Monday, November 11, 2019

Teaching On Alzheimer's

This coming week on Wednesday 9-13-2019, I will be teaching a 2 hour class. The class is actually my last elective for my Masters degree. The course is on Death, Dying and Bereavement. People have asked me "why that class?"  I thought that it might be a good class for me since I have experienced several major losses. The book is great, the content is deep. It is a blended class with undergraduate students and 4 graduate students. As a graduate student we are expected to do more work, so part of our course work for the class is to teach the class. The book on Death, Dying and Bereavements last chapter is on Alzheimer's. I asked if I could teach on this subject matter, if the other three students didn't want the topic, and they were all find with it. I was happy. I was happy because I have done a lot of research, work, volunteering, being an activists, photography, and donation of funds for this topic near and dear to me.  I have put together a long presentation that is diverse with videos, class room activities, story sharing. I am sure it will go great, I am just blessed to get to teach on this topic. Wish me luck! I will post a follow-up.  Here are some tips I listed for students on how they can help if a family member or friend has Alzheimer's. 


vShare Your Story

vAssist a Family or Friend

vSpeak Up or Say Something

vGet Tested

vGo To the Doctor If You Feel You Might Have Alzheimer’s

vHelp Raise Money for Research

vHilarity for Charity 

vThe Alzheimer’s Association or

vAn Organization of Your Choice

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Best Adult County Fair Hosted by Hilarity for Charity

Best Adult County Fair 
Hosted by Hilarity for Charity, 2019
By: Brooke M. Westlake-Kelley

Seth & Lauren Rogen, Brooke Westlake & Aubrey
Hilarity for Charity County Fair 2019
A big “Thank you!” to Lauren & Seth Rogen for hosting this wonderful event through their non-profit, Hilarity for Charity, and for all they do to bring awareness while helping others deal with Alzheimer's. They are truly great people and doing great things for others. It's not every day you meet people who are passionate about this cause who bring awareness with comic relief. My grandma and I always said laughter was truly the best medicine. Feel free to check out Hilarity for Charity's website:

This blog piece includes links to videos I captured of certain events and links to the celebrities who were gracious to come out and help partake in this one of a life time fundraising event. 

Seth & Lauren Rogen conducting and Interview at 
Hilarity for Charity County Fair, 2019
People Magazine featured a great write up about the Hilarity for Charity County Fair. "Seth Rogen and Wife Lauren Host Star-Studded Carnival for Alzheimer's Awareness." Maria Shriver and the Today Show did a wonderful clip that captured the evening.

But what is the experience really like? (AMAZING) What is the energy like? (Intense) What is the party like? (Crazy good) What were the highlights? (Every single part of the event) How did this night differ from any other fundraisers I have attended? (Like no other).....

Aubrey & I at Hilarity for Charity County Fair 2019

Well, for starters, it was a girl’s trip. My baby boy, Adam Hamilton (7 months) stayed home with daddy. For me this meant a night’s rest. Anyone will tell you having a baby is a lot of work. That includes a lot of lack of sleep. This was also my second time away from the baby, while my husband stayed home to man the house and take care of our boys. 

I brought my friend Aubrey. Aubrey whom I met through my Criminal Justice advisor at the University of Nevada Reno. A year ago when I told her that my husband and I support Hilarity for Charity, she was excited to hear about this cause. She was thrilled when I invited her to go with me for the 2019 event! 
Hilarity for Charity Board Photo:
County Fair 2019

Packed VIP at the ROW DTLA for Hilarity for Charity County Fair 2019
We flew out of Reno Saturday morning and arrived at our hotel The Millennium Biltmore, ditched our bags, and arrived at ROW DTLA, which provided a nice outdoor venue for the Hilarity for Charity County Fair. Right away you could see a big Ferris Wheel and the Yoyo Swing. You could smell food and feel excitement as we waited in line to get our VIP tickets.

