October 1st, 2020

$35K raised for Alzheimer Society at golf tourney, dinner

By Medicine Hat News on September 16, 2020.

Organizers of the Mick Nieman Memorial golf tournament in support to the Alzheimer's Society pose with the proceeds of the tournament at a gathering on Tuesday at Ralph's Steakhouse, which hosts a fundraising supper for the August tournament.--News photo Collin Gallant

A local family presented a cheque for $35,000 to the Alzheimer’s Society from the proceeds of the inaugural Mick Nieman Memorial golf tournament on Aug. 8.

A total of 111 golfers participated at Cottonwood Golf Course, limited to maintain social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that evening 165 people attended a celebratory fundraising dinner at Ralph’s Ralph’s Texas Bar & Steak House.

Nieman was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in May 2011 at the age of 63 and passed away in December 2014 at the age of 66.

Nieman has been described as having a huge personality, very generous and someone who went out of his way to help others. He’d been a police officer for 25 years and was a rancher. He had an infectious laugh that had others laughing with him.

Alariss Schmid, regional co-ordinator for the Alzheimer Society, said the event beat expectations, and plans for next year are already underway.

“We’ve never before scene this level of local support,” said Schmid. “It will help support the thousands of people living with dementia in Medicine Hat.”

Nicole Ambrosi, Nieman’s daughter, said the short-notice turnout was “humbling,” while her sister, Wendy Weiss, said the event was “fantastic.”

Funds for the Alzheimer Society will assist the organization in continuing to provide support to those who have been diagnosed and their loved ones, to raise awareness in the community and help remove the stigma associated with the illness.

When someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s they and their loved ones can benefit from reaching out to the Alzheimer Society. The illness is different for each person and staff at the Alzheimer Society have a wide perspective that can be helpful.

Roger Marple, board member of the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest territories and someone who lives with dementia, says the community’s response to this event sent a clear message to people and families living with dementia: Medicine Hat cares and wants to support you.

The family plans to make the golf tournament an annual event with next year’s booked for Aug. 7.

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