This year, all of us here at Leeza’s Place and the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation are involved in a very special project called The Army of Change. This project started with “the Regulars”, a group of regular people who have been impacted by Alzheimer’s and/or Parkinson’s disease. This group of regular people decided to climb 10 Mountains in 10 Years to bring awareness and raise funds for these two diseases.
On July 31, 2010, the group, along with hundreds of regular people and over 30 members from our very own Team Leeza's Place climbed Mt. Washington in New Hampshire to raise money for four charities, including the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation & our signature program, Leeza’s Place.
We started Leeza’s Place to help caregivers know they are not alone, to know that they can be empowered and they can find the strength and energy to sustain themselves through their difficult journeys. We climbed Mt. Washington for all of our guests and families who couldn’t be there with us…all of our Leeza Care Advocates (who run our Leeza’s Places) who so lovingly made our faces of caregiving flags that we carried with us to the top. They were right there with us. We are an Army of Change; committed to a new reality for all those who are sick and hurting. Our marching orders are clear!
Those of us at the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation had been dreaming of this day since Enzo and “The Regulars” first mentioned (a year ago) that the climb was on the books. Our care advocates at our eight Leeza’s Place locations have been inspired by what the symbol of a mountain represented to our guests. We set out with their stories embedded in our hearts. We walked for all those who couldn’t.
The symbolism of mountains is very familiar for the families we serve at Leeza’s Place. For a husband or wife, daughter, son or a loved one of someone who is sick, every day seems to be shadowed by a mountain of obstacles. There is a steep cliff of struggle and it sometimes seems impossible to reach the top. We are all finding a way to manage the mountain; to find a way around it, over it or through it.
Each person who signed up to join our effort symbolized a kind of strength and purpose that is so meaningful. Knowing that we had a collective intention and energy to our effort was the magical element that took us over the top. Because of you, we were able to reach our goal of insuring that we can offer help, hope and healing to so many families who need it most. As I said before our climb, “I have never met many of you who joined our team and yet I know exactly who you are. You are dedicated to making a difference and your life is geared to see that it happens.” We are proud to be in the "Army of Change" with each and every one of you.
This year, Team Leeza’s Place is proud to be partnering with Optimum Life by Brookdale to help Connect Caregivers across the country with the support and resources they need. Special thanks to Sara Terry and Carol Cummings who stood by Team Leeza's Place side by side, hand in hand to offer a voice for caregivers everywhere.
Thank you to our team members and to those of you who made donations to our team! Your contribution will always be remembered and appreciated.
The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation / Leeza's Place