This particular location in Los Angeles is in an area that is gaining traction thanks to revitalization. The buildings were built between 1917 to 1923.  This current revitalization of an urban district has some perks to it, including shared office spaces, new restaurants shopping and a large enough location to hold a Hilarity for Charity County Fair. To see what new things the ROW DTLA will be doing, you can check them out on the following links: Main website:, Instagram:    
Facebook: It would be fair to say that not only is the Hilarity for Charity County Fair raising funds and awareness about Alzheimer’s, Hilarity for Charity is also providing money that goes back right to their community for areas like the ROW DTLA.
Hilarity for Charity Instagram Picture: Aerial view of the ROW DTLA

After Aubrey and I got our VIP wrist bands and game tickets, we headed inside. I was hoping to see Lauren & Seth Rogen. Aubrey noticed Seth off to our left giving an interview, and then suddenly I realized Lauren was standing next to him, and I didn’t recognize her because her back was to me. She was dressed in a cute blinged out blazer, black top, and red shorts. Aubrey and I waited about 15 minutes while they conducted interviews and did some video reals.

Hilarity for Charity Board and the Clows from the County Fair 2019
(SIDE NOTE) I just want everyone to know, if you have not met Lauren or Seth, that they are two incredible people, easy to talk to and extremely passionate about the fight against Alzheimer’s, as I am. Lauren has a very sweet personality and remembered who I was. I value that she took the time to speak with me and I value that her and Seth took the time to take a photo with Aubrey and I. When I first met Lauren in 2016 she was compassionate and caring. I even got to tell her a little bit about my late Grandma Bev’s story, whom I had cared for. Lauren said to me, “You’re so young!” My response was that I use a lot of wrinkle cream, which I do, but I am blessed to look younger than I am.

Day light view walking into the Hilarity for Charity County Fair 2019

The other thing about Lauren, that makes my heart ache, is her personal story. The reason why she and Seth started Hilarity for Charity is because her mom, Adele was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 55 and has now been suffering with the disease for 13 years. That is 13 years of losing someone you love every day for each year. There is no timeline for Alzheimer’s. There is just the pure and utter deterioration of a person you loved. For Lauren to be brave, to shine in her mom’s honor while helping others can be healing, but it also speaks volumes about who she is as a person.

Now, back to the event at hand. The first ever Hilarity for Charity County Fair featured the following celebrity: Nick Kroll, Ilana Glazer, Adam Devine, Busy Philipps, Jos Gad, Andrew Rannells, Jeff Ross, Ike Barinholtz, Casey Wilson, Danielle Schneider, Jeff Garlin, Ben Feldman, Lauren Ash, Riki Lindhome, Kate Micucci & Regina Hall. The music was by Anderson Paak, and they had Skateboarding by Tony Hawk. The rides included, Loop-o-plane, Ferris Wheel, Bumper Cars, the Whip and Yoyo, adult swings.

Funny selfie as HFC board took photos with clowns.

There were separate booths for dog kissing therapy, interactive gaming VR head set, character drawings, giant cookies and Hilarity for Charity swag.

The Loop-o-plane: This ride I was too afraid to go on. It was two helicopters that swung in the air by one another. I went on one of those as a teenager with my sister, although it was called the Zipper. I screamed the entire time, begged to get off the ride, because I thought I was going to die. Embarrassing as it was, they stopped the ride and let me off. Instead of making a scene that could be on the news with me and the Helicopter, I opted out of this ride.

Jeff Ross hosting Bumper Cars at HFC
Bumper Cars: The line for the bumper cars ended up being to long. I am sure this was because stand-up comedian
Jeff Ross
was doing a great job with live commentary, which brought in more HFC crowd goers.

Glowing Ferris Wheel at HFC County Fair 2019
The Ferris Wheel: Unfortunately we did not get to ride the Ferris Wheel. I was bummed about this. By the time we made it over to this ride, they were on the last ride, because the event was about to end. Maybe next year?

The Yoyo Swings! One of my favorite rides of the night!

We did go on the Yoyo Swings, and The Whip. Aubrey quickly learned that when I am on carnival rides, that I scream like I am being killed. It was shocking and funny all at the time. These are the fun things you learn about your friends when you travel together and go to fundraisers like this.

Selfie on the Yoyo Swings! 

