NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

October 23, 2012

A wonderful cruise provided by Exchange Club

To the editor:

Thirteen is not always a lucky number, but for the participants of Sarah’s Place and Harborside, it definitely is. For the 13th consecutive year, the Greater Newburyport Exchange Club provided participants from Sarah’s Place Adult Day Health and Harborside Adult Day Health a wonderful cruise aboard the Harbor Tour out of Newburyport on Tuesday, Sept. 25.

It was a lovely day along the Merrimack River. The folks at Sarah’s Place and Harborside were able to sail along and take in the beautiful and natural views of Newburyport, Amesbury and Salisbury.

The Greater Newburyport Exchange Club, an all-volunteer national service organization for men and women is dedicated to bettering the community by providing programs with a focus on community service, youth activities and the prevention of child abuse. Again this year, they expanded their focus and spread their wealth of generosity to include our group of elders.

Exchange members Ron LaPierre, Ben Iacono, Kieran Joyce, Stuart Deane and Don McLean represented their club in an outstanding manner. They exhibited the traits of community and service. I would like to commend them all on their help and thank them for taking the time out of their schedules to assist us. They greeted us, they helped us on and off the vans, and they chatted with our folks as if they were old friends.

As a social worker and the director of Sarah’s Place, I can’t fully express what a powerful a gift the Exchange Club provided. Many of our participants have memory deficits and thus have difficulty recalling recent events. But the reality of our brain is that we remember things emotionally, so when we experience a profound emotion, elation, joy, it is imprinted on our memory. One of the best parts of the day is when our folks return to the program. Their experience is so profound they can share their experiences with their peers, staff, their family members and friends. Their excitement and enthusiasm of the day is contagious and it infects everyone they touch with a renewed spirit and energy.

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