TAMPA, Fla. — — The Alzheimer’s Association is always working to raise awareness and funding for the debilitating disease, but during a pandemic, fundraisers are a lot more difficult.
Typically they hold a spring flag football game, where women from all across the United States suit up to play flag football, as part of the Alzheimer’s Association’s RivALZ spring challenge. But this year, they’re taking the locker room virtual.
Gwendolyn Mueller is participating in this year’s virtual spring challenge. She spearheaded efforts to bring the flag football game to Jacksonville last year.
“I had partnered with the Jaguars and the Sharks arena football team and we were supposed to have this game take place at the VyStar Memorial Arena last June,” said Mueller.
But COVID-19 intercepted those plans, and her plans to bring the game to Tampa this year, forcing everything virtual instead.
“People across the country can join their respective team and sign up and raise money through fitness, and a fitness competition,” said Mueller.
So while women like Gwendolyn are doing their regular daily workouts, they’re also competing on a team of other Floridian women against those in states across the nation.
“They can do that all through their Apple Watch, or Strava, or Google Fit, and sign up through the RivALZ app on their phone and track their fitness,” said Mueller.
All the while, raising awareness and funding for the care, support, and research initiatives toward fighting a disease that disproportionately affects women.
“I have very close friends and family that have suffered from Alzheimer’s so for me it is just really important to help and do as much as I can,” said Mueller.
Gwendolyn hopes to get the flag football games off the ground once the pandemic is over, but for those who want to participate or donate now, click here.