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‘GRANDS’ gifts that keep on giving

Winner of elaborate quilt donates it to another fundraiser for SCV Senior Center

Posted: November 15, 2009 10:40 p.m.
Updated: November 16, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Michelle Cornell, left, and Karin Kelly - both Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center supportive services care managers - show off the quilt Kelly won on Oct. 23 in a raffle. The quilt, created for a GRANDS fundraiser to help the volunteer group continue its ongoing Senior Center refurbishments, brought in $700. Kelly decided to donate the quilt to ...


Boomerangs and charitable deeds have much in common. Each gets returned - one way or another. This ricochet effect was recently observed at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center.

Karin Kelly, a registered nurse and supportive services care manager at the center, was the lucky raffle ticket winner of a specially designed quilt on Oct. 23.

The quilt, generously made and donated by Geni Tanner and Anita Byrum, was part of the GRANDS' ongoing fundraising endeavors to raise money for refurbishments their volunteer group has been accomplishing over the past year at the center. "GRANDS" - an acronym for "Giving Respect and Nurturing to Deserving Seniors," is comprised of Gerri McCorkle, Jan Fear, Corinn Miklosovic and a devoted army of fellow volunteers.

Ticket sales for the multi-print pastel cotton coverlet had run from early summer through the last week of October and raised $700 for improvements.

Although delighted with her win, Kelly's comfy quilt ownership was short-lived.

At the suggestion of the center's care manager Michelle Cornell, Kelly chose to donate the quilt back for yet another SCVSC fundraising endeavor.

"I think the quilt is really beautiful but I want it to be auctioned off at our next big fundraiser. The proceeds should go directly to help the supportive services department," Kelly declared. "We have suffered so many cutbacks in recent months, and we desperately need money to assist local seniors through emergencies. This quilt will help us do that."

Cornell lauded Kelly's decision.

"Karin's generosity is what supportive services is all about ... caring, supporting, being there to help people in need. I'm glad she decided to donate the quilt. She's a very giving and kind person," Cornell said.

This year has been the GRANDS' biggest Senior Center effort to date, Fear said.

"We began a project to refurbish the Senior Center in every room and have coordinated efforts with Girl Scouts wanting to achieve their Gold Awards. So far, the girls and GRANDS have refurbished and furnished the atrium, the classroom, the hallways, the entry way, the tours and ravel section, the billiard room and the adult day care room and patio," Fear said.

New indoor and outdoor furniture, paint, murals, wall art, plants and other décor are among the GRANDS' many beautifying efforts.

"Some projects are complete and others have finishing touches to complete," Fear explained. "We have additional Girl Scouts preparing to redo the cafeteria, and we hope to redo the bathrooms, build an outside storage shed, help furnish the new room addition off the dining room when it is complete and hopefully re-carpet the entire facility."

Local businesses that have generously pitched in with the refurbishments include Boston Scientific Corporation, Princess Cruises, Lockheed Credit Union, Summerhill Villa Senior Living and Sunrise Senior Living.

In addition to the GRANDS endeavors at the center, volunteers have also been instrumental in delivering nearly 2,000 "shoeboxes of blessings" to seniors throughout the Santa Clarita Valley during the holidays. Many of the elder recipients live alone on fixed incomes and suffer with health problems.

The thoughtful gift packages are decorated by local youths (including Girl Scouts) and contain items such as handmade crafts, cookies, puzzles, pens, movie tickets and restaurant coupons.

This year, the GRANDS will send a shoebox to each recipient of the center's home-delivered meals program, as well as to many of the individual assisted living homes in this community (there are more than 60).

Because of the intensity of the GRANDS' work at the center, the shoebox delivery will only be for Thanksgiving this year, Fear said, adding that community help with the project would be greatly appreciated.

Assistance needed ranges from donations to transportation.

"We would be happy to include lap style blankets, socks, slippers, stuffed animals, gift cards, gloves, rolls of quarters for doing laundry and other items with the deliveries. If people in the Santa Clarita Valley would like to help, that would be wonderful," she said.

Following the quilt raffle, McCorkle, a sergeant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, walked through the center and observed the many aesthetic and comfort-enhancing improvements that the GRANDS have completed.

Smiling, McCorkle acknowledged the boomerang effect in place there: "To see these changes and know that together we have brightened a senior's day means everything to us ... and there's still more ahead we plan to do."

For more information on GRANDS, contact Jan Fear at (661) 299-1551.


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