So many people came to last year's Bash for Brains, Leah Huxtable had to move.
Huxtable organizes and co-chairs the annual fundraiser with her sister, Eva Thompson, and Britta Ferrell to raise money for the Twin Cities Walk to End Alzheimer's and to help pay for respite care through the Bash for Brains fund.
Huxtable said more than 300 people showing up at last year's event was part of the reason she decided to move to west Woodbury. She now has a larger backyard to host the seventh year of the fundraiser, happening the evening of Sept. 14.
"It's quite a bit bigger, so we can have a much bigger bash," Huxtable said. She said she expects close to 400 people this year.
The sisters began holding the fundraiser after their mother, Lucy, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's in 2010. Lucy died in 2015 at the age of 65.
Respite care can be a vital resource for families caring for someone with Alzheimer's, Huxtable said. These caregivers can step in and help while family members run errands or simply take a break.
"One of the hardest parts about going through the care of an Alzheimer's patient is that it's just so never-ending and you really can't get a break from it," Huxtable said. "You can't really take your eyes off of a person with Alzheimer's, especially in the later stages because ... physically, sometimes they're in great shape, but mentally not, and so they have to be cared for 24/7."
Though Huxtable's mother had the resources to pay for respite care, it's an expensive service that many people can't afford. The Bash for Brains fund, organized through the Woodbury Community Foundation, will begin distributing funds to people in the community who need help paying for respite care for someone with Alzheimer's.
The family has raised more than $150,000 over the past six years that they've been hosting the party, but they're hoping to raise another $70,000 to $75,000 this year, Huxtable said.
A ticket to the bash includes dinner, drinks, games and live music. There will also be a wine pull and an auction, which will include tickets to "The Voice," a "Today Show" tour, and trips to Florida and Mexico.
If you go...
What: Bash for Brains fundraiser
When: 6-10:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14
Where: Outdoor, tented event at the Huxtable residence
Why: To raise money to support people with Alzheimer's and their families
Cost: $40 per ticket ahead of time, $50 at the door (fundraiser is adults-only)
For more details, visit www.bashforbrains.com.