May Volunteer Spotlight: Marion Kyner

23 May

VolunteerSpotlight - Marion Kyner.png

Snapshot_20180512

Congratulations to our May volunteer of the month Marion Kyner! Marion first connected with our Chapter in 2011, when she filled in for a caregiver support group facilitator. She has continued to serve in that capacity supporting families in Farmville ever since! Marion loves to volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association because she likes to help families navigate the difficulties of an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis.

Marion enjoys connecting families to resources, ensuring they do not feel alone when facing Alzheimer’s or a dementia diagnosis. Volunteering as a facilitator for the past 6 years has led Marion to meet many people through her groups. She has enjoyed being a small part of their lives. She is proud that her caregiver support group meetings have a steady attendance. Marion goes above and beyond to help our Chapter increase awareness about services and programs that we offer in Farmville. She often contacts radio shows and local newspapers in Farmville to spread the word about upcoming programs and support group meetings. She also helped organize a small Chapter-sponsored community forum in Farmville. She found and secured representatives of community resources to join attendees at the forum and helped sign up new volunteers for our Chapter.

Marion’s greatest passion is to educate people, facilities, and caregivers on dementia friendly practices. She is currently a certified dementia practitioner and certified care manager at the Woodland Senior Community in Farmville. As an RN, with a Masters in Psychiatric Nursing, Marion helps counsel families and residents going through challenging times. She has led multiple in-services for staff at the Woodland to make their facility a more dementia-friendly environment. In April, she attended the Dementia Friendly Virginia Conference along with our Chapter’s Family Programs Manager, Tracy Erlandson. She hopes to apply the insights from the conference to help make her community a better place to live for those who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

When Marion is not working or volunteering she enjoys spending time with her husband, Randy, and her two young adult daughters, Anne and Mary. Together, they like to kayak and spend time outdoors. Faith is also a huge part of Marion’s life and she can often be found volunteering at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Farmville.

We are so fortunate to have Marion as a dedicated volunteer with our Chapter! To learn more about how you can volunteer, please visit our website at https://www.alz.org/seva/in_my_community_104988.asp

April Volunteer Spotlight: Pat Lewis

24 Apr

Pat Lewis.png

Congratulations to Pat Lewis, our April Volunteer of the Month! Pat is a fantastic volunteer and has been instrumental in raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Association® through the Williamsburg Walk to End Alzheimer’s® and volunteering as a facilitator for our early-stage support groups.

When Pat moved back to the area from northern California in 2009, she temporarily lived with a friend in the Port Warwick neighborhood in Newport News. Watching purple-clad participants of that year’s Peninsula Walk from her bedroom window was her first brush with the chapter. Pat retired from Anheuser Busch in late 2011 after 21 years with the company working in various positions within the Operations and People Departments.

Pat became a walk participant and volunteer in the fall of 2013 after losing her uncle, who had been a caregiver for her aunt who had Alzheimer’s. Because of her family’s experience and loss, Pat reached out to the Williamsburg office looking for an opportunity to help other families living with Alzheimer’s. She was the sole member of her walk team that year and still remembers the inspiring sense of hope and commitment shared by participants. In addition to beginning her association with the Alzheimer’s Association in 2013, Pat entered the College of William and Mary where she pursued a Masters in Community and Addictions Counseling. While in graduate school, Pat served as a facilitator for the Alzheimer’s Association early stage support group in Williamsburg. It was the privilege of getting to know these courageous men and women living with this disease every day with strength and integrity increased her belief that “the End of Alzheimer’s begins with me” enough to overcome her insecurities about asking others to help and contribute. In 2014 Pat became the logistics chair for the Williamsburg Walk and continued in the role until 2017 when she took the reigns as Volunteer Event Chair. Pat’s leadership led the Williamsburg Walk to one of its most successful years, with over 800 participants raising close to $154,000!

After graduating in May 2015, Pat worked as a mental health and substance abuse counselor at a local community services board. Normally always on the go, you would be hard-pressed to find Pat relaxing. In her spare time, she does love to garden and work outdoors. In her own words, “nothing is more therapeutic than putting your fingers in the dirt”. Pat also enjoys reading and is a big history buff, planning to visit all the James River plantations this year.

