Courthouses and communities from the Mississippi River to the Smoky Mountains who put on purple and rallied alongside Tennessee’s Court Clerks this fall to raise awareness and funds to support families facing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia should be proud of their purple. Court Clerks from West to East Tennessee came together on Thursday, Nov. 12 to present a $25,000 check to Alzheimer’s Tennessee, the not-for-profit organization that helped launch the inaugural statewide “Purple Out Day”.
“We clearly surpassed our goal of raising $15,000 the first year,” Blount County Circuit Court Clerk Tom Hatcher, who lost his father to Alzheimer’s a year ago, explained. “My Dad didn’t know who I was at the very end, and the more people I talked to about him, I realized how many people have been impacted by this disease. Fulfilling our pledge as Court Clerks to go purple statewide meant so much to me personally, and I know seeing so much purple on ‘Purple Out Day’ gave hope to every Tennessean touched by Alzheimer’s.”
Because Alzheimer’s disease and dementia impact at least 110,000 Tennesseans, the Board of Directors for the State Court Clerks Association of Tennessee voted to adopt and support Alzheimer’s Tennessee, a Tennessee-based 501c3 organization that provides support services, promotes brain health through education, and champions research for better prevention and treatment strategies.
Court clerks had the opportunity to learn more about the disease from Alzheimer’s Tennessee at their annual conferences this year. Plus, Alzheimer’s Tennessee provided resource kits including information about Alzheimer’s and related dementias for court clerks to display in justice centers and courthouses statewide.
“The thousands of people across the state who put on purple sent a message of hope to the tens of thousands of Tennesseans who have been touched by Alzheimer’s and dementia. We are so appreciative of the Court Clerks who made a statement in each of their communities,” Janice Wade-Whitehead, Executive Director of Alzheimer’s Tennessee explained. “We hope to hear from anyone with questions about themselves or loved ones. You are not alone. With the support of Purple Out Day, Alzheimer’s Tennessee is able to staff our Tennessee-based statewide HelpLine with compassionate people who want to share the ups and downs of a journey with Alzheimer’s.”
From Memphis to Mountain City, 205 Court Clerks and their deputy clerks in 95 counties were invited to take the pledge to go purple and participate in the first “Purple Out Day” on September, 18, 2015 to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and related dementias as well as raise funds to support the work of Alzheimer’s Tennessee.
All across Tennessee, they came through with tribute walls featuring photos of loved ones, trees decorated with purple ribbons and purple t-shirts. Plus, Clerks hosted bake sales, ice cream parties, and other fundraisers. It wasn’t just county officials going purple. Families and businesses across the state helped bring Purple Out Day into their communities. A special thanks goes out to Tennessee Walmart and Sam’s Club stores that went purple.
Information about Alzheimer’s and related dementias is always available at http://www.alzTennessee.org or by calling toll-free statewide 888.326.9888.