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Purple Cities Day to be held May 11 to raise dementia awareness

April 27, 2016

Public invited to join celebration, learn about dementia-friendly initiatives

The Purple Cities Alliance will hold Purple Cities Day on Wednesday, May 11, on Market Square in downtown Knoxville to raise dementia awareness in the community.

Purple Cities Day is free and open to the public with attendees of all ages invited to wear their best purple outfit. Whitney Kent of WVLT Channel 8 will emcee the event, which officially kicks off with a live performance by the O’Connor Senior Center Band at 3:45 p.m.

Russ Jensen, director of the City of Knoxville’s 3-1-1 call center, will present the Purple Cities Alliance with a proclamation from the city celebrating May 11 as Purple Cities Day. The event will celebrate Knoxville’s first year as a Purple City and include other communities that have joined or pledged to join the initiative, including Oak Ridge, Crossville and Blount County.

The Purple Cities Alliance aims to create safe living environments throughout communities, allowing individuals with dementia to be surrounded by compassionate and understanding neighbors.

“Purple Cities’ goal is to give a lot of people just a little knowledge about dementia and how to help,” said Kathy Broggy, life enrichment director for Courtyards Senior Living and Purple Cities Alliance advisory board member. “The first way community members can help is by joining us on May 11 to learn more about Purple Cities Alliance and how to make Knoxville a safe place to live for people with dementia and their families. We look forward to seeing everyone there!”

Knoxville formed the local Purple Cities Alliance in May 2015, launching a formal effort to make Knoxville one of the first dementia-friendly cities in the United States and serve as a model for other communities across the country to become a “Purple City.” The designation as a “Purple City” means community members and organizations execute specific steps to help people learn about dementia and help those with dementia receive the highest level of care and safety.

To learn more about Purple Cities Alliance, visit

Maria Cornelius