NEWBERRY — Newberry Rotarians learned more about the blue bucket that sits in the middle of the table every other Friday.
Rotarian Steve Black explained to the Rotary Club of Newberry that the blue bucket is there to help curb Alzheimer’s disease. Rotarians are encouraged to donate change in the Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust (CART) bucket so that the brain disease receives more money for research.
Black serves District 7750, which includes Newberry County, and is the CART fundraiser chairman. He has been a Rotary member since 1997 and has served on many committees.
Black started out Friday by asking “What is Alzheimer’s?” and then responding: “It’s an irreversible brain disease that destroys the memory.”
“When someone has Alzheimer’s, someone has an inordinate plaque of tangles in their brain,” he said, adding that the nerves are affected. “The brain begins to shrink. As it shrinks, the person loses all abilities we take for granted.”
He showed a photo of a healthy brain and one affected by Alzheimer’s. The one affected by Alzheimer’s had highlighted yellow areas signifying the disease.
Black pointed out that “more than six million Americans have Alzheimer’s, just Americans. In the world, it’s more than 16 million.”
He pointed out the necessity of raising money for research, which is where CART comes into the picture.
CART was started in 1995 in South Carolina by a Rotarian whose mother had Alzheimer’s disease. The Rotarian’s club began collecting coins and then he went to the district governor to present it as a project.
In 1999, Rotary gave its first grant — $100,000 to Emory University. Since then, grants totalling $3.9 million have been awarded.
This year, Black encouraged all Rotarians to donate 50 cents per meeting. In the past, the average was 25 cents per Rotarian per meeting.
The CART fund is a 501(c)(3) and all the donations go to Alzheimer’s research, said Black. Visit www.cartfund.org/cart for more information.