 44 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America that cannot be cured or prevented. A woman’s estimated lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s at age 65 is one in six. It’s the fifth-leading cause of death in California and fourth in Santa Barbara County.

Not only are women more likely to have Alzheimer’s, but they are also more likely to be caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s. More than three in five unpaid Alzheimer’s caregivers are women. Women are also two-and-a-half times more likely to provide 24-hour care for someone with Alzheimer’s. Nearly 19 percent of women Alzheimer’s caregivers had to quit work either to become a caregiver or because their caregiving duties became too burdensome.

About Sarah Rafferty

Sarah Rafferty is a television and film actress, best known for portraying formidable executive assistant Donna on USA Network’s “Suits,” alongside co-star Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. The hit show is currently airing its eighth season. Sarah double majored in English and Theatre at Hamilton College, studying theatre abroad in London and Oxford and, after graduating magna cum laude from Hamilton, went on to study at Yale Drama school.

In addition to starring on “Suits,” Rafferty has appeared in numerous TV series such as “Law and Order,” “Six Feet Under,” “CSI: Miami,” and “Bones,” feature films, and countless professional stage productions.

Rafferty also lends a hand to many causes including the Alzheimer’s Association and The Brain Project. Rafferty hosted the annual Night at Sardi’s event held in Los Angeles for two consecutive years, which benefited the Alzheimer’s Association. Rafferty sadly witnessed her grandmother’s decline due to Alzheimer’s disease, and so strives to promote brain health and the Alzheimer’s Association. Rafferty also takes on a role as an ambassador for the newly founded organization, The Brain Project. The goal of TBP is to promote brain health, to bring awareness to diseases like Alzheimer’s, and to raise funds for Baycrest Health Sciences, a world leader in brain health and aging.

About Heather Snyder, Ph.D.
Heather M. Snyder, Ph.D., is Senior Director of Medical and Scientific Operations at the Alzheimer’s Association. Dr. Snyder manages the Association’s International Research Grant Program, through which the Association funds research around the world. She oversees the Association’s relationship with the leading disease journal in clinical neurology, Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, and its two companion open access journals. She is responsible for implementing the Alzheimer’s Association Women’s Alzheimer’s Research Initiative and leads the Association’s efforts to understand the role of vascular factors in Alzheimer’s and dementia. Dr. Snyder earned a Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, and a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Religious Studies from The University of Virginia.

About the Alzheimer’s Women’s Initiative:
Inspired and influenced by The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s, a group of key women leaders and visionaries came together to use their amazing brains to help wipe out Alzheimer’s disease. Today, women account for almost two-thirds of Americans living with the disease, and 65 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers are women.

With women at the epicenter of the Alzheimer’s crisis, these women were charged, inspired, and moved to form the Alzheimer’s Women Initiative (AWI), a volunteer-driven community group, which aims to educate families, associates and neighbors on the economic and human impact of Alzheimer’s, honor those who selflessly provide care for people affected by Alzheimer’s, expand the resources available to more than 40,000 families locally who are living with Alzheimer’s each and every day, and advocate for more federal research dollars to find a way to prevent or cure Alzheimer’s disease.

About the Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s research, care and support. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. The California Central Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is headquartered at 1528 Chapala Street, Suite 204, in Santa Barbara, CA 93101, and serves San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties. For more information, please visit alz.org/CACentralCoast or call 805.892.4259.



November 30, 2018
11:30 am PST


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