If you have seen a lot of purple around town this week, it is not a surprise. For the very first time, New Fairfield is being “painted purple” to raise awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association. This week has seen a special ribbon-cutting ceremony, information sessions, local businesses are decked out in purple, and more.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s Development Manager Cheryl Podob is excited for the chance to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and to get residents and participants excited about the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s events that are happening around the state–including one in New Milford. Podob explained that there are over 80,000 residents dealing with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease in the state.
First Selectman Pat Del Monaco said, “The Town is very grateful for the work of The Alzheimer’s Association of Fairfield County, and we are pleased to participate in the 2022 ‘Paint the Town Purple’ initiative.” She went on to reflect, “Alzheimer’s has touched many of our residents either personally or as a caregiver, and the support provided by the Alzheimer’s Association enhances care for those affected, provides training resources and educational programs for caregivers, and increases awareness within the community.” Programs have occurred all week at the Senior Center and the Town Library with topics ranging from effective communication strategies to recognizing the warning signs of Alzheimer’s.
Local businesses are leaning into the purple theme to recognize the week. Virginia Boffardi at First Step Preschool explained that she thought it was critical “to participate in such an important event as so many families are affected by Alzheimer’s.” First Step participated by “painting our center purple. The children made purple chains this week and they are being held by Harold, a popular children’s book character from Harold and The Purple Crayon!”
At Luks Realty, Melissa Luks Fidanza said they were happy to take part, “Luks Realty is helping to spread the word regarding services offered to patients and caregivers. Numerous events will take place across the town and country this entire week with all efforts going towards supporting families in need during an especially trying time.”
Special events are happening in a variety of businesses, such as the offer of a complimentary “Purple Rain Cocktail” at Heritage Wine & Liquor today, Thursday, September 15, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
In addition to New Fairfield, this year there are three other towns in Fairfield County that are participating and painting their towns purple: Old Greenwich, Fairfield, and Westport. There are also two other towns in CT that are Painting their Town Purple: New Milford and New London.
There are six walks occurring statewide: New Milford Green in New Milford and Ocean Beach, New London both on September 24; Lighthouse Point in New Haven on September 25; Rockwell Park in Bristol on October 2; Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk on October 9; and Rentschler Field in East Hartford on October 16. Podob says, “We hope that people will join the walk closest to them by creating a team and raising funds to support the association. Anyone interested in joining the walk can go to http://www.alz.org/walk.”
Look around and frequent local favorites. New Fairfield will only be purple until Saturday and the week ends with a booth at New Fairfield Town Fair Day on September 17. The Alzheimer’s Association, however, will continue, by offering 24/7 multilingual helpline support (1-800 272-3900), family training seminars, care and consultation, safe return training, and support groups and educational programs for healthcare professionals, caregivers, and families.
By Sarah Opdahl