When blondes battle brunettes, Alzheimer’s group wins


The Blondes vs. Brunettes charity flag football game kicks off at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Grady High School football stadium, 929 Charles Allen Drive N.E., Atlanta. A victory party follows at the Park Tavern, 500 10th St. N.E. Event tickets are $25 and proceeds benefit the Alzheimer's Association's Georgia chapter. See act.alz.org/site/TR?pg=entry&fr_id=5991 for full details.

A group of sporty Atlanta blondes are taking on their brunette counterparts for a great cause this weekend.

The Blondes vs. Brunettes charity flag football game kicks off at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Grady High School football stadium. The event is modeled after one held in Washington. Event chairman Josie Taylor played in the D.C. event for six years and decided to launch it in Atlanta when she moved here last fall.

“This is a disease that hits close to home,” said Taylor, a member of Team Blonde, which practiced at Piedmont Park the other evening. “So many people are playing for a grandmother or great-aunt, someone they lost due to this disease. We’re all here for a common purpose, which is to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Georgia chapter. Win or lose, we’re all winners because we’re raising money for such a great cause.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.4 million Americans have the disease, and 120,000 of those are Georgia residents. Someone in the U.S. is diagnosed every 68 seconds. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death, with no cure or treatment to slow its progression, and since 2000, the incidence of Alzheimer’s has risen 66 percent.

Lauren Scott, a member of Team Brunette, said both of her grandmothers had Alzheimer’s.

“I’ve been a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association for a couple of years now,” she said. “I knew I had to participate.”

The victory party celebrating all the players follows at the Park Tavern across the street after Saturday’s game. Event tickets are $25, and proceeds benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.

Team Blonde includes Taylor, Kristen Bartlett, Melissa Lawrence, Meredith Griffanti, Claire Barnes, Amy Clayton, Patty Lach, Anne Dorff and Laurie Brown. Their coaches are Alex O’Neal, Ryan Daly and Alex Stocko.

Team Brunette includes Scott, Laudeli Gonzalez, Becki Jones, Stacy Mattoon, Kali Lack, Jamie Mickelson, Sara Arnold, Heather Froy, Celeste Thompson, Christine Waite and Crystle Ryland. Their coaches are Charles Mann, Stephen Braue and Lee Gilbert.