LAURINBURG — Several area health care providers came together to kick their way to a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. Scotia Village hosted the first Alzheimer’s Kickball Klassic Thursday at James L. Morgan Recreation Complex that featured teams from Carolina Hearts Home Care, Hospice of Scotland County, Scotia Village, Scottish Pines and Willow Place.
The Alzheimer’s Kickball Klassic was able to raise $1,160 to be donated to The Alzheimer’s North Carolina, Inc. to help provide caregiver support, community education and research efforts to help prevent, treat and find a cure.
Before the start of the single-elimination tournament, organizer and Assistant Director of Scotia Village Ray Esteves thanked everyone for participating and explained the rules and why raising awareness is so important in the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease.
Esteves then asked the more than 200 people in attendance to raise their hand if they had been personally affected by Alzheimer’s — nearly everyone in the crowd put a hand up.
“We have to find a cure, this is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States,” said Esteves. “This disease is effecting millions of people every year. There was a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every 67 seconds in 2014 according to a study. A recent study found a person is now diagnosed every 66 seconds.”
According to the Alzheimer’s North Carolina Inc. website more than 170,000 people in North Carolina are affected by Alzheimer’s and these numbers are expected to increase to 210,000 by the year 2025.
In the past Scotia Village held walks to help end Alzheimer’s, but Esteves, who worked in Moore County before taking over as assistant director, wanted to do something a little bit more fun to appeal to a broader age range.
“There was a lot of energy and it certainly didn’t feel like work and it was to support a great cause,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to do it again next year and get more members of the community involved.”
In the first round of the kickball tournament, Scotia Village took on Hospice of Scotland County and Scottish Pines took on Willow Place while the team from Carolina Hearts Home Care earned a first-round bye.
Each game was four innings, or until one team scored seven points. The games were played on the two softball fields at James L. Morgan Recreation Complex.
In the end, it was the Willow Warriors from Willow Place who took the 7-6 victory over the Carolina hearts from Carolina Hearts Home Care in the final inning.
The Willow Warriors received a trophy that will be passed on to next year’s winning team.
Esteves is hoping that more people will come out to support and try to help out Alzheimer’s North Carolina, Inc.
“The work they do is vital, they cover over 100 counties in North Carolina,” said Esteves. “So we just wanted to represent Scotland County and do our part to help.”
Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.