Balboa Bay Club event raises $370,000 for UCI’s Alzheimer’s research program

Alzheimer’s disease continues to make health-related news. Researchers are examining a possible link between dementia and untreated bacteria in the gums and teeth. And though that research is ongoing, what scientists and medical doctors do know is that Alzheimer’s is affecting an expanding segment of the population. They predict caseloads growing exponentially in the coming decades.

The search for a cure, or at least some sort of preventive therapy, is at the forefront for countless organizations and support groups helping patients nationwide. UC Irvine’s Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND) is the only state and federally designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in Orange County, according to the program’s Linda Scheck

At year’s end, UCI MIND hosted its ninth annual “A December to Remember Gala” at Balboa Bay Resort. An impressive, record-breaking $370,000 was raised. Dr. Joshua Grill, director of UCI MIND, welcomed the sold-out crowd.

“We are forever grateful for you continued support,” he said. “We would not be at the forefront of Alzheimer’s disease research without it.”

Grill shared that Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S., and the third leading cause of death in Orange County. The 2018 gala honored William Edwards, CEO of Edwards Global Services; Steve O’Leary, vice chairman of the Shipyard; and Keith Swayne, retired CEO of Case Swayne Co./International Food Solutions.

All three honorees have come to the cause with a personal connection to the disease, turning that relationship into action to help others. Also recognized was the Brower Group and the Smart Agency, which was presented with the 2018 Community Leadership Award. Accepting the accolades were the Brower Group’s Judy Brower Fancher, chief strategist, and Jenn Quader, president. Spotted in the dinner crowd were honorary chairElecta Anderson and Janet Curci, Barbara Mathew, Lauren Kear, Beverly Newton, Stefanie Forner and Alessandra Martini.

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