Festival of lights to benefit Alzheimer’s, autism outreach group

Published 8:58 pm Tuesday, November 28, 2017

By ONISKA BLEVINS | The Selma Times-Journal

The Alzheimer’s and Autism Outreach Group is helping people celebrate their loved ones’ memories this holiday season.

The group is holding its “Festival of Lights,” which allows people to donate money for a light in their loved one’s honor. The fundraiser started earlier this month and will continue until Dec. 19.

With each donation, the group will light up a bulb on its Christmas tree, which is located on the green in front of Vaughan Medical Associates on Dallas Avenue. The group will also send a special Christmas correspondence to honorees.

Forms for the donations can be found at several locations around town. Oscar Calloway, director of the Alzheimer’s and Autism Outreach Group said they can be found at Rice Banking, Carter’s Drug Company and Dallas Avenue Pharmacy.

He said the group will gather all the completed forms from the designated locations periodically. He said so far there are more than 75 sponsors, and the Festival of Lights has already garnered a lot of participation from the community.

“We’re working to eliminate, and we will eliminate Alzheimer’s. The more work we can do the quicker we can get it done,” said Oscar Wayne Calloway, director of the Alzheimer’s and Autism Outreach Group.

Callaway said this fundraiser is amongst the many efforts the group has done throughout the years to raise the necessary funds for Alzheimer’s research. Just a year and half ago, they were awarded a $10,000 grant by Ala-Tom RC&D for a drone and training for the drone.

The Alzheimer’s Outreach Group was started in honor of Fannie Mae Gilmore and Maxine Gilmore Calloway, a mother and daughter who both suffered from Alzheimer’s.

Calloway said the name was later changed to the Alzheimer’s and Autism Outreach Group after they realized they served a purpose for both Alzheimer’s and Autism.