The Alzheimer's Art Garden
Benefit Silent Auction

World Alzheimer's Month is September. In Colorado, over 71,000 families are faced with Alzheimer’s disease. At Fall Fest presented by The Lake Dillon Arts Festival, we are participating in bringing awareness and raising money to fight this awful disease with a very special collection of art called "The Alzheimer’s Art Garden" .

The Alzheimer's Art Garden will be open from 10 am Friday Aug. 30 to 2 pm Sept. 1st.

The Alzheimer's Art Garden will be next to the music tent at the festival and will be filled with donations from artists at the show plus art from other national artists who have previously done shows with CCM Events (our list is extensive).

Each piece donated will have a paragraph or two written by the donating artist about how Alzheimer’s has affected them or their family or friends.

All the art in The Alzheimer's Art Garden will be available for purchase via a silent auction. Auction forms and a place to put in your bid will be in the tent at the show. Auction winners will announced Sunday at 2 pm. You must be present at 2 pm to win the auction of your favorite piece, pay for the work, and take it home with you. Help us make a difference.


How did this idea start?

Pencil artist Leslie Schafer brought her artist mother's Alzheimer story to Darren, owner or CCM Events and promoter of Fall Fest. Moved by Leslie's story, Darren donated a free 2nd booth to Leslie so she could show her mother's work along side her own. In addition, Darren and Leslie decided to "silent auction" of one of Leslie's mother's pieces to benefit Alzheimer's research. Shortly after Darren and Leslie's conversation, Darren was contacted by Fall Fest participating artist Chuck Adams whose wife Sharon also has Alzheimer’s. He expressed how he wanted to be part of the Alzheimer’s awareness/fundraiser, too. 

After Darren hung up the phone, the brainstorm hit him. The Alzheimer's Art Garden. It was this idea that blossomed into something bigger than any one of us at Fall Fest could have ever imagined. We hope you help us fight this ugly disease by buying something beautiful at The Alzheimer's Art Garden.


My wife Sharon owned her own very successful business training executives of fortune 500 companies, primarily in the area of communication and leadership, when she suddenly started having cognitive issues which obviously interfered with her work! We immediately went to a local Neurologist that she had seen before for sleep apnea issues. Not knowing any better we asked him to help diagnose her difficulties. Much to our chagrin he was radically incompetent to diagnose her issues. It cost us almost 2 years of proper help until we learned from another relative who had a spouse with FTD that we needed to find a Neurologist that specialized in dementia related issues. Not all Neurologists understand anything about dementia!

After my wife was properly diagnosed by a specialized Neurologist and because of our experience with the first doctor we went to The Mayo Clinic for a second opinion. They confirmed the damage was already significant; her only saving grace was as a left handed person she had stored things in different areas of her brain or she would have had more difficulty with her speech. My wife’s family is very close so we have had an enormous amount of help in dealing with this disease, I do not know how we could have coped without all the help we have received from them.

This disease has many faces and it seems no 2 patients are exactly the same, in the first support group I attended I learned more than what I was able to garner from all my reading and research on line. 

In one group they discussed the good days and the bad days as Swiss Cheese, on good days the Alzheimer’s afflicted can seem pretty normal, that is when they are in the cheese, but if they are in the holes they really struggle!

Now I have to help my wife bathe, get dressed, take her to the women’s restroom and wait for her to come out. I have had to learn what she means not what she says, when she is upset with me I cannot take it personally it is part of the disease! We fortunately discussed early after her diagnoses that instead of concentrating on the tragic side of this disease we would try to see humor in what was to come. So even through it all we can find laughter together to help us through our challenges.

