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National 1926 Skate Day for Alzheimer’s
December 15, 2020
It’s the Canadian thing to do.
December 15 is National 1926 Skate Day for Alzheimer’s. It started with the dream of Steve McNeil, who skates for 19 hours and 26 minutes to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s disease.
In the past two years, McNeil has done his marathon skate 18 times in cities across Canada in the rain, blizzards and -40C temperatures.Covid-19 has made it impossible for him to do that again this year, however, he will be skating for the ninth year, this time at the Gretzky Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. He starts at 12.01 a.m. Dec. 15 and skates until 7.26 p.m.
This year he wants December 15 to be National 1926 Alzheimer’s Skate Day and is inviting people to do that Canadian thing and skate for 19 minutes and 26 seconds and donate $19.26 or whatever they can to their local Alzheimer Society. The fundraising effort is called the 1926Challenge. He is asking everyone to skate, hike, cycle, cook, walk their dog or do whatever they enjoy, then tell their story and send a photo to his social media listed on his website www.1926Skate.com or #1926Challenge.
McNeil, 59, a mailman and recreational hockey referee, does this as a tribute to his mother, who died of the disease. She was born Dec. 15, 1926, thus the name connection. He says his 19-hour and 26-minute effort is just one day in his life, but caregivers for people living with dementia spend that much time each day looking after their loved ones.
“Covid-19 has been devastating for seniors and their families,’ McNeil says. “More and more families are going to need the assistance that their local Alzheimer Societies can provide. That’s why this fundraising skate is so important.”
“More Canadians will want to keep their ageing parents at home with them rather than placing them in a care facility. After what happened with Covid-19 this year they won’t want to have loved ones in a residence where they can’t visit them.”
Alzheimer Societies offer programs and support services for people living with dementia and their care partners. The funds raised through National 1926 Alzheimer’s Skate Day and the 1926Challenge will help local Alzheimer Societies continue to provide virtual social and recreational programming to those who need help most.
People are asked to donate $19.26 or more or simply lace up their skates and come out to support National 1926 Alzheimer’s Skate Day.
For more information go to www.1926skate.com or to donate click the button below.