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Mar 1, 2008

Nursing Home News -- March 2008


We can hardly believe it has been so long since the first “Bingo-a-thon,” but this big annual celebration for nursing home residents and volunteers is coming up again very soon!  Mark your calendars now—it will be Saturday April 19th.  Since this is the 5th anniversary of this event, we are especially hoping for a lot of participation and enthusiasm!  J  As in past years, this event will entail bingo games from about 2:00-3:30 at several different nursing homes, followed by a volunteer appreciation party from 4-6PM in the lovely courtyard at Barr Systems (where our office is located).


We will be contacting everyone about the event to see if you can join us…or feel free to contact us—and invite a friend!  We need at least 50 volunteers for the event to be a success so we hope everybody will come out.  It will be a great chance to have some fun and brighten the day of nursing home residents all around Gainesville!  Our theme this year will be “Western” so look for cactuses and cowboys at the nursing homes, plus plenty of prizes for the nursing home residents.  At the wrap-up party there will be free food, and all volunteers will receive a brand new 2008 Friends Across the Ages T-shirt for FREE!



As mentioned above, we give out free T-shirts to all volunteers at the Bingo-a-thon.  This year we're looking for help with the design, so we're having a contest!  The winner will have credit for their design somewhere on the t-shirt, and will also receive 4 free passes to the movie theater of their choice!  Here are the specifications:

·        This is not a Bingo-a-thon shirt; this is a more generic shirt for Friends Across the Ages that we can continue to give out to volunteers throughout the year.  In other words, don’t worry about trying to include anything about Bingo or the Bingo-a-thon in your design.

·        The design should include the address of the Friends Across the Ages website on it somewhere (

·        The design should not use more than three colors, but it can use shades of those colors (last year it was various shades of black, blue and green).

·        The design will go on the back on the shirt.  The front of the shirt will just have the Friends Across the Ages logo where the left pocket would be.

·        It might be good (but not absolutely necessary) to include our slogan somewhere: "Bridging Generations With Ageless Friendship".

·        You don’t need to be a professional artist.  All entries will be appreciated!

 All entries must be received no later than Monday, March 10.  The Friends Across the Ages board will decide the winner at their meeting on March 11.  Entries can be e-mailed to, faxed to (352) 381-1117, or mailed to Friends Across the Ages, P.O. Box 14698, Gainesville, FL 32604 -- or you can make arrangements to deliver it in person to Allison or Steve.  If you have any questions, please let us know!  We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.  Also, if you have friends that would be interested in this, feel free to pass this along.  The entries don’t  necessarily have to come from Friends Across the Ages volunteers.  Thanks for your help!


As we mentioned in the February Nursing Home News, volunteer Ruth Hazen has been doing manicures for the residents at University Place almost every Tuesday for the past twenty-five years, but she has finally retired from her weekly visits (she’s only 87, after all!).  We have been looking for someone to carry the torch forward for her, but have not identified anyone as of yet (so we thought we’d run this appeal again).  If you or anyone you know would be interested, please contact us.  Ruth will be happy to show the ropes to a new volunteer.  She always saw it as a special way of helping the residents to still feel beautiful because, after all, they are beautiful!


Monday March 10th and Monday March 17th, 10:30-11:15AM –Percussion Group-- Friends board member Gretchen Grigsby has developed a “Rhythm Circle” program which allows residents to play drums/other rhythm instruments and express themselves musically.  This group has been meeting for six weeks already, but there are two more chances to check it out!  About eight or nine residents will be participating in the program at North Florida Rehab and Specialty Care for the next two Mondays (March 10th and March 17th) at 10:30AM.  If you’d like to participate, feel free to contact us or stop by NFRSC some Monday and be part of the action.  Gretchen welcomes other volunteers but says you will be required to participate!  J  All the drums have already been purchased but you would be welcome to contact us if you have some other percussion instruments you’d like to bring or donate to the group. 

Monday, March 10th, 2:30 – 4PM -- Casino Time! – A monthly event at Parklands Nursing and Rehab.  At 2:30 there will be a bingo game.  Once we are finished with Bingo, we really up the stakes and move on to Blackjack!  The residents will be playing for “Bingo Bucks” and prizes.

Friday, March 14th, 2:30PM – “Reaction Reading” -- Lead by board member Vi Asmuth (also known as M. Violet Asmuth, Ph.D.), this event will be held at Park Meadows.  Residents will be invited to participate in a program that consists of choral reading of poetry.  The group reacts with active participation, knowledge, opinions, feelings, and imagination.  Vi did a study monitoring the results of this small group program in three nursing homes in the Fort Myers/Cape Coral area. One facility liked the program so much that she continued leading groups there for five years.  If you find this concept interesting, you are welcome to come out to participate.  This is a monthly event.  *Please note that this date is one week later than what was posted in last month’s Nursing Home News.*

Tuesday, March 18, 2-3PM – “Nutrition Bingo”—Katie Appold, who is a Friends Across the Ages volunteer and also a nutritionist is planning this special event at University Place in honor of National Nutrition Month.  She will be joined by some fellow nutritionists to help out, but let us know if you’re interested and we’ll see if they can use some additional help. J


Thursday, March 27th, 3-4PM -- Birthday celebration – Help us wish a happy birthday to all residents of Parklands Nursing and Rehab with birthdays in March. Meet us in the dining room where we will have singing and cake. Volunteers are needed to help gather the residents together, serve the cake, sing, clean up, etc.  Do you play an instrument or have some other talent?  We are always looking for new entertainment for the party – let us know!



And don’t forget…


Saturday, April 19th, 2-6PMBINGO-A-THON!!!  See above for more details, and let us know if you’d like to participate!  J 




Remember, be sure to check above to find out the nursing home at which an event will be held.  Directions to all the nursing homes can be found at:

All events are open to everyone (children are welcome at most events, please inquire). If you've never been to a nursing home before, feel free to reply to this email and let the coordinators (Steve and Allison Blay) know what events you'll be attending, so they will be looking for you. You can also call them at 381-1117. 



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