We have had several very successful events and have several more in the offing. Unfortunately the pandemic has put a temporary stop to this activity but we hope to be active again soon. Here are the events we have had up to this point:
Dave and Lois Walker of Avon Loop in the Village of Bonnybrook received a Certificate of Kindness from AAOK Club member, Bonnie Mulneix, for hosting a driveway concert to benefit the performers of the Johnny Wild Band. Johnny and the girls entertained for over an hour even though rain clouds loomed overhead. Due to the weather, the attendance and monetary donations were not what was expected. Because of this the Walkers matched the donations making this a successful event for the band.
Double kudos to the Walkers for their two Acts of Kindness.
Our first Certificate of Kindness was given Anne Sheehan from Dayton, Ohio. Anne and her husband , Terry, rent in The Villages in March and April, and in 2019 learned about our club. She was very excited about what we do and asked us if she could start a club in her home town of Dayton, Ohio. She has done an amazing job in getting over 40,000 kindness cards out to schools and organizations in the Dayton area and letting everyone know about us through the media.
We honored Laurie and Carl Pearson, The Villages of Tall Trees, for the incredible kindness they have shown in their church’s ‘Helping Hands Program’ and their acts of kindness in neighborhood and beyond.
Laurie and Carl are truly amazing people with a very long list of how they help others. The surprise event was carried out at the New Covenant Methodist Church and over 25 people joined us, many who gave their own testimonials (including the minister). After the event Laurie gave us all a hug and said “this was the best day of my life!”. It doesn’t get much better than that!
The kindness displayed by Vicki and Charlie Yates with their neighbors in The Village of Dunedin is extraordinary. Vicki is involved in scheduling all neighborhood events and goes out her way to helping anyone. She always knows when someone needs help and brings her kindness to them. Charlie is always helping people in the neighborhood. He also keeps track of everyone’s birthdays, and places candles on their lawns to help celebrate.
Our celebration took place at Eden Prairie Golf Club at a luncheon following their play. Our member, LaRae Donnellan, did an amazing job of planning this event! It was a total surprise to them and many of their neighbors showed up to give their personal testimonials. A wonderful event!
Amy heads up a group called “Boomer Loomers“. This group hand makes crafts for an amazing number of charitable organizations. And this is only one of many ways Amy and her husband spread kindness in our community.
One of our club members, Jen Smith, did a tremendous job in arranging the event which was a total surprise to Amy (her husband, Anthony, was in on it). We had a contingent of club members (complete with their Kindness Rocks T-Shirts) enter her room at the Fishhawk Recreation Center to the tune of “Celebration”.
Club President, Lindsay Collier, then presented Amy with a dozen roses and other gifts and explained to those in the room (about 30 Boomer Loomers) what the club is all about. Each of those in the room was given our “Thank You” cards for the part they play in spreading kindness.
Our founder, Joe Santoro, had a few words to say, and then took Amy dancing around the room to the music of “Dancing Queen”. At one point her husband gave Amy a tissue to wipe a tear from her eye. Chardell Kern, one of our members, later told me that sight will be etched into her memory.
Today we formally acknowledged Marie Andersen who is known as the Acquisition and Distribution Diva in The Villages.
She works tirelessly to gather and distribute goods to those in need – a truly remarkable woman and an amazing example of kindness.
We presented her with our “thank you for your kindness card” along with a dozen roses and a gift certificate to help her acquire more goods for those in need.
Our founder, Joe Santoro, actually gave her his Kindness T-Shirt off his back.
This was our first formal acknowledgement. One of our club members invited her to her home for lunch and we pulled off a surprise “Publisher’s Clearing House” type of appearance. It was quite exciting and she was quite taken back.