Friday, April 24, 2009

F.O.E. Pig Roast II for Alzheimer's

It never fails to make me smile when I think about the Fraternal Order of Eagles and their Pig Roasts. Each year, for the past two years, they've invited The Unforgettable Fund to join them for a BBQ beyond compare - pork, baked beans, black-eyed peas, salads, desserts - a huge spread that never seems to run out. The pig is roasted right behind their Aerie in a long, slow process that produces the most tender pork you could imagine.

Long lines form inside as diners wind their way through the kitchen. Having been their guests of honor last year, we knew not to eat ahead of time and were much better prepared to dine with the best of 'em.

Dr. Claes Wahlestedt of Scripps Florida returned for year two with his wife Lisa and their two children. Dr. Malcolm Leissring of Mayo Jacksonville was under deadline applying for a stimulus grant and was afraid if he drove down from Jacksonville that he wouldn't get it finished by Monday - but he texted during the event to check in.

My mother was as amazed as ever by the outpouring of caring and concern that the members of the F.O.E have for people they don't even know and a man they never met, my father. This group is motivated by compassion for those who have no memory of them - I have trouble imagining a more noble cause than Alzheimer's. The people you help the most won't even remember you cared.

When dinner was over, Stephanie and Linda awarded The Unforgettable Fund a check for $5,000 to be used for Alzheimer's research in the labs of Dr. Malcolm Leissring and Dr. Claes Wahlestedt. We are all incredibly grateful and appreciative of the effort made each year by this great group of people and their unwavering support of this research.

And, as promised, here are a few pictures:

Stephanie, Patty and Linda with $5,000 donation.

Patty and Claes

My mother, Gertrude, saying a few words to the crowd.

The young Wahlestedts having a great time.

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