Local seniors sell themed calendars for Alzheimer’s charity

Juanita Oney plays Marilyn Monroe for the calendar photo shoot. Courtesy of Jennifer Angell

So far, seniors from the Spiritwood at Pine Lake Assisted Living home have raised more than $1,500.

The Spiritwood at Pine Lake Assisted Living home has raised more than $1,500 in their most successful fundraiser yet, with all proceeds going to Alzheimer’s Association.

Jennifer Angell, marketing director at Spiritwood organized a Hollywood-themed calendar inviting local seniors to dress as historic celebrities and characters. Three boxes of calendars sold out within four days and Angell is currently ordering more boxes.

“I thought it would be something that would get [seniors] involved,” Angell said. “My boss said, ‘Jennifer, this is the best project we’ve ever done.’ It’s been really good.”

Angell handles the costuming and photos herself, and has involved numerous resident seniors at Spiritwood.

“When asked by Jennifer to be a part of the calendar, I didn’t want to be bothered,” said Jack Guptil, 83, who was in the “Blues Brothers” photo shoot. “But when I saw how much fun people were having being someone else, I said that’s me. Elwood from the Blues Bros.”

Spiritwood seniors have also posed as Alfred Hitchcock, Clint Eastwood, Marilyn Monroe and re-enacted the chocolate conveyor belt scene from “I love Lucy.”

The calendar project is one of many that Angell has worked on over the past year she’s been at Spiritwood.

“I’m just trying to think out of the box and do different things,” Angell said. “I want to earn as much money as I can for the Alzheimer’s Association… plus it’s fun for the seniors. I don’t want them being bored.”

According to Angell, she gets free reign in organizing fundraising projects and enjoys being able to get creative.

“Being able to do things that normally at a corporate level you’re not able to do… that’s priceless, right?” Angell said. “The number one thing is that all of this is for an amazing cause, and I’m just glad we were able to earn that money for Alzheimer’s Association — that’s the bottom line.”

One of her favorite recent fundraising projects was a dating game night she set up as a fun event for Spiritwood seniors. Several officers and firefighters from Eastside Fire & Rescue, Issaquah police and Seattle Fire Department played eligible bachelors and took turns asking the local seniors, who played bachelorettes, various questions before picking their favorite one to join them at a special dinner table at the living home that night.

Each of Angell’s projects is nonprofit, and the fundraising is the main focus, along with helping local seniors have some fun.

“Next I’m doing a s’mores night,” Angell said with a laugh. “Everyone’s doing table-top s’mores and telling ghost stories… It’s something the families enjoy as well as the residents.”

Angell plans to continue organizing these fun fundraisers for local seniors, and anyone interested in purchasing a calendar can contact her at 425-313-9100 or jennifera@villageconcepts.com.

“The [residents] are absolutely loving it,” Angell said. “We all have a great big hoot out of it… I could give all my time to this place every single day. I just enjoy helping — they’re like my family.”

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