Several area students spent last Friday afternoon at the Lincoln Manor as part of the senior living facility’s fundraiser. Organizers say the event turned out to be a win-win for all involved.
The afternoon consisted of Hub student athletes vacuuming residents’ cars, cleaning the cars’ windows and preparing a meal to serve everyone.
Kerri Villa-Nantz, Assistant Property Manager, Lincoln Manor, has been organizing the annual event as a way to raise funds for the residents’ potluck dinners and parties. Each interested resident could sign up for a car vacuum and window washing or a meal, or both for a nominal fee. The incoming freshmen provide their services as a way to earn silver service hours.
Villa-Nantz said in past years it has involved members of the Rochelle Junior Tackle football team with staff members accompanying the cooking portion. This year she expanded on it and involved both boys and girls, reaching out to several mothers of incoming freshman.
The event has proven to be a good experience for everyone.
“Our residents love it when the kids come in,” Villa-Nantz said. “The intergenerational fun is a wonderful experience for the kids just as much as the seniors. In past years staff here helped the kids cook the meal. This year everything was on them.”
Villa-Nantz decided a breakfast-for-dinner would fit the bill — hence the name, “Brinner.”
By mid-afternoon Friday, some of the students worked outside in the heat, vacuuming and washing car windows while others started preparing the pancakes, scrambled eggs, and sausage to feed the 45 residents who signed up.
Villa-Nantz assigned the students different tasks, such as serving food, waiting tables, delivering the meals, and taking drink orders. After dinner, the students cleared tables, washed dishes and cleaned the dining room.
The event was a big hit for the senior residents.
“I know some of the kids, they’ve been here before,” said David Tippett, Lincoln Manor resident. “I enjoy when they come in. It helps them provide their service to the community. I think we should support them more. I have great nieces and great nephews in the sports programs in the schools here.”
Resident Marge Stouffer touted how pleasant the students were to everyone, offering to get seconds and more.
“They were very pleasant, very upbeat about everything,” Stouffer said. “They can come back anytime and do that again.”
Resident Linda Rick echoed those sentiments, expressing gratitude at some of the students offering to assist with carrying items from her car.
“They cleaned inside my car and the windows, it helped. They were willing to do it all…all very polite and willing to do anything,” Rick said. “It’s fun to see kids work not just for the work but to see them develop. I was a youth counselor at my church.”
Villa-Nantz said the residents have already requested another meal soon, courtesy of the students.
“For me events like this are a double win. I LOVE to see my residents enjoy themselves. Seeing the kids make them smile melts my heart,” Villa-Nantz said. “Experiences like these help them develop life skills they need. We always make it fun yet hold them to expectations of good behavior.”