[This blog is called Andy’s Travel Blog and, as a friendly warning, this post will have more to do with the “Andy” part than the “travel” part, and will hopefully explain why I’ve been fairly radio-silent this summer.  Actually this post probably does have more to do with travel than I realize.  It’s about an organization trying to battle against Alzheimer’s disease.  Some of my favorite memories are from my times traveling the world with friends and family, and those memories are the exact thing Alzheimer’s attacks.]

Last year I told you about an awesome organization I’m involved in called BvB Dallas, and it’s time to tell you about them again in case any of you would like to help.  BvB Dallas is a young professional organization which raises money towards Alzheimer’s research (or, as they phrase it, to #tackleALZ) culminating in a flag football game at the legendary Cotton Bowl in Dallas.  This year is the 11th year of the organization and, to date, they’ve raised over $4 million towards Alzheimer’s research!

Last year’s record-setting fundraising total during halftime of the game

So how do they raise the money and how am I involved?

Many of you raised in the south of the USA will remember fondly the “powderpuff” football games in high school, where the football players would coach girls in a flag football game, usually juniors versus seniors.  The male football players would then recoil in shock when they realized just how seriously the girls took the game and break up fights as necessary (ok maybe that was just my high school).

BvB Dallas is a powderpuff football game (between Team Blonde and Bru Crew, Blondes versus Brunettes in other words) that will take place on August 11th at Dallas’s most iconic sports venue: the Cotton Bowl.  While it may not sell out the 92,000-seat stadium, the battle taking place on the gridiron will be every bit as competitive as the legendary football games enshrined therein.

How am I involved?

Well, charitable organizations need someone to help document their journey and I’ve been lucky enough to be BvB Dallas’s photographer for the past two years.  Whether it’s headshots of the players and coaches, event pics during some of the fundraising parties they host, or gameday pictures from the sidelines of the Cotton Bowl, I’ve been able to grow as a photographer and help the organization tell its story.  It’s one of my greatest honors as a photographer even though it’s been incredibly challenging at times!

Tell me more.

The BvB “season” begins in May (way earlier for leadership) with girls raising money from friends, family, and local companies.  Throughout the summer, they practice (male volunteers are the coaches) in 100-plus degree heat to get ready for the big game.

These girls work seriously hard to get ready for the game.  It’s more than a game though.  Many of the BvB Dallas beneficiaries are local organizations, so the players and coaches can know the organizations they’re supporting and see how their money pushes back the darkness of Alzheimer’s disease.  One such organization, the Center for Brain Health, hosted the players and coaches in their beautiful new facility for an informational night where they spoke about initiatives they’re pursuing and how the money they receive from BvB Dallas is used.

Many of these players have been personally affected by Alzheimer’s disease, whether it’s a parent, grandparent, or someone in their close family.  Many have seen loved ones slowly succumb to the disease and they want to do everything they can to stop it.  They share these stories at the practices so all of the players and coaches remember exactly why they’re out there sweating their butts off.

All summer long the coaches and players put in an incredible amount of effort on and off the field to support the cause.  They have a good bit of fun too though and many meet lifelong friends through the organization (I know I have).

Make no mistake though, once the whistle blows and the game begins it’s all business.

Last year the Bru Crew pulled away in the second half to take the game 44-25.

Having watched both teams practice throughout the season, I have a feeling this year’s game could come down to the wire!

How can I help?

I’m writing this post because I believe in the mission and purpose of BvB Dallas and think it’s a great organization to support if you have a few bucks laying around.

It’s been my honor to watch this awesome group of people come together for an incredible cause over the past two years.  In a world that keeps trying to remind us how we’re all different these men and women focus on what unites us: a battle against a vicious disease.

If you’d like to donate (BvB Dallas is a 501c3 charitable organization), you can do so at the following link:

Donate to BvB Dallas

If you’re nearby, please consider coming out to the game on Saturday August 11th!  Every donation of $25 or more comes with a ticket to the game.  Game time is 7:30pm and there’s a free party afterward in the plaza in front of the Cotton Bowl.

Whether or not you can donate to BvB Dallas I’d encourage you to find a cause you believe in and begin investing in it.  I’ve made some lifelong friends from my time in the BvB organization and feel like I’ve done however small a part to push back the darkness that is Alzheimer’s disease.

To the coaches and players of BvB Dallas: good luck on Saturday!  My photography team and I will be there to capture an incredible game, so play hard!  Congratulations on a wonderful season and for all the hard work you’ve put in to make the 11th year of BvB Dallas a great one!

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