KENNEWICK, Wash- Many people work all year to create an award-winning piece of art for the fair. One group of five women fair won first and second place ribbons under very unique circumstances.
All of them have either Alzheimer's disease or dementia. They live at Quail Hollow Memory Care Community in Richland.
Now, in their 70's, 80's and 90's, they're revealing a new hobby, while slowing the progression of their disease.
"I could see the ribbons from across the room, I was just so excited and proud of them," said Tammy Strickland, the Engagement Coordinator at Quail Hollow.
When she shared the news that they'd all won ribbons in the senior citizen category at the fair for their paintings, they couldn't believe it.
"Well, I was shocked, but I was pleased too," said Sue Griffith.
"I've never won anything in art in my whole life," said Esther Northrup.
It is preserving the quality of life, boasts the nurse at Quail Hollow, Anne Kinne.
"The creativity is a very important thing in keeping the mind active," Kinne said.
She said it required patience. They can only focus for about 30 minutes. Each painting took several weeks to finish, Kinne said.
"It takes a longer time to process normal thought patterns," said Kinne.
With no known cure, keeping the mind active is the best form of delaying the progression, Kinne said.