Natalie Ford and Sarah Hilliard take the field as Team Captains for Team Blonde against Leane Ledbetter and Liz Zuniga, Team Captains for Team Brunette, for the 2019 Blondes vs. Brunettes® flag football game to increase awareness and funds for the Alzheimer’s Association California, Central Coast Chapter. The teams square off on the football field at Garden Street Academy on Saturday, July 20.

Last year’s fifth annual event was incredibly successful, generating more than $90,000 with the Santa Barbara game having 82 players, practice squad members and coaches.

“Playing for Blondes vs Brunettes is special,” said Leane. “We practice, we fundraise, we do outreach and then come together on game day with one common goal: play as hard as we can in honor of our loved ones who could not win their battle. We unite for those we’ve lost and to raise money to end Alzheimer’s!”

In 2018 with more than 800 fans filling the stands, KJEE hosted the halftime show while La Boheme Professional Dance Group performed. Team Brunette broke the tie, and now holds the overall score at 3-2.

A Santa Barbara local, Natalie Ford started volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Association through Blondes vs. Brunettes in its inaugural year in Santa Barbara six years ago.

“Joining this organization has become more than I ever thought possible,” Natalie said. “I have had the opportunity to give back to my hometown, and most importantly have become an educator for why we play. Through learning countless personal accounts of how this disease has impacted people’s lives, I see just how important this organization is to so many people. We play to raise awareness and funds that are greatly needed by those suffering from the disease, their loved ones, and their caretakers. I am so proud to play for Blondes vs. Brunettes as we embark on our sixth year!”

In California alone, there are more than half a million people living with Alzheimer’s. In Santa Barbara County, more than 10,000 people are living with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease is a growing epidemic: it’s the state’s fifth leading cause of death and the nation’s sixth leading cause of death. Learn more at

Regardless of the final score, the teams’ fundraising efforts are making an end-run. This year Blondes vs. Brunettes Santa Barbara hopes to raise $100,000 locally to build on their success last year. Nationwide, the football games have raised more than $9 million for the Alzheimer’s Association since it was started in 2005. Players commit to raising a minimum of $500.

Game day is set for Saturday, July 20 at Garden Street Academy with the tailgate beginning at 11 a.m. and kickoff at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 by donation pre-sale to attend and watch the game, $25 day-of, and VIP passes are $60 ($75 starting July 8) by donation for shaded seating, two drink tickets, one food ticket, and more. Fans can also enjoy the food and drink vendors, raffle prizes, and fun! Thank you to our Presenting Sponsors Draughtsmen Aleworks, will also be serving up their craft brews, and Edhat for the media coverage. For more information, please visit or contact Katelyn Reeves at or 805.617.0230.

About the Alzheimer’s Association California Central Coast Chapter
The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s 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. The California Central Coast Chapter provides services in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties. We are located at 1528 Chapala Street, Suite 204, Santa Barbara, CA, 93101. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit or call 800.272.3900.


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