AngelaHuston@zoominternet.net   CRHuston@zoominternet.net

The HANDS Foundation recently introduced a new event, "Warm Wishes," that attracted large numbers of area seniors. The first of two gatherings took place October 26, at Lodi Family Care Center, 301 Mill Street, Lodi, and was repeated October 30, at the Medina Senior Center/OOA, 246 Northland Drive, Medina.

Seniors arriving at each event received a free blanket, enjoyed a warm lunch featuring soup from Bob Evans, and sipped hot chocolate as they listened to the musical talents of entertainers Darren and Kristen Lambert.

Each guest also received a wish card on which they could request specific items to keep them warm this winter, such as coats, hats, gloves, scarves, socks, slippers, robes -- all things to keep them warm.

HANDS Foundation President Chrissy Waller (Admissions Director, Plum Creek Assisted Living), said the Warm Wishes Event was created when the Foundation received a donation of $6,000 from someone who wishes to remain anonymous.

The individual requested the money be used for something that would help keep seniors warm this winter. The concept ties in well with the Foundation's Senior Wishes Program that grants wishes to local seniors.

Waller added The HANDS Foundation wanted to make Warm Wishes more than just handing out the blankets and wish cards. They wanted it to be something special, an outing that included entertainment, socializing, and an opportunity to have lunch with others.

The Lamberts, whose young son Grant enjoyed the occasion (and some audience attention from his playpen), sang a wonderful variety of songs that appealed to this audience, everything from old favorites made popular by Vaughn Monroe and Nat 'King' Cole, to filling audience requests for The Eagles music.

In September and October, The HANDS Foundation hosted a Free Senior Lunch at Contessa's on the Lake. The lunch is being offered again November 26, between 1 and 3 p.m. Seniors will be able to order one meal from the menu, compliments of HANDS, with the support of Plum Creek Assisted Living.

For additional information, please contact Waller at 330-220-4900.