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If you go
What: The Longest Day
Where: Sarah Jane’s Yarn Shoppe, 3400 N. Anthony Blvd., Fort Wayne
When: June 21, 6:08 a.m. to 9:16 p.m.
Cost: Free
Register: Call 471-9276

Raising awareness for Alzheimer’s

June 21 is the longest day of the year, and a perfect time to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease.

Which is why the Alzheimer’s Association has been sponsoring “The Longest Day” events for several years.

This year, an event will come to Fort Wayne, thanks to some longtime and passionate knitters, as well as a local yarn shop that has a connection to the disease.

Jana Powell and Laura Storie, both volunteers with the Alzheimer’s Association in northeast Indiana, came up with a knit-in theme, and when they approached the owners of Sarah Jane’s Yarn Shoppe on North Anthony Boulevard, their idea started to become a reality.

From sunrise to sunset – 6:08 a.m. to 9:16 p.m. – there will be knitting and a whole day’s worth of activities.

Don’t know how to knit? No worries, there will be a few sessions of Knitting 101, courtesy of the yarn store.

Many of the longest day events around the country involve sports endurance such as walking and running, but this year the national association was encouraging local offices to “think outside the box,” Powell said.

In Fort Wayne, there will be knitting. Elsewhere, there will be a day-long bridge tournament.

The idea is to primarily raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease to honor the people who are living with it, as well as their families and caregivers.

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.

Symptoms typically develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks, according to the Alzheimer’s Association website. More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, according to the association.

The event at Sarah Jane’s is not a primary fundraiser. There will be some fundraising sales – knitting kits – at the event, but the event itself is free to attend, Powell said. There will also be opportunities to knit a square to contribute to a throw that will be pieced together at the shop and later auctioned off to raise money.

“For this event, we wanted to put more emphasis on other aspects of the association other than the fundraising,” Powell said. “We don’t want anybody to not come because it costs to come.”

However, they are asking, if you plan to attend, at least let them know by registering so they can get an idea of how many folks to expect (you won’t be turned away if you do not register).

There will be door prizes, food and drinks. If you are interested in the Knitting 101 sessions, or group knitting for the patchwork throw, either bring size 8 needles (which will also be available for purchase at the store).

The Knitting 101 sessions will be at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

To register for the event, call the yarn shop at 471-9276.