Aubrey having fun on the Yoyo Swing

The GAMES: Ring on a bottle, Rope Ladder, Basketball, water gun game, drag race car game, and skee ball. All the gamers were run by celebrities and this was one of my personal highlights of the evening. Aubrey and I spent more time playing games than anything else.  
A female player pulls herself up on the Rope Ladder Game. Hilarity for Charity County Fair 2019

Selfie with Busy Philipps! Thanks for helping the cause! 
We did the Rope Ladder Game which was run by Busy Philipps
This game is freaking hard! It is an entire body workout, and after eating and drinking, it seems impossible to get to the top. We watched a lady lay on the entire ladder and pull herself to the top. If you don’t make it the ladder swings around and you fall on a matt.

Casey Wilson & Danielle Schneider hosting the Water Gun Game. Hilarity for Charity County Fair 2019

Drag Race Car Game:  Several celebrities hosted and ran this game throughout the night, this included
Nick Kroll
Josh Gad
Ilana Glazer
Ike Barinholtz
Comedian Nick Kroll hosting the Drag Race Game

Aubrey and I played this game more than once during each of the comedians running it. We ended up in one of the main photos of the night for Hilarity for Charity Instagram page. Sadly we never won this game. 
Comedian Josh Gad hosting the Drag Race
Game at Hilarity for Charity County Fair

Comedian Jeff Garlin taking some comedic stabs at
Seth Rogen while hosting Skee Ball.

Skee Ball & Ice Ball Game: Hosted and run by later in the evening and
Jeff Garlin
This game is one of my favorites. Skee-Ball is a popular arcade game. It is played by rolling a ball up an incline. The ball then goes over a hop or hump and jumps into a ball bullseye designated with point. A player gets 9 balls per game. The player with the highest score wins. I won a cute brown teddy bear for baby Adam.

Basketball Game: Hosted and run by
Ben Feldman,
Lauren Ash
Regina Hall
Players got 5 shots for 1 ticket. The goal was to get one in the basket. Aubrey was able to make a couple baskets. I failed at this game. I accidently hit the one of the operators with one of the basketballs. 
Aubrey playing the basketball game hosted by Ben Feldman and Lauren Ash

A photo of Adam Devine giving me the last white snow leopard. 
Photo was found on the Hilarity for Charity's Instagram page. 
Thanks HFC!

Water Gun Game: Hosted and run by
Ilana Glazer
Adam Devine
Casey Wilson
Danielle Schneider, Andrew Rannells
Riki Lindhome
Kate Micucci
I won this specific game two different times. I won giant pink unicorn the first time and then the last white snow leopard from Adam Devine. Adam Devine was very friendly when I won and asked me my name, then he asked me which stuff animal I wanted and I said “Cheetah” and he said “really, really Brooke?” I quickly corrected my answer to “white Snow Leopard”, laughing because I am certain had I not corrected myself, he would have cracked a blonde joke.  Adam Devine will be one of the hosts for the Emmy's on Sunday September 22, 2019.
Comedians Jeff Garlin & Adam Devine plotting before starting the water gun game at 
Hilarity for Charity County Fair 2019

Ring Toss Game: hosted and run by LaCroix staff, They were also one of the event sponsors. Aubrey won this game on her first try, and not only did she win, she got her ring toss right on one of the limited green bottles. She won a cute LaCroix hat. I on the other hand did not win at this game.

Clowning in the VIP
A county fair would not be complete without clowns. Thankfully they hired friend and funny clowns. They were gracious also to let me have some photo opportunities with them in VIP. There was also a scavenger hunt and a raffle.

Anderson Paak performing at Hilarity for Charity County Fair 2019
Later in the evening, the HFC County Fair crowd were wowed by professional skateboarder Tony Hawk. And then entertained by          Anderson Paak. Here is a great clip of Seth and Lauren giving a speech about Hilarity for Charity right before Anderson Paak performed.

Aubrey and I taking funny photos after the Stori Selfie Cam froze on us.
You can watch Tony Hawk skate at the Hilarity for Charity County Fair:              I looked up Tony Hawk on Wikipedia. I have to give this man some serious credit! He is 51 and is still skateboarding like a 15 year old. He joined the cause because his mother has suffered from Alzheimers for over 15 years now. He also has his own skate board company for all you skaters out there.

