Valdosta Daily Times

August 24, 2012

VSU faculty, staff, students encouraged to go Casual for a Cause

Valdosta State University

VALDOSTA — To raise funds for and awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, Valdosta State University’s Division of Social Work is asking faculty, staff, and students to go Casual for a Cause on Friday, Aug. 31.

 Anyone can participate by donating $5 and wearing jeans or other casual attire the day of the event. Casual for a Day participants will receive a sticker, have a forget-me-not displayed in their honor in Pine Hall through Nov. 30, and have their name listed  on the Alzheimer’s Association’s fundraiser website.

 Donations can be made in advance by contacting Felicia Hilson at (229) 219-1392 or or by visiting the Casual for a Cause table on the second floor of the Student Union between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31.

 Proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association during the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Valdosta Middle School on Friday, Sept. 15. The funds will help the organization get one step closer to realizing its mission to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease  and to provide the best care and support to those living with the disease.

 An avid University of Tennessee women’s basketball fan, Hilson noted that it was Coach Pat Summitt’s announcement that she had been diagnosed with the disease that led her to organize VSU’s first Casual for a Cause event. She said that she has admired the coach’s  commitment to education for 18 years.

 The university’s Division of Social Work sponsors a day program for senior citizens who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia called My Friend’s House. Located at 109 W. Moore St. and open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, program  services are provided free of charge and include a variety of activities that promote social, physical, creative, and cognitive stimulation.

 Right now, My Friend’s House has eight regular attendees, all of them women. They are cared for by a team of four staff members, two graduate assistants, and a host of volunteers from the Division of Social Work, College of Nursing, university-affiliated sororities,  and other departments.

 Dr. Dorothy Dye, executive director of My Friend’s House, said the program benefits from the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and Casual for a Cause when families of those who suffer from the disease are in need of respite care services and the latest educational information.  Of course, the program also sees a benefit in the research funded by the association, which may someday lead to a cure.

 Hilson and Dye would like to see the entire VSU community participate in Casual for a Cause and/or the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. To date, the university has five teams registered to walk -- the Division of Social Work’s Reaching for the Summit, the My Friend’s  House Joymakers, Alpha Theta Zeta Phi Beta’s Blue and White, Psi Chi and the Psych Club, and Students for a Cause, which consists of members from the Student Action Council, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

 Contact Felicia Hilson at (229) 219-1392 or to learn more about Casual for a Cause. Contact Dr. Dorothy Dye at (229) 293-6145 or or Phyllis  Alvarez, program assistant, at (229) 293-6146 or to learn more about My Friend’s House.