We are so fortunate to have Pat as a dedicated volunteer with our Chapter! To learn more about how you can volunteer, please visit our website at https://www.alz.org/seva/in_my_community_104988.asp

March Volunteer Spotlight: Barbara Hendershot

15 Mar

VolunteerSpotlight - Barbara Hendershot.png

14937369_1391615024200530_5320229636267190309_n

Congratulations to Barbara Hendershot, our March Volunteer of the Month! Barbara is a fantastic volunteer and has been instrumental in raising funds for our chapter on the Eastern Shore.

Barbara first connected with our chapter after attending the Eastern Shore Walk to End Alzheimer’s® about 7 years ago with her husband Charles. Her husband had been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Only a year after their first walk, Charles was moved to Heritage Hall Nursing Center to receive full-time care. Barbara visited her husband daily and met Robin Sexaur, an Alzheimer’s Association volunteer, during these visits. The two became friends and Robin convinced Barbara to join our chapter’s Eastern Shore Alzheimer’s Leadership Council. Since then, Barbara has volunteered to help organize her local Walk to End Alzheimer’s. To raise money for the walk, Barbara places over 30 collecting jars all over the Eastern Shore every walk season. She also loves to sell car raffle tickets and hopes that maybe this year she will sell the winning ticket! Barbara enjoys the work associated with the walk as she loves to stay busy and connect with people who have also been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease.

Unfortunately, Charles passed away in 2016, just a few months shy of their 65th wedding anniversary. Barbara and Charles had grown up together in New Jersey. They met in high school and got married when Barbara was only 16 and he 18. They built their home together with the help of family and friends. As a couple, Barbara and Charles did everything together. They even took a trip across the United States and Canada, living out of a motor home for several weeks together. About 20 years ago, they moved from New Jersey to Schooner Bay to better pursue their love of fishing and other activities. While Barbara still misses her husband, she looks back on their life together fondly and enjoys telling stories of their adventures with her children and grandchildren. Barbara loves to travel to visit her family who are now scattered across the country. She especially loves visiting Florida and taking cruises with her family. Barbara loves cruises for relaxing and wearing fun vacation dresses. Her favorite destinations so far include Aruba and St. Thomas.14732386_1391614904200542_8503304491031486330_n

Now Barbara likes to stay busy as an avid volunteer in the Eastern Shore community. In addition to her involvement with our chapter, Barbara also volunteers at Heritage Hall and loves to help residents find whatever they may need when they go on shopping trips together. She also volunteers as an after-school tutor for children in preschool and kindergarten. She loves to help the young students with their homework and entertains them with games.

A profile of Barbara would not be complete without mentioning her special connection to swans. Barbara often wished for swans to come swim in their cove in Schooner Bay. Amazingly, after her son passed away at the young age of 27, two swans landed in their cove and stayed for about two years. This was a special sign to Barbara as her son had given Barbara two lovely glass blown swans as a gift before he had passed. Now she displays a beautiful lighted swan on her front yard at Christmastime for all of her neighbors to enjoy.

We are so fortunate to have Barbara as a dedicated volunteer with our Chapter! To learn more about how you can volunteer, please visit our website at https://www.alz.org/seva/in_my_community_104988.asp

February Volunteer Spotlight: Cathy Ann Nadeau

15 Feb

 

VolunteerSpotlight - Cathy Ann.png

080_0479 MemWalk06.JPG

Photo from the 2005 Walk. Pictured from left to right: Jim White, Joe Flanagan, Cathy’s Mom, Rudy Boesch, Cathy and Lance Nadeau

 

Congratulations to our February Volunteer of the Month, Cathy Ann Nadeau. Cathy first connected to our Chapter after her mother was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s in 2002. Since then she has frequented many of our educational programs and has acted as an avid volunteer for the Chapter.

