Carol Berggren's mother enjoys looking at pictures from the 1960s, because she recognizes the people and places. When she looks at a picture of herself, she doesn't know who it is.
Like millions of Alzheimer's patients, she often lives in her own world, which is wrenching for Carol and her brothers and sisters. "Watching this bright, beautiful woman in decline is so heartbreaking," said Berggren.
Needing advice on how to be caregivers, Carol and her family turned to the Alzheimer's Association, which serves many of the 210,000 Illinois residents afflicted with the disease. The group provided Carol, an employee at Braidwood Generating Station, and her four siblings with education, advice and emotional support.
The ongoing, hands-on support from the Alzheimer's Association prompted Carol to nominate the organization as the benefitting charity for Braidwood Generating Station's 2013 Fishing for a Cure tournament.
"I can't imagine where we would be without the association as a resource," said Berggren. "Whether we needed information on long-term care, legal advice or just someone to point us in the right direction, they were always there."
Anglers are encouraged to cast a line to support the Alzheimer's Association in the twelfth annual Fishing for a Cure tournament on Saturday, May 18, at Braidwood Lake.
Anglers will compete for a share of $10,000 in cash prizes, including $4,000 for first place. Second and third place will net $2,500 and $1,000, respectively. Fourth, fifth and sixth place finishers will win $500 and teams finishing seventh through tenth will win $250. The tournament has a 100-boat limit.
All proceeds from this year's event will benefit the Alzheimer's Association, Greater Illinois Chapter. The Alzheimer's Association, Greater Illinois Chapter serves 68 counties in Illinois with offices in Bloomington, Carbondale, Chicago, Joliet, Rockford and Springfield. Since 1980, the Chapter has provided reliable information and care consultation; created supportive services for families; increased funding for dementia research; and influenced public policy changes.
"We're excited to be part of the Fishing for a Cure tournament," said Beth Alderson the special events manager for the Alzheimer's Association, Greater Illinois Chapter's Joliet office. "Exelon is a great community partner, and this fundraiser will help us to continue providing support services to families like the Berggrens."
Braidwood Site Vice President Dan Enright said, "Fishing for a Cure is a special event for not only our employees, but also for the numerous organizations that have benefited from the money raised. There's a sense of achievement for the community, the station employees and the Alzheimer's Association when everyone bands together to help others."
The tournament will start from Braidwood Lake's Kankakee Road (South) Ramp. The entry fee is $150 per team with all proceeds, including 100 percent of all tournament entry fees, going to the Alzheimer's Association. Rules and entry forms are available online at www.exeloncorp.com/fishing. To learn more about the Alzheimer's Association go to www.alz.org.
Also on May 18, a children's tournament will be held at the Godley Park District pond from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. The entry fee is $5 per child. To pre-register for the event contact Braidwood Generating Station Communications Manager Neal Miller via e-mail at email@example.com or by telephone at (815) 417-3184.
Since its inaugural tournament in 2002, Fishing for a Cure has raised nearly a quarter million dollars for charity. In 2012 the tournament raised a record $48,000 for four Braidwood area food pantries.
Braidwood Generating Station is approximately 60 miles southwest of Chicago. The station's two nuclear energy units can produce a total of more than 2,300 megawatts at full power - enough electricity to power more than 2 million typical homes.