By STEVE EIGHINGER
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Mike Duffy believes the candlelight service sponsored by the Quincy Area Branch of the Alzheimer's Association comes at the perfect time of the year.
"It is a time when families and friends normally come together, and to participate in something like this is very meaningful," Duffy, chief executive officer of Good Samaritan Home, said.
This year's hour-long candlelight service, scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at Good Samaritan, 2130 Harrison, pays tribute to many connected with the ongoing struggle against the brain disease that there is no cure for.
"The service (was originally) designed to honor the local residents who have lost their battle with Alzheimer's in the past year," Jamie Foster, local chapter assistant, said.
Duffy says the service also has grown to include caregivers and family members who have lost loved ones and friends to Alzheimer's. He said the service is an outreach of comfort for those currently taking care of loved ones or friends with the disease.
"Alzheimer's is a disease that affects everyone," Duffy said. "Whether it is a businessman, firefighter ... or whoever, Alzheimer's can strike anyone. This service honors them as a person and honors their life."
The service is free and open to the public. Those attending also are invited to a free soup supper that starts at 5 p.m. at Good Samaritan. Good Samaritan and Sunset Home alternate holding the service each year.
The service will feature music, a speaker and a recitation of the names of local residents who have died in the last year due to Alzheimer's disease. Refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the program.
The Quincy Area Branch is selling keepsake votive candles for $5. Each votive will feature a ribbon with a name of the loved one or friend lost to Alzheimer's inscribed. Call the branch office at (217) 228-1111 to buy one.
The candlelight service is part of National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and National Caregivers Month.