LIVINGSTON, NJ — The month of June was officially proclaimed “Brain Awareness Month” and the week of June 10 to June 16 was proclaimed “Paint the Town Purple Week” throughout the Township of Livingston on Monday by the mayor and council. According to resident Cheryl Ricci-Francione, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater New Jersey, Paint the Town Purple is a fun way to educate the community about good brain health.

Paint the Town Purple events thus far have included a dance fundraiser at Pucci Performing Arts Centre to help promote physical exercise and the arts as means of reducing stress, increasing levels of serotonin and helping to develop new neural connections, and a remembrance ceremony held at the Presbyterian Church on Sunday night to celebrate the memories of those lost. As seen above, the team at Saint Barnabas Medical Center is also supporting the Alzheimer’s Association’s mission by illuminating the lobby of the new Cooperman Family Pavilion purple in recognition of Brain Awareness Month.

“I want to thank the Township of Livingston for embracing the concept of Paint the Town Purple, because it is Brain Awareness Month in June and the Alzheimer’s Association presents this month to educate the community about the importance of good brain health,” said Ricci-Francione. “It’s not just about people who have cognitive impairment, it’s about all of us being mindful about good, healthy habits to keep our brains healthy and strong and about learning how to interact with those who do have cognitive impairment and to not be afraid of them and to advocate for them as a diverse portion of our population that deserves to have equal rights.”

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Ricci-Francione also thanked Susan Berkenbush and the Livingston Committee for Diversity and Inclusion (LCDI) for embracing this concept alongside the Alzheimer’s Association and for co-hosting many of the month’s upcoming events. Berkenbush, chair of the LCDI, said it was a pleasure for the committee to partner with Ricci-Francione on this initiative, as those involved in the LCDI consider age diversity and ability diversity as part of their mission.

“Sometimes we don’t see age as an element of diversity, but it truly is,” said Ricci-Francione. “When we consider our aging population in this country, it’s something that we should be mindful about.”

The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater New Jersey will officially celebrate its grand reopening on Thursday at its new headquarters in Florham Park. Click HERE to read more about how the relocation will help the organization establish an even deeper presence within the community.

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