Golfer spends The Longest Day on course in honor of Alzheimer's patients

The Longest Day events raise money for Alzheimer's Association of San Antonio

By Ellie Holmes - News Producer

SAN ANTONIO - Hayden Edwards remembers golfing with his grandfather. 

"He stunted my golf career because he was so complimentary of my swing. He thought it was perfect. I found out later, it wasn't very good," Edwards recalled. 

Edwards spent Thursday golfing at the historic Brackenridge Golf Course from sunup to sundown. While that may be par for the course for a lot of people, his reason was personal. 

He was raising money for the Alzheimer's Association of San Antonio and South Texas' fourth annual The Longest Day. Alzheimer's Association's mantra is "The day with the most light is the day we fight."

Across the world, people will host events in honor of their loved ones diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Some of the events include barbecues, concerts and a fashion show. 

The Alzheimer's Association event in San Antonio event will take place Friday, the official day of the event, which coincides with the summer solstice. Other events will be held throughout the month of June, which is Alzheimer's Awareness month, to raise funds and awareness for care, support and research.

Of all the statistics surrounding the disease, Edwards said he is struck by those of the caregivers. 

According to the Alzheimer's Association, there are more than 5.8 million Americans living with Alzheimer's and more than 16 million caregivers dedicating time to them. 

"They suffer right along with the ones who battle the disease," Edwards said. 

Edwards' father was the primary caregiver for his grandmother before she died in 2013. A year later, Edwards' grandfather died.

This is Edwards' second year to golf for The Longest Day, which has been around for four years. According to his fundraiser page, Edwards raised more than $2,000 last year, a goal he set again for this year and, at last check, has already surpassed. 

Roy Lopez Jr., staff lead for the event, said the goal for this year's fundraiser is $160,000. Lopez also hopes to see growth in the event, including Edwards', in years to come. 

"I would love to see, next year, this whole course full of people wearing purple playing golf," Lopez said. 

While passionate, Edwards said he was taking it easy in the extreme heat. 

"Pacing, hydrating, refueling," he said. "Last year, I did 72 (holes), this year, 54 because it's supposed to be hot today." 

For The Longest Day events happening near you, click here.

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