Local man raises money “For Grandma Allie and the hope that we will beat this disease.”

More than 400 Chicago residents will join together and rock out to raise funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. The 12th annual Memory Rock Chicago fundraiser will take place on Thursday, September 20, 2018 from 6 – 9 p.m. at the legendary Chicago concert venue, Joe’s on Weed Street. This rock concert benefit, which brings together Chicagoans for a night of live rock and roll, has raised more than half a million dollars for the Alzheimer’s Association since its inception in 2006.

One of those attendees is Andrew Wiedner. Wiedner now chairs the event and knows first-hand the devastating toll of this disease. His grandmother has been battling Alzheimer’s for more than 20 years–an unusually long time–and her family and caregivers work round the clock to care for her. “We first noticed it when she was forgetting small things in conversation. Over time it developed to be more frequent, which lead to other issues such as denial and irritability.  For the past 5-6 years she has been in a wheelchair without the ability to communicate or interact,” Wiedner said.

“She really never lost her tough Boston-Irish spirit, but things started to change for her as the disease got worse.  She would get confused as to where she was or overwhelmed by larger groups. Family parties could be great, or she might want to leave very quickly.  Things got tougher as the disease progressed and her mobility, communication, and cognitive function declined.”

Memory Rock is able to connect people together  “To see others that have been impacted and learn the stories of their families has been great, but it highlights the importance of finding a cure.  Being selfish for a moment, I worry that I may be in need of care or a cure down the road. I really believe we are working towards a cure and it’s great to read about new advancements, but we need to keep pressing.” Wiedner joined the Memory Rock planning committee its inaugural year in 2006 and begin chairing the event in 2016, “For Grandma Allie and the hope that we will beat this disease.”

As for the event, Weidner has been rocking out with Memory Rock Chicago for all 12 years,  “For me, it’s been talking with people about the event – it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have a dear family member or friend that has been diagnosed or affected by the disease. We’ve grown our event because people see the impact of Alzheimer’s and recognize that we need a cure.”

Memory Rock features live performances by Liquidated Damages and The Square Feets – covering classic rock favorites that not only entertain but aim to “strike a chord” with music lovers and nostalgics alike. Guests also enjoy an open bar and access to a rockin’ raffle and auction stocked with tickets to favorite Chicago sporting events and shows, timeless memorabilia and incredible experiences in and around the city.

This year, Memory Rock Chicago is on track to raise $100,000, thanks to the overwhelming support of long-time sponsors, including Bill Barry, Dan Barry, The Zall Family, The Purcell Family, and Steve Monroe, newcomers, The Lewis & Jean Greenblatt Family Fund and the Nancy Vial Family, and so many more.

Tickets are $75 online and $80 at the door. Tickets include entry to the event, beer, wine and soft drink deals, and access to the silent auction and raffle. Visit www.memoryrockchicago.com for tickets or to donate and help rock n’ roll for a goal.

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