Friends of the Woods, the Auxiliary to Westminster Woods at Huntingdon, met Feb. 7 for the first meeting of 2019. Primary business was approving the group’s activities for the year.

President Darla Homan, who opened the session with prayer and welcoming remarks, conducted the business meeting following lunch, prepared and served by Westminster Woods’ dining services. Members approved five fundraising events, including two new ones, establishment of a new position of auxiliary liaison to interact with the auxiliaries at the two other Presbyterian Senior Living communities in the Presbytery of Huntingdon, and revival of a past service project.

The fundraising projects approved were the three perennial ones: the Yard Sale in September, Jeff’s Jams and Salsas Sale, the Cookie Sale in December and two new ones: a Hat Fashion Show and Jars of Coins. All proceeds from the fundraising events benefit the residents of The Oaks (skilled heath care) and The Homestead (personal care) at Westminster Woods.

Donna Eberle provided more details about the Hat Fashion Show, saying that her committee is working with Kerry Schlecter to present a “Tea and Hats” program at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 18. Featured will be hats of many different varieties — old and new, traditional and unusual, fun and ridiculous — modeled by Friends members, hat donors and friends. There will be descriptions and other details of the hats, along with musical accompaniment. Attendees, limited to 100, will also enjoy tea and light refreshments. More details will be available in the coming weeks.

The other new project, Jars of Coins, is chaired by Sue Dinn. Dinn used old adage “add your two cents’ worth” to encourage Friends to participate in the event. “All of us have loose change lying around or gathered in a container. We are suggesting that you use a pint-size canning jar or a spent Jeff’s Jam and Salsa jar to collect that loose change. When the jar is filled, donate it to us. Bring your jar to a meeting; you don’t even have to count it! We’ll do that for you.” As examples, Dinn showed a jar filled with pennies, which she had counted, that amounted to $5; another jar of mixed coins held more than $35. “This is so easy — and you won’t even miss those coins!”

President Homan announced the establishment of a new position in the Friends’ leadership, that of auxiliary liaison and asked members to consider volunteering. She described the role as “establishing on-going communication” with the auxiliaries to our two sister Presbyterian Senior Living communities in the Presbytery of Huntingdon: Windy Hill Village at Philipsburg and The Village at Hollidaysburg.

In response to several requests from residents of both The Oaks and The Homestead, the auxiliary was asked to revive a project in which Friends make saddlebags for walkers/wheelchairs. Sue McElwee asked for “volunteers who sew” to consider making the saddlebags, which would be distributed to residents in need of the bags so that they can easily transport essential items. Friends’ members had done this project in past years, so McElwee sought to re-establish it. She provided the directions for those who volunteered.

In other business, Chad Evans, Westminster Woods (WW) executive director, began his remarks with a “big thank you for all your support. It means so much to all of us, especially the residents of our health care and personal care centers.” Evans announced that, in the on-going update program, new 32” TV sets along with wall-mount brackets will be installed in The Oaks, replacement of all light bulbs around campus with new LED bulbs and the carpeting project at The Oaks will be finished later this month; ground-breaking for the new solar farm, to be built on a six-acre tract located behind The Oaks, will be held in late July or early August; and two events: the annual Lights of Love on Feb. 17 and a Soup Sale on Feb. 27, by employees from The Oaks and The Homestead to benefit the Employees Giving Fund.

Five new members/visitors were introduced: John Enck, Martha Swigart, Sheila and Dan O’Sullivan and Kyle Cusick, WW’s new Independent Living Services director.

Laura McCardle, chair of the Cookie Sale committee, reported the sale was a “huge success this year” and thanked all the members for their support by baking so many cookies.

The Friends’ Christmas gift blankets were well received by the residents of The Oaks and The Homestead.

Both Homan and Sue McElwee, chair of the Christmas Gifts committee, related some of the many expressions of gratitude by both the residents and their families. Homan declared, “The committee really hit a home run with these blankets!”

Next meeting will be Thursday, April 4. All persons in the area interested in joining the Friends are urged to attend the meeting. Please call 644-2000 to make a reservation.

Members attending the Feb. 7 meeting were: Fran Allison, Pat Bachman, Barbara Blair, Johanne Burdette, Connie Cannon, Sharon Caufield, Diana Chase, Joan Daub, Donna Dean, Betty Dell, Sue Dinn, Ann Dunlavy, Marion Dunlavy, Donna Eberle, Rae Eubank, Chad Evans, Jenn Fisher, Emmy Gooch, Barbara Grove, Helen Hauver, Barbara Herrera, Darla Homan, Terri Krabill, Margo Martin, Laura McCardle, Sue McElwee, Lori Moyer, Millie Rockwell, Donne Rossiter, Alice Sayler, Cynthia Speck, Nancy Taylor, Estelle Yelnosky, Cathy Zumpetta, and first time guests and new members Kyle Cusick, John Enck, Dan & Sheila O’Sullivan and Martha Swigart.

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