Up North: Twin Ports RivALZ Plays for A Purpose

Updated: August 13, 2019 04:20 PM

With only four training camps and around eight practices leading up to the big game, the ladies involved in Twin Ports RivALZ were making sure their routes were crisp - enough to even impress Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

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"I was actually recruited at a gym by somebody I didn't know at the time," explained Heidi Lusk. They wanted to know if I wanted to be on the team and play, and I love playing sports."

2019 marks Heidi Lusk's fifth year of being a part of the volunteer led RivALZ organization. She was involved in the Twin Cites chapter for three years, before moving to the Twin Ports who enters their second year as a fundraising event for the Alzheimer's Association. However, RivALZ began back in 2005 and has since grown to more than 40 cities.

"RivALZ was started actually several years ago by two women in Washington D.C. They had a personal connection to it and they wanted to bring awareness to the number of women afflicted with Alzheimer's disease and thought flag football would be a good thing," explained RivALZ Committee Chair Brittney Hanson.

These ladies mean business. To reward their fundraising efforts they host a flag football game at the end of August where they'll play Blondes vs. Brunettes.

"We do take it pretty seriously. Game day is a little more intense than anybody actually expected how intense and passionate everyone was about the game," Lusk explained about last year's game.

The friendly but fierce flag football game acts as celebration for their yearly fundraising efforts.

"Last year we raised almost $15,000 towards our goal and this year we have a goal of $25,000," said Hanson.

All proceeds go towards tackling Alzheimer's; the incurable disease that affects many, but provides purpose for these ladies to play.

"My father was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer's a few years ago and he actually passed away in early February of this year," explained Hanson. "We get to have fun and support a good cause while we're at it," she added about the event."

The game is set for Saturday, August 24th at Lincoln Park Middle School. Gates open at 2 P.M., kick-off is set for 3 P.M.

Click here to learn more about RivALZ.

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