Spreading Landing sunshine for 21 years

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By Rog Patterson

The Marion Landing Sunshine Committee beginnings may go back to prehistoric times – but we do know it was kept alive during 1987 by then-resident Nan Fisher. Nan was aided and abetted by Gerry Lane and Doris Gorsky, who is still among us. These women kept active by sending get well and sympathy cards to Marion Landing neighbors.

Back in those days the Sunshine Committee received some funds from what was called our community Enrichment Fund, from benefit dinners and donations from homeowners. The next step was to become more self-sufficient during 1989 by selling 50/50 tickets at weekly Tuesday coffees and initiating a series of annual fundraising events. Occasional donations from homeowners continued to be received.

In 1990, with Shirley Curtis chairing the Sunshine Committee, memorial luncheons for families of deceased neighbors were started. This opportunity to let family members become aware of the appreciation neighbors felt for their departed loved one has been ongoing since then with available committee members handling all arrangements. About the same time, this group began sending flowers to hospitalized neighbors.

Such activities required increased funding, so an annual luncheon and fashion show was undertaken in the early 1990s, with continued support from Bon Worth. About the same time, the Sunshine Committee began sending flowers to hospitalized neighbors. Faye McGuire continued these activities when taking over the chair from Shirley Curtis.

That program was expanded to include silk floral arrangements being sent to community shut-ins when Rose Peters next chaired our Sunshine Committee. During her tenure the memorial luncheon team concept was further developed with several team captains taking pre-scheduled turns at arrangements, setups and serving during the year.

The practice of delivering two dozen roses to resident couples in honor of their 60th wedding anniversaries was introduced and Rose also encouraged men to join this previously ladies-only team. As I recall, Geoff Barnes was the very first to succumb to her feminine wiles and today we find have about a half -dozen active gentlemen members. And a Marion Landing Cookbook, compiled from resident’s favorite recipes, provide to be another contributor to the Sunshine Committee’s operating funds.

In 2005, the Sunshine Committee acted on George Hugger’s suggestion for a community telephone communication system. A “Telephone Tree” was promoted by the Sunshine Committee proposal to split costs with the Enrichment Fund.

This unique project assures rapid sharing of information about important community subjects and events by automated telephone calls to all 598 resident’s homes within 24-hours or less.

In 2007, when the developer turned ownership of Marion Landing over to the residents, a new era began. The Sunshine Committee was relocated on the organizational chart and now reports to the Social and Recreational Committee.

The Sunshine Committee administration is presently by an advisory board consisting of Mary Callahan, Rachel Glenn, Nancy Rife and Vivian Waite.

Our community has enjoyed the activities and accomplishments of this Sunshine Committee, as well as their wonderful fund-raising events, for more than 21 years. Once again, members of this group have demonstrated how their volunteering makes Marion Landing such a great place for our residents to live.

Volunteer of the Month

This month’s volunteer has been doing just that for her Marion Landing neighbors the past 13 years. As a member of our Patrol and serving the Sunshine Committee wherever needed, Carol Stine has sold 50/50 tickets at weekly socials, helped serve Senior Games and Olympic banquets and Saturday breakfasts.

She has also assisted our Bingo directors for since the late ‘90s. We recognize Carol for helping to make our community a great place to hang our hats.

Crafty Kids’ Quilters

Marion Landing Quilters enjoyed displaying 16 quilts for residents to admire during a recent weekly Tuesday morning coffee. But Fran Abril, Jan Doudna, Mary Jo Eggers, Carol Mock, Eddie Mock, Johnnie Rausnitz, Connie Rowe, Frances Scales, Fran Szutar and Judy White have been making children’s quilts like these as their annual special project for several years.

Sgt. Grady Grimes and Deputy Cynthia Irving collected 16 quilts for Marion County Sheriff’s deputies to carry in patrol cars. Whenever a case of child abuse is encountered, Deputy Irving said the child is given a quilt as a tangible symbol of assurance they are safe and secure.

Did you Know?

Did you know silk worms are not worms; they’re caterpillars? From an egg the size of a pin head, their life span is a mere 47 days. And they couldn’t live that long unless fed plenty of mulberry leaves by humans.

Spinning their final cocoon takes five days before the little rascals are plopped into boiling water so a thread up to 3,000 feet long can be unwound. If allowed to emerge from their cocoons, those silk threads would be destroyed and the moths would be fluttering around five more days.

Rog Patterson is a Marion Landing resident and Friendship Kiwanis member. Contact him with news for the column, he’s in the Landing phone directory.