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LAKE MOSES — Losing memories is not only frustrating for Alzheimer’s patients and their families, but it also has a multifaceted impact on the community. On July 18, the Columbia Basin community has the opportunity to come together to support the fight against the disease by participating in the Purple Party, a precursor to the local Walk to End Alzheimer’s taking place on September 14.

“The Purple Party is a fundraising and team-building event in preparation for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” said organizer Karisti Cox. “It’s kind of like a pre-party before the party.”

This year marks the 10th year of the Purple Party, and Cox said she expects 170 to 200 people to attend. Last year, there were 150 to 170 people, and similar events this year have seen increased community participation. The Porterhouse Steakhouse in Moses Lake will be the venue and provide catering. The event is free and offers participants the opportunity to build their teams for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in September, but also a chance to spend time together while raising awareness about the fight against Alzheimer’s.

Cox, who always seems to wear a bit of purple, said wearing that color at the event was encouraged because it is the color that raises awareness of Alzheimer’s disease.

Last year’s menu included pulled pork and other tasty treats, Cox said, but as of Tuesday afternoon she had not received a confirmed menu for this year’s event.

“It’s notable that the Russells, who own the Porterhouse, had their grandmother die from Alzheimer’s, and that’s a big reason for them to hold the event there,” Cox said.

Music for the event will be provided by Dale Roth, a local DJ who has provided entertainment at the event before, Cox said. His playlists often include rock and country from the 1980s, ’90s and early 2000s.

Roth said he thinks it’s important to do things in the community that support people. The music for this and other charity events brings the community together and supports those affected by issues like Alzheimer’s, cancer or ALS.

“It’s like cancer. We’re all affected by it in one way or another, whether it’s a parent or a loved one, and (that) just means a lot to me. I have family members and friends who have dealt with Alzheimer’s and lost loved ones to it,” Roth said.

Cox said the Purple Party also serves as a fundraiser for Alzheimer’s research. There will be a raffle for a fire table, a Black Stone grill and a rodeo basket, among other prizes. There will also be entrance prizes.

“The main prizes are handmade Alzheimer’s commemorative boots, and we started that last year,” she said.

Cox said she makes the boots herself, dyes them purple and decorates each one differently. Companies that won the boots last year still display theirs in their stores. That’s encouraging, she said, because they’re there as a symbol to help people stay aware of the issue year-round.

The event is geared more toward adults, Cox said. Cocktails will be served, so attendees should be aware of that. It’s also an additional after-hours event for the Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce.

Debbie Doran-Martinez, director of the Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber was approached by organizers long ago and has been involved with the event since the first event. The chamber is happy to support the Purple Party because it raises awareness about the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and is an opportunity for businesses and their customers to connect in a positive way.

“It engages the community,” Doran-Martinez said. “And so we were approached years ago by the Purple Party organizers to do this, and this is a way for us to engage the community and connect business people with regular citizens to raise awareness of this cause.”

The Purple Party is one of several events Cox and her co-organizers hold throughout the year to raise awareness of the disease and support research to fight Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Other events include butterfly releases, Colors of Hope, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and a golf tournament. It’s important to continue these events to promote research and awareness, and Cox said she’s committed to doing so.

“I mean, if you want to get involved in the fight against Alzheimer’s and make a difference, I will employ you,” Cox said.

R. Hans “Rob” Miller can be reached at [email protected].

Events to combat Alzheimer’s

Purple Party
July 18, 2024
Porterhouse Steakhouse
217 N. Elder St.
Moses Lake, WA 98837

Dude! Where is my CART?!
Golf tournament
28 September 2024Sage Hills Golf Club
10400 Sagehill Road SE
Warden, WA 98857

Colors of hope
13 September 2024
McCosh Park Amphitheater
401 W. Fourth Ave.
Moses Lake, WA 98837

Walk to end Alzheimer’s disease
14 September 2024
Registration: 9 a.m.
Ceremony: 10am
Walk: 10:30 am
McCosh Park Amphitheater
401 W. Fourth Ave.
Moses Lake, WA 98837

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

  • Memory loss that affects daily life
  • Challenges in planning or problem solving
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Confusion with time and place
  • Problems understanding visual images
  • Problems understanding spatial relationships
  • New problems with words when speaking or writing

SOURCE: Alzheimer Association

Many of those attending the Purple Party or one of the other dementia awareness events in the area have themselves lost someone or have a loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s or a similar disease. The event is designed to help people become more aware of the disease and that the money raised for research will ultimately lead to better treatments and cures.
Participants of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s near the start of the event. The annual walk raises money to fight the mentally debilitating disease and helps bring people together who can support families affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s.