Press Release: RivALZ Unite in the Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease


An age-old rivalry is being put to good use. Team Blonde reigned victorious on the field against Team Brunette at the 12th annual Blondes vs. Brunettes flag football game. The game, present by Michelob Ultra, was held on Saturday, May 7th at Rice Stadium. The event is part of the Alzheimer’s Association RivALZ® league, which raises funds and awareness nationwide.

Lisa Lee and Brooke Sigler, co-chairs of the event, said there are more than 50 different RivALZ games happening all over the country. Raising more than $9 million and bringing thousands of new supporters to the cause.

Many players who come out to participate have been impacted by Alzheimer’s in some way – if it’s not personal, there aren’t many degrees of separation. For Brunettes player Laura Cook, Alzheimer’s disease hits close to home.

“My father passed away last Thanksgiving,” Cook said. “He was diagnosed with Frontotemporal dementia. I joined Blondes vs. Brunettes to lean on others for support and to raise awareness.”

The fundraising goal for this year’s event was $300,000. Participants surpassed that goal raising over $310,000 for Alzheimer’s care, support and research programs.

Paul Tarca, who has coached for the Blondes the past three years, said thanks to events like the RivALZ game, there’s more awareness of Alzheimer’s.

“In college I studied neuroscience and Alzheimer’s was always a main area of focus,” Tarca said. “Learning more about the disease and the impact it has on its victims and their families left me wanting to help.”

In the United States, more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth-leading cause of death and the only disease among the top 10 causes that cannot be cured, prevented or even slowed. In Texas alone, there are 350,000 people living with Alzheimer’s.

“When I moved to Houston and learned about Blondes vs. Brunettes, I saw it as a perfect way to help raise money and awareness for a much needed cure. Together I know we can tackle Alzheimer’s.”

Natalie Pendley, quarterback for the Blondes, said she is proud to be a part of an event that is going head to head with something that impacts so many lives.

“This disease has taken too many people,” Pendley said. “Alzheimer’s is unforgiving in the way that it attacks and leaves people heartbroken and frustrated.”

“Family and friends willing to fight for the ones they love will bring a cure, I know it!”

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Alzheimer’s Association®
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. For more information, visit the Alzheimer’s Association at or call the 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900.

AlzTex Admin

The Alzheimer's Association Houston & Southeast Texas Chapter ( consists of families, caregivers, scientists, health professionals, and concerned citizens who are committed to finding a cure for Alzheimer's Disease and to easing the burden of Alzheimer's Disease and related disorders on patients and their families and loved ones.