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July 2014
Thank you for your interest and support in Alzheimer's Project, Inc.  Without you, we would not be able to keep offering our many services free of charge.  Our goal is to provide these services to caregivers in the Big Bend area who are taking care of loved ones with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. We hope you enjoy navigating your way through this monthly newsletter so that you can find a way to become involved as a client, caregiver, volunteer, or supporter.
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From the Leadership Team
Bill Wertman, Director and CEO


Hard to believe we are already in July 2014!  I wonder sometimes where the time goes. When I was a MUCH younger man, my grandmother always used the phrase "how time flies" and I of course had no frame of reference as to what exactly that meant....I do now!  We have been very, very busy here at the agency but we have been very fortunate too.  The 2014 Legislative session approved our proposed request of $150,000 to fund 3 full-time positions at Alzheimer's Project, Inc. and the Governor signed it into law.  Now the fun begins!  We have begun the process of accepting applications for three brand new positions and hope to begin the interview process sometime after the July 4th holiday weekend.  Change is coming to the agency and with it will be many new opportunities to reach further into the communities we serve in an effort to broaden the scope of our social services.  We are excited about the future of our agency and we look forward to expanding our capacity to serve.  Have a great summer!


Bill Wertman, MSW


Alzheimer's Project, Inc.

Rebeccah Lutz, Board President


Dear friends,


 Big things are on the horizon for Alzheimer's Project, Inc.!

 Receiving state funding this year under the Department of Elder Affairs represents an important step in our agency's continued evolution.


 We know that a relatively small investment can have major impact in the life of a caregiver. This funding will result in the creation of four new jobs that will increase capacity to serve caregivers and their loved ones in a 10-county region.


On behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank all of those who worked tirelessly to make this funding a reality. We thank our legislators and Gov. Rick Scott for recognizing Alzheimer's Project's ability to work with state leadership to improve quality of life for members of our aging population. Our thanks go to Rep. Matt Hudson, Sen. Bill Montford and Sen. Denise Grimsley.


We also thank our Director and CEO Bill Wertman and Clinical Director James Smith, Sandy Halperin, Karen Cyphers, Pat Hogan, Everett Yarborough and the Westminster Oaks Alzheimer's Awareness Group. Thank you all for your work in this process.

With more than 20 years of experience serving families in North Florida, Alzheimer's Project is uniquely positioned to be an important part of a statewide response to what Florida TaxWatch has termed a "looming Alzheimer's crisis." In 2013, Alzheimer's Project served more than 4,000 people. Through this state funding, we estimate being able to reach 2,700 more families who today are without access to respite care.


The Board of Directors is focused on the future. We are committed to visionary leadership, sound business practices and long-term planning that will lay the groundwork for even bigger things to come.

We thank you all for your continued support and for partnering with us in bringing comfort and assistance to persons with memory disorders and their caregivers.


Rebeccah Lutz


Alzheimer's Project, Inc. Board of Directors


Community Projects and Events
We Packed the House with Zumba!
Over 50 people participated in our Zumba-thon on June 21st.  Veronica Calderon, Zumba instructor and friend of the agency, put this spectacular work-out event on and did an amazing job to raise money for Alzheimer's Project.  She had 8 Zumba instructors from all over to teach in different styles for 1.5 hours nonstop to the tunes of DJ Exhale from Miami.  Stay tuned for more Zumba-thons; they will only get bigger and better than the first!  You can join Veronica's Zumba classes Tuesdays and Thursdays at Kinetix and Legacy gyms.  Or you can check her out on facebook here: Zumba by Veronica
What Women Want
 Thank you to Olivia Jones and her friend Mathe for hosting our table at Cumulus' What Women Want Expo on June 14th.  Thousands of women visited all of the vendors.  We are thrilled that we were able to reach so many people to tell them about or services. 

Good Things Come in Threes
We would like to give a HUGE thanks to Ruth Nickens for graciously hosting this fabulous event in her home.  Sarah Mac, Grant Peeples, and Mark Russell performed live in her living room to celebrate June birthdays, the love all around, and the fact that life is just too short!  There were belly laughs, great friends, and yummy martinis for an overall great and memorable evening.  Proceeds from this event went to Tallahassee Senior Citizens Foundation, Lee's Place, and Alzheimer's Project. 
Fiesta Flamenco Supper Club
Another Lulu Production's Supper Club at The Collection at Southside was
beyond fun!   The Maharajah Flamenco Trio served up the music while Real Paella served up the outstanding food. 

