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Jun 1, 2014

Nursing Home News--June 2014

This is the March 2012 newsletter of Friends Across the Ages nursing home outreach


One of the things about Friends Across the Ages is the way in which our members—both residents and volunteers—become like family to us. So in that spirit, we would like to send congratulations out to a few members of our Friends Across the Ages family:


Erin Hawkins, longtime Friends Across the Ages volunteer at Gainesville Health Care Center, was married yesterday to Thomas Desmarais at St. James Cathedral in Orlando, Florida. Erin volunteered at GHCC for all four of her years as an undergraduate student at the University of Florida. She graduated in 2010, and went on to graduate school in audiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She came back to Gainesville this past year while she was doing an externship to finish her degree. She also came back to volunteering at GHCC, and also served as our volunteer coordinator there for the past year. She graduated this month, and will be moving back to St. Louis with Thomas, since he is just about to graduate from medical school and will be doing his residency in St. Louis.


We are so grateful for all the years of service Erin gave to this organization, and for her friendship—she has indeed become like family to us. (And she really is family to some members of our organization—her sister and brother-in-law Kim and Andrew Mitchell are our coordinators at Signature Health Care, and are also on our board of directors; Andrew is our current board president.) On a personal note, Steve and Allison would like to thank her for being the loving presence she has been in our children’s lives, starting off as a babysitter to our older child when he was just two years old, and becoming a true friend who continued to visit with them on holidays and breaks when she was home from St. Louis. She even included them in her wedding as ring-bearer and flower girl, which meant a lot to them and to us. We will miss her very much, but look forward to her visits back to Gainesville—and we might just have to “meet her in St. Louis” someday. Congratulations, Erin and Thomas (a.k.a. Dr. and Dr. Desmarais)!


Huy Pham and Anna Kim, who both served as Friends Across the Ages volunteers for a number of years, announced their engagement just a few weeks ago! We think this is the first time in the 15+ years of Friends Across the Ages that two of our volunteers have gotten engaged, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to see two such wonderful people plan to share their lives together.


Over the time that Huy volunteered with us, he served at three different nursing homes: Signature Health Care, Parklands, and Gainesville Health Care Center. He took the initiative to restart our group at GHCC when it had faded away for awhile, and served as its volunteer coordinator. He also served for one year as our Administrative Coordinator, a part-time position in which he was the main point person for all of our volunteer groups. Huy earned his B.S. in Microbiology and Cell Science at the University of Florida, and recently graduated from medical school at FSU. Anna also volunteered at Signature and GHCC, and also served as our volunteer coordinator at GHCC for a time. She has just completed her second year of her Doctor of Pharmacy program at UF. We are grateful for their service, and wish them all the best as they plan the next chapter of their lives together.



Summer is a time when many of our college student volunteers are away. But fortunately, it is also a time when some folks who are in town for the summer have a little more time on their hands, and are ready to make the leap into volunteering. If you are not already volunteering, or used to volunteer but have gotten away from it, perhaps summer would be a good time for you to consider making the commitment? Or perhaps you know someone who might be interested? The residents of our area nursing homes are here year round, and are ready for some summer fun! For more information about ways to get involved, contact



The Spring/Summer edition of our semi-annual “snail mail” newsletter, The Bridge was sent out last month. If you missed it, you can find it on our website by clicking here. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please let us know at The Fall/Winter edition will be sent out in December.



Wednesday, June 4th, 10:30 – 11:30 AM – “Storytellers’ Society” at ParklandsThese monthly group gatherings are a wonderful way to share, reminisce, and truly get to know the residents at Parklands Nursing and Rehab.

Wednesday, June 11th, 10:30 – 11:30 AM – Casino Time at Parklands A monthly event at Parklands Nursing and Rehab – Come help deal blackjack and poker for the residents (who play for prizes), or just help cheer them on!


Thursday, June 26th, 2:30-3:30 PM -- Birthday celebration -- Help us wish a happy birthday to all residents of Parklands Nursing and Rehab with birthdays in June. 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!




Please see the above list for locations of the various events.  Directions to all the nursing homes can be found at:

Events are open to everyone (children are welcome at most events, please inquire). Please contact us and let us know if you plan to attend one of these events so that our coordinators can be on the lookout for you. Please call (352) 381-1117 or email


This is the June 2014 newsletter of Friends Across the Ages Nursing Home Volunteer Network.
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Friends Across the Ages is a 501(c)(3) charity. Donations are tax deductible.