Bicoastal Alzheimer’s fundraiser begins on Virginia Beach Oceanfront

VIRGINIA BEACH — On Friday, Rachel Radspinner is watching the sunrise on the East Coast, and the sunset on the West Coast — all in the name of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Radspinner and her brother Matthew Zuraw are hosting sunrise yoga on the beach as part of the association’s summer solstice fundraising platform, The Longest Day.

“Being impacted by Alzheimer’s can feel like the longest day but after, you have to find the silver lining,” Radspinner said.

Radspinner and Zuraw became Alzheimer Association volunteers after their father, John Zuraw, was diagnosed with the disease two years ago.

Rachel Radspinner with her father, John Zuraw (left), and brother Matthew Zuraw. (Southside Daily/Courtesy of Rachel Radspinner)
Rachel Radspinner with her father, John Zuraw (left), and brother Matthew Zuraw. (Southside Daily/Courtesy of Rachel Radspinner)

This year, she and her brother wanted to celebrate their father and their mother, Nancy Zuraw, who has been their father’s caregiver by “doing something big” for the fundraiser, Radspinner said.

“My brother is flying here from San Diego for the sunrise event, then I’ll fly to San Diego for a sunset event with our mom,” she said.

Radspinner said her family hopes to raise about $10,000 to benefit Alzheimer’s research and advocacy in Congress but also for family and caregiver support group programs.

“The biggest thing that helped my brother and I is the connections we’ve made and the stories you hear from other people,” she said.

Registered guests can attend “one or all” of the day’s Oceanfront events at no cost but the hosts do suggest a $25 donation with all net proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Association.

The day kicks off on the Oceanfront with a candlelight sunrise at 5:30 a.m. followed by yoga with instructors from local studio Collective Yoga at 5:45 a.m.

RELATED STORY: Town Center building to light up teal for Alzheimer’s disease

At 6:30 a.m. attendees can sip coffee –provided by Bad Ass –while country musician Jay Allen plays an acoustic set — Allen is also flying with the family to perform at the sunset event in San Diego.

Radspinner said with this fundraiser she wants to live up to her father’s advice, “optimism is a moral duty” and hopes her family’s fight has far-reaching effects.

“Not for my father, but for everyone else to not have to go through this — to live in a world without Alzheimer’s,” she said.

“That’s what we’re fighting for.”

To register and get tickets for “A Celebration of Life and Light,” click here.

To donate to the Longest Day fundraiser, click here.

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Lucretia Cunningham is a multimedia journalist at Southside Daily covering hyper-local stories in Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Her stories focus on public safety, tourism, and city government. She is a Virginia transplant and military spouse originally from Chicago. Lucretia also served on active duty from 2006 to 2016 and started her journalism career as a broadcaster in the Virginia Air National Guard. When she’s not covering stories on the Southside, she’s covering stories with her Air National Guard unit.