Community Caregivers to Omni residents: “We’re wild about you”
The 13th Annual Community Caregivers Italian Night dinner was held on Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Omni Senior Living Community on Carman Road in Guilderland. Community Caregivers sponsored the event in conjunction with members of the Guilderland High School Key Club.
Community Caregivers is a human services not-for-profit based in Guilderland. The organization serves communities in Albany County by matching local volunteers with nearby clients who have non-medical needs, such as transportation to appointments and help with shopping.
The theme of this year’s dinner was “We’re Wild About You,” with each table having a different exotic stuffed animal that was given to a lucky recipient at the end of the evening. The cake was also decorated to reflect the theme.
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, students from Christine Monlea’s art classes at Pine Bush Elementary School made heart-themed decorated placemats for each setting.
The evening began with a welcome message from the executive director of Community Caregivers, Kathy Burbank, who talked about the type of services and programs offered by the organization. More than 50 residents at the Omni were on hand to enjoy the dinner, all of which was donated by several local restaurants.
Fifteen students from the Key Club helped set up, decorate the room, and serve the food. Several other adults from the Omni and the local community were also present to assist with the dinner. The evening festivities concluded with the awarding of a number of drawn prizes, which were also generously donated by local stores that supported the event.
The volunteers who participated this year included Sean, Conor, Suzanne, and Kevin Quinn; Greg and Nellie Goutos; and Joan Doohan.
Key Club students included Liam Kelley, Jake Valensi, Ania Alberski, Andrew Eldeiry, Katie and Angela Yang, and Kevin Reilly. Also, Jess Doubleday, Emily Loparo, Afsha Kasam, Danielle Macken, Zack McNally and Kristine Liotta from Key Club.
And a special thank-you to Omni resident Mary McGann, who acted as the site coordinator this year.
Community Caregivers is grateful to the area restaurants that generously supported the dinner, including The 99 Restaurant, TGI Fridays, the Italian-American Community Center, Panera Bread, Pellegrino Importing, Pizza Hut and Coccadott’s Cake Shop.
Also, thank you to the following local businesses that donated door prizes: Candy Kraft, The Book House, Carman Wine & Liquor, Robinson’s Hardware, Mike’s Diner, Bountiful Bread, The Pottery Place, The Altamont Enterprise, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, and Ryan’s Farmers Market. Also contributing were Walmart, Hannaford, and Price Chopper.
Community Caregivers would like to especially acknowledge the efforts of Sean and Conor Quinn, brothers who attend Guilderland High School and who are also members of Key Club. Over the past several years they have dedicated countless hours serving as the event coordinators, and are credited with soliciting area restaurants for the donated food, as well as the local businesses that provided door prizes.
They also led the efforts in having the Key Club be a part of the event. Together with their parents, Kevin and Suzanne Quinn, they work hard behind the scenes to ensure that this yearly event runs smoothly.
Editor’s note: Greg Goutos is a volunteer with Community Caregivers.