Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Pines' Wit and Wisdom of Aging Luncheon

I have been to the Pines' Wit and Wisdom of Aging luncheon before and it has always been nice, but yesterday's was truly outstanding!  I had a terrific time!  Great timing, great speakers, great donations, great food, and great friends!  (Did I use enough exclamation points to let you know I really liked it?)

Kim Bald and Joan Geyer were the co-chairs and they set the tone in a lovely, professional way and did what dedicated chairs are supposed to do - organize a fabulous event and donate heavily to the cause.  The Geyer-Dickinson family just donated a hair salon to the Pines.  I know that when the time comes, I definitely want to be in a facility where I can get my hair done.  I don't want to depend on my children to do it.  One time I was in the hospital for surgery and they came and tried to fix my hair and it was a disaster!  I think it is better to take that burden off them and leave it to the professionals.  Thanks to Joan Geyer and her family, the residents won't have to put up with the indignity of having their daughters laugh uproariously at their hair styling techniques on their poor mother!

The luncheon started off with a video of what goes on at Pines of Sarasota - a non-profit assisted living facility and so much more, that cares for residents and out patients regardless of their financial ability.  Usually these types of videos are well-done, but a little ho-hum.  This one, I must say, was excellent.  Really a nice mix of residents, family members, and staff. 

Then Pines Foundation President, Estelle Crawford, told about how a donor from the Community Foundation had offered to match donations to the Pines $2 to $1, up to donations of $20,000.  Well, the room went wild!  Gloria Moss jumped up and said she would donate the first $1,000 and was followed by at least 10 other people who said that they too, would donate $1,000, including Tana Sandefur, Mike and Jewel Ash, Joyce Tate, Lee Peterson, Wells Purmort, Buster Longino, Marjorie Broughton, and the list goes on and on.  I thought Estelle would come unglued, she was so excited!  By the end of the event, they had reached their $20,000, so with that and the anonymous donor, they had $60,000!  Yay for Sarasota and its generous spirit! 

A panel of folks who have been touched by dementia/Alzheimer's were the main event of the day, facilitated by the ever graceful, smart, accomplished, and pretty Herald-Tribune Media Group President and Publisher, Diane McFarlin, who mentioned that 75% of Pines residents were on Medicaid, AND separately, that she was grateful for the new hair salon, as her mother resides there and she had seen her under the old hair dryers and this was going to be so much better.

The three panelists, Judge Durand Adams, who was a local Circuit Court Judge before retiring, is now a documentary film maker; Ginny Daly, was president of Daly Direct Marketing for 30 years and was the first woman board chair of the 100,000 member Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.  She is also a clown who visits hospitals and even marches in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade; Scotty Bowman was a National Hockey League coach during five different decades and also the NHL's winningest coach.  Each told their story with much wit, wisdom, and compassion.

All of this and still out the door by 1:15 PM.  Now that's what I say is well done.  PLUS, I didn't even mention the yum, yum, yum dessert - pecan cookie crumbles, topped with chocolate mousse, topped with a toffee sauce.  I ate the whole thing and unapologetically enjoyed every bit of it.

In addition to those in the photos below and mentioned above, seen the crowd of 300+ were John LaCivita, Jane Smiley, Gary Heard, Chuck Sidlow, Karen Grablin, Debbie Vollmer, Kraig Koach, Judge Rochelle Curley, Betty Schoenbaum, Charlie Ann Syprett, Dr. Sarah Pappas, Marjorie Peter, Victoria Leopold, Jon Lee, Mike Pender, Sue Jacobson, Jocelyn Stevens, Tim Dutton, Denise Mei, Mary Ann Robinson, Graci McGillicuddy, Ellen Berman, Scott Anderson, Peter and Marcy Abbott.  Also Pines Foundation staff members who were hovering around making sure everything was perfect included Jane Lautner and Zoltan Karpathy.  Don't you wish you would have been there, too?

Diane McFarlin and Lee Wetherington

Susan Featherman, Peggy Wilhelm, and seated, Velda Turner

Paul Hudson and Alice Rau

Estelle Crawford

The herb centerpiece, which will be planted in the Pines' gardens.

Fran Dietz and Shirley Ritchey

Gloria Moss and Sophia LaRusso

Dee Stottlemyer

Julie and Phil Delaney

Roxie Jerde and Flora Major

Kim Bald and Julie Milton

Tana Sandefur, Jewel Ash, and Audrey Coleman

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