Knit-a-thon for Alzheimer’s benefits memory care residents

Teresa Valko and Lois Perry offer an afghan to a Greenfield Care Center resident.

by Lori Harasta

Eighty participants knitted and purled together to raise money for research on “The Longest Day”, an Alzheimer’s fundraising event that took place at Anacapa Fine Yarns in Ventura on June 21.

The event was the brainchild of a couple of women with two things in common: knitting and Alzheimer’s. Teresa Valko has numerous family members who have suffered and succumbed to the disease; Lois Perry’s husband has had increasing symptoms since just after he turned 50.

It began as bonding over the clicking and clacking of needles, and progressed to a deeper friendship as they learned about the pain of each others’ experiences with Alzheimer’s.

These are not ladies that swoon at challenges. They used their ingenuity and balls of yarn to stage the first annual Ventura County “Knit-a-thon” to raise research funds to end Alzheimer’s, a horrible disease that has touched virtually everyone’s lives. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States; the 5th in California. They were hoping to raise $10,000.00. They raised over $17,000.00. It was such a success that Teresa looks forward to rolling it out across the state and the nation.

Last month, with assistance from Administrator Stacy Christianson and Facility Liaison Sandra Smith, Lois and Teresa had the pleasure of donating 40 afghans made on “The Longest Day” to Memory Care residents at Greenfield Care Center in Fillmore.

Needles to say, they received a warm response.

Epilogue: Even if you don’t knit, there are many ways to be part of the solution. You can become an advocate, donate, or join a walk. The next local “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” is Saturday, September 30, 2017 at The Collection at River Park, 2751 Park View Court, in Oxnard. For more information, call Fahim Farag at 494-5200  or email [email protected].

Women are at the epicenter of the Alzheimer’s epidemic. Nearly two-thirds of Americans living with Alzheimer’s are women. The Alzheimer’s Women’s Initiative (AWI) is a volunteer-driven community group which aims to educate, honor, expand and advocate.

Join the movement today to wipe Alzheimer’s off the face of the earth. Visit

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