Teams around the county-and around the country-will come together under the banner of the national Alzheimer's Association on June 21 for The Longest Day.

"Held on the summer solstice, it's a national fundraiser on the longest day of the year," said Event Specialist Sarah Gibson of the local Alzheimer's Association chapter.

Locals are encouraged to register to participate in any activity for 16 hours on Saturday, from sunrise to sunset. From cycling to playing chess, supporters can sign up in shifts to complete a task of their choosing and raise money for their team.

Madison County resident Sarah Murphy will be among those participating in the nation-wide fundraiser. On Saturday, she will suit up alongside thirteen other participants who will run to commemorate the strength, passion and endurance of those who face Alzheimer's.

"There are definitely some others representing Madison County as well as myself," said Murphy.

Though she serves as Program Coordinator for the Mississippi Alzheimer's Association chapter, Murphy's support of the association extends much further than her occupation.

"I'm so passionate about ending this devastating disease," she explained. "I've had that direct care experience, but I've also had a personal experience with it as well."

Two of Murphy's family members once suffered from the illness.

"The Longest Day is awareness about the disease, but also about the association and what we do," Murphy explained.

The Alzheimer's Association was designed 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.

One person from each team is required to participate in the chosen activity from sunrise to sunset.

"I would encourage people to participate in the fundraiser since it's a great way to come together and raise funds for those with Alzheimer's disease," suggested Gibson. "Each person that signs up to be on the team will have their own fundraising page and people will donate to them for their activity. If you know someone doing the event, you can donate directly to their team."

On Saturday, 11 Walgreens around the state will be taking donations for The Longest Day. Meanwhile, Shea's on Lake Harbor on Saturday will donate five percent of their sales to the Alzheimer's Association. Gibson and Murphy encourage residents to wear purple on The Longest Day as a show of support.

For most Madison County residents, these events will last a single day. For families of Alzheimer's victims, however, this one day could change lives.

For more information about Alzheimer disease or the Alzheimer's Association, contact the Alzheimer's Association Mississippi Chapter at (601) 987-0020.

"We're here to help in whatever way we can," said Gibson.