Many of those who participate in the Alzheimer’s Association fundraiser The Longest Day do so for personal reasons. More than 35 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s disease, and many more feel the effects.

The Longest Day is a fundraising event held on June 21 — the longest day of the year — that aims to raise money for the research, support and care efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. (Funds raised in Canada will go to the Alzheimer Society of Canada.)

“Our population is touched much by this disease,” said Lauren Brown of Unit 183. “We are participating because we believe Alzheimer’s is deserving of our donations toward research. We also believe that bridge is the best ‘medicine’ for our brain as we mature.”

Research has indeed found that keeping the brain active — by engaging in activities like playing bridge — may lower the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s. Because of this, the ACBL is partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association for a second year and hopes clubs and other groups will join them by playing bridge on The Longest Day.

Leader of the Mid-MO Bridge Clubs group Michael Hughes has lost two aunts and an uncle to the disease. He says he has seen first-hand what it can do to a family, so he is energized to participate in The Longest Day. His team will be playing bridge and offering tables of other games to give people many opportunities to get involved.

The Longest Day challenges fundraisers to complete an activity for the entire length of the day, and there is no wrong way to participate. Play in a marathon of games, host a game, teach bridge or stage a bridge exhibition.

Another participant, Laura Wade of the Suite P Players in Atlanta, is a caregiver to a bridge mentor who has Alzheimer’s. She will be trying to bring together the five clubs in the city and have a day of play.

Don’t miss out on your chance to join the fun while raising funds! Help us reach our goal of $750,000.

For more information on The Longest Day, click here.