The Purple Cities Alliance, which works to create happy, safe and compassionate environments for those with dementia, will mark its fourth anniversary at a celebration on Friday, May 11, and wants all Knoxville-area residents to wear purple in a show of support and awareness.

The anniversary event will take place from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Knox County’s New Harvest Park, which is located on New Harvest Lane off Washington Pike. The event is sponsored by Morning Pointe Assisted Living & Memory Care and includes guest speakers, refreshments and food trucks. The O’Connor Center Band will provide music from 11:30 a.m.-noon.

“Knoxville was one of the first cities to be designated a Purple City in recognition of its dementia-friendly initiatives, and we want the community to join us at our anniversary event,” said Kathy Broggy, a Purple Cities Alliance advisory board member. “We also hope that area residents will show their support by wearing purple on May 11 to raise the visibility of Purple Cities Day.”

Kelsey Leyrer, an anchor and multimedia journalist at WVLT-TV, will serve as emcee. The event speakers will be Dr. Roberto Fernandez, medical director of The Pat Summitt Clinic at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, and Dr. Monica Crane, an Alzheimer’s disease expert who opened Genesis Neuroscience Clinic in 2017.

Additionally, the Purple Cities Alliance will present checks to The Pat Summitt Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Tennessee. The donations are from the organization’s Rock Against Dementia fundraiser, which was held in March.

In another show of support, the Henley Bridge will be lit purple by the City of Knoxville on the evening of May 11.

Carolyn Neil, area vice president for operations for LHC Group Home Health and a Purple Cities Alliance advisory board member, is committed to the alliance, which consists of a team of local volunteers, practitioners and community leaders who provide dementia education and training resources to raise awareness about dementia and support individuals facing dementia and their caregivers.

“Even the simple act of wearing purple can signal that we are a caring and committed community,” Neil said. “Organizations like the Purple Cities Alliance make sure that a community knows not only how to help dementia patients, but also how to support their caregivers. Our primary purpose is to provide the best quality of life that we can for people dealing with dementia, and community members are an important part of those efforts.”

For more information about Purple Cities Alliance, visit

# #