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Grace Healthcare Co-Hosts Alzheimer’s Benefit for Cure Research

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IconGrace Healthcare, LLC. co-hosted the Fifty Plus Racing Endures For A Cure Alzheimer’s benefit with the DeFoor Brothers on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 at the Embassy Suites Waterside in Chattanooga. The sold-out benefit raised a substantial amount, bringing awareness to the need for continued Alzheimer’s disease research and monetary support to caregivers.

Special guests included Senator Bob Corker; Former Chief of Staff and Deputy to the Governor of Tenn. Claude Ramsey; Racing Legend Brian Redman; and Local Philanthropist Grady Williams. Brian Johnson, lead singer of AC/DC and member of the Highway to Help Fifty Plus Racing team, was accompanied by fellow racer and wife Brenda. Renowned fiddle player Fletcher Bright and his band, The Dismembered Tennesseans, provided bluegrass entertainment.

Justin D. Boyd, PhD, a Baylor graduate and recipient of a half-million dollar federal grant for Alzheimer’s disease research, was also a special guest and speaker. Boyd was presented during the benefit with a check for $100,000 from Fifty Plus Racing to further his research endeavors at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Boyd is a principal research investigator at the hospital’s Center for Neurologic Diseases.

The evening featured an ambient French Market corridor cocktail reception and silent auction with artwork from William J. Kelley, Karen Barrow and two collections from 1044 Art Gallery, as well as a Targa Sixty Six membership and driver suit donated by illustrious sports-car racer, Brian Redman. The auction also included a five-night’s stay at any Embassy Suites worldwide, among other items. Guests enjoyed a Ruth’s Chris Steak House experience during the program.

“Best benefit I’ve ever attended!  Senator Bob Corker gave the best speech I’ve ever heard from him, so very personalized to the cause. When the AC/DC video clip came on, I wondered what that was all about – and then just blown away that Brian Johnson was actually there and came on stage,” said guest Tim Crawford. “I was highly entertained from the beginning to end.”

Prior to the benefit’s grand finale, featuring a light show, live music and oversized balloons, an additional 45k was  raised in an impromptu live bidding war for AC/DC concert tickets with backstage access. The tickets were generously offered by guest Brian Johnson during the dinner and sponsors responded eagerly, benefiting the event’s cause even further.

The Fifty Plus Racing team has raised money and awareness for Alzheimer’s through racing the last several years. This January 2015, the team participated in their fourth consecutive endurance race, the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The team shares a passion for responsiveness to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease; members have been personally affected by the debilitating disease through suffering family and friends.

“I encounter the tragic toll Alzheimer’s has on the 5 million Americans who grapple with this disease every day as I walk into work,” said Grace Healthcare owner and Fifty Plus Racing member Byron DeFoor. “I can think of no better cause than supporting research that could permanently close the chapter on this debilitating disease.”

Grace Healthcare is a privately owned organization that supports skilled nursing, assisted living and rehabilitation facilities across the United States. Every day, Byron DeFoor and the Grace Healthcare team encourages facility care partners to provide superior care to hundreds of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, education to communities on the prevention and recognition of Alzheimer’s disease, and provide support to families of those suffering from the disease.