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Pilot Club donates funds to Sheriff’s Dept.

Published 7:30pm Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Selma Pilot Club was able to donate enough money to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department Tuesday to give the department two new locator bracelets for local residents suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disease that causes memory loss and dementia in those elderly patients. When an Alzheimer patient wanders away from home, Deputy John Strickland said the end result can be very bad.

“A perfect example is that this past year everyone heard about the elderly woman in Beloit who wandered away from her house,” Strickland said to the club, speaking of Adline George, an elderly woman who is still missing months after her disappearance. “The donations that the Pilot Club gives will be enough for two bracelets and these bracelets have an even wider range than the previous ones.”

According to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, they currently have about seven of the bracelets and they use a computer database to track the bracelets once a person is reported missing. If the Alzheimer patient happens to wander into a neighboring county, Chief Deputy Randy Pugh said technology is available in other counties as well.

“When someone goes missing in another county, we can use their police or sheriff’s department technology to locate that missing person,” Pugh said.

Strickland told the Pilot Club that with the new addition of two bracelets, they are actually saving lives.

“This is such a benefit to have for the person that if they do have Alzheimer’s if they wander off we have some type of help to go and try to locate that person,” he said. “You don’t hear about it often but year after year, after year we have cases like this where somebody wanders off and sadly it comes to a bad end. What you all are doing is pretty much saving two other people’s lives.”

The bracelets are expensive for private citizens to buy and pay for the tracking service, but Strickland said the Pilot Club is giving this technology to people who cannot afford it.

“I have tried to tell people that if you have even a thought that your family member might have something like Alzheimer’s then you need to talk to the Sheriff’s office,” Jewell Williamson said, who is a member of the Pilot Club.

Pilot Club President Florence Mooring said the donation was made possible by several fundraisers this past year including a basket sale and also a salad luncheon.

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