Upcoming Events
Premier Jewelry Party Fundraiser
July 8th, 6:00pm
The Collection at Southside
227 East Palmer Avenue
Have you visited the Collection at Southside yet?  Well here's your chance.  You are invited to attend a Premier jewelry party, hosted by Aimee Wirth at this eclectic and artfully arranged shop of creative finds.  Browse for something for your home while learning about and shopping for beautiful and affordable Premier jewelry.  Not only does Alzheimer's Project receive proceeds from the shop's sales, but Aimee will be donating 10% of her Premier Jewelry sales as well! 
On Facebook? RSVP HERE!

Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Parrothead Phrenzy Benefit Concert
August 9th, 6:00pm-Midnight
Elks Lodge

Jimmy Buffett says, "If we weren't all crazy, we would go insane." You are hereby invited to go crazy on August 9th, at the 10th Annual Parrothead Phrenzy, a concert benefit for Alzheimer's Project.


The Tallahassee Parrothead Club and Elks Lodge present this tropical-themed concert, featuring Jason Webb and the Caribbean Chillers, Florida's premiere Buffett Tribute band. You'll enjoy heavy hors d'ouevres and a Seaside Silent Auction. Dress beach casual or enter the Pirate Costume Contest!


Giving to an Alzheimer's organization is a common thread among parrothead clubs as Buffett's father died of the disease in May 2003. The Tallahassee Parrothead Club has presented this unique event for 10 years. The local club is part of an international organization whose motto is "Party with a Purpose." Last year Parrothead clubs gave over 4.1 million dollars to charities worldwide. "We work hard and play hard for that contribution. That's a lot of parties!" says Penny Weimer, Phrenzy founder and event Co-Captain.


Our 10th year will feature anniversary t-shirts and a kick-off happy hour. We still have a few slots for sponsors (see link below) and lots of room for silent auction donations. Please email Penny at or Sherry at


$25 tickets in advance, available at  $30 at the door


 Click here to become a sponsor! 

LOL: A Night of Comedy to Benefit Alzheimer's Project
August 16th
Ruby Diamond Auditorium
Are you ready for the comedic event of the year?!  Get ready for an evening of fun and laughter on August 16, 2014 at Ruby Diamond Concert Hall.  This hilarious show, featuring comedians Bob Zany ad Greg Hahn, as heard on the "Bob and Tom Show," is a fundraiser for Alzheimer's Project, Inc. and will be taking the place of what was once our annual GALA.  These two brilliant comedians have appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central, CBS, ABC, FOX, MTV, and CMT.  They are hilariously funny!! 
Tickets for this special engagement will go on sale to the general public on July 14th and we are sure this event will become a SOLD-OUT event very quickly.  Because you are a friend and supporter of Alzheimer's Project, Inc., we are offering you the opportunity to purchase your ticket(s) in advance and fully secure your seat(s) for the show.  We don't want you to miss this over-the-top funny and unique event. 
Advance tickets are on sale now by clicking here: LOL TICKETS (use access password: LOL)
There is also a very special opportunity available for those companies/individuals who really want to make the night an All Star Event by reserving a VIP seat or table.  The VIP option allows the ticket holder to experience this event on an entirely different level.  A limo will chauffeur you from the reserved parking area to the VIP reception venue where only 100 lucky participants will have a chance to dine and mingle with the comedians themselves.  This sort of "pre-show" before the event will put you in the spirit to continue laughing with Zany and Hahn from the front row.  To learn more about the VIP option, contact Jessica Duncan at
Bob Zany will be opening for Greg Hahn at LOL... 
Get a taste of how funny they are in these short videos!
Bob Zany
Bob Zany
Working Out - Greg Hahn
Greg Hahn

Walk Registration Party
September 9th
Momo's Pizza
We want to kick off our Forget-Me-Not Walk this year with a fun pizza party at Momo's in Market Square.  Sponsors will have a chance to be recognized early and begin recruiting for walkers.  This will be open to the public to help raise awareness for the Walk and what Alzheimer's Project, Inc. does for the community.  You will be able to enjoy live music and a buffet of "pizza as big as your head" at Momo's, a unique pizza joint that is local to Tallahassee.   

