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New Canaan Woman Leads Paint The Town Purple Efforts To FIght Alzheimer's

Nancy and John Bemis at the 2016 Celebrating Hope event.
Nancy and John Bemis at the 2016 Celebrating Hope event. Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Over 500 people packed L’escale at the Delamar Greenwich Harbor in Greenwich recently for Celebrating Hope 2016, the fourth annual benefit for the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter.

Before the benefit, Nancy Bemis spearheaded the Paint the Town Purple event in New Canaan with fellow residents Christina Fagerstal and Mimi Rafferty. During Paint the Town Purple, businesses displayed Gardens of Purple in and around their storefronts. The campaign event raised awareness for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers and counted down to the Celebrating Hope 2016 Benefit.

Guests, dressed in the Alzheimer’s signature purple, were treated to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the waterfront terrace, a special dinner menu created by Chef Frederic Kieffer, and entertainment by Kunjan Collective and The What Up Funk Band. Amid the stunning purple orchids from Winston Flowers, bidding was brisk for the live and silent auction items, including the popular Year of Shoes from Richards of Greenwich.

The event raised more than $350,000 to support the 74,000 Connecticut residents who are living with the disease and their 177,000 caregivers.

Bill and Jack Mitchell of the Mitchell Family of Stores were recognized for their unwavering support and received a symbolic glass slipper. Herb Magley, an Alzheimer’s advocate, whose wife lost her battle with early onset Alzheimer’s, challenged the crowd to donate generously and “paint this place purple.”

Keynote speakers B. Smith – restaurateur, magazine publisher, celebrity chef and nationally renowned lifestyle maven – and her husband, Dan Gasby, spoke about their journey living with Alzheimer’s disease and inspired the crowd. B. Smith, a groundbreaking supermodel and the first African-American woman to grace the cover of Mademoiselle, was outfitted by Marietta C. of Greenwich with makeup and hair by Andrew Stefanou Salon & Spa of Darien.

Celebrating Hope 2016 event chairpersons Ginge Cabrera, Cristin Marandino and Nancy Ozizmir led a dedicated committee including 60 local volunteers representing Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Rowayton and Stamford.

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