Pajamas for Seniors, a local nonprofit that brings pajamas to low-income area seniors living in nursing homes, hosted their inaugural gala, A Night of Hope, presented by Ardent Healthcare at the Park City Club.
Chaired by Regina Bruce and Dr. Carla Russo, with Jeanne and George Lewis as honorary chairs, the evening began with a silent auction and cocktails during the reception. Jennifer Monroe, Mistress of Ceremonies, welcomed the crowd and introduced Pastor Rickey D. Hill, Chaplain, for the invocation. After the first course Caesar salad was served, keynote speaker Stephen L. Mansfield, Ph.D., FACHE, immediate past president & CEO of Methodist Health System in Dallas, spoke about caring for seniors with compassion, saying that not only does the gift of these pajamas let them know that others are thinking of them, but also helps them psychologically. It makes them happy and feel valued.
As guests enjoyed a delicious main course duet of peppercorn crusted petite beef tenderloin and pan roasted Chilean sea bass with beurre blanc and wilted spinach, a touching and profound video presentation produced by Sarah Strackhouse, CEO, The Strackhouse, touched everyone’s hearts, as they embraced the mission of Pajamas for Seniors.
After a most delightful dessert of lavender creme brulée and deep-dish pecan pie, Carla and Regina thanked everyone for their support of the nonprofit. Regina said, “For many low-income seniors living in nursing homes or assisted living, this time of year can be especially challenging. Dr. Carla Russo and I are deeply grateful for the financial and in-kind support of our wonderful gala sponsors, donors and volunteers who provided precious resources to help bring the gift of a new pair of pajamas to thousands of area seniors. Through their generous support of Pajamas for Seniors, they demonstrated true compassion for seniors, while spreading love and giving dignity to each of them. We hope this beautiful example of kindness and generosity will inspire many others in our community to step up and follow their lead with donations of new pajamas to help make the holiday season brighter for many more sweet seniors.”
The chairs also made a surprise announcement that they had formed a new nonprofit organization, Lone Star Monarchs, and had secured a donation of $50,000+ of pajamas and other clothes from Jill Donovan, founder of Rustic Cuff, which will be given to Pajamas for Seniors to help further its mission.
Jo Alch, R.N. founder and executive director of Pajamas for Seniors, says the organization is raising awareness to the needs of seniors one pajama at a time. “Our senior population is growing and experiencing more loneliness and isolation than ever before. Sixty percent of nursing home residents have no living relatives. They have few if any visitors. As staffing demands increase one-on-one time is difficult. With roughly $2 a day allocated for basic necessities, new pajamas are often a luxury. We have made it our mission to bring this most basic comfort and support to those seniors within our reach.”
Underwriters and supporters joining in the event included Mark Sheets, Ardent Healthcare, Presenting Sponsor; Diamond Sponsor Jeanne and George Lewis; Gold Sponsors Cambridge Caregivers/Manchester Care Homes, Lone Star Monarchs, Cindy Brinker Simmons; Silver Sponsors Senior Living Specialists; Bronze Sponsors CAPTRUST; BDO USA, LLP; Bugle Boy Estate Sales, Jimma Roberts, Sergio & Sheila; also attending the event were Thomas Everett, two-time Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl Champion; John Pickett, Joe Russo, Joe Pacetti, Patricia Deason, Kunthear Mam-Douglas, David Andrews and more. Special thanks also went to Carlo Barone of Greenbar Distillery for creating the PJ-Tini, a signature cocktail for the event.
To find out more about Pajamas for Seniors and how you can become involved, visit the website at www.pajamasforseniors.org
About Lone Star Monarchs:
Mission: To inspire and nurture the human spirit, as together, we build an effective network of individuals and organizations to support a broad spectrum of charitable organizations in Dallas and throughout Texas. Lone Star Monarchs’ (LSM) purpose is exclusively educational and charitable to connect people and enrich lives. Learn more at www.LoneStarMonarchs.org
Facebook @LoneStarMonarchs Instagram @LoneStarMonarchs
About Pajamas for Seniors: PJFS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission: Provide new pairs of pajamas to low-income seniors in area nursing and assisted living homes. www.pajamasforseniors.org and on Facebook.
Photos by Danny Campbell