The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation, in Partnership with Gertrude P. Zalar Alzheimer Care Foundation, Opens Joliet, Illinois Leeza's Place

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The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation will be opening its third Leeza's Place location in Joliet, Illinois on January 7th, 2005. "Trude and Leeza's Place" is a community-based program offering support to caregivers and those recently diagnosed with memory disorders.

The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation, in partnership with the Gertrude P. Zalar Alzheimer Care Foundation will open and dedicate Trude and Leeza’s Place in Joliet, Illinois on Friday, January 7th, 2004. Trude and Leeza’s Place is a community-centered resource offering programs that educate, empower and energize both caregivers and those recently diagnosed with memory disorders.

After the loss of her grandmother and the diagnosis of her mother, noted television and radio host Leeza Gibbons and her family created The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation to meet the growing needs of those impacted by memory disorders. Trude and Leeza’s Place provides an intimate and safe community-based setting where those affected by memory disorders can gather to prepare for the challenging journey ahead.

“From the beginning, my family’s fight against Alzheimer’s disease has been fueled by my mother’s courageous insistence to inform, educate and heal the patient, caregiver and community,” said Leeza Gibbons. “I’m so excited that now we can share the outcome of our efforts with the opening of Illinois’ first Leeza’s Place. We’ve created a stigma-free environment to begin to help those feeling alone, frustrated and frightened by this thief of memories. We believe there is life after diagnosis.”

Each Leeza’s Place has been carefully crafted to empower both the caregiver and the recently diagnosed by offering services that nourish self esteem, relieve symptoms, impart knowledge, reduce stress, promote inclusion, and ultimately improve the quality of life while helping those affected to acquire advocacy, coping and care-related skills.

“Leeza’s Place addresses a growing need in Will County for services and programs to help individuals and families deal with memory loss,” says Dr. Richard W. Zalar, Founder of the Gertrude P. Zalar Alzheimer’s Care Foundation. “I am proud that our foundation is partnering with The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation to bring Leeza’s Place to Joliet. At Trude and Leeza’s Place patients and families who might otherwise suffer alone will find support; newly diagnosed individuals can come for information about the latest treatments and family members can receive caregiver training and support.”

All of the programs at Trude and Leeza’s Place are the direct result of listening to and understanding the needs, values, pressures and goals of caregivers and their loved ones. Programs have been designed to provide educational and empowering strategies, and unique tools not currently available elsewhere. Trude and Leeza’s Place will provide programs that offer support on three levels - emotional, educational and social - for caregivers, families and their recently diagnosed loved ones.

The Trude and Leeza’s Place will be located at 113 Republic Avenue in Joliet, Illinois. Trude and Leeza’s Place will be open for media and public tours on Friday, January 7th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Leeza will be speaking at the dedication ceremony, which will take place at 11:00 a.m.

One of the highlights of Trude and Leeza’s Place is the innovative programming available to the Joliet community. Ongoing demonstrations occurring during opening day include a live production called Memory Television, which offers families the opportunity to create their own family video documenting their stories using cherished photos and mementos as a backdrop. Leading the hands-on scrapbooking demonstrations will be national scrapbooking artists Marah Johnson and Jone Hallmark. Marah is an education and creative consultant for Trude and Leeza’s Place corporate sponsor FiberMark. Additional corporate supporters of Trude and Leeza’s Place include CORT Furniture and Xyron.

The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation is the manifestation of Leeza's vision for a better standard of care for patients and caregivers affected by Alzheimer's disease and related memory disorders. The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation, through its signature program Leeza's Place seeks to educate, empower and energize caregivers and the recently diagnosed. Leeza's Place integrates educational approaches, connective social activities, emotional support, and intergenerational programming. The Memory Foundation is dedicated to supporting the day-to-day needs of caregivers and the diagnosed, and is committed to a realistic, coordinated national strategy for finding a cure. The Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3); donations to the Foundation are tax-deductible. For more information about Leeza’s Place, please visit http://www.leezasplace.org or call 1-888-OK-Leeza.

In 1999, Dr. Richard W. Zalar established the Gertrude P. Zalar Alzheimer Care Foundation in memory of his late wife, Trude. Based in Joliet, Illinois, the Foundation was established by Dr. Zalar to honor Trude’s brave fight with Alzheimer’s dementia. The Foundation’s goals are to support scientific, educational and care-based charitable initiatives. It has been approved by the Department of the Treasury as a 501(c) (3) public charity and is exempt under this rating. For information about the Gertrude P. Zalar Alzheimer Care Foundation, you may write to 1081 Chovan Drive, Joliet, Illinois 60435 or you may call 815-744-5586.

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