After her mother was first diagnosed, Cathy wanted to learn as much information as possible so she reached out to the Chapter. She attended many of our educational programs and even our Caregiver Conference held in June. She also checked out many materials from the Chapter Library, wanting to learn as much as she could and looking for strategies. Since then she has helped spread the word about the programs and services we offer. She encourages anyone struggling in the face of a diagnosis to attend Chapter-sponsored support groups and/or educational programs.  She believes that knowing that you are not alone and realizing that there are others going through the same challenges, is the key to surviving as a caregiver.

Cathy found the services so helpful that she wanted to help reach more members of our community. As a result, Cathy began to volunteer with the Chapter. She became the Virginia Beach Walk to End Alzheimer’s® Chair in 2004 and still volunteers to help with Walk to this day. This past year she gathered co-workers to help bundle t-shirts for all six Walks in Southeastern Virginia. In previous years, she and her co-workers assembled Promise Garden Flowers for the Walks.

Cathy and her husband Lance were also avid supporters of the annual Beach Ball thrown by the Parrot Head Club of Tidewater. Although last year was the 20th and final year of the successful event, she and a group of annual attendees, known as the Fun Bunch, decided to continue their Beach Ball tradition. They reserved their suite at the Wyndham Oceanfront Hotel and conducted a mini Beach Ball. It was an evening of decorations, music, games, silent auction, and a check presentation for $684.00. Even friends who were unable to attend called in to bid on prizes that included mystery grab bags filled with treats, koozies, and even vintage Beach Ball wine glasses. This group, including Cathy and her husband, wanted to ensure that the spirit of the Beach Ball was kept alive so that those dealing with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s never feel alone.

When she is not volunteering with the Chapter, Cathy manages the Virginia Beach Office of Jones CPA Group. She has worked in the accounting field for over 33 years and enjoys getting to know her clients, describing many of her long-term clients as family. When she is not working, she enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends. She loves the beach and she and her husband, Lance collect sea glass, which her brother transforms into beautiful crafts and jewelry.  She would often raffle off a piece of beach glass jewelry to fundraise for her Walk team.  

We are so fortunate to have Cathy as a dedicated volunteer with our Chapter! To learn more about how you can volunteer, please visit our website at https://www.alz.org/seva/in_my_community_104988.asp

January Volunteer Spotlight: Denise Butler

16 Jan

VolunteerSpotlight - Denise Butler

Denise Butler

Congratulations to our January Volunteer of the Month Denise Butler! Denise first connected with our chapter four years ago as a volunteer for our Peers and Partners program. She and her husband moved to Williamsburg to help support her father-in-law when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. When Denise’s own mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia, she struggled to find resources for support after the diagnosis. In 2010, she started out as a volunteer at Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health (CEALH). In 2014, she wanted to do more for her community and has volunteered with our chapter ever since.  

While Denise was born in Memphis, her father was in the Navy, and she moved around a lot growing up. She went to college locally at Old Dominion University and then married her husband Michael. As Michael was in the Foreign Service, they lived in places all around the world for over 30 years. These travels took them to places such as Portugal, Bucharest, Buenos Aires, Norway, Spain, El Salvador and Finland.

While her husband was teaching at West Point, Denise achieved her Masters in Counseling. Eventually, her husband left the Foreign Service to help provide support to his father who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The couple moved to Williamsburg where Denise started volunteering at the Riverside Center for Excellence on Aging. She started overseeing the geriatric assessment clinic 5 years ago and continues working there to this day. Denise became a certified counselor and helps facilitate the Riverside FAMILIES program.

Denise started volunteering with the chapter in 2014 as a facilitator of our Peers and Partners early-stage support group. She also plans to facilitate a new support group starting this February for caregivers, family, and friends of persons with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). FTD is so different from other forms of dementia. Caregivers to those who have been diagnosed with FTD go through vastly different scenarios that the caregivers of those diagnosed with vascular dementia. Denise is excited about the opportunity to learn more about the specifics of FTD and help loved ones of those who have been diagnosed with FTD with their specific challenges.

Denise also started a Memory Cafe with the Riverside Center for Excellence on Aging and Lifelong Health in Williamsburg sponsored by the Peninsula Agency on Aging, which is about to start meeting twice a month. Memory Cafes are so important to Denise because they provide a place for socialization for the those diagnosed at any stage of dementia and their care partners. She enjoys being a part of these meetings and it means so much to her how everyone is able to come together for coffee, treats, and meaningful chit-chat.