Caregiver Celebration
September 19th
Sanders Hall, SPUMC
We love to recognize all of you caregivers who spend your time taking care of loved ones affected by Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.  This is a day for you to be pampered, listen to a great speaker, enjoy wonderful food, take part in complimentary health screenings, and learn more about what Tallahassee has to offer to help you.  You deserve a day for YOU! 
Registration will begin in August and seating will be limited.  This celebration is free of charge.

Awards Banquet
Oct. 16th
Every year, Alzheimer's Project likes to recognize those individuals who have truly given back to the community by being so involved in our agency.  The following awards will be presented at this intimate ceremony.
"Leading the Way" Award
Sharon L. Vause Caregiver of the Year Award
Van Weinman Volunteer of the Year Award
Service Partner of the Year Award
Community Hero Award
Forget-Me-Not Walk
November 2nd
Tom Brown Park
Start getting pumped up to take our Walk to the new venue, Tom Brown Park.  The new space will allow it to be bigger and better than ever.  The planning committee has a few new ideas up their sleeves that they just know you will love.  Watch your email for more details soon!
Golf Tournament
November 6th
Southwood Golf Club
Harbor Chase is doing it again!  We are so excited to announce that this wonderful partner has decided to host yet another tournament with all of the proceeds to benefit Alzheimer's Project, Inc.  Dust off those clubs and start thinking about putting a team together to drive this fundraiser home! 

Caregivers' Corner
Caregiver Linda Buytendorp was recently interviewed for a national publication.  Below is the article that was published.   

By Daniel J. Vance MS, LPC, NCC


"I began noticing something wasn't right in 2006," said 67-year-old Linda Buytendorp of Crawfordville, Florida, "but I was in denial and so was my husband. I told him he needed to see a doctor, but he said nothing was wrong and if I kept it up he was going to walk out and never come back."


What the Buytendorps were denying was husband Frans' out-of-character problems with confusion and memory. Before his retirement, Frans had been the regional president of a chemical company with 14 plants stretching from Boston to Miami. By 2006, he was having trouble understanding his bank statements.


"And he'd been an avid reader, sometimes two or three books a week," said Buytendorp. "Then I began noticing he'd read a book a while and have to start over because of forgetting what he'd read."


When the Buytendorps visited Linda's hospitalized mother in 2010, Frans became deeply confused, including not knowing where he was (Utah), why (to see his mother-in-law) or later that she had died. After returning to Florida, the Buytendorps soon discovered Frans had a form of dementia, probably Alzheimer's disease. Physicians can only diagnose Alzheimer's disease with 100 percent certainty postmortem.


Buytendorp had advice for family members of people exhibiting dementia symptoms. "First, they need to do whatever possible to get their loved ones to a doctor, but not just any doctor," she said. "They need to visit a memory disorders clinic. Our first experience was with a neurologist who didn't specialize in Alzheimer's. He only put my husband on medication, and didn't give us so much as a pamphlet about what would happen during the course of the disease."


So they visited Tallahassee Memorial Hospital's Memory Disorder Clinic where they received additional information on local resources and found the Alzheimer's Project, Inc. in Tallahassee, FL. "It was there I learned how to care for (Frans) and go along with what he said," she said. "Sometimes, you have to fib to a dementia patient. For example, (74-year-old Frans) sometimes thinks our adult children are still teenagers and will want to know where they are. If I correct him, and say they're grown, he becomes confused. But if I say they are at swim practice and will be home at 9:30, he's all right."


She said learning to not correct her husband's memory has improved their marriage more than anything. Buytendorp also stressed the importance of education, and seeking knowledge from groups like Forget Me Not on FaceBook. 