Artist Stories

“My grandmother suffered from Alzheimer's and dementia for many years. It's difficult to see someone that you love loose bits of who they are, their memories, their routine, in essence their personality. My grandmother was loving, sweet and kind, and always quick to smile. As time went on, Fern became a shell of who she was. Her body was present, but her spirit and her energy were stolen from her. Recently, I was just morning the fact that I never got to know who she really was. The person my dad knew. She suffered a very long time. It is my deepest wish that a cure can be found. “ - Julie Leidel, painter

 My father passed away at age 80. I took care of him in his last few years. He started getting Alzheimer's disease when he was 75. It was during his last few years of life that it became a serious problem. He did not know who I was or that I was his daughter. He would walk away from home but good neighbors would gently guide him home. After that we put his name and address on a bracelet so others could help him. He passed away not knowing his own family. I support any cause that can help with Alzheimer's disease. - Sompong Payne, fiber artist

“It is so hard to watch and be a part of the ‘Long Goodbye’. Both of my grandmothers were artists. One of my grandmas physically died at age 93, but it felt like I lost her 7 or 8 years before that. She had been the strength of our family, the hub, the solid one. She had always been my confidante. I visited my grandma steadily through those hard years, still confiding in her, reaching for her as she slipped away. I remember when she still knew I was an artist, but no longer knew my name. I didn’t expect her to know me any more, but one day one of my cousins and I went to visit, I stood in front of her wheelchair and touched her on the shoulder. Her eyes opened, then flew open wide as she smiled. I could see a moment that when I had a piece of grandma back. It was the last time I saw grandma.” - Randall May, Sculptor

“I’m somewhat of an expert on Alzheimer's and related dementia diseases. I was a licensed nursing home administrator in 6 different states in the 80's and worked with hundreds of patients with all types of dementia. Currently, my dad is 93 years old and has a severe form of cerebral atrophy; this is one of the more common types of dementia with symptoms much like Alzheimer's. It is a frustrating condition for both the victim and the family providing the care. “ - Larry Hughes, Woodworker

“My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's early in 1999 and passed away June 21, 2007 two days before her 82nd birthday. Anyone who has watched a family member fight this disease knows how slowly it takes away dignity, well being, and sense of self. My mother was a wonderful, active, vibrant soul who was always ready for a good laugh. Even Alzheimer's couldn't kill her laughter.” - Douglas Glascock, woodworker

“Alzheimer's is a horribly debilitating disease. My mother-in-law died at 100yrs. old. The disease started when she was in her late 70's. Over the years, I watched her decline as the disease took over her mind. What a sad thing to witness. I am sincerely happy to contribute to assist in finding a cure for this disease.” - Linda Cook, jeweler

“Lila Jean taught me so many things in the garden before she lost not only her memory but also her speech. Four years she was unable to articulate except she joined me in singing along to her own birthday song. As she blew out the candle, the years of silence were warmed by a momentary return of the one who loved and shared so very much. If I could make a wish, it would be to sit quietly with Lila Jean in her garden, speaking in hush tones while watching fluttering friends dance around the garden like Angelina Ballerina. How magical…..” - Peggy Jackson, Butterfly artist

“My high school was a wrestling school. And one of the icons in the school and our town was the head wrestling coach Marvin Nelson. He was also our science teacher. As kids, Mr. Nelson was a larger than life figure to us. Being the wrestling coaching, his gregarious personality, love of motorcycles, and his competitive spirit, he was everything you think of when you think of a man’s man. Alzheimer’s took “Marvelous Marv” (his nickname), his gregariousness, and his competitive spirit and turned him into a very combative and angry patient in the last years of his life. It was a sobering view of how this disease is so brutal.” - Darren Curtis Skanson, musician


 We are so please to announce that we raised $1,804.65 for Alzheimer's research with Fall Fest's Alzheimer's Art Garden. Thank you to all the artists who participated as well as the wonderful patrons who purchased art work. This is our first attempt at The Alzheimer's Art Garden so we look forward to the Garden being on ongoing component of CCM Events' festivals.


Darren Skanson

Owner - CCM, Inc.

Raised -  $2,381.00


Credit Card $101.35

Booth Help $400.00

Misc $75.00

Total Donation $1,804.65