Denise has found working with those diagnosed in the early stages to be particularly beneficial. She has been affected deeply by the families and her interactions with those who come to her support groups and meetings. It has changed how she interacts with people on a daily basis. She is much more empathetic to everyday challenges. Helping those suffering with dementia is not only a professional passion, but also a very personal passion for Denise. This is her vocation; to work with families and help caregivers with their own wellness.

In her spare time, Denise loves to read and take care of her two dogs, Paco and Heidi. Denise and Michael also travel frequently to visit their two sons, one who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland and the other in Greensboro, North Carolina. Often the family will meet up in Charlottesville to spend time together.

We are so lucky to have Denise as a dedicated volunteer to our chapter! To learn more about how you can volunteer for our Chapter please visit our website at https://www.alz.org/seva/in_my_community_104988.asp

December Volunteer Spotlight: Glenn Jenner

15 Dec

VolunteerSpotlight - gLENN JENNER.png

Gino Karen Glenn

Glen Jenner (far right) presenting Executive Director Gino Colombara and Board President Shannon Kane with last year’s Beach Ball donations!

Congratulations to our December Volunteer of the Month Glenn Jenner! Glenn first connected with our chapter after joining the Parrot Head Club of Tidewater about 15 years ago. While learning more about the club’s activities, he heard about a volunteer opportunity to help run the annual Charity Beach Ball to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association Southeastern Virginia Chapter. The opportunity connected with Glenn as he had seen the effects of Alzheimer’s disease firsthand after losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s and later his father to a related dementia. For the past 13 years, Glenn has volunteered on the Beach Ball committee and helped raise over $600,000 for our chapter since the event’s inception, last year alone brought in close to $76,000. About 6 years ago, Glenn was asked by our executive director Gino Colombara to join our Chapter’s Board of Directors and to this day is still an active member.

Glenn Jenner is originally from Northern Virginia and moved to Virginia Beach in 1982 for school. After graduating in 1986, he started Brothers Printing and has served as the business’s president since then. Brothers initially supplied local customers with vital business forms and office paperwork before adding key promotional items to the mix in 1992. Brothers Printing now serves customers nationwide with a variety of different printing services. Glenn says his favorite part of the job is interacting with his longtime customers, many of whom have stayed with Brothers since the print shop opened! While they usually work on business printing projects, unique requests are made too. For example, one of Glenn’s favorite projects was manufacturing 500 pairs of custom flip flops that left logo impressions in the sand when worn.

john_glenn_joe (2)

Glen Jenner (Center) with other festive Beach Ball attendees.


When Glenn is not working, he likes to spend time with his wife Denyse Jenner and their rescue dog Ginger, who the couple saved from a high kill animal shelter after Denyse saw the dog’s picture on social media. The couple also loves to cook and entertain small groups of friends at their home in Virginia Beach. When they have the time, Glenn and Denyse love to travel. Glenn’s favorite travel spots include Florence, Italy and Cyprus, Greece where he says he had the best food in his life.

Our Chapter is so grateful to Glenn for being part of the legacy that will help us achieve a world without Alzheimer’s! To learn more about how you can volunteer for our Chapter please visit our website at https://www.alz.org/seva/in_my_community_104988.asp

Why I Walk with Mary Lou Jacinto

29 Nov

Carol Jacinto

My mom was first diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia in June 2012. At her last appointment about a month ago her diagnosis changed to stage 6 or moderately severe/mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Watching my mom fade away a little more each day is not only heartbreaking for me, it’s terrifying for her. What I want the most for her is that she enjoys her life and does the things that make her happy. Dancing is one of her favorite things. Her favorite dance the Wobble inspired my team’s name the Wobbling CAROLers. I want to do all I can to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s so that hopefully my own daughters aren’t one day sitting in the doctor’s office hearing the same news about me.

Mary Lou Jacinto
Team Captain of Wobbling CAROLers– Caregiver for her mother Carol
Coastal Virginia Walk