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Race to End Alzheimer's zooms through Central Coast on nationwide tour

Posted at 12:26 PM, Jun 23, 2020

More than 90 names have made the trek across 13 states in less than a month on a deep purple BMW M4, all in an effort to raise awareness and find a cure for Alzheimer's. It will add another 45 more by the end of the journey.

"We have the names of those who are suffering from or have suffered from Alzheimer's," Philip Frengs said. "So every single name on this car is a story."

Frengs, founder of the Race to End Alzheimer's Foundation, started the effort after his wife Mimi was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's.

Normally, the foundation's name is emblazoned on the race track, competing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Championship Sports Car Series across North America. With COVID-19 canceling events, Frengs and crew decided to take the idea on the road until the season restart in July.

The purple BMW M4 started the journey on June 8 by completing several laps around Daytona International Speedway in Florida. The crew has traveled to the Nantz National Alzheimer's Center out of the Houston Methodist Hospital Center, the UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program, Penske owned BMW dealerships, and visiting those who have submitted names by in the form of a donation to the program.

"Every time a name goes on there, I recognize it is somebody's grandmother, somebody's wife, somebody's uncle, maybe their school teacher, their minister. It's somebody who made a difference in their life, their champion," Frengs said. "So it makes me feel good we're giving that opportunity to those family members to do something about this."

People can submit a name in the form of a donation to the cause, which Frengs then matches each donation. At the end of the year, the funds raised go toward the Nantz National Alzheimer's Center and UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program. Last year, the team raised over $100,000, and hope to exceed that number by the end of 2020. Frengs says 100 percent of the donation goes toward the work being done by the teams at UCLA and Nantz National.

The adventure will end at the famed WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey.

Allan Strattford of Los Osos and Barbara Vadetsky of Santa Barbara are two local names on the vehicle.

If you would like to make a donation, you can learn more at r2endalz.org.