Here at Andy’s Travel Blog I try to bring you travel news and share my journeys with you. Part of the whole “sharing” bit means you get to know a bit about me and my heart. This is one of those posts, not as much about the travel blog as it is about the Andy and a wonderful organization I want to tell you about.
My dad died when I was 8. Losing a parent that young (and grandparents in the years since, most recently my dear grandmother just over two years ago) was terrible but over the years I’ve become thankful for one thing: lucidity. Those close to me who passed away were of clear mind when it was their time. I got to say goodbye to them and hear them tell me they loved me.
Last year, a good friend of mine lost her grandmother to Alzheimer’s. I shared my condolences and she said something that really stuck with me, “Andy she’s been gone for years, we’re just glad she’s not in pain anymore.” It helped me understand just how devastating Alzheimer’s can be.
Which is why I want to tell you about BvB Dallas.
BvB Dallas is a women’s young professional organization in the Dallas area which raises money supporting Alzheimer’s research, culminating in a flag football game at the Cotton Bowl every summer (August 12th this year). The players spend the summer practicing in the Texas heat for what turns out to be a very intense game! The organization throws a few fundraising parties, holds educational events with some of the funding beneficiaries, and each player and coach reaches out to family/friends/random travel bloggers to raise money. Some even put together fundraising events of their own.
The good friend I referenced earlier (who lost her grandmother to Alzheimer’s) was playing last year and I wanted to donate. Before doing so I researched to see how much money the organization raised and how much went towards their cause. In 2015 they raised over $500,000 and the vast majority of the money went to the cause (their expenses were extremely low compared to other organizations I’ve seen). It’s an organization I was proud to support. At the game last year (where I was just a spectator) they announced that they had raised over $600,000 and this year they’re hoping for even more.
So how are you involved if it’s a women’s young professional organization?
Well every organization needs a good photographer to cover events and tell their story. It’s been my privilege to be BvB Dallas’s photographer this season. It’s challenged me as a photographer and I’ve gotten to know so many people and the experience has been an absolute joy (and we’re not even at gameday yet!).
While the organization is a lot of fun it’s been really meaningful hearing some of the stories shared about why the players are playing, stories of loved ones lost and how they cared for them while they were still here. Yes it’s a flag football game but it’s more than that, it’s a phenomenal group of people coming together to do something bigger than themselves.
So why are you telling us about this?
I haven’t blogged very much this summer, in part because I’ve been devoting more time to BvB and wanted to make sure they received the best I had to offer. Alzheimer’s is a ruthless disease that strikes our memories, memories of loved ones, names, or (bringing it back to a travel theme) memories of trips taken with friends and loved ones. This great organization is doing incredible work to fight the disease. It’s my joy to use my small piece of the internet to help tell their story.
How can I help?
I encourage you to check out the BvB Dallas website to find out more about the organization and this year’s beneficiaries (they were recently featured in the Dallas Morning News as well). If you’re inclined to donate you can do so on the site as well.
If you’re in Dallas on August 12th, a $25 donation gets you into the game to enjoy some football, beer, and maybe even seeing your favorite travel blogger on the sideline snapping pics!