Byron event slogan: eat, drink and be healthy

By Jeff Hansel

BYRON — The Alzheimer’s Association wants to invite you to a get together.

It’s called a "Mind Mixer," says Susan Oddsen, who helped organize the event.

The event’s slogan is "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy."


"There will be brain-healthy and delicious appetizers, a cash bar, a live jazz combo with some of the members of Incognito; a group trivia game, another game where the prize is two airplane tickets to Las Vegas, and a silent auction with some great items," Oddsen said.

Oddsen has personal experience with the impact Alzheimer’s disease can have on a family.

"I got a call from a neighbor saying, ‘You really need to step in here and help your parents,’" she said.

At the time, she was living in Alaska and her parents lived in New England. She had wondered from afar if everything was O.K.

"I kind of thought something was wrong, but I wasn’t sure what," said Oddsen.

When her parents’ neighbor called, Oddsen, an only child, began an odyssey of family caregiving that required cross-continent travel at the same time she was raising an infant.

"It was literally a wake-up call because the neighbor called at like six in the morning because they had forgotten about the time difference, Alaska time," Oddsen said.

The Mind Mixer is both for people already affected and for those who want to know about the illness, Oddsen said. It’s intended to be a fun event to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s, and to raise money.


"They are trying to just sort of get the word out to more people, like the Boomer generation who are only now starting to deal with it," she said.

Alzheimer’s in the family can help a person grow, said Oddsen.

"You sure do learn a lot about everything. It was a really good learning experience about how to navigate the system, and a really, strong compassion-building experience," she said. "You suddenly realize what it’s like for all those other families…."

To learn more, go to

Alzerheimer’s Association

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