50th birthday bash in Charlotte aims at Alzheimer’s cure

jmarks@fortmilltimes.comAugust 17, 2013 

— Barbara Ivey is going to need one heck of a big blue bucket.

The Fort Mill Rotarian celebrates her 50th birthday this month. She’s doing it by hosting an event that won’t so much be a present for her as it will be for people like her mom in Hendersonville, N.C., and uncle in Kansas. Both family members suffer from Alzheimer’s.

“It’s such a hopeless disease,” Ivey said. “It’s easy to lose hope.”

Offering some hope in fighting Alzheimer’s are Rotarians in six states who participate in the Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust, or CART Fund. Club members drop spare change, or more, into blue buckets at weekly meetings for the cause. Because Rotarians are volunteers, there’s no overhead.

“Every dollar you give, one dollar goes directly to research,” Ivey said.

Ivey has connections with Nashville songwriters and was to receive a private concert for her birthday. But with a cause in mind, and as a way of “taking the focus off me,” Ivey decided on a public performance with all money raised going to CART.

Makin’ Memories: A Community Event To Benefit Alzheimer’s Research runs 5-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, at The Saloon at the N.C. Music Factory. Featured are Shawn Camp and Verlon Thompson starting at 6 p.m. The pair have writing credits for stars including Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, Jimmy Buffet and Trisha Yearwood.

Organizers are asking for $10 in advance or $20 at the door, with all money going to CART. There’s no specific monetary goal, but there are about 600 seats. Ivey “would love to pack the place out.” One attendee will be fund founder Roger Ackerman, a Rotarian from Sumter.

In about a decade, about 30,000 Rotarians raised more than $4 million. More than 20 grants have been awarded to groups like The Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General in Boston, Cedars Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington.

For more on Friday’s event or to get tickets, visit fortmillrotary.org.

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