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Boston Pizza serving up a good cause

Posted on February 18, 2014 by Taber Times

When it comes to Alzheimer’s, families afflicted with it often say you lose your loved one twice. Once mentally, with how the disease ravishes the mind, and then again on the loved one’s passing.

The upcoming Lindenview Alzheimer’s and Dementia Cottages Fundraiser on March 3 has hope awareness can be found again about the debilitating disease while giving much-needed equipment to Lindenview to help with its Alzheimer’s/dementia patients.

The event will run at Boston Pizza in Taber on March 3 from 5-8 p.m.

“It’s first-come, first-serve. We are not doing any reserve tables or buying of tables,” said Steph Giroux-Feininger who is helping spearhead the initiative as a waitress at Boston Pizza, and whose mother is afflicted by Alzheimer’s. “There will be numerous Taber people hosting, serving and bartending. We have people from the Taber police and the rodeo association helping out as well.”

Joel Mills, Tamara Miyanaga, Tammy Bayman, Brendan “Hacksaw” Blaquier, Darlene Peckford, Rob Layton, Angie Higa, Hooven Gouw, Wanda Campbell, Graham Abela, Shawna Sekura, Rick Tams, Jody Pyne, Paul Giroux, Lori Pickerell, Daina Lazzarado, and Jeff Lockhart are just some of the volunteers who will be helping. A percentage of BP sales and all tips from the guest hosts in both the restaurant and lounge areas will help aid Lindenview.

“We will also be raising a lot of awareness with the Alzheimer’s Society having a lot of things happening in March, so we will help promote that,” said Giroux-Feininger.

Steph’s dad, Paul, added he hopes the BP initiative will bring a little bit of extra comfort for the Lindenview cottage residents.

“It doesn’t have to be the big things. Some have a lot of family come visit, some do not,” said Giroux. “You don’t want to have those people who do not have many visitors have nothing. Just letting those guys sit out in the courtyard and spend some time outside, that’s something. Some people in wheelchairs haven’t been outside in months and months. Having a cement pad out there will make a big difference to them. You can make the argument of ‘well, they don’t know the difference (having Alzheimer’s), but they do. There are times they come out of it. There are times they will enjoy the air out there.”

A big wish was that his wife could walk outside which residents cannot right now. Hopes are, funds raised can go towards a six-foot sidewalk among the greenery for the perimetre of the yard.

“Another big thing we are hoping for is a bladder scanner,” said Giroux-Feininger, noting the machine costs $17,000.

There are many things Lindenview has to send residents to acute care for, which can be difficult for Alzheimer’s/dementia patients who are in transit continually.

“Some of them may know what’s happening, others might not be able to articulate with that understanding so it can cause a lot of anxiety and discomfort for them,” said Lindenview representative Laurel Syryda. “Just having the bladder scanner at the facility without needing all those extra interventions, that’s something we don’t have and not something we could purchase on our own. It would benefit the residents and staff for sure intervening right at the site.”

Lindenview can accommodate 113 residents. Of that, there are three dementia cottages with each cottage housing 12 residents.

“They do have the opportunity to go outside and enjoy the nice weather, but it’s a safety issue we have. If they go outside alone, is there a tripping issue without the walkway? If they are in a wheelchair can we safely push them out without a walkway?” asked Syryda.

Taber Police Service is helping piggyback with the initiative.

“We think it is a good cause and half a dozen of our members are coming at night to serve tables, take orders, get bossed around, and try and raise some funds,” said Insp. Graham Abela, of the Taber Police Service. “The second way we are involved is we are a major partner in the Taber Community Action and Prevention Society (TCAPS) and as a local non-profit charitable organization, we attempt to build capacity in the Town of Taber where there is human service needs.”

Potentially, in anticipation of the fundraiser being quite full within the Boston Pizza building that day, the fundraiser may spill into a takeout service as well where a portion of the profit, plus all tips in delivery service will be donated as well as Taber police doing delivery service.

“Even though someone might not be able to fit into the restaurant, the question was if people needed takeout then our police service with our volunteers and other groups we have could be involved in delivering the takeout food,” said Abela. “Any tips would be donated back to the cause.”

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