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Local Couple in Rose Bowl Parade for Alzheimer’s

Mel and Barbara Schwimmer Will Ride The Boomer Express On New Year’s Day to Raise Awareness


With as many as 10 million baby boomers at risk for developing Alzheimer’s, the Alzheimer’s Association and Pfizer are collaborating to help raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease by telling all Americans, “It’s Time to Face Alzheimer’s.”

The effort also seeks to address the stigma associated with Alzheimer’s and encourage people to share their photos and tell their stories of how the disease has affected them. The initiative will culminate with a featured float, The Boomer Express, in the 122nd Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day.

The Boomer Express design for Rose Bowl Parade
Click to enlarge photo

©Phoenix Decorating Co.

The Boomer Express design for Rose Bowl Parade

Riding atop The Boomer Express will be Mel and Barbara Schwimmer. Barbara was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s a few years ago. Her husband, Mel, cares for her in their home in Cambria.

“Alzheimer’s is a looming crisis that today affects as many as 600,000 right here in California and more than 5 million Americans across the country,” said Rhonda Spiegel, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association, California Central Coast Chapter.“The disease not only impacts individuals, it touches entire families, including 1.1 million unpaid caregivers in California. With the first wave of baby boomers beginning to turn 65 next year, the numbers of people affected will only continue to escalate.”

People are invited to voice their support for the need to address this devastating disease, and to share photos and stories about how they have been affected via the website,. This website will showcase the submitted photos and stories through an interactive Faces of Alzheimer’s mosaic.

The initiative will culminate with The Boomer Express, which will make the 5½-mile run at the Rose Parade, themed Building Dreams, Friendships & Memories, on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, Calif.

The Boomer Express is a 55-foot long train that will ring its bell every 70 seconds to represent how frequently someone in America develops Alzheimer’s. Members of the Alzheimer community, including individuals living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, will be among those riding in the float.

For more information this program and Alzheimer’s disease please visit It’s Time to Face Alzheimer’s, or contact the California Central Coast Chapter.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s.



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