Toward the end of the evening the HFC County Fair crowd was provided a concert featuring
Anderson Paak.
The crowd was energetic just as Mr. Paak delivered a great performance.
Here is a link to Anderson Paak opening the show:

There was a Stori Selfie Cam staged by itself. This Selfie cam allows users to take photos and boomerang videos. Users could then email the photos to themselves to be shared on social media. This was the first activity Aubrey and I did. The first photo was a little silly, so we took a second one. Unfortunately the Stori Selfie Cam froze! Our faces were stuck on the selfie Cam for thirty minutes or so until we found its operator. It was a good joke to tell people who wanted to use the Selfie Cam that we broke the camera. But also slightly embarrassing because now everyone saw our faces. 

We broke the camera! Everyone is now going to know our faces. 
Check them out! Actually it has a fascinating business model.

Aubrey and I enjoyed strolling in and out of the VIP lounge which featured a bar stocked with anything we wanted. Waiters and waitresses carried in trays of food from the food trucks. The food consisted of pizza, ice cream, quinoa salad, veggie burgers. The food was really good! There were other food items, but I missed out on eating them since we were busy playing games or going on rides. 
Seth Rogen in the dunk tank waiting for County Fair goers to take their shot while raining money for HFC

9 Photo frames of Seth Rogen getting dunked in the dunk tank at Hilairty for Charity County Fair 2019
The last activity of the night was the dunk tank where Seth Rogen himself climbed in! Players could purchase 3 throws for $100. The amounts went up along with the availability to dunk Seth. I decided to take my chances. He commented on how many stuffed animals I had, and said “Luck was on my side.” The first throw was super close! My last two throws were way off and very weak, but it was fun to try. What a good sport Seth is to do that. Lauren was in the crowd with a microphone, encouraging others to dunk Seth.  Here is the link to watch me try my shot at dunking Seth Rogen!

Aubrey & I with our wins for the night!

CONCLUSION:  The night was wonderful. Actually, it was more than what I expected because I have been attending the Hilarity for Charity variety shows since 2014 (minus last year being pregnant). It was definitely not like any other fundraiser I have ever been to before. I had a wonderful time. We made it back to our hotel just in time for me to shower and climb into bed with all the stuffed animals I won. My biggest dilemma was getting my prizes home, safe and sound. They all made it and my boys loved their surprises.

Back at the hotel, laying in bed with all my wins from HCF 2019
Lastly, the biggest reason why I began supporting Hilarity for Charity in 2014 is because they are making a huge effort to educate the younger generations. However the most important thing for me is that the funds being raised go directly back to people who need right now and continued research. The cost of Alzheimer’s is now the most expensive disease in America costing $290,000,000,000 in 2019. This is the biggest healthcare epidemic of our time. Currently 16 million woman are caregivers for a loved one with Alzheimer’s and they receive no compensation. Funds from Hilarity for Charity are utilized in a multitude of ways including, funding for research and providing paid care for families who cannot afford it. Thank you Hilarity for Charity and Lauren & Seth for your continued work and dedication to this cause close to both of you. And thank you for always hosting such wonderful fundraisers. This one truly a one of a kind county fair that did not disappoint. 

If you haven't done so, go visit the Hilarity for Charity website. You can also make a direct donation to them.


Thursday, September 19, 2019

My Hilarity for Charity County Fair Poem 2019

My Hilarity for Charity County Fair Poem
By: Brooke M. Westlake-Kelley

The drinks were flowing while the weed was smoking.
The rides were going while the night was glowing.
The Rogen’s were joking while celebrities were hosting.
Fans were roasting because the commentary was overflowing.
Laughter could be heard near and far, even under a shooting star.
This county fair should be boasting because the fans could be heard quoting
“Alzheimer’s my dear, you should be living in fear, as you are at the end of your career."
A survivor will be found, and you will be smooshed to the ground.
The clowns will help keep you there, because you can’t fuck with Hilarity for Charity, the best county fair in town.

Hanging out with a bunch of clowns in the VIP lounge.  Hilarity for Charity County Fair, 2019.


