Category Archives: News

Toymaker Verne Goering’s gifts have delighted thousands of children

Toymaker Verne Goering

Toymaker Verne Goering

Verne Goering took woodworking classes all through school as a boy. He set the craft aside during most of his working years, but after retirement in 2001 he was back at the workbench.

Since then, Verne estimates he has made more than 5,600 wooden toys, and he’s given most of those away.

“I made toys for my grandsons, and I saw how happy they were and how they played with them,” Verne said. “I thought kids who didn’t have toys of their own would enjoy them too.”

Every year Verne donates loads of handmade toy trucks to Toys for Tots and the Union Rescue Mission in Wichita. His usual output includes little pickups, two-ton trucks, semis, and Grasshopper style pull toy. Read More

The family tree

Millie Bradley's Christmas Tree is decorated with handmade and customized ornaments for her family.

Millie Bradley’s Christmas Tree is decorated with handmade and customized ornaments for her family.

Millie Bradley’s Christmas tree is like a family tree. It’s decorated with handmade and customized ornaments for her children and grandchildren – a tradition started years ago by Millie’s own mother.

Millie said her mother did ceramics, and she first made ornaments by hand for both of Millie’s children. Her son Vernon got a candle; daughter Diane received a sled. Millie and her husband already had their own ornaments – a bell for her and a Santa Claus for him.

When the kids got married, their grandmother made ornaments for each of their spouses, and then for their children. The one-of-a-kind decorations have each person’s name painted on them.

“I’ve got all the original ones for my kids and grandkids,” Millie said. “Now I can pass them down.”

For now the ornaments stay with Millie. When her family visit at the holidays, she said, they love to search for theirs on the tree. She has four grandchildren and nine great-grands. “They’re real proud of them. They come and look every time. Especially the grandkids like to come and see theirs.” Read More

Fall back in love with music!

Music and Memory Program at Sterling Presbyterian Manor.

Music and Memory Program at Sterling Presbyterian Manor.

This fall, we at Sterling Presbyterian Manor have fallen under the musical spell of our all-time favorite tunes! We have diligently worked to expand our Music and Memory program by providing residents with iPod Shuffles filled with songs that promote pleasant memories of their lives. Our goal is to have each resident with their very own iPod and lineup of favorite music.

We currently fall short of enough players and are accepting donations of gently used iPods and speakers, but we will not fall to pieces over minor details. Around here we all still enjoy listening to cassette tapes, compact discs, the live piano playing by our Sterling College Work Study student Angela. We also enjoy musical performances from outside groups, like our most recent appearance by the Wrinkle Box Players, a crowd-pleasing favorite of accordion-playing ladies from Hutchinson. Having multiple avenues of providing music helps us reach the maximum level of residents and helps us all to spend time falling back in love with music.

Volunteering strikes a chord with Rolla teen

Rolla High School graduate Thomas Hardwick plays the guitar to residents at Rolla Presbyterian Manor.

Rolla High School graduate Thomas Hardwick plays the guitar to residents at Rolla Presbyterian Manor.

After Thomas Hardwick graduated from Rolla High School last May, he wasn’t having any luck finding a job just for the summer. So his mother, a hospice chaplain, suggested he look for volunteer opportunities instead.

Thomas’ search led him to Rolla Presbyterian Manor, and he began visiting once a week with his guitar and banjo. He played roots music like bluegrass and folk, first for memory care residents and then in health care, too. He was a little nervous at first, but he hoped he was doing something the residents enjoyed. His confirmation came, he said, “when my name stuck.”

Once the summer was over, Thomas packed up his guitar for the last time. But he decided to take a year off before starting college. Thomas said he was getting bored at home, so he got back in touch with Activity Director Joy Parker. Joy was happy to put Thomas to work again – this time, to help with the Music & Memory program.

Music & Memory provides individual iPods for residents in memory care, pre-loaded with songs that they or their family members have said are favorites. Joy did the work of developing song playlists for the residents. Then she handed the iPods off to Thomas to download the music.

In some cases, the response is dramatic. The documentary “Alive Inside” showed how music could draw out people with dementia who had been non-communicative.

It wasn’t long before Thomas saw the powerful effect of music firsthand. “I had a moment like that. I had played (live) for one woman before, but she was never very responsive. As soon as I started playing the iPod for her, she started singing along,” he said.