Meet the Board of Directors
Victoria Heuler

My name is Victoria Heuler and I am a Florida Bar board-certified elder law attorney and a proud member of the Board of Directors of Alzheimer's Project, Inc.  I absolutely love my elder friends and have so much compassion for what many people go through during the aging process.  I helped my Mom - an only child - with her parents when they were frail and dying, and I plan to be "on deck" for my parents when they need me.  I was so glad I was there to support my mother, but many caregivers need additional support, counseling, education, and respite (i.e. a break!), and that is what Alzheimer's Project, Inc. does magnificently!  I fell in love with Alzheimer's Project in 2003 and was so impressed with its staff and their dedication to the needs of caregivers and their family members.  Alzheimer's Project has always had a very holistic, inclusive approach and has worked its magic with many families dealing with the stresses of aging, particularly when a loved one has Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia.  Adjusting to a loved one with dementia and all of the changes that brings can be devastating.  Alzheimer's Project has literally been a lifesaver for many caregivers - and all for FREE!  I love this aspect the most - no caregiver or their loved one has to worry about meeting a financial test for services.  The services are available to lift caregivers up no matter what they have or don't have.  We are incredibly fortunate to have an agency like Alzheimer's Project, Inc. in our big-bend area because it is a gem that is not found in other parts of our state.  It's a simple mission - keep the caregivers healthy and supported, and their loved ones will also thrive.   Talk about your "win-win"!! 

Victoria E. Heuler, Board Certified Elder Law SpecialistV.A. Accredited Attorney

Heuler-Wakeman Law Group, P.L.

1815 Miccosukee Commons Dr. #104

Tallahassee, Florida 32308

(850) 421-2400

(850) 421-2403 fax 

Elder Law & Guardianship

Rural Outreach
Wakulla Respite
Submitted by Pat Ashley, Respite Coordinator
Music Therapy
    Each week our program includes an hour of traditional oldies and hymns led by energetic musicians from our community.  We are fortunate to have a retired school band director, two church choir directors, an icon of the community that keeps them laughing, and a talented professor of music at our disposal.  

Centennial Ladies

    This summer we have three special clients who will be celebrating centennial birthdays.  These ladies are from Scopchoppy, one a recent transplant, and for the most part are still alert and able to participate in most of our activities. One will be 100 and two will be 103!   


The Wakulla Respite clients are greeted each morning by "Charlie", Mary's bouncing ball of fur.  She is dressed in a special outfit with a bow in her hair to get the people ready for a day of fun.  One client

considers it his job to take Charlie for her morning walk around our campus.

Did You Know?
Experience 12 Minutes In Alzheimer's Dementia
Just What Is It Like?
Just what is a loved one with dementia going through? This 12-minute virtual Alzheimer's tour reveals more than you ever imagined. 

Speakers Bureau
Did you know that Alzheimer's Project, Inc. has its very own Speakers Bureau?  Led by Susan Bisbee, new board member and longtime friend of AP, this group is busy spreading awareness of what Alzheimer's Project has to offer!  If you are associated with a club, group, organization, or business that you think would be interested in hearing one of our speakers, or for more information, please contact Susan at

Community Partners
Visit the Democrat's website
Visit United Way's website
For advertising opportunities, contact Jessica Duncan at 850-386-2778
Donate to Alzheimer's Project, Inc.

If you are uncomfortable making a donation online, Alzheimer's Project, Inc. accepts cash and check donations via mail. Please mail your contribution to: 301 East Tharpe Street, 
Tallahassee, FL 32303. Donations can be:

Individual Gift- Your individual gift will help ensure continuity of the services Alzheimer's Project, Inc. provides to the community.

Memorial Gift- When someone close to us passes away we want to express our sympathy to the family for their loss. Take the opportunity to express your sympathy and at the same time help Alzheimer's Project, Inc. carry out its mission. We gladly send cards of acknowledgement to the person(s) you specify.

Tribute Gift- You can make a contribution to Alzheimer's Project, Inc. in honor of someone on a special occasion such as their birthday, anniversary or holiday. When you include the contact information for the person to whom you are giving tribute, a card acknowledging your gift will be sent to them.

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. Do you have comments or content suggestions for the next one?  I would love to hear from you! 
Jessica Duncan
Marketing Director
Alzheimer's Project, Inc.

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Alzheimer's Project, Inc. | | |
301 East Tharpe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32303

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