Love to Remember Tournament brings out more than 80 players, $31k in donations

Published 4:20 pm Saturday, December 10, 2022

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The Outer Banks Dementia Friendly Coalition partnered with the Outer Banks Tennis Association to hold the second annual Love to Remember Tennis Tournament to benefit those caring for loved ones with dementia.

More than 80 players participated in the tournament, which was held October 20-23. The kick-off social was held the first evening at Duck Woods Country Club with guest speakers addressing the audience.

Dr. Sheila Davies, Dare County health director, spoke about the growth of the dementia friendly community, including restaurants, businesses and now banks, which can be identified by the purple seahorse. She also spoke about the coalition’s Day Out program, which offers hands-on activities for seniors with dementia, giving their primary caregiver support and respite with time to recharge. This program uses a unique combination of themes, music, games, exercises and snacks to engage seniors and is held each Monday, unless it is a holiday, at the Dare County Youth Center in Kill Devil Hills from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. The program is free and those interested should contact Dianne Denny at 252-489-9508.

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Deborah Beddingfield spoke about living with a loved one with dementia. She described dementia like completing a puzzle: “People with dementia struggle to find the right pieces of their past to tell their stories.” Beddingfield spoke about all the activities her mom participated during her time spent in the Day Out program.  She went on to thank the volunteers who give of their time to the program providing caregivers respite and participants joy. “The smiles, laughter and achievement I’ve seen when I pick up mom is so heartwarming,” she continued.

Dianne Denny, president of the OBX Dementia Friendly Coalition, spoke about the history of the coalition through the current time to a crowd of over 100 donors and supporters who came to officially open the tournament.

The goal of the tournament was to raise $30,000 and the goal way exceeded by raising more than $31,000. Funds will be used to continue to provide respite care for dementia caregivers, educational programs about dementia and support groups. Funds will allow the coalition to continue and expand its popular and growing Day Out program.

Tournament organizers expressed thanks to the community as well as sponsors for continued support. This year’s tournament sponsors included TowneBank/Towne Insurance, OBX Chevrolet/Buick, North Beach Services, Deborah Beddingfield, First National Bank, Vidant Health, Judy and Dick Hadsell, Jan and Pete Collins, Shay Leslie Boutique, Gallop Funeral Services, Delta Heating and Air, Lynn and Dr. John Sullivan, Jennifer and Darren Jaroch, Janet Colegrove, Susan and Joe Drumheller and Marcie and Charles Ries.