The year is swiftly coming to a close. With just 13 days left, I find myself reflecting on the events of the past year. I had the pleasure of meeting many individuals who had a story to tell, but none touched my heart so completely as the “Over the Hill Gang” at the Lorien Taneytown assisted living facility.
I often think about what I will do when I’m older. I won’t be too old to enjoy life, but my way of life may change should I need assistance. Life doesn’t have to slow down as you age. Just ask any one of the residents at Lorien.
The residents can tell you it doesn’t have to mean you sit around in a wheelchair reading a book or watching TV all day. They serve as a shining example to us “youngins.” For them, life has done anything but slow down. On any given day, you can find the residents enjoying a variety of activities, including movie day, game day, or shopping for supplies as part of their community service project putting together backpacks stuffed with supplies for local school kids in need.
The Over the Hill Gang was formed to help Lorien residents find their place in the community while fighting boredom and isolation that often comes in the senior years. So how did this transformation take place? Enter Paul Garver of the Taneytown Lions Club. During his term as president of Taneytown Lions Club, Garver wanted to get the club more involved in the community.
He approached Verna Toms, assisted living life enrichment coordinator at Lorien Taneytown. Together, they brainstormed ideas that Lorien residents could be involved in. Garver said getting the residents involved in activities and community service projects is important.
“When you have to give up your home and your lifestyle, that’s a big change, and it can be depressing to people. When they’re used to doing things, and now they feel like they are not useful to the community because they [feel they] don’t have a place in the community.”
The partnership between the Over the Hill Gang and the Taneytown Lions Club has been a successful one. Garver indicated several Lions work with the Over the Hill Gang. “At least a dozen Lions participate in the various projects with the Lorien residents,” he said.
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In addition to the community service projects, the residents plan and participate in special projects, including Christmas for the residents and their families, an Easter Egg Hunt for their grandchildren, and Carnival/Fair days.
“It’s a good partnership. I’m hoping it grows,” Garver said. With a hint of a catch in his voice, he added, “I can’t begin to tell you how rewarding it is.”
American Legion auxiliary’s annual Bake Auction
The American Legion Hesson-Snyder Post No. 120 invites the community to come out to their annual bake auction, Saturday, Dec. 21, at the post, at 9 Broad St. in Taneytown from 7 to 11 p.m.
There will be live music after the auction in the lounge.
The auxiliary is also looking for donations of baked items. All baked items should be delivered to the American Legion by 6 p.m. the day of the event. For more information, contact Brenda Stonesifer at 410-259-6861.
I am always looking for West Carroll events. If you have upcoming events you’d like to see written about in my column, send me an email!
Gabrielle Schoeffield covers Taneytown, Union Bridge, New Windsor and surrounding areas. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.