By TAYLOR HARTZ
On Sunday, April 3, three-time Grammy Award winner Tom Chapin will perform in Southington to honor 61-year-old Mark Corcoran.
Corcoran, a resident of Southington for nearly 20-years, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s four years ago.
Chapin will perform at the First Congregational Church to honor Corcoran and his family, and to raise funds for the Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
“The Alzheimer’s Association of Connecticut Chapter has been our rock these past few years, and we will be indebted to them forever,” said Esther Corcoran, Mark’s wife, who assumed the roll of primary caregiver for her husband at age 46.
According the association, there are more than 73,000 Connecticut residents with Alzheimer’s disease, and 177,000 caregivers who provide more than 200,000 hours of unpaid care each year. The association is dedicated to providing care, support, and research to benefit those living with Alzheimer’s, and those caring for loved ones with the disease.
The non-profit organization recently relocated their headquarters to Southington, joining the community at 200 Executive Blvd.
After attending the day program at the Alzheimer’s Resource Center (ARC) in Plantsville, Mark recently moved to assisted living at the ARC. After four-years as a full time caretaker while working full time, Esther said it has been a real challenge for her family.
“It’s just heartbreaking every day to see someone struggle more and more with every day tasks,” said Esther. “Most of us as caretakers don’t take care of ourselves.” All proceeds from the concert will go directly to the association, with the intent of offering resources, training, and support for caregivers.
Lynn Grenier, of First Congregational Church, said they developed the idea because of Mark’s involvement with the “Branches” program at the church. “Branches” is a contemporary worship dance program, where Mark started as an early member and remained for 18 years.
When they learned that Mark had previously coordinated performances with Tom Chapin, Esther and Grenier knew another would be the perfect fundraiser.
“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” said Esther. “We’re blessed to have a community that cares.”
In addition to fundraising for the CT Alzheimers’ Association, the Corcoran family and church congregation hope this event will raise awareness about Alzheimer’s, especially early onset of the disease.
“We’re hoping to educate the public,” said Grenier, who helped organize the event for fellow church member Mark, who will be honored at the performance, and seated in the front row to enjoy the show.
“I don’t think there is anything we can do for Mark and his current situation, but I hope we can make things better for future generations,” said Esther, “I hope someday we will have a world without Alzheimer’s.”
The show will begin at 3 p.m., with folk group EVA performing before Tom Chapin takes the stage. The concert will take place in the Meetinghouse at the First Congregational Church, 37 Main St. in Southington.
Advance tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at www.fccsouthington.org or by calling (860) 628-6958. Limited reserve seating is also available for $50 per ticket.