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Limited Number of Tickets Still Available for Reagan Celebration

Retired Secret Service agent John Barletta will share his memories and thoughts about the former president

Tickets are still available but going quickly to hear retired Secret Service agent John Barletta share his intimate story of serving President Ronald Reagan, his memories of the president and his thoughts on Reagan’s legacy at a special Reagan Celebration hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association-California Central Coast Chapter.

The chapter invites the public to attend this special event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 29 at the Reagan Ranch Center, 217 State St. in downtown Santa Barbara. The evening includes a rooftop champagne welcome followed by a reception and tours of exhibit galleries at the center.

In November 1994, five years after leaving office, Reagan made a courageous gesture when he told the American people in a moving letter that he had Alzheimer’s disease, an incurable form of dementia.

“(Nancy and I) hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition,” Reagan wrote. “Perhaps it will encourage a clearer understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it.”

Indeed, at the time of Reagan’s diagnosis, most people didn’t know much about Alzheimer’s disease. Reagan’s letter helped lead the way in breaking down that stigma and the myths that surrounded Alzheimer’s. After Reagan’s disclosure, the ensuing years saw numerous high-profile politicians, actors, professional athletes and news personalities acknowledge their loved ones with the disease.

Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association in Chicago, will join Barletta as a special guest. He will discuss how Reagan’s trust and faith in the American people changed the public discourse of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Tickets are $100. Click here to purchase online. For more information, call 805.892.4259.

— Barbara Lanz-Mateo is the communications manager for the Alzheimer’s Association-California Central Coast Chapter.

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