Foundation Awards Grant for Dementia Support Groups

November 21, 2019

Foundation Awards Grant for Dementia Support Groups

The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation awarded a $25,000 Coachella Valley Spotlight grant to support people living with dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease, and their caregivers. Christopher McGuire, President of the Berger Foundation, presented an oversized check to Alzheimers Coachella Valley (ACV) in a full room of people participating in the organization’s Club Journey program.

“We are so grateful to the Berger Foundation and News Channel 3 for selecting ACV for this honor. It will directly support local residents diagnosed with cognitive impairment and their caregivers,” said Pat Kaplan, Founding Board Member of ACV.

Kaplan, the late Edie Keller, Dom Calvano, along with a number of community leaders, founded the nonprofit organization in 2017. After personal experiences and then research determined the needs of people affected by various dementia diagnoses in the valley, the group set out to respond with innovative, practical and compassionate programs. ACV runs entirely through the generosity of volunteers with a mission to provide support and services at low or no cost for Coachella Valley residents living with cognitive impairment, their families and care partners.

An estimated 30,000 people in the Coachella Valley are impacted by various forms of dementia, which are progressive brain disorders that slowly destroy memory and thinking skills. There are no cures for Alzheimer’s disease or some other types of dementia, however treatment including social engagement and regular activities are known to support brain function.

“In only two years, Alzheimers Coachella Valley has proven there is a need for services for people living with dementias and their caregivers, and the organization is addressing those needs,” said McGuire.

Funding from the Berger Foundation will support all of ACV’s programming. The organization provides three caregiver support groups in Palm Springs, Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage and also offers Certified Dementia Caregiver Training. Traveling the Journey is the organization’s distinct 8-week education and socialization series for caregivers and their loved ones diagnosed with dementia. Club Journey is a weekly interactive socialization program, which began as an outgrowth of the Traveling the Journey series. Each week, ACV serves about 275 caregivers and those diagnosed with cognitive impairment.

“It’s impressive the impact Alzheimers Coachella Valley is making solely through the time and dedication of volunteers,” said Jerry Upham, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates KESQ News Channel 3 and KPSP CBS Local 2. “This is truly a community-based organization.”

Through the Coachella Valley Spotlight partnership with the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and News Channel 3, Alzheimers Coachella Valley was featured on News Channel 3 programming including “Eye on the Desert” (which airs on CBS Local 2 weeknights at 6:30 p.m.), in public service announcements and on ACV is located at 42-600 Cook St., Palm Desert. To learn more about the organization, call 760-776-3100 or visit