Tax Services and Tattoos: Businesses Working to End Alzheimer’s

 

Companies of all sizes and industries are supporting the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

KPMG – Silicon Valley Walk

It started with one person, wanting to make a difference
Gabe de la Rosa was living in Los Angeles in 2012, when his brother-in-law, Kai, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Gabe’s desire to support his sister and help make a difference led him to volunteer with the Southland Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. He served on the chapter board prior to moving to the bay area in 2014.

With help from the Southland Chapter, Gabe connected with staff from the Northern California and Northern Nevada Chapter. He first joined the Diversity and Inclusion committee and then became a chapter board member in 2017.

From personal to professional participation in the Walk
Previously, Gabe had participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s with his family. Last year he decided that it was time to get his employer, KPMG, involved. Gabe reached out to KPMG leadership and asked them to sponsor the Silicon Valley Walk. Gabe made a personal donation, which KPMG matched, to make the sponsorship possible.

Older Latinos are 1 ½ times as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as older whites . Since Gabe leads KPMG’s Hispanic/Latino employee network, he asked network members to join the KPMG Walk team. These efforts helped to raise awareness within the network of the increased risk.

The KPMG team enjoyed participating in the Walk. “The event is very well run,” says Gabe. As a sponsor, “it allows for a lot of visibility for our company with the attendees.” They also appreciated the emotional connections they made with participants who have Alzheimer’s or are caregivers.

Year two plans to grow their involvement
KPMG is looking at ways to expand their team’s involvement in the 2018 Walk. They want to continue participation by the Hispanic/Latino employee network and encourage others in the company to join the team.

This year, Gabe wants to work with Alzheimer’s Association staff to provide education to KPMG employees. He also plans to share information on the resources available to support those who are impacted by dementia.

KPMG Walk Team

Gabe is planning to hold a kickoff to get his colleagues motivated to participate and fundraise. He wants to help people learn how to use their networks for fundraising. “You’d be surprised by how much support you get if you give others the chance to donate,” says Gabe.

KPMG has several clients who also participate in the Walk, such as Cisco. They are currently exploring ways to work together to support the Walk. Gabe encourages other companies to connect around the opportunity to make a difference in the community.

Gabe’s brother-in-law, Kai, was 60 years old when he was diagnosed. Kai had been a successful entrepreneur who built his business on relationships. Gabe’s involvement with the Alzheimer’s Association is rooted in his desire to make an impact on a disease that has affected his family. “When you see someone who is slowly fading away and you have to sit idly by and watch, it’s really tough,” shared Gabe. “It inspires people to want to do more.”

LUCKY YOU TATTOO – Stockton Walk

It started with encouragement from his spouse
Erick Ramos works at Lucky You Tattoo in Manteca, California. His wife was key to getting them involved in the Stockton Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Erick’s wife, Kristalyn Jimenez works at O’Connor Woods, a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community. She is also on the Stockton Walk to End Alzheimer’s planning committee. “Kristalyn is very passionate about her activities,” says Erick. She asked Erick if Lucky You Tattoo wanted to be a part of the Walk.

A history of community involvement
Employees at Lucky You Tattoo are no strangers to community involvement. They donate their time to participate in several community events and festivals throughout the year. Besides being talented tattoo artists, they have become popular for their face painting skills.

While they have not been involved with health-related nonprofits in the past, the issue of Alzheimer’s struck a chord with Erick. He has always been interested in science and how the mind works.

Erick talked to his boss and coworkers. Kristalyn also came and spoke to the team. They eagerly signed up as a sponsor. They also offered to provide free face painting at the Walk.

Erick, hard at work at Stockton Walk

Lucky You Tattoo employees educated their customers about the Walk and local Walk fundraisers. They accepted donations from customers for the Walk. Paper flowers posted on the shop wall recognized those who donated. Erick said that using the flowers attracted people to the cause and helped to start conversations. Many customers shared stories of how their family members or friends had been impacted by Alzheimer’s.

Face painting is often a popular activity at the Walks, and this was true in Stockton. The line of kids kept Erick, Esau Mendoza and Phillip Mendoza very busy on Walk day. Walk committee members came by throughout the morning to check on them. Erick and Kristalyn’s children were also part of the stage program.

Growing their efforts in 2018
Lucky You Tattoo is participating in the Stockton Walk to End Alzheimer’s again this year. As is true of many returning participants, they want to increase their efforts. They are taking their business skills and turning them into fundraising skills. “Art is what we are best at,” Erick shared. “So we ask, what can we do with art to support the cause?”

As business owners, they are always looking for ways to invite more people to visit their shop. They will be hosting a wine and paint night fundraiser, with Erick serving as the painting instructor. They also want to hold an art gallery event, with some of the art being related to Alzheimer’s or the brain.

The Lucky You Tattoo team has enjoyed supporting the Stockton Walk. “We had lots of satisfaction from what we did,” says Erick. “That’s what we look for. As a local business, we like to do as much as we can to support the community.”

If you would like to learn more about how your business can participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s near you, call 800.272.3900 or visit alz.org/walk.

Learn more:
Walk to End Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s Workplace Alliance