KENMORE, N.Y. (WIVB) - A group of girls at Mount St. Mary Academy are running a business, all while getting their studies done. Clarice Scarpace, Amelia Waddell and Amanda Ackley created a cognitive coloring book for those living with Alzheimer's, and it all started in the classroom.
When the three were sophomores, they started the Academy Scholars class, which teaches students everything it takes to create a run a business. In two years, the now seniors brought their 'Forget Me Not' coloring book to life.
Scarpace first came up with the idea. She's wildly artistic, but also has a special connection to the disease. Her two great-grandmothers had Alzheimer's.
"She dressed so sharp, and was such a wonderful lady," she said about the one. "And to think that Alzheimer's away is heartbreaking."
In fact, all three girls have connections to the disease.
"My great-aunt Daisy has the disease, and I visit her often," Ackley said.
Amelia Waddell's grandma also had the disease.
The young women found other cognitive coloring books out there were too confusing for Alzheimer's patients, so to create theirs, they researched extensively what would be best for those specifically with this disease.
"We have pictures of daily activities in here and that makes them feel comfortable, and will bring back some memories of doing that activity."
The book also includes puzzles to stimulate their minds. It's fun for loved ones to do together.
"(To) preserve family relationships and to help these patients feel like they're still wanted and still apart of their family, which is really really really important," Scarpace said.
When the girls finished the book, they brought it to the Alzheimer's Association.
"They had nothing but positive feedback," Ackley said.
Each book costs $8. A small amount is used for production, and $6 goes straight to the Alzheimer's Association.
"They spend hours and hours and hours outside the classroom, making this a perfect product, and we could not be more proud of them," Julie Wojick said, the assistant principal for institutional advancement.
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