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Fun-loving seniors pose as Hollywood stars to raise thousands for Alzheimer’s research

Fun-loving seniors pose as Hollywood stars to raise thousands for Alzheimer’s research
Source: Spiritwood at Pine Lake

Residents of the Spiritwood at Pine Lake Assisted Living home have been raising money for charity since 2019 by recreating iconic movie posters for a calendar they sell to friends, relatives and online.

Seniors Recreate Iconic Movie Posters to Raise Thousands For Alzheimer’s

Residents of Spiritwood At Pine Lake, Issaquah, Washington, dressed Hollywood-style and modeled for  calendars to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association. Stars include Marlon Brando "The Godfather", elves from "Elf", Princess Leia from Star Wars, the Star Trek crew, and even Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World! Price is $35.00 plus $6.00 shipping and handling. All proceeds benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. 

“When I saw how much fun people were having being someone else, I said that’s me. Elwood from the Blues Bros.” said Jack, 83.
JANUARY: Kip Steele and his best friend Jack Guptil posed together as the Blues Brothers. “When I saw how much fun people were having being someone else, I said that’s me. Elwood from the Blues Bros.” said Jack, 83. Source: Facebook/Spiritwood at Pine Lake

Seniors sell Hollywood-themed calendars for Alzheimer’s charity

The Spiritwood at Pine Lake Assisted Living home, Issaquah, Washington, has raised thousands of dollars and put the “fun” in fundraising with a simple yet genius idea: a calendar!

Jennifer Angell, Marketing and Community Relations Director at Spiritwood organised the Hollywood-themed calendar inviting local seniors to dress as historic celebrities and characters. All proceeds go to Alzheimer’s Association.

“I thought it would be something that would get [seniors] involved,” Angell told the Issaquah Reporter in 2018. “My boss said, ‘Jennifer, this is the best project we’ve ever done.’ It’s been really good.”

Angell handles the costuming and photos herself, and has involved numerous resident seniors at Spiritwood.

“When asked by Jennifer to be a part of the calendar, I didn’t want to be bothered,” said Jack Guptil, 83, who was in the “Blues Brothers” photo shoot. “But when I saw how much fun people were having being someone else, I said that’s me. Elwood from the Blues Bros.”

Spiritwood seniors have also posed as Alfred Hitchcock, Clint Eastwood, Marilyn Monroe and re-enacted the chocolate conveyor belt scene from “I love Lucy.”

The calendar project is one of many that Angell has worked on over the times she’s been at Spiritwood.

“I’m just trying to think out of the box and do different things,” Angell said. “I want to earn as much money as I can for the Alzheimer’s Association… plus it’s fun for the seniors. I don’t want them being bored.”

According to Angell, she gets free reign in organising fundraising projects and enjoys being able to get creative.

“Being able to do things that normally at a corporate level you’re not able to do… that’s priceless, right?” Angell said. “The number one thing is that all of this is for an amazing cause, and I’m just glad we were able to earn that money for Alzheimer’s Association — that’s the bottom line.”

We think it’s a fabulously fun idea. Scroll down and see how many iconic movies you recognise.

Source: IsssaquahReporter All Images: Spiritwood Assisted Living

FEBRUARY: Elf Source: Facebook/Spiritwood at Pine Lake

The calendar project raised 1000’s for Alzheimer’s but it’s value for the residents is immeasurable

The photo project is open to all members of the Spiritwood Assisted Living community including those in memory care. Members living with Alzheimer’s or dementia get special time and care to take on their role. On average, Angell told CNN, each photo requires a minimum of two hours.

“They may not remember your name, but if you interact with them enough and show constant friendship, they trust you and a huge bond is created.”

Angell said each senior gets involved in the creative process to the best of their ability. Production planning usually begins with Angell dropping by one of the seniors’ social hubs — the dining room. There, Angell and her supervisor can use their creative eyes to scout fresh faces for new roles.

“We actually kind of have a roundtable and talk about what we’re going to do. They (the residents) have a big voice in everything too.”

After the photo shoots, the seniors parade through the dining room in full costume to celebrate their role in the calendar. “They feel like they’re special,” said Angell.

While the community’s calendar project and other fundraisers yielded $14,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association, the project’s full value for the residents is immeasurable.

“As seniors, they lose their feeling of importance sometimes,” said Angell. “They’re so willing to help me and they’re so excited about being in the spotlight.”

To date, more than 40 residents have posed for photos with 300 calendars sold. The oldest participant is a thriving 102-year-old model returning for her second feature this year.

Angell and her supervisor are planning their next photo campaign which will be released in October.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Angell is planning fewer “group shots” and more individual portraits to follow social-distancing guidelines. She hopes the calendar will include classic recreations of Willie Nelson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sonny and Cher and Winston Churchill.

Although photography in a pandemic poses unique challenges for her mature models, Angell and team are determined to do whatever it takes to make sure her seniors shine — and do so safely.

“I feel like they’re my family. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them.”

Source: CNN

MARCH: Wayne’s World Source: Facebook/Spiritwood at Pine Lake
APRIL: Star Trek Source: Facebook/Spiritwood at Pine Lake
MAY: The Queen Source: Facebook/Spiritwood at Pine Lake
JUNE: Top Gun Source: Facebook/Spiritwood at Pine Lake
JULY: Marilyn Monroe Source: Facebook/Spiritwood at Pine Lake
AUGUST: Star Wars Source: Facebook/Spiritwood at Pine Lake
SEPTEMBER: I Love Lucy Source: Facebook/Spiritwood at Pine Lake
OCTOBER: John Huston Source: Facebook/Spiritwood at Pine Lake
NOVEMBER: Alfred Hitchcock Source: Facebook/Spiritwood at Pine Lake
DECEMBER: Marlon Brando Source: Facebook/Spiritwood at Pine Lake
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