'Alzheimer's tree' to be dedicated

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – More public art will be installed in downtown Tupelo this week.
The most recent addition will be a 7-foot-tall welded metal tree covered in dog tags. Tupelo High senior Sadler Sanders made the Alzheimer’s tree as part of her senior project, called “Art for Alzheimer’s.
The tree will be dedicated at 3 p.m. Friday in Fairpark. It will be among the trees between the playground and Main Street. The dedication is open to the public, and people impacted by Alzheimer’s are encouraged to attend.
Sanders said she chose to focus on Alzheimer’s because previous seniors said to do something she was passionate about. She became too familiar with the disease when her grandfather, Dr. Johnny Sanders, was diagnosed with it about four years ago.
“I wanted to do something that someone like my grandmother could see it and remember my grandfather,” Sanders said during her presentation to the Tupelo Redevelopment Agency board, which oversees Fairpark.
She requested space in February for the metal tree in Fairpark.
“It’s a very popular place to go,” she said. “I think the tree would be a great contribution.”
The board unanimously approved her request. The concrete was poured Monday, and the tree will be installed later this week.
Sander said she’s spent the past few months welding the tree with 25 limbs. She’s selling dog tags for $15 at Golden Living Center on 2273 South Eason Boulevard. The money goes to the national Alzheimer’s Association. The tags will be stamped with names and hung from the tree.
“The actual tree is my project,” she said. “The tags are a continuing thing that I hope will grow.”
carlie.kollath@journalinc.com