Leslie Ann Crozier rallied her Triumph Over Alzheimer’s (TOA) inner circle for a “Private Preview Party” on Wednesday, May 22, at the Plaza at Turtle Creek Residences’ Conservatory. In addition to longtime supporters like WFAA’s Pete Delkus, Dr. Mark Goldberg, Millie and Dr. Ken Cooper, Ramona Jones, Carol Seay, Jimmy Westcott, Billie Leigh Rippey with Paige Locke, Bobbie Sue and Phil Williams, Ramona Jones, Marilyn Augur, Paige and Stan Levenson, she had four young new faces whom she introduced as the TOA Founding Ambassadors — Kara Kirkby, Holley Caldwell, Jenny Deely and Lindsey Kluempers.
- Kara Kirkby: Kara grew up in Austin, attended college in North Carolina, and moved to Dallas nearly four years ago after accepting an Event Coordinator position with the Dallas Sports Commission. A deciding factor in moving to Dallas was the opportunity to spend more time with her grandparents, 91-year-old Grandad and 90-year-old Nana, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease approximately 5 years ago. Kara learned about BvB Dallas through a co-worker, and despite being a lifelong brunette, she joined Team Blonde in the summer of 2017 knowing that she was playing a small part in changing the lives of those affected by Alzheimer’s and honoring her Nana’s battle. Kara’s aunt, Leslie Crozier, founded Triumph Over Alzheimer’s and Kara has served on the committee since its inception, witnessing the incredible impact the organization has had in a short period of time and securing her spot as Leslie’s favorite niece. Kara recently transitioned into a Development and Events Director role with the Texas Neurofibromatosis (NF) Foundation, devoting her career to raising awareness and funds to support patient programs, advocacy, and research for a treatment, prevention, and cure for NF. Her hope is to make an impact in both the NF and the Alzheimer’s communities so that we can one day live in a world where neither exists!
- Holley Caldwell: A Cajun transplant from Louisiana, Holley relocated to Dallas in 2015 for a position in research at UT Southwestern Medical Center. By happy accident, she stumbled upon BvB Dallas in 2016 and signed up on the spot. An avid football fan, eager to meet new people, and having lost her grandmother to Alzheimer’s disease in 2012, the organization seemed like a perfect fit – and it was! After two years as an Ambassador for Team Blonde, she has joined the Board of Directors. She is involved in the grant review and beneficiary selection process and determined to make a difference in the DFW Alzheimer’s community. Holley is currently applying to PA school; she hopes to begin in 2020 and one day have a direct impact on the lives of patients and caregivers.
- Jenny Deely: Jenny moved around quite a bit growing up, but now calls Dallas, Texas home! She joined BvB Dallas to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s Research in 2014 with a strong connection to the cause – her Grandfather aka “PopPop” on her Father’s side and Grandmother aka “Mémère” on her Mother’s side had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Jenny has held numerous leadership roles within BvB Dallas including Recruitment Chair, Team Blonde Captain for two years, and most recently Vice President of the Board of Directors. Over the past 11 years, BvB has raised over $4.3MM dollars. She hopes to help lead the organization of ~200 young professionals to surpass the $5MM mark during the 2019 season!
- Lindsey Kluempers: Midwest born and raised, it didn’t take long for Lindsey to fall in love with Texas winters (or lack thereof) and the energy Dallas had to offer. Looking for a way to make friends in her new city, she was recruited to play in a powder puff football league (BvB Dallas) that raises money and awareness for Alzheimer’s Disease – Easiest. Decision. Ever. Fast forward six years, she has held numerous leadership roles within the organization (including two years as a Team Blonde Captain), and has helped the organization to raise the $4.3 million since it’s inception in 2008. Three years ago, she also joined forces with The Center for Vital Longevity, one of BvB Dallas’ prior beneficiaries, and serves as their current Advisory Chair for their Advisory Counsel.
It was just last year that the foursome and Leslie Ann discovered they shared the drive for Alzheimer’s research and treatment fundraising. As members of the BvB Dallas, they have literally sweated throughout the summer preparing for the annual BvB Dallas Powder Puff football game. Believe it or not, the BvB Dallas has been raising monies to battle Alzheimer’s since 2008.
According to Leslie Ann, the Ambassador program was established “to harness the energy and sphere of influence of millennials.”
Leslie Ann and Triumph Over Alzheimer’s International Forum and Dinner Co-Chair Katherine Wynne revealed plans for the 2019 Triumph Over Alzheimer’s International Forum and Dinner that will return to The George W. Bush Institute on Tuesday, October 22.
Leslie revealed the preliminary list of speakers on the panel discussing advancements and news about Alzheimer’s effort will include:
- Rudy Tanzi: Co-Director of the McCance Center for Brain Health at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also Vice Chair of Neurology at Harvard Medical. He co-discovered all three early onset Alzheimer genes. One of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. Author of New York Times bestselling books, “Super Brain, Super Genes” and “The Healing Self.” He is also called the “Rock Star of Science” by GQ Magazine.
- Roger Rosenberg: Founding Director of the NHI-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center. In final developmental stages of a DNA vaccine that has the potential to prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s. The Abe Marcus and William Zale Distinguished Chair in Neurology at the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute at UT Southwestern. With over 30 years in research in Alzheimer’s disease, he is heralded as a legend in the neurodegenerative field.
- Michael Hayden: Joining the panel from the University of British Columbia, where he is Killam Professor of Medical Genetics. He was named one of the “50 Canadians born in the 20th Century who have changed the world.” He is the most cited author in the world for ABCA1 and Huntington’s Disease, having authored over 850 publications.
In addition to providing news about the upcoming Forum, Leslie had Drs. Cooper and Goldberg address guests. As the former chairman of the Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern and current Associate VP of Institutional Advancement at the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute at UT Southwestern/Professor in the Department of Neurology, Goldberg updated guests on the progress being made at the O’Donnell Brain Institute.
Known as the “Father of Aerobics” and author of “Aerobics,” Cooper “shared seven exercise and lifestyle changes we can do today to decrease cognitive decline and increase brain health.”
Following the discussion, there will be a dinner that will have “internationally-acclaimed Nobel Prize researchers, scientists and doctors” as table hosts.
And speaking of dinner, Leslie Ann revealed that Jesse Bongiovi had “donated cases of his Hampton Water Rose'” to the event. Backstory: The Rose was named 2018 ‘Best Rose’ by Wine Spectator. Just this past April it had been launched by Jess and his dad, rock star Jon Bon Jovi, with French winemaker Gerard Beautrand.
Another piece of “grape” news was courtesy of Ann and Jack Seifrick, who donated cases of Sonoma County’s Cast Wine’s Sauvignon Blanc and Old Vine Zinfadel. Ann generously added that “proceeds from the sale of Cast Wines Rose in 2019 will be donated to Triumph Over Alzheimer’s.”
* Photo credit: Sharon Ellman