CDs crowded one corner, tumbling out of boxes, while a party filled the rest of the lobby at SPACES.
The hostess, Georgiann Rose, greeted each new arrival at the door with a hug or handshake, excusing herself from conversations or hustling from the back office.
The second annual Music for Alzheimer’s CD collection drive kept Rose busy until the very end.
One year after securing 70-plus CDs, SPACES and Progressive Designs, local businesses owned by Rose and brother Mel Loureiro, respectively, received 611 donations.
“The community support has been phenomenal. It has way exceeded our expectations,” Rose said. “… The support has come in so many different ways, not with people just wanting to donate their CDs, but people wanting to be involved with however we move this forward. That’s been a nice surprise.”
On Friday, Rose invited those that donated to attend a wrap party at SPACES, a design group located on the corner of North Street and Maple Avenue. There, she raffled off two $100 gift certificates to Ernie’s Food & Spirits and showered her guests with food and drink.
Guests included San Joaquin County Office of Education board member Vern Gephardt and former Lindbergh principal Howard Holtsman, among others.
“What we’ve been touched by the most is how many people have been touched by this disease. It’s become a personal mission for some to bring these CDs in,” Rose said. “They didn’t even want the raffle; they just wanted to be a part of this.”
The CDs were packaged and dispersed to care facilities in the area on Monday, including Bethany Home, Prestige Senior Living, Emeritus, The Commons at Union Ranch, St. Jude Care Center and Manteca Care and Rehabilitation. Rose says she even had interest from a party as far as away as Oakdale.
Studies have shown that music, when used appropriately, can have a profound impact on Alzheimer’s patients. According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of American, music “can shift mood, manage stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function and coordinate movement.”
In the 2014 documentary “Alive Inside,” Alzheimer’s patient Henry Dreher spends his days in a mostly catatonic state. However, he experiences an awakening of sorts when given an iPod by his therapist. He begins to dance in his chair. He begins to sing. He even begins to communicate and draw on old emotions and memories.
The Loureiro and Rose families made that same discovery with their matriarch, Frances Loureiro.
Frances Loureiro passed away from complications brought on by Alzheimer’s. She spent her final days at Bethany Home, making that special stop for the family each December.
Her best days, Rose said, were set to the beat of music, whether it was dancing down the hall or humming a familiar tune.
“There is a clear link to music,” Rose said in an earlier interview.
Rose said her granddaughter, Chandler Rose, was much too young at the time of Frances’ death to understand Alzheimer’s toll. Through this charity, with each new stack of CDs and every story shared, Rose said Chandler, now 22, connects a little more with her great grandmother and the disease.
“She’s been able to hear different stories about my mom. She now has a much better understanding of Alzheimer’s,” Rose said. “Before, we lived it and that was kind of her normal. She was young before my mom was afflicted by the disease. This has given her a better understanding of how debilitating it was.”
In time, Rose hopes to grow Music for Alzheimer’s to include iPods and MP3s, if only because CDs are fast-becoming an antiquated form of music sharing.
She had hoped to speak with the administrators and activities directors at the various care facilities in the Manteca and Ripon communities on Monday about their wishes and needs.
For more information about Music for Alzheimer’s, contact 209.815.9021.