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February Volunteer Spotlight: Cathy Ann Nadeau

15 Feb

 

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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

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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.

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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

November Volunteer Spotlight: Tony Macrini

13 Nov

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Tony Macrini emceeing at the Williamsburg Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Congratulations to our November Volunteer of the Month, Tony Macrini. Tony is a talk show host for the WNIS AM790 Morning Show and a long time friend to the Alzheimer’s Association. Tony, for several years, has volunteered as emcee for our Peninsula and Williamsburg Walks, lending his booming voice to our cause.

Tony Macrini was born in New York City and attended Parochial schools while growing up. Tony, his younger sister, and parents moved to New Jersey in 1961. He attended and graduated from South Brunswick High School where he was active in Theatre Arts, cross-country, Wrestling, and Track. Shortly after graduation, Tony enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was honorably discharged and then went to broadcasting school. Tony has been a broadcaster for 35 years – 33 in Virginia. He lives in Williamsburg and has two sons- his oldest serving in the Navy.

Macrini and his team start their broadcasting day at 6 a.m and deliver programming until 10 a.m., Monday through Friday on WNIS AM790. They’re up before the sun with the focus on local weather, traffic, headlines and the time of the day. His show includes nationally syndicated segments by Mike Evans from Hollywood and Earl Pitts, America’s favorite redneck. Tony’s entertaining and dynamic conversations focus on a variety of topics from politics to practically anything. The show also combines up-to-the-minute FOX news, Wall Street Journal Reports, weather, traffic, sports and interesting guests.

Through his morning show, Tony has provided the chapter with much-needed exposure in our local area. Tony has welcomed many members of our chapter, Alzheimer’s Association staff, volunteers, and local Alzheimer’s disease experts on his show over the years. Thanks to his show, our chapter has been able to educate thousands of local residents about Association services, programs, and fundraising efforts.

Working with the Alzheimer’s Association Southeastern Virginia Chapter, Tony hopes to continue increasing awareness so one day soon we will have our first of many survivors.

To learn more about Tony Macrini’s show or to listen live please click here: http://www.wnis.com/programming/tony_macrini

If you are interested in volunteering with our chapter, you can learn more information on our website at http://www.alz.org/seva/in_my_community_104988.asp

October Volunteer Spotlight: Tim Pandajis

10 Oct

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Congratulations to our October Volunteer of the Month, Tim Pandajis. Tim Pandajis is the Daybreak meteorologist at 13News Now, the ABC affiliate in Norfolk, VA and a friend to the Alzheimer’s Association for many years now. Most recently, Tim was the emcee at the Coastal Virginia Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Tim has a personal connection to Alzheimer’s as so many of our volunteers do; his grandmother, Christine Anastasion suffered from the disease that led to her passing in 2010. He watched as precious memories were stolen from her one by one and her family became strangers. He shared that it wasn’t just his grandmother who suffered, it was the entire family. The feeling of helplessness set in early on as they watched the disease envelop all their lives.

Tim is from Connecticut. He is one of the most passionate meteorologists in the field; you can definitely tell watching him that he loves what he does. He holds the distinguished Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal from the American Meteorological Society and earned his B.S. degree in Meteorology from Western Connecticut State University. Picking up and leaving town after graduation to chase his dream of being a television meteorologist took him to Hagerstown, Maryland where he landed his first position. From there he moved on to Richmond, VA where he met his amazing wife, Martha. They were married in May of 2016 before moving to Chesapeake where they currently live. Martha and her family also share the connection to Alzheimer’s disease; Martha’s grandfather suffered from it when she was a child.

Tim and Martha are huge animal lovers and have 3 dogs, one of which, Bentley the golden retriever, you may have seen joining Tim at the TV station some mornings. Together, Tim and his wife love to volunteer and help in the community they now call home. Working with the Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Virginia, they hope to continue increasing awareness so one day soon we will have our first of many survivors.

Click here to view Tim’s Why I Walk story!

Volunteer Spotlight: Mary Frances

8 Aug

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Mary Frances is a long time volunteer and advocate at the Southeastern Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. She started with the chapter back in 1997, after her mother, Frances Wade Newsome, passed away as a result of Alzheimer’s disease. Before her mother died, Mary Frances had promised her mother she would help other people with dementia. Mary Frances connected with the chapter and started a support group at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Franklin, VA. Mary Frances and The Rev. David Johnson, from Sedley Baptist Church, were trained by Chapter staff to each be a facilitator of a support group, for their area. Together they helped many families and caregivers find the support they needed. In 1998, she was appointed to our chapter’s Board of Directors. Then, in 1999, she became employed as the chapter’s full-time Educational Outreach Coordinator, working out of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church. Sadly, in December of 2000, Mary Frances was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s.  As a result, she had to step down from her full-time position in 2001. The diagnosis further fueled her passion to make a difference as a dedicated volunteer and advocate.  Mary Frances and her supportive husband, Jimmy, secured a building for the chapter in 2005.  She and Jimmy enlisted the help of community volunteers to clean up and rebuild the vacant structure to fit the needs of the Association.  Due to damage from severe flooding, the office was closed in 2010.  

Mary Frances continues to be an extremely committed volunteer. In fact, she and Jimmy have been publicly recognized by the chapter as Outstanding Volunteers. Currently, she co-facilitates a support group in Franklin which meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month, as well as assists with managing support group facilitators in the area. She and Jimmy are still good friends with Executive Director of the SEVA Chapter, Gino Colombara and his wife Grace.

When Mary Frances is not volunteering with the chapter, she and Jimmy also volunteer at the Episcopal Church in Franklin where they assist at the camp grounds over the summer and manage activities at the church. Mary Frances is also a self-proclaimed animal fanatic and cherishes her beloved dog Candy Campbell, a Dachshund-Pug mix.

We are so thankful to have Mary Frances as both a dedicated volunteer and advocate! If you are interested in volunteering with our chapter, you can learn more information on our website at http://www.alz.org/seva/in_my_community_104988.asp

Volunteer Spotlight: Sharon Babbs

11 Jul

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Sharon Babbs
Sharon has been a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association for about 16 years. She lost her mother to Alzheimer’s 15 years ago, so she knows firsthand what it means to be a family caregiver. She knew she wanted to become involved with the Association in some capacity, so 18 years ago Sharon participated in what was then called the Memory Walk. Today, of course, we know it as the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Since that first Walk, Sharon has been a volunteer, helping in any way she can. She has taken on the role of advocate as well as Walk Chair and Logistics Chair for the Coastal Virginia Walk in Virginia Beach. Most recently, Sharon has been serving as that Walk’s Volunteer Coordinator. To quote her, Sharon tells us that “the Chapter office and everyone in it are my second family.”

When she is not in volunteer mode, Sharon is mother to her sons Chad, Brandon and Benjamin. She is wife to her husband Robbie. As if her proverbial plate isn’t already overflowing, Sharon is the gifted resource teacher to 544 students at Luxford Elementary School in Virginia Beach.