Ronkonkoma, NY (July 15, 2011) - Alzheimer's Association Long Island has announced that Bryan Proctor, a Northport resident and a physical education teacher at Harborfields High School, will lead a team of swimmers in the 8th Annual Distant Memories Swim on Thursday, July 28, in order to draw attention to this devastating disease that impacts over 60,000 families here on Long Island. Opening ceremonies are expected to begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. Mr. Proctor and his teammates will take to the water on 10:00 a.m.
Mr. Proctor and his teammates will start out at Asharoken Beach and swim across the bay to Knollwood Beach - a distance of approximately 3.5 nautical miles (more than 4 miles). The swim will also help raise funds for Alzheimer's Association Long Island through sponsorships and corporate donors. The goal is to raise $15,000 to help support services and programs for Long Island families coping with the challenges of Alzheimer's disease.
This year, Mr. Proctor and his team will dedicate the swim in memory and honor of Harold Charles "Hal" Daly. Mr. Daly was a lifeguard for 40 years. He served in the U.S. Navy as a medical corpsman reservist and also worked for the United States Postal Service. Family members and friends remember Mr. Daly for his juggling and balancing acts that would amaze everyone. In his later years, Mr. Daly was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He died in 2003.
Currently, 5.4 million people in this country have Alzheimer's disease and more than 200,000 individuals under the age of 65 have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. By the middle of this century, it is estimated that approximately 14-16 million people will have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease; 1 out of 8 baby boomers is at risk. This issue is very close to Mr. Proctor, as his grandfather and aunt passed away from Alzheimer's disease.
"Bryan is a champion for those with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. He is a role model for the youth of our country," states Mary Ann Malack-Ragona, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer for Alzheimer's Association Long Island. "He has continuously expressed the sentiment that he wants to raise awareness about this deadly disease and help families who live on Long Island."
"It is my hope that substantial funds will be raised to assist Alzheimer's Association Long Island in providing for people with dementia and other related disorders," Mr. Proctor said.
The Alzheimer's Association is the nation's leading voluntary health organization dedicated to supporting families and caregivers by providing vital programs and services in local communities nationwide. The Association is the largest private funder of Alzheimer's research, having committed more than $200 million to research. A minimum of 75% of every dollar raised by the Alzheimer's Association funds programs to promote research, find effective treatments, and improve the lives of those affected by Alzheimer's.
For more information about this event or the Alzheimer's Association, please contact Mary Ann Malack-Ragona at (631) 820-8068. To sponsor Mr. Proctor and/or his teammates, please visit www.memoryswim.org. Donations may also be sent to: Alzheimer's Association Long Island, 3281 Veterans Memorial Highway, Suite E-13, Ronkonkoma, NY 11779.