Lioness hosting Alzheimer Coffee Break
The Tillsonburg Lioness Club is inviting the community for a cup of coffee on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.
Hosted by Nancy Lester and Indira Reynolds, the Lioness will be hosting their annual Alzheimer Coffee Break to raise funds for the Alzheimer Society of Oxford.
“It’s a Lioness project and we have it at her (Reynolds) place,” said Lester, who can be contacted at email@example.com or 519-8425404 for more information.
“When we started it, we had it at a church,” said Lester. “Then Indira and I decided to host it Indira’s home. We started out baking a lot we had lots of goodies but we found we had so much left over. Over the years, we found just coffee, tea - or maybe a cold drink if it’s like it was last week. And maybe a few goodies. It’s more about the cause, and visiting, than the food.”
“Keep it simple,” nodded Shelley Green, Executive Director of the Alzheimer Society of Oxford (firstname.lastname@example.org).
“that’s what we tell anyone who wants to host a coffee break.”
“you don’t have to bake up a storm,” lester agreed.
“really, coffee break is a social... with a cause,” said green. “it’s an excuse to get together, and coffee break hosts are really giving their guests an opportunity to give. sometimes people may be interested in giving, but if it’s not made convenient they might not think about it. Or sometimes people just need to be reminded of the need - and that’s what coffee break’s all about.”
the lioness typically have about 20-30 guests, and have raised almost $4,000 since 2013, but coffee breaks can vary in size. it’s okay to have a coffee break for just a few friends, said green.
“the lioness have had a very successful fundraiser, financially, but we want people to know - all amounts add up. so even if someone’s having it in their home, and they have just a few friends over, all of that money adds up and it helps to raise awareness. it can be small groups, it can be larger groups - and we’re very thankful for all. and you never know, someone who attends a coffee break might decide to call the alzheimer society.”
“it’s about letting the people you know be aware of it,” said lester, noting she uses social media to help promote the tillsonburg lionesshosted event.
“coffee breaks can happen any time in the fall,” green noted. “Our campaign runs in the fall and we try to wrap it up the end of november. so whenever people can fit this into their lives, it works for us.”
thecoffeebreakfundraiser,which was initiated on a national level more than 20 years ago, raised just over $32,000 in Oxford last year.
“the money stays here,” said green, “and i know people really like to know that. We use it to support the programs and services that we offer here in Oxford county.”
businesses can also support coffee break by supplying decals, which encourage customers to make a $2 donation to the alzheimer society of Oxford.
“Or they can have coffee breaks right in their place of business,” green noted. “so coffee breaks can take place any where, any time that people gather. it’s really simple.
“and if someone is thinking about hosting a coffee break, but they don’t want to do it alone, this is a great opportunity to ask a friend, or a couple of friends. Maybe one friend will host it at their home, another friend does the baking, and another friend helps in a different way. you can do this as a collective effort, which can be a lot of fun.
“people can use their imaginations, they can get really creative,” said green, recalling hosts who have a Halloween theme, “or they can keep it really, really simple. that’s what i like about it, because it opens up an opportunity for everyone to be involved, if they choose to be.”
alzheimer’s has affected both lester and reynolds’ families, said lester, who appreciated the structured assistance from trained family support workers in a support group, and attended an education series three years ago.
“My mother had alzheimers and i believe indira’s did too. it was very helpful.”