New Alzheimer co-ordinator settling in

Ken Johnston

While some people may have thought the local Alzheimer Society had forgotten about fundraising efforts here in Rainy River District, the fact of the matter is they were in a state of flux as they replaced their executive director.
Lynn Moffatt took over the post on May 31 that was vacated by long-time executive director Margaret Schonewille earlier this spring.
Moffatt is a native of Kenora but has ties throughout Rainy River District (in Rainy River, she is related to Ron and Mary O’Connor).
She brings eight years of experience in the business and marketing administration field.
Her previous job was as a marketing officer for Red River College in Winnipeg, and she felt heading up the Kenora-Rainy River Alzheimer Society would be a perfect fit for her skills set.
“I thought it would be a neat position to utilize both my business and marketing skills,” Moffatt noted last week.
The organization also has a personal connection for her. “Both my grandparents had Alzheimer Disease,” she said.
While Moffatt is just getting settled into the new job, she knows people are wondering where the organization has been.
“We missed the ‘Walk for Memories’ in May, but I am looking at a walk later in the summer; perhaps August or September,” she remarked.
Right off the hop, Moffatt has found herself in an exciting new program being run by the society. Called “First Link,” it involves two co-ordinators reaching out to newly-diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients.
“Once a doctor gives a diagnosis, ‘First Link’ will be notified. They will then, in turn, contact the patients and offer our services,” she explained.
The Alzheimer Society offers public education and also respite care services.
“We are currently in the process of replacing our respite center co-ordinator,” noted Moffatt (the former co-ordinator was Schonewille’s husband, Dick, who retired not long after she left the organization).
Meanwhile, all regularly-scheduled events throughout the district will continue as they did in the past.
Moffatt said they are holding the annual “Ride for Memories” motorcycle trip on Aug. 28.
As well, the cash calendars for 2011 will be available in the next few weeks, and she definitely plans to hold the Linda Johnston Memorial Supper in Rainy River and the “Chefs’ Dinner” in Fort Frances in the new year.
“I am looking forward to renewing existing contacts in the area and making new ones!” Moffatt enthused.
“We are always looking for volunteers which are so very important to our organization,” she added.