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'Scut Farkus' from 'A Christmas Story' hosts Alzheimer's Association fundraiser with free events in Cleveland and Akron this weekend

Meet Zack Ward at the Christmas Story house on Saturday, and at a special free screening of 'A Christmas Story Christmas' in Akron on Sunday
Credit: Shimizu Photography
Zack Ward, who most people know as neighborhood bully 'Scut Farkus' from 'A Christmas Story' and it's brand new sequel, 'A Christmas Story Christmas,' is in town to host a fundraiser for the Alzheimer's Association, December 17 and 18, 2022.

CLEVELAND — In Northeast Ohio this weekend, a Christmas icon will be honoring his father at a special event meant to bring families together. 

Zack Ward, who most people know as neighborhood bully 'Scut Farkus' from 'A Christmas Story' and it's brand new sequel, 'A Christmas Story Christmas,' is in town to host a fundraiser for the Alzheimer's Association.

"Here’s the thing... people grow up," Zack told 3News, while discussing his character in the Christmas cult classic and its 2022 reprisal. "They change, or do they? You will have to see!" 

It's still a relatively new movie, so you won't find any spoilers here, but what we can tell you is that Scut Farkus grows up to be a dad, and Zack's fundraiser this weekend is in honor of his own father, Todd Ward.

"Two years ago my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and it was terrifying," Zack said. "You don’t know what to do,  and I tweeted about it and the Alzheimer's Association reached out to me and we talked and they gave me a whole bunch of information."

Those resources weren't just for Zack's dad. They had help for his entire family, because as Zack puts it, when a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, "there's a lot of collateral damage."  

Zack also found a lot of support in his lifelong friend, Julius Amourgis, who helped him create something to celebrate his dad, share his story as the real person that he is, and give back to others going through the same thing. 

"Zack was going through all sorts of emotions and all sorts of difficulties so we simply decided to try to do something positive, that's all it was," Julius said, remembering the moment when they came up with the idea to host a meet-and-greet fundraiser for the Alzheimer's Association last year. "Something positive, something in Ohio, something in Cleveland."

With the help of Julius and his law firm, for the second time now, Zack will host a meet-and-greet at the Christmas Story house in Tremont on Saturday, December 17 from 10 am to 4 pm. There, people will be able to meet Zack, take photos, and be part of a raffle drawing to win all kinds of prizes and memorabilia. 

On Sunday, December 18 the fundraiser continues with a screening of 'A Christmas Story Christmas' at the Highland Square Theatre in Akron starting at 11 am.

It's all for free, in hopes that people will make a donation to the Alzheimer's Association.

"If they cant, which I understand because I grew up broke, hopefully they’ll just spread the word so that people who need help with family members and loved ones who have Dementia or Alzheimer's can access the Alzheimer's Association," Zack said.

There are around six million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease today, and countless more impacted by the unthinkable toll it takes on their loved ones, which is something Zack understands all too well.

"With Alzheimer's, theres no 'one plus one equals answer,'" Zack said. ["The Alzheimer's Association]  gives a channel and a direction for people to find support."

Zack could have hosted this event anywhere, but he chose Cleveland because he feels a strong tie to the fans who have made A Christmas Story such a special thing over the years. He hopes to keep this fundraiser going here for a long, no matter who owns the Christmas Story house. 

"You know, the movie’s fantastic but it’s the fanbase and the story that carries on with the familes that watch it that really make it magical, so being part of that is a huge gift for me, so I like to give it back to the fans themselves," he said.

For now, he’s looking forward to sharing a little bit about his dad with fans this weekend, and raising awareness about Alzheimer's disease. 

"I'm excited to see everybody, it’s gonna be great," he said.

For those who can't make it to the events this weekend, if you're moved to donate in support of the Alzheimer's Association, you can do so here.

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