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August 19, 2014


On August 15, Charlestown Retirement Community residents and members of the Greater Baltimore community came together to raise awareness regarding memory fitness and proceeds for Alzheimer's research through a swim-a-thon called "Laps for Memory Fitness."  Over fifty swimmers took to the Charlestown pool after a special event kick-off featuring local Baltimore celebrities.   At the end of the day, swimmers completed hundreds of laps and raised over $2,000 for the Alzheimer's Association and Charlestown Memory Support Program.
Charlestown Resident Life Director, Sherry Parrish, served as MC and started the event by introducing Ilene Rosenthal, Program Director at the Alzheimer's Association Greater Maryland Chapter.  Afterword, former Ravens defensive end Michael McCrary was welcomed to the stage along with Debbie Phelps, mother of Olympian Michael Phelps and director of the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools.

McCrary, donning his Super Bowl ring and standing beside his daughter, spoke of the importance of continued Alzheimer's research and awareness.  Debbie Phelps delivered a motivational message to the young swimmers from Michael Phelps himself, which encouraged them to never give up on their dreams.  Event Coordinator Jessie Krebs then presented Ms. Phelps with the "Key to Charlestown" and an invitation to return to the Charlestown campus with her family.
Before swimmers stormed the pool, Baltimore's favorite birds, The Bird and Poe, raced across the pool in rafts provided by event sponsor, River and Trail Outfitters.  Swimmers of all ages then took to the pool with the understanding that swimming would not only benefit their bodies, but would also strengthen their memory health.  Members of Charlestown's Memory Support Committee manned tables around the pool deck and provided event attendees with information about Erickson Living's Memory Support program, while swimmers completed their laps.
"Today's event is an example of the unique opportunities Charlestown provides to its residents and others to support memory health," said Clara Parker, Executive Director of Charlestown. "The health benefits of swimming are proven, and making waves to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease and memory support options is a privilege."

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