On Thursday, July 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at Willow Brook Country Club, the Alzheimer’s Support Auxillary for People (ASAP) will host their 13th annual Mah Jongg for Memory. This event brings more than 450 women in our community together to play Mah Jongg, a game of Chinese origin that requires great cognitive ability and memory. The event also features a luncheon and silent auction.
The Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County is a local, non-profit agency whose programs and services include respite care, support groups, educational classes, and a tracking program for wanderers. All proceeds raised during Mah Jongg for Memory benefit local families served by the Alliance in the Smith County area.
A teacher and avid player of Mah Jongg, Sandra O’Bannon has been a longtime supporter of Mah Jongg for Memory, gathering friends to attend the event and share in her love for the game.
“I enjoy attending this event every year,” Ms. O’Bannon said. “Last year, the event raised over $38,000 for the Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County, and I’m happy to support the event and give to the Alliance to help the people they serve.”
Ms. O’Bannon is a volunteer for Holt House in Tyler, a resource center where members find activities and services that keep them active as they continue to live independently in the community. Her service to Holt House includes teaching women of all ages to play Mah Jongg. In 2012 she was recognized as the Holt House Volunteer of the Year. Ms. O’Bannon also volunteers for Tyler Area Senior Citizens Association.
“I enjoy sharing something I love with others,” Ms. O’Bannon said. “My favorite moment when teaching Mah Jongg is when I see the light come on and my students suddenly get it.”
Born in Dallas, Texas, Ms. O’Bannon has resided in Tyler for 50 years. She is the mother of two adult sons, Richard and Dan, and she is the grandmother of Braeden, 13, and Grace, 10. Ms. O’Bannon is a graduate of John Tyler High School and earned her associate’s degree from Tyler Junior College. She is retired from the Social Security Administration where she was a supervisor for 38 years. Ms. O’Bannon is a member of Marvin United Methodist Church.
“I enjoy the friendliness of the people in our community. Mah Jongg for Memory is a great way to meet more ladies who share the love of Mah Jongg,” Ms. O’Bannon said.
For more information or to register for Mah Jongg for Memory, please call the Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County at 903-509-8323.