Purple bow

Martha McGrew and Paul Marzullo prepare purple bows for display in Highland in order to raise awareness and support of Alzheimer patients and their families.

Mayor Penny Lilburn and her daughter Courtney Corcoran plan to “paint the town purple” to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and financial support for the Alzheimer’s Association on Friday, June 21, by leading a team of volunteers and donors in decorating Highland with large purple bows.

It’s a special effort for the mother and daughter team after watching their mother/grandmother, Sherry Mandigo, suffer with the illness for about two years before her passing on Dec. 9, 2018.

Corcoran was very close to her grandmother and was deeply affected by her suffering, Lilburn said. After her grandmother’s death, Corcoran, a captain in the Army stationed in Texas, sought the support offered families of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease by the Alzheimer’s Association and has been actively involved since.

Raising awareness is as important for those who have the disease as it is for their loved ones because recognizing the symptoms can be difficult early on, Lilburn said.

“When you’re trying to get into resources it’s hard to know what to do,” Lilburn said. “We want to help educate people, let them know there are resources and how to recognize the signs.”

To spread that awareness, they are asking residents to make $25 donations to Alzheimer’s Association. For each donation, a large purple bow will be hung in Highland so when residents make their way into town Friday morning they’re struck by purple and “remember those who can’t remember.” Lilburn hopes this will spark curiosity and get people to learn more and support the Alzheimer’s Association.

Lilburn hopes to raise enough donations for at least 100 bows.

The Highland effort will coincide with a nationwide observance of “the longest day,” the longest period of daylight in the year and “the longest day” for those caring for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

As of Friday, June 7, when Lilburn and volunteers Paul Marzullo and Martha McGrew began tying the first batch of bows, $3,000 had been raised, $675 of that from bow sales.

To make a donation by purchasing a bow, call Martha McGrew at the Highland Senior Center at (909) 862-8104.

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