Hereford High School student Sarah Earp has raised more than $3,000 this year toward the Alzheimer’s Association with informative videos, posters and a social media campaign.
Friday, the summer solstice, marked the culmination of Earp’s fundraising efforts, since, on that day, the association celebrates the day with the most light to combat the darkness of Alzheimer’s.
The rising junior said she was inspired to start her fundraising efforts after watching family members struggle with the disease. She remembers their repeated questions, and being shown the same paintings in their homes, time and time again.
“I didn't really understand it that much when I was younger. It makes it a lot harder,” she said. “I would really like to reach out to more people and find ways to inform them.”
So, in videos she played for her school during the last three weeks of classes, she recounted just that.
In one, she sits beside her aunt, who, upon hearing each new fact about Alzheimer’s, states “That’s terrible,” but just moments later, asks what Earp is talking about. In the video, Earp advises her to get her memory checked, warning that studies show just 60 percent of seniors get regular cognitive assessments.
In posters she hung around Hereford High, Earp promoted ways to maintain a healthy brain, including mental and physical exercise, highlighting everything from sports teams to chess club.
On a Facebook page for her event, entitled “Stories from the Past for Memories in the Future,” Earp encouraged others to share their stories about how Alzheimer’s has affected them.
Earp said she hopes to continue her fundraising after she graduates. For the moment, she’s planning to pursue a business degree, inspired by her charity work and her job at Dough Run, a bakery in Monkton.