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Local car club finds joy in spreading cheer to elders

You should have seen the look on their faces.

Box after box of Christmas cookies were distributed to residents at Bainbridge Health and Rehab and Memorial Manor Tuesday morning. It’s an annual tradition of Memories Car Club, whose mission is to make the community a better place for children and for the elderly.

Members of the club walked down the halls, visiting with residents, shaking their hands and sharing a short conversation, then leaving them with a Merry Christmas and box of holiday sweets.

Some residents were shocked to receive the sugary gift, a reminder that even the smallest gesture can have a profound impact.

“It is very thoughtful of them and we appreciate it very much,” said Geraldine Nesmith, a resident at Memorial Manor, as she nibbled on one of the cookies.

Sitting beside her was Angeline Vulgamore, who was also thankful for the kindness showed to them by Memories Car Club.

“We are very thankful for everyone who helps with it,” said Vulgamore.

Club member Denise Webb had an emotional response to delivering the cookies. She made sure to personally deliver a box to one resident of Memorial Manor in particular. Rethema Howard, a lunch lady who served Webb in elementary school, also saved a chicken leg just for her. Webb was able to pay the kindness forward with a little holiday cheer.

“To see the joy and the look on these resident’s faces,” said Webb. “For us to bring them just a simple box of cookies makes them so happy. We are on our way of getting older. I pray that there are younger people that will take the kindness that we spread to do this.”

Jo Anne Sullivan, another member of Memories Car Club, agreed with Webb that she hopes the next generation takes care of their elders. Even a short visit can make a difference.

“Some of these people don’t have anyone to come see them on a daily basis, and every once in a while we come out here to help a little bit,” said Sullivan. “What we do is very minimal to the people whole work here every day. It’s a small gift. It’s our way of helping, something we can do once a year to look after and help look after them.”

For Memorial Manor Activities Director Brittany McCoy, having visitors deliver holiday cookies doesn’t just make the residents’ day. It makes hers.

“I love to see the expressions on their faces,” said Sullivan. Just to bring them holiday cookies brings more joy to them for Christmas.”

After dropping cookies off at both locations, Memories Car Club took the remainder of their cookie boxes and dropped them off for the students at Jones Wheat Elementary School.

“It is a good feeling that we can do something for others,” said Webb.”