THE COMING ALZHEIMER’S TSUNAMI: Society’s Next Big Challenge
Given the worldwide concern about Alzheimer’s disease, Mr. Kalyan Banerjee, president of Rotary International, invited Cure Alzheimer’s Fund to present at the Rotary Club’s Annual Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, on May 9, 2012.
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Chairman Jeff Morby, Co-Founder Jacqui Morby and Senior Vice President Mike Curren presented “THE COMING ALZHEIMER’S TSUNAMI: Society’s Next Big Challenge,” to several hundred Rotarians from around the world. The audience was a true melting pot, with people from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Kenya, Norway, Mexico, Australia, India, the United States, Thailand and more—who all share a concern about Alzheimer’s.
Massachusetts resident Joe Clancy, former district governor from District 7590 (Mass.), kicked off our 1½ hour presentation. It was the best attended of the approximately 30 breakout sessions held during the five-day conference. Inside the presentation hall, it was standing room only and the organizers even had to turn people away at the door.
All in all, our presentation was very well received. We began with a video on What Is Alzheimer’s disease?. There were lots of good questions from audience members who were clearly on board with our mission. We included a video that featured testimonies from international scientists who validated the importance of taking action to eradicate Alzheimer’s disease.
We also showed a short video about how the Rotary Club of Martha’s Vineyard spring boarded our efforts on the Rotary International stage. Finally, we proposed forming a Rotary Action Group with the mission of taking action to support a cure. Many attendees came up afterwards and gave us their business cards in support of that concept.
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund also had a booth at the conference, where Rotarians from around the world highlighted their local projects. Joe Clancy and fellow Massachusetts Rotarian Greg Garofolo were instrumental in pulling the booth together. They staffed it, along with Jeff Morby and Mike Curren, and handed out information about Cure Alzheimer’s Fund as well as a brochure from Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust of North Carolina.
About 40,000 Rotary members attended the annual conference, which is a positive reflection on the enormous potential of the Rotary network. We will be spending the next few months planning our next steps as we work to broaden our relationship with Rotary International. Rotarians interested in joining our cause should e-mail Mike Curren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Left to right: Joe Clancy, Mike Curren and Greg Garofolo