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University of Iowa News Release

 

April 23, 2009

Students plan scavenger hunt to raise money for Alzheimer's Association

A University of Iowa public relations class is planning a competition akin to "The Amazing Race" reality show to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association.

QUASH -- which stands for the Quest to Unravel Alzheimer's Scavenger Hunt -- begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 2, at College Green Park, 600 E. College St., Iowa City. Check-in is at 9 a.m.; lunch and awards are at 1 p.m.

Clues direct QUASH teams of two to four people to specific locations. They must walk or take public transportation to get around. Along the way, teams rack up points by discovering the answer to a campus trivia question or completing physical or mental challenges. Throughout the competition, contestants must keep an eye on the clock, their opponents and their sense of direction.

QUASH participants are asked to raise $200 to benefit the support, care and research efforts of the Alzheimer's Association.

Sixteen students in a public relations workshop offered through the School of Journalism and Mass Communication are partnering with the East Central Iowa Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association to organize the event.

The partnership is ideal because the students experience service learning, and the Alzheimer's Association is able to involve young adults in its mission to find a cure for the disease, said Ann Haugland, Murray Lecturer in the journalism school and instructor of the course.

According to 2009 figures from the Alzheimer's Association, as many as 5.3 million people in the United States are living with the disease. The direct and indirect costs of Alzheimer's and other dementias to Medicare, Medicaid and businesses amount to more than $148 billion each year.

"Many in the class, myself included, have a direct connection to the disease. We have relatives who suffer from Alzheimer's, and we see the implications firsthand," said UI junior Elizabeth Timmins. "We see QUASH as a valuable opportunity to raise awareness and work toward a cure. I've learned a lot about Alzheimer's disease through this project and also gained valuable public relations and event-planning experience."

Working closely with the national and regional association staff, the students are responsible for all aspects of the event on campus, including marketing, team recruitment, sponsorships and logistical arrangements. They are writing the clues and will deliver a wrap-up report to the Alzheimer's Association about what went well and what could be tweaked for future QUASHes on other campuses.

To register a QUASH team or to contribute to the cause visit http://www.alz.org/quashnow.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Schlehuber, associate director of public relations and events for the East Central Iowa Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association at 319-294-9699 or elizabeth.schlehuber@alz.org. Students involved with organizing the event are available at elizabeth-timmins@uiowa.edu or kathleen-c-murphy@uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Ann Haugland, UI School of Journalism and Mass Communication, 319-335-3458, ann-haugland@uiowa.edu; Nicole Riehl, University News Services, 319-384-0070, nicole-riehl@uiowa.edu