Fighting Alzheimer’s: ‘Purple’ Power Pulls Off a Big Win

Volunteers at the Power for Purple Palooza. Contributed.

By Maggie Beamguard

Insider Editor

The Power for Purple Palooza fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Assoiation’s Longest Day initiative lives up to its name as its impact swells. Having raised $45,000 in its third year, it is currently ranked the number one Alzheimer’s fundraiser in North Carolina.

Partners Canyn Russell and Katie Carpenter, who own and operate the Racquet Club of Seven Lakes, first conceived of this week-long fundraising event following the death of Carpenter’s mother, who long suffered with Alzheimer’s.

In defiance of a disease that so diminishes quality of life, the Power for Purple Palooza amplifies the hope of lives coming together for a purpose.

“Unfortunately I think there are more and more people in the community dealing with this disease and they are looking for support,” said Carpenter. “Alzheimer’s disease has a stigma of shame, and I feel like we are front and center trying to dispel those thoughts. We give a safe place for people to come and share their own stories and feel supported.”

Each year, the event committee builds on its previous experiences. “Expanding the golf tournament this year is a big reason why we were able to raise so much money,” Carpenter said. “Our 5k Walk/Run was another focal point this year. We had 106 runners,which was even more than the number of golf participants.”

Another strategic decision organizers made for 2023 was to invite extended family members to volunteer. Family member participation allowed members who have worked tirelessly for two years to enjoy the festivities and allowed family members to be invested in the journey.

“It was special to us to show them what we have put our blood, sweat and tears into for the past couple of years.”

Carpenter said the best part of this year’s palooza came at the end. This year, the event culminated in a fireworks show on June 24.

“Tara Locklin and her crew worked tirelessly in the hot sun for over six hours to stage the show, and it was breathtaking,” said Carpenter. 

Carpenter and Russell press forward for all of the people who have been impacted by this disease.

“What keeps me going are the people who stop to thank us for doing the event because they have or had a family member affected by Alzheimer’s disease,” said Carpenter. “I think they are just happy to see someone fighting for them and they realize they are not alone.”

“Tara is a perfect example of why we do this event to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association,” said Carpenter. “Tara shared with me her family’s struggle with the disease and how it has claimed four of her family members. Her business, Hale Artificier, Inc. donated all of the product and the man hours for our event.”

The successful event could not happen without the support of the larger community.

“We can’t thank the community enough. Obviously our main goal is to try and raise as much money as we can and we wouldn’t be able to do that if the community didn’t support our The Longest Day event.”

In addition to the community, Carpenter and Russell are thankful for all of the sponsors, the more than 200 golf, pickleball and tennis participants, the more than 100 runners, all the vendors who donated their time, the small businesses that contributed to raffles and silent auctions, the racquet club members the event committee, and especially Kim Szuch. “The Longest Day would not occur without you,” said Carpenter. 

Charlotte Kennedy, Heather Guild, Susan Clark and Jolena Allred also provided time, dedication and support.

With the fourth year of the Power for Purple Palooza on the horizon, there is yet more work to do.

“I’m looking forward to doing my part to end the darkness of Alzheimer’s and being one step closer to the first survivor,” said Carpenter. “In particular, we know that the 5k run/walk will grow as well as the number of golf participants. And, we are always looking to have a few extra “surprises” for the community.”

You can search “Power for Purple” at to make a donation. 

Contact Maggie Beamguard at