Tuesday, November 13 , 2018, 9:15 pm | Fair 55º

 
 
 
 

Blondes vs. Brunettes Head Into Flag Football Matchup

Game's goal is $100,000 for Alzheimer’s Association Central Chapter

Kiersten Hess and Breanna Czenczelewski once again take the field as team captains for the 2017 Blondes vs. Brunettes® flag football game to increase awareness and funding for the Alzheimer’s Association California Central Chapter.

Team captains Kiersten Hess and Breanna Czenczelewski. Click to view larger
Team captains Kiersten Hess and Breanna Czenczelewski. (Alzheimer’s Association California Central Chapter)

The blonde and brunette team captains will square off on the football field at Bishop Diego High School on Saturday, July 22, along with co-captains Heather Moine and Feli Rueff. The tailgate event begins at 11 a.m. with kickoff at 12:30 p.m.

This year, Blondes vs. Brunettes Santa Barbara looks to raise $100,000 locally to build on last year's successful drive that generated more than $85,000 in nine weeks. The Santa Barbara game had 50-plus players.

Last year’s third annual event was “incredibly successful” said Team Brunette's captain, Czenczelewski.

“I play for my great aunt, who was a loyal care-provider for many years for her aunt who lived with Alzheimer’s disease before her passing,” said Rueff.

“My great aunt loved and cared for her aunt with every ounce of her being, much like the many caregivers out there dedicating their lives to serve and love others with selfless compassion,” she said.

Rueff started volunteering with the Chapter in 2015, and is now the top fundraiser for Blondes vs. Brunettes Santa Barbara.

In 2016, with more than 700 fans filling the stands, Bob Quackenbush and Blake Dorfman called the game and KJEE hosted the halftime show.

“I’m getting excited just talking about it,” said Hess, Team Blonde captain. “The blondes won 18 to 12.”

A Santa Barbara native, Hess, 29, said she is especially excited to give back to the community by helping build on the success of last year's game.

“I love getting the younger crowd involved and aware,” said Hess, a social worker, who also helps coordinate the chapter’s Alzheimer’s Women’s Initiative and is on the chapter’s Board of Directors.

She said she is particularly energetic about the football game because it is “driven by young professional women” and because of the significant impact Alzheimer’s has on women.

After working as a social worker in both mental health and with older adults, Hess experienced first-hand the effect Alzheimer's can have on individuals as well as their families.

"I love how the Alzheimer's Association is such a significant resource of support and information for families struggling with this disease,” she said. “I want people to know that they are not alone and there is help out there."

In Santa Barbara County, more than 10,000 people are living with Alzheimer’s Disease. In California, that number is 500,000. Alzheimer’s disease is a growing epidemic: it’s the fifth leading cause of death in the state and sixth in the nation.

Nationwide, the football games have raised more than $9 million for the Alzheimer’s Association since it was started in 2005. Players commit to raising a minimum of $500.

Tickets are $20 by donation to attend and watch the game; VIP passes are $60 by donation for shaded seating, one drink ticket, one food ticket, and more. Fans can also enjoy the food and drink vendors and raffle prizes.

Draughtsmen Aleworks will serve up their craft brews. For more information, visit act.alz.org/BvBSB.

For more about the Alzheimer’s Association California Central Chapter, visit alz.org/cacentral or call 800-272-3900.

— Ashley Lee for Alzheimer’s Association California Central Chapter.

 

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