Team BLONDES reigned victorious on the field at the Alzheimer’s Association BLONDES vs. BRUNETTES flag football game Saturday, April 26 at New Rochelle High School in New Rochelle. Blondes, brunettes, real women of all colors and even a few gents united in an effort to raise funds and increase awareness of Alzheimer’s disease in Westchester. Funds raised have reached over $22,000 and will benefit local Alzheimer’s disease care, support, advocacy and national research.
Saturday afternoon football commentator, Andy Cahn of Armonk, gave his rundown on the event: “The game was a hard-fought, exciting defensive battle. Blondes led 12-0 at half-time. Brunettes came back in the 2nd half to tie the score in the fourth quarter. Not to be outdone, the Blondes took the lead for good with about 2 minutes to play. Several desperate attempts by the Brunettes failed so the Blondes prevailed 18-12. After a lot of hugs, players and volunteers retreated to NoMa Social to celebrate the success of the day.”
Michael Kalinowski, 23, of White Plains, the event top fundraiser said, “I’d never heard of the Alzheimer’s Association, and happened to be at the Beechmont Tavern for a game kickoff event. I took this as a sign of how I could get involved and do some good for people who are affected by this disease that claimed the life of my grandmother, one of the most important people in my life, just last year. They needed a coach for the Blonde team, and I decided I could go blonde for a day. At that point I was sold and committed to bringing in as much money as I could and coaching the Blondes to victory. And we all did just that!”
New Rochelle community leader, Ms. Dozene Guishard, said, “The BvB football game brought us all together in New Rochelle – at the largest public high school in Westchester. We all worked hard, but special thanks go to Coach Lou DiRienzo, Athletic Director Steve Young, and House Principal III Ms. Vera Cheek, who were instrumental in making this event happen. Our nationally recognized cheerleaders, the football team, the Black Culture Club, Brain Awareness Club, Christian Club, Mentoring Club, and the community all came together for a great cause and raised much needed funds for the Alzheimer’s Association. The coaches are already talking about next year.”
Minutes before game start, New Rochelle’s Mayor Noam Bramson met with the captains of both football teams and referees in the center of the field for the coin toss. Bramson proclaimed the weather machine was responsible for the bright, sunny afternoon.
BvB event sponsors included The Beechmont Tavern, The Bristal Assisted Living, Diana's Angels Home Care, Inc. and Altium Wealth Management; Catherine H., and Angel Rox.
Event organizer and Blonde team captain, Ms. Sydney Binney of Tarrytown, added a few extras to the event including raffles, a kid’s obstacle course and an after party at NoMa Social at the Radisson New Rochelle. Sydney plans a BvB Celebration Party at the Beechmont - White Plains on May 21st from 6 - 9 pm. Donations will be accepted thru end of May.
The first Blondes vs. Brunettes game was held in Washington D.C. in 2005. Since its inception, Blondes vs. Brunettes has expanded to games in Austin, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City and New York. Together, Blondes vs. Brunettes have raised more than $2 million in an effort to tackle Alzheimer’s disease.
To find out more about programs, services, advocacy and events provided by the Alzheimer’s Association – Hudson Valley/Rockland/Westchester, NY Chapter, visit www.alz.org/hudsonvalley or call 800.272.3900.