Westminster’s Best in Show Dog Stars in Portrait Exhibit

Best in Show winner joins celebrities in supporting Alzheimer’s care and research.

Did you know that more than 5 million Americans are now living with Alzheimer’s disease? It’s a scary statistic, but what’s even more alarming is that someone new is added to those ranks every 72 seconds.

But the Westminster Kennel Club’s 2007 Best in Show winner — Diamond Jim — has been enlisted to help educate people about the disease.

The Alzheimer’s Association new ad campaign aims to educate people and promote action in the fight against the disease — with the help from a few celebrities, of course.

The campaign challenges Americans to become a champion — one for every person currently living with the disease — to fight against Alzheimer’s. And who defines “champion” more than the reigning Best in Show titleholder? That would be English Springer Spaniel Diamond Jim, who appears in the Alzheimer’s Association portrait collection exhibit unveiled last week at New York’s Top of the Rock observation deck in conjunction with a print ad campaign.

In his portrait, Diamond Jim is seen sporting a purple handkerchief displaying the word “MOVE,” which indicates the action to “move” toward a cure.

Diamond Jim, who also serves as the official therapy dog for the Alzheimer’s Association, is in good company. Joining him in the exhibit are more than 30 celebrities, including: Alzheimer’s Association board member and spokesperson for the ad campaign, David Hyde Pierce of “Frasier;” small- and big-screen legend Dick Van Dyke, “Alias” alum Victor Garber, “Jane Doe” TV series actress Lea Thompson, and “Grey’s Anatomy” star Kate Burton. The portrait collection was photographed by famed fashion and celebrity shutterbug, Robert Trachtenberg.

It’s estimated that by mid-century, without a cure or treatment to delay the onset or progression of the disease, the number of people with Alzheimer’s is expected to rise to as many as 16 million — which is more than the current total population of New York City, LA, Chicago and Houston combined.

To find out more about becoming a champion, visit www.actionalz.org.

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