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Local News July 11, 2013  RSS feed

Forest Park Carousel Will Host Alzheimer’s Benefit

Two Hours Of Unlimited Rides For $10
by Max Jaeger

A fund-raiser benefitting the Alzheimer’s Association, NYC Chapter, promises two hours of unlimited rides on the Forest Park Carousel for $10. A fund-raiser benefitting the Alzheimer’s Association, NYC Chapter, promises two hours of unlimited rides on the Forest Park Carousel for $10. Childhood memories inspired an upcoming fundraiser benefitting Alzheimer’s patients that will be held at the Forest Park Carousel.

“I thought it was a wonderful link having to do with memory, because so many of us have memories of being on the carousel,” said Carol Lacks, who organized An Evening Ride on the Forest Park Carousel to End Alzheimer’s.

From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Aug. 9., carousel-goers can enjoy unlimited rides for $10, and all the proceeds will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, NYC Chapter, said Lacks, who is a volunteer with the organization. Single rides benefiting the organization can be purchased at the regular, $3 price, she noted.

There will also be face-painting and a magician sponsored by the carousel’s operators, NY Carousel Entertainment, she said.

For Lacks, a self-described “carousel groupie,” leveraging people’s fond memories is a way to comsystem bat Alzheimer’s, and for many in western Queens, the Forest Park Carousel is laden with remembrances of bygone days.

While event-goers reminisce about the carousel and create new memories with their families and friends, they can help support those who suffer from a disease that robs them of their own memories, she said.

The affects Alzheimer’s has on patients and their families motivated Lacks to create the fundraiser.

She said she first got involved with the Alzheimer’s Association when her mother developed dementia— a form of Alzheimer’s—a few years ago.

“They helped me understand my mother’s behavior,” she said.

After receiving support from the group, she started volunteering and organizing fundraising events like the Queens Walk to End Alzheimer’s, she said.

“[Lacks] stepped up and became our Queens Walk Committee cochair” before going on to organize her own fundraisers, said Candace Douglas, the manager of constituent events for the Alzheimer’s Association, NYC Chapter.

She reached out to NY Carousel and started planning the first Evening Ride to End Alzheimer’s last year, she said.

Between 200 and 300 people rode the carousel in support of the Alzheimer’s Association during the 2012 fundraiser, according to Ami Abramson, director at NY Carousel Entertainment.

Last year’s event raised nearly $1,800 despite bad weather, Douglas said.

Abramson said the carousel does not typically play host to fundraisers, but its operators are open to supporting “causes that are so widespread.”

“Carol is from the neighborhood, she took the initiative and made the effort,” Abramson said. “We’re happy to work with these kinds of broad-based community efforts.”

“They’re amazing people ... very philanthropic,” Lacks said of NY Carousel.

There are an estimated 250,000 people living with Alzheimer’s in New York City, according to Douglas.

The Alzheimer’s Association, NYC Chapter is staffed by professional care consultants and provides free programs and services like support groups, education programs and a 24-hour hotline, Douglas said.

The hotline can be reached at 1-800-272-3900.

“Our goal is to guide you through the process,” Douglas said.