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Did You Know that September is World Alzheimer's Month?

I recently came across a photo on Instgram from @alzheimerscaregiversupport. The photo which I saved was a lovely purple, and it stated that "September is World Alzheimer's Month". I was unware of this. I knew that June was Alzheimer's and Brain awareness month inspired by the Alzheimer's Association. However I also learned that November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month. This was designated by former President Ronald Reagan in 1983, whom ironically passed away from pneumonia complicated by Alzheimer's disease on June 4, 2004 at the age of 93.

Also the World Alzheimer's Day is September 21, 2019! This year I will get to partake in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's for my local Alzheimer's Association chapter.  The World Alzheimer's Day is also an international campaigned designated to raise awareness while breaking the stigmas that surround Alzheimers and dementia. #ENDALZ #REMEMBERMYPHOTO #GRANDMABEV #ALZHEIMERS #ALZHEIMERSAWARENESS #ALZHEIMERSSUCKS #KICKALZINTHEBALLZ #BEVERLYJEAN #PURPLEDIGNITY #FORMYGRANDMA #SEPTEMBER #SEPTEMBER2019 #WORLDALZHEMERSMONTH #ALZHEIMERSWORLDDAY #ALZHEIMERSBRAINAWARENESS

Friday, August 30, 2019

Preparing for Hilarity for Charity, County Fair, 2019

Lots of wonderful updates! ENJOY! 
Adam Hamilton. Born January 21, 2019
I will be attending my 4th Hilarity for Charity (HFC) annual fundraiser in Los Angeles in 17 days!  I’m pumped up because I was unable to attend last year’s show due to a high-risk pregnancy and not allowed to travel. I’m pleased to announce that I had a very happy and healthy baby boy named Adam Hamilton. He was born January 21, 2019 and weighed 9lbs, 3oz. (Thank god for c-sections)! I am just loving him to pieces. Everyone else in the family is in love with him too. Now on to the good stuff regarding HFC.


HFC’s goal is to raises awareness, inspires change, and accelerates the progress of Alzheimer's care, research, and support. View their website to learn more about the great work they do:
For the first time since becoming a 501c3, HFC released their annual report for 2018 to show donors what funds were raised and how they are being used. Take a peek! It’s filled with lots of goodness. 

In the HFC 2018 annual report readers can find the mission statement. which can be referred to as the C.E.A. Or if you line up the letters in another way, it could be called, A.C.E. This stands for the following:
Care-for families facing this disease
Educate-young people about living a brain healthy life 
Activate- the next generation of Alzheimer's Advocates

The 2018 annual report has strategic highlights such as partnering with Netflix where they showcased their 2018  fundraiser around the world. They hired Bonnie Wattles as the Executive Director. They awarded over 230,000 respite hours, met with members of the U.S. congress, started research studies for brain health and prevention, and launched the #ManyFacesOfAlzheimers. See my story at Ironically, my story was shared 6 days prior to my late Grandma Bev's birthday. She would have turned 90.

My Rivet Revolution Bracelets with a photo of Grandma & I.
Lauren Miller- Rogen began conducting live Facebook chats. They partnered with Humble Bundle and raised $108,000 and then raised another $20,000 on Giving Tuesday. More than 725 Rivet Revolution bracelets were sold, of which 10% of all sales go back to HFC.  

Wearing my Rivet Revolution Bracelets
I have my Rivet Revolution bracelets in white, purple, dark red and a light brown. I love wearing them. Do you have yours? HFC also provided over $500,000 in care grants! (FREAKING awesome!). The report is fantastic and shares many other wonderful accomplishments. Please read it when you get the chance.

