BY BOB SWEENEY
Bessie’s Hope is on the move.
Twenty-three years ago, the dream was born of several ladies who wished to enhance the lives of nursing-home elders by providing education, training and relationship-building volunteer programs for youth of all ages.
Sixty percent of nursing-home residents receive no personal visits.
Many of Bessie’s Hope youth volunteers who help change that sad fact come from at-risk programs and residential treatment centers. Through Bessie’s Hope, these youth and elders connect, and both feel needed, valued and respected.
A 92-year-old resident put it this way: “I love it when the kids come and we hug.”
Beverly Black donated a Chanel basket of products.
The Bridge of Love Gala was held at the newly remodeled Marriott DTC to a large ballroom audience. Former Cherry Hills Mayor Doug Tisdale was master of ceremonies and auctioneer extraordinaire, selling exciting auction items that included three exotic safari trips to Africa.
Holloway, one of the Bessie’s Hope founders and executive co-directors, in a dazzling red gown, performed a loving song about her grandmother. Her talented performance was an emotional highlight of the evening.
Testimony was heard from a variety of age groups on the significance of Bessie’s Hope in their lives.
Al and Terri Fisher were the 2017 Angel Award recipients, the highest honor given to Bessie’s Hope volunteers. The local Villager couple lead active lives with Terri operating 5-Star Talent and Entertainment in the Rocky Mountain region, and Al being co-owner and president of Northern Electric, a national company that employs hundreds of electrical technicians and to operate complex system installations.
The event chairperson was local leader Jan Hammond. Her committee chairs included silent-auction chairs Nancy Rawls and Pam Silverberg. Sponsorship chairs were Iva Lou Bailey and Dr. Rick and Robin Fort. Décor chair was Kay Ray. Candy ladies, selling those chocolate bars, were Buddi Boryla, Jan Giese Harley and Marsha Harris-Rothman. The very successful event had 35 volunteers who participated in the annual Bridge of Love gala.
This is how high school leadership class member Dillion McLane describes Bessie’s Hope: “It is important to bring youth and elders together in this way because the elders enjoy reminiscing about their younger years when they see the youth of today.”
The presenting sponsors for the evening event were The Denver Post and Rich and Sue Jones, along with a long list of patron donors, including Susan Kiely’s gift honoring LaFawn Biddle and Arlene Johnson, two great Village philanthropists.
The evening concluded with dancing to the Syndicates band.
Lynn McDonald, Terri Fisher, Kevin McDonald, and Al Fisher. Al and Terri were the 2017 Community Angel Award recipients.
Stephanie Bender, Doug Tisdale, Jan Hammond and Linda Halloway.
Marsha Harris – Rothman volunteer.
Doug Tisdale, Mort Marks and Richard Tashma.
Terry Vitale and Adrianna Fitzgibbons.
2017 All Rights Reserved. Villager Publishing |