116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
It can be a helpless feeling, watching a loved one’s Alzheimer’s disease progress.
So one Eastern Iowa woman, with the help of her team, channeled that desire to help into a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association and successfully raised more than $40,000 this past month.
Abbie Schrader, 38, raised thousands of dollars for the organization through a golf tournament and 5K in honor of her mother, who is battling Alzheimer’s disease.
Called “Battle for Betsy,” the event included a four-person best-shot golf tournament, a 5k race as well as a silent auction. The tournament took place at the Jesup Golf Course and Country Club, where Schrader’s parents have been members for years.
The fundraising event, which took place in June, doubled their initial $20,000 fundraising goal. Event organizers presented the check with the Alzheimer’s Association earlier this month.
“I think we were all so surprised, I don’t think any of us imagined it would get as big as it did,” said Schrader, who lives in Hudson in the Waterloo area. “It’s a very humbling feeling.”
Her mother Betsy McDougall, 63, was diagnosed in 2019 and now lives in a memory care facility. She has a strong family history of Alzheimer’s.
McDougall’s disease has now progressed to advanced Alzheimer’s, Schrader said.
“It’s a really helpless feeling,” Schrader said. “I can’t do anything to help her, so I was looking for something that could be useful in some way.”
The event was a Longest Day fundraiser, a type of fundraising event for the Alzheimer’s Association that is organized and implemented by individuals or teams for their community. These events — which are a nod to the summer solstice, the longest day of the year — raise dollars to help advance research efforts and support other initiatives with the Alzheimer’s Association.
Longest Day events can be geared to whatever the organizers or their loved ones are passionate about, said Tina Gossman, walk manager for the Alzheimer’s Association Iowa Chapter.
Dozens of these events take place every year in Iowa, Gossman said.
Schrader had organized a Longest Day event a year ago. Though the event was limited because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fundraiser still raised about $10,000.
Organizers already plan to throw a “Battle for Betsy” event in 2022. Schrader said they plan to make next year’s fundraiser even bigger.
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