Now, let’s talk about this year’s HFC fundraiser. Hilarity for Charity has a theme each year for their annual fundraiser. I have been to prom (2014), James Franco's Bar Mitzvah (2015), and a Halloween costume party (2016). This year's theme is "The County Fair". Watch Seth's promo reel at

I love this theme because during the summers I spent with Grandma Bev in Oregon she and I attended several county fairs. In 1989, she took me to Terrebonne, Oregon's annual "Good Earth Day". In essence it was a local county fair of sorts. It had carnival rides, games, food and competitions. Being that this blog is dedicated to my late Grandma Bev, who passed away from Alzheimer's in 2012, I couldn't help but be reminded of those wonderful times that her and I shared.
Juniper Breeze Newspaper. August 23, 1989
Well, readers, you are in luck! I have a comical Good Earth Day story. The first time I attended the Terrebonne's Good Earth Day, my photo ended up in the local Juniper Breeze newspaper, on August 23, 1989

My photo was printed because I was the only girl able to climb a greased pole and touch the red flag at the top. I won $1 for doing this and was very proud of myself. Looking back now, I can't help but wonder who's idea it was to put a flag on top of a greased pole for children to try their luck at earning a dollar? I will let my readers come up with all the jokes and laughter about this. I have had some great laughs over this childhood event and memory. 
This write up regarding the "slippery pole" is very funny.

I also remember being in line with boys who were being boys. I was the only girl, and I remember them saying to me I wouldn't be able to make it up the pole because I was a girl, and because I was in a dress. I gladly accepted this challenge because I was very athletic. After touching the flag and earning my $1, those same boys were super annoyed while I walked away feeling very proud. More importantly, my grandma cheered me on and congratulated me on my win. 

The next day the local Juniper Breeze newspaper arrived at Grandma's house. She was standing in her driveway, and I heard her say, "Well, would you look at that!" I had no idea why grandma was excited so I rushed over to her. She handed me the newspaper with a big smile on her face.

I had other kid experiences with climbing poles. My favorite was climbing gym poles. Once on top, I would spin in circles, forward and backward. I can't imagine what that would to do my knees today. I also climbed Teether poles and swing poles where I would dangle from the top. Grandma Bev took some great photos of me playing on various poles in the school yard as a child. I am glad to say I found these photos and I hope you enjoy looking at them.
Photo By: Grandma Bev. Young Brooke and friend Desire, playing on gym poles at Long Valley Elementary School. Doyle, California-1989
The following year, Grandma Bev and I went to the Deschutes County Fair in Redmond, Oregon. I do not remember there being any greased poles for me to climb, but I did get to sit on the lap of a clown named "Gordo". Grandma snapped a photo of me and this became Grandma's Christmas card that was sent out to family and friends that year. 
Brooke sitting with "Gordo" the clown. Deschutes County Fair, Oregon-1990

My other funny childhood county fair story was when I won 3rd place lizard racing during Doyle Days, in California. Doyle Days is an annual festival held once a year during the summer. They have dancing at the Buck, a 5K race with a pancake breakfast, a parade, an outhouse race, and a lizard race.

Zombie, our Leopard Gecko Lizard.
To qualify for the lizard race, you had to bring your own lizard. Most people did not own a lizard, but around Doyle there are lots of wild blue belly lizards. As a child, I would catch blue belly lizards all the time, or I would rescue them from my cat, Duffy. Blue belly lizards are friendly and beautiful. To this day, I am still very fond of lizards. We have a pet Leopard Gecko lizard named Zombie. His markings are very striking and he very calm. He does not move very fast and just likes to be held. Plus, I did not have to catch him in the wild. He was purchased from an exotic animal shop that was closing. Zombie has a forever home with a nice tank and lots of crickets to eat. He is fat and happy. 

For the lizard race, we put the lizards in a long box that was divided by small wooden walls. We then used squirt guns to make the lizards run to the other side of the box.  I received a bright white 3rd place ribbon for my Lizard Racing victory but lost it later that day. I cherished that hard earned 3rd place ribbon, and I cried about losing the ribbon for several days. I did a google search to see if Doyle Days still existed. To my surprise it still does. On August 2, of this month, there was an article posted, titled "Doyle Days hosts World Famous Lizard Races this weekend":

Photo By: Grandma Bev. Young Brooke on top of a Teether Pole. Roger Corbette Elementary School. Reno, Nevada-1991
What makes me laugh about these life experiences is that I couldn't make them up even if I wanted to! I am forever grateful for these memories of my county fair experiences with Grandma Bev. I can't wait to see what fun adult memories will be created at HFC County Fair. Maybe a potential Christmas Card for 2019?