Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County to Honor Caregivers at Annual Visionary Women Luncheon

‘Happy Days’ actress Marion Ross to join pre-Mother’s Day celebration

Online PR News – 24-April-2014 – Irvine, Calif. – Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County (AAOC) will host the 8th Annual Visionary Women Luncheon, presented by the Argyros Family Foundation, on Friday, May 9, to honor and celebrate five extraordinary Orange County caregivers for their compassion, care and strength for those touched by Alzheimer’s disease or related forms of dementia. With the luncheon coming just two days before Mother’s Day, this year’s celebrity guest speaker is actress Marion Ross, best known as the mother of Richie Cunningham on TV’s “Happy Days”.

The signature event of AAOC’s Visionary Women 1000 group will run from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Rancho Las Lomas in Silverado Canyon. Those arriving on-time at 10 a.m. will find an artists’ boutique, strolling fashion show, silent auction and an unusual zoological setting that features exotic white Bengal tigers and zebras. The luncheon and program begin at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are still available.

In addition to the five individuals presented with Caregiver awards, Gloria Zigner will be honored with a special lifetime caregiver award, for her continued journalistic and fundraising support of Orange County nonprofits, including AAOC, for many years.

“Alzheimer’s disease is a serious challenge for everyone involved, from the person diagnosed to friends, family and loved ones,” said Jim McAleer, President and CEO of AAOC. “At this event each year, we recognize dedicated individuals for their exemplary care and compassion for those living with Alzheimer’s. We encourage the community to join with us in applauding their accomplishments in this emotionally and physically challenging role.”

McAleer added, “The harsh truth is, Alzheimer’s disease is turning into an epidemic and there still is no cure. That’s why our Visionary Women group is so vitally important. First, they raise funds for research and for support services for families with Alzheimer’s. Second, they raise awareness – our services are available to all Alzheimer’s families, at no cost to them, but less than one-third of those affected realize this. Third, our most recent statistics show women are most impacted – more likely than men to get Alzheimer’s and more likely to be the caregiver. It’s a double whammy for women.”

Members of the Visionary Women Leadership Circle – Julia Argyros, Jacqueline Dupont, Susan Johnson, Kirsten Mangers and Diane Mondini – formed the group, which now numbers close to 200 and is still growing. In addition to support from the Leadership Circle, luncheon sponsors include Silverado Care and Keen Home Care.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in Orange County alone, there are more than 60,000 unpaid caregivers. 5.4 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to triple by 2050. Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death nationally and the fourth-leading cause in Orange County.

Individual tickets for the luncheon are $100; VIP seats are $150, and tables are $1,500. Sponsorship packages start at $2,500. Guests will have the chance to participate in an opportunity drawing for a one-night stay for two at Balboa Bay Club and Sunday brunch for four at Waterline, as well as a door prize for a private wine tasting for up to 12 people. For more information, or to inquire about tickets or sponsorship opportunities, please call (949) 955-9000 or visit

About Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County
The Alzheimer's Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Since 1982, Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County Chapter has been providing programs and services, free of charge, to Orange County residents with Alzheimer’s and related disorders, their families, caregivers, and the community. Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative illness that weakens the memory and other cognitive and emotional functions. For more information, call the 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900, or visit