Alzheimer’s Foundation of America volleyball tournament spikes out Alzheimer’s

Maddie Casady

Iowa State’s chapter of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) On Campus hosted a volleyball tournament to help raise funds for the organization and awareness for Alzheimer’s.

Over 100 student participants and volunteers came out to the event in Beyer Hall’s main gym on Feb. 17, 2018. According to the president of Iowa State’s AFA On Campus, Molly Norman, this event had a better turnout than any of the organization’s members had expected due to this being the first year AFA has hosted a volleyball tournament at Iowa State, well exceeding their goal for the event.

Each officer has their own goals and reasoning for why they are a member of AFA at Iowa State. Norman’s inspiration for joining the organization last spring was her grandmother, who passed away from Alzheimer’s, as well as the time she spent working at a nursing home in the memory care unit. She wants to use her time in the organization to spread awareness to students.

“I think it is really important to have AFA here on campus to bridge that intergenerational gap between us college age students and the older community,” said Norman, who is also interested in neurological research and hopes to work with the older population in the future.

Lauren Geistkemper, AFA’s secretary, joined the club two years ago. Her inspiration was those whom she worked with as a certified nursing assistant in a nursing home. Riley Huhn, treasurer for AFA, was inspired to join last year in honor of his grandmother who passed away from Alzheimer’s.

While many of the participants came to enjoy a night of volleyball with friends, some had personal ties to the cause as well. Kaitlyn Murphy, senior in biology, participated for her great aunt.

“AFA is a great organization that sponsors many people who suffer from a disease that one of my family members suffered, and it’s great to support not only those families but my own family as well,” Murphy said. 

In total, the organization raised $300 for the event to be divided between AFA, which is headquartered in New York, and the start of the club’s fund to host other events in the future.