This Saturday, May 19, two teams of local women will be competing on the football field to help raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research in the state of Mississippi. The two teams, Blondetourage and The Darkside, will kick off at 10 am at Lafayette High School in spectacular fashion. A fully loaded football game, there will be play-by-play announcers, half time entertainment, lots of fun and plenty of chances to help support the fundraising efforts of the players and coaches. Tickets are just $10 and are available at the door. The entry donation also grants you attendance to the after-party with players and coaches at The Library Sports Bar at 4 pm. One hundred percent of donations made to Alzheimer’s Mississippi will stay in Mississippi to provide services to all families.
Approximately 52,000 Mississippians are living with Alzheimer’s disease and are provided care by over 206,000 family caregivers. Alzheimer’s disease is the fifth leading cause of the death in Mississippi among disease. There is currently no way to cure, prevent, or slow the progression of the disease
The TackleAlz flag football game was first played and organized by a group of young professional women who wanted to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s disease in the state of Mississippi. Players and coaches organize fun events and practices during the spring and are encouraged to fundraise $250 each to participate in the game. Since its inception in 2011 in Jackson, Mississippi, the flag football game has raised more than $170,000 for Alzheimer’s Mississippi.
Oxford resident Glenda Landrum helps organize the event in Oxford and has played for the past two years. “I got involved for a couple of reasons,” says Glenda. “I got involved due to my boyfriend’s father having this disease. He was diagnosed in his late 40s and has lived with it for almost 20 years. So that was my big push to get involved and try and help give back, and I have met some wonderful people while being involved in this.”
The challanges of putting on an event this large are many. It takes as many as people as we can get. It’s been a challenge recruiting players and sponsors. Glenda stresses that no amount is too small to donate. “We are so appreciative of everyone that has come out to our events, or shared our posts, or volunteered to help with game day events. We also couldn’t do it without donors in kind and monetary donors, and the family and friends that are donating to each player. I can’t say enough about our committee of women either. We have been meeting and texting since probably February about each detail, trying to coordinate events and committee members. Everyone has such busy lives with work and raising families and such. It’s all volunteer. This event is only in its third year so it’s fairly new as far as fundraiser events that take place in Oxford. We try to get game sponsors as well as individual sponsorships. That’s been a challenge because Oxford has so many things constantly going on.”
One of the biggest challenges came just this week, when longtime football coach and supporter Billy Brewer passed away. His funeral prompted a change in game time from original planning. Glenda explains, “The game was moved out of respect for Coach Brewer and his family. His granddaughter is a member of the Blondetourage team, we felt a 10 am start would help accommodate those who want to pay their respects as well as attend the TackleALZ event. Coach Brewer was a beloved figure for Ole Miss and Oxford. We just hope everyone comes out to support and help us tackle Alzheimer’s.”