Niagara Gazette

Opinion

November 7, 2013

KEPPELER: A sweet reminder of lives lived

Niagara Gazette — The small news item landed on my desk about this time last year.

A number of local bakeries had agreed to ice some of their pastries purple for a portion or all of November, it said, in honor of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Like the far-more-ubiquitous pink for October, the color was meant to raise awareness of a disease that’s affected countless people, both the patients directly involved and the lives of those who care for them.

The campaign was the inspiration of Nancy Swiston of Tonawanda, whose mother, Grace Swiston, fought the disease for 10 years, a long, tough battle for both of them.

It wasn’t Swiston’s only effort to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s, just the newest ... and, perhaps, the sweetest. She also holds the annual Grace Swiston Memorial Fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association, advocates for caregivers in the region, runs a local support group, takes part in the local Alzheimer’s awareness walk and more.

I talked to Swiston, contacted the bakeries (at the time, the three Budwey’s Supermarkets in North Tonawanda, Kenmore and Newfane and Carriage Trade Pastries on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo) and wrote a story about the campaign last year. And as November 2013 rolled around, I wondered how it was going, and if the purple goodies would make another appearance.

Boy, did they.

“You wouldn’t believe all the bakeries this year,” Swiston said during a phone conversation Wednesday. “There’s a lot of purple out there, a lot of the signs. I’m really excited; it’s just amazing all the stuff we’ve turned purple. It’s great so many places are on board.”

The Budwey’s bakeries and Carriage Trade are participating again, joined by many others. DiCamillo’s bakeries in Niagara Falls, Lewiston and Williamsville are in. So is Sweet Beginnings bakery in the Town of Tonawanda, and Paula’s Donuts in Tonawanda and Clarence. In Medina, Case-Nic Cookies will offer purple treats.

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