Music & Memory has had a profound effect on Thomas, too. It’s the reason he decided to major in music therapy when he goes to Maryville University in St. Louis this fall.

“I always joke that most of my friends are over 80 now. It’s kind of true. It’s nice to connect with new people, and you can learn something from all of them,” said Thomas, whose parents are Lindy and Michael Hardwick. “One of the things I’ve gotten from my peers, as far as age, is that people can be uncomfortable around old people, which is a shame. They have a lot of stories and things to give back.”

Bears to Share

Resident has donated handmade teddy bears to children near and far

Resident Eleanor Ralls makes handmade teddy bears to children near and far.

Resident Eleanor Ralls makes handmade teddy bears to children near and far.

Wichita Presbyterian Manor resident Eleanor Ralls was all set to make quilts for her two small grandsons in Pennsylvania. But then her daughter had a different idea. She asked her mother to make the boys teddy bears.

Eleanor had never consider making stuffed animals, but she agreed. Then she made a few more bears. And a few more.

“It gave me something to do, instead of watching TV all day. When I got a bunch of extras, I gave them to the hospital,” Eleanor said. “I never thought I would make as many as I have.” Read More

Art Partners

Four married couples were among the winners in this year’s Art is Ageless competition at Wichita Presbyterian Manor. We are impressed that art is a shared passion for so many couples! Find out a little more about these talented partners.

Nancy and Henry “Skip” Kreibach

Nancy and Henry “Skip” Kreibach pose with their winning pieces of art.

Nancy has been quilting for at least 30 years and sewing most of her life, but Skip didn’t pick up a paintbrush until 2004, when he took an oil painting class at the college where he taught. Now, their basement is a shared art studio and sewing room. They often consult one another on choices from fabric colors to composition. Read More

Resident’s Daughter Starts Craft Classes

Artist. Chauffeur. Caregiver. Daughter.

Artist. Chauffeur. Caregiver. Daughter.

Dianne Dickerson fulfills a lot of roles around Farmington Presbyterian Manor. Now she’s adding “teacher” to the list.

In May, Dianne taught her first crafting class for residents; the theme was Beach Weaving 101. She likes to rummage through thrift stores for scrap fabric and make art from found items, like driftwood and sea shells. She thought residents might enjoy doing it, too.

In this year’s Art is Ageless competition, Dianne took first place in the fiber arts category with her weaving, “Moon Over the Mississippi.” But she downplays the honor because, she said, there were no other entries in that category. That’s what inspired her to share her skills and offer to others to weave. Activity Director Carol Winch and her staff welcomed the idea.
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Aberdeen Village announces Art is Ageless® 2017 winners

Aberdeen Village recently hosted a reception for the winning artists in the annual Art is Ageless juried competition.

“We are honored to exhibit artwork by seniors,” said Christina Ammann, marketing director. “Art is Ageless is unique in featuring only the works of artists age 65 and older. Our artists prove that art, in any form, is an ageless ambition.”

Winners in the Aberdeen Village Art is Ageless juried competition were: Read More

Salina Presbyterian Manor announces Art is Ageless® winners

Art is AgelessSalina Presbyterian Manor recently hosted a reception for the winning artists in the annual Art is Ageless® juried competition.

“We are honored to exhibit artwork by seniors,” said Jenni Jones, Director of Sales and Marketing. “Art is Ageless is unique in featuring only the works of artists age 65 and older. Our artists prove that art, in any form, is an ageless ambition.”

Winners in the Salina Presbyterian Manor Art is Ageless juried competition were: Read More

Aberdeen Heights announces Art is Ageless® 2017 winners

Aberdeen Heights recently hosted a reception for the winning artists in the annual Art is Ageless juried competition.

Winners were:

Toni McCoy's “Scents in the Snow” took home a tie for second place in the painting category along with Lee Schmeltzle's “POW” (painting of an iris).

Toni McCoy’s “Scents in the Snow” took home a tie for second place in the painting category along with Lee Schmeltzle’s “POW” (painting of an iris).

Painting:

  • 1st Place – Jean von Stamwitz, “Misty Morning”
  • 2nd Place (Tie) – Lee Schmeltzle, “POW”; Toni McCoy, “Scents in the New Snow”

Mixed Media:

  • 1st Place – Ruth Koch, “Looking at Grandma’s Paintings”
  • 2nd Place – Jean Lechner, “Joy” (Painting transferred to blanket)

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