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April 24, 2012

Party with a purpose: Mudd sisters continue fundraising tradition by honoring mom’s memory

JEFFERSONVILLE — Debbie Tuggle recalls the pain she felt as her mother’s Alzheimer’s worsened during the last 20 years.

“It’s indescribable,” she said. “She just ceased to be herself,” she said.

Tuggle, 58, said her mother was just a few years older than she is when signs of the disease first started to show.

“At the end of her life, she was basically in a vegetative state,” she said.

She died March 27, which Tuggle describes as being “finally released from her suffering.” And just as she’s dealing with her mother’s passing, her father was recently diagnosed with the disease as well. The circumstance, she said, has heightened she and her sisters’ desire to push even harder to find a cure for the mental illness. The Mudd Sister’s Annual Steamboat Race Benefit, seeks to do just that.

Tuggle and her sisters — Leslie Mudd, Ann Mudd and Janet Sweet — last year raised $21,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter. They’re hoping for similar success at this year’s event, which is scheduled for 5 p.m. May 2 at KingFish Restaurant, 601 W. Riverside Drive in Jeffersonville.

The age 21 and older party goes until about 11 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance; $40 at the door; or groups of five or more can get a discounted ticket at $30. There’s a cash bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served. New this year will be live music by The Louisville Crashers, which Tuggle said has increased interest in the party.

It’s the seventh year for the event, which started out as a party hosted by her sister, Leslie Mudd, before turning into a fundraiser.

“It keeps getting bigger. KingFish has been incredibly accommodating. On a beautiful day, you just can’t beat it,” she said.

Those interested in attending need to make a reservation by emailing devin.roos@alz.org or calling 502-451-4266.

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