Louise Atchison 2018 volunter service award
by Susan Smith, Executive Director, Kemptville & District Home Support
“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” ~ Confucius
It was a wonderful sunny summery day at the get-together for KDHSI’s ‘Singing Seniors’. John Baldwin, one of the singers, decided that a ‘garden party’ would be a wonderful way to mark the beginning of the summer break. John and his wife, Joelle, were gracious hosts opening up their home, and their pool!
When I arrived, there was such a festive and relaxed atmosphere. All of our volunteers are such an enthusiastic group of people, and this group certainly reinforced it for me. I heard several bits of songs to reinforce a comment, and a fun rendition of ‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini’, while everyone was relaxing around the pool.
All of these amazing people not only show up to the weekly ‘practices’, they also travel around the area on a regular basis to Nursing Homes, providing an opportunity for people to hear familiar songs, and some new ones as well. Those that are often very stoic can be seen tapping a toe or singing along. There is also a social time of visiting with everyone as well. Smiles and memories abound.
All of this takes great leadership, which Louise Atchison definitely has. When I first met Louise, five years ago, I was impressed by her energy, openness and ideas. The Singers at that time were practicing in the dining room, as KDHSI hadn’t built the Activity Room.
When I asked Louise if there was anything that the group needed, she quickly responded that the door opening into the Dining Room should be moved to the other wall, opening into the main area. And, the LHIN approved the proposal!
Louise also stretches the group by bringing in new arrangements of familiar songs, and new music as well. She has also spearheaded several musical performances to raise needed funds for KDHSI. As I am writing this, I am wondering if the Singers have time to rest!
During the ‘garden party’, it was my absolute pleasure to present to Louise Atchison the Ontario Volunteer Service Award for 10 years with Kemptville & District Home Support. Louise received a certificate from the Premier of Ontario, from MPP Steve Clark, and a 10 year Ontario Volunteer pin. Congratulations Louise!
19th century German author, Berthold Auerbach, notably stated: “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Thank you to Louise and all of the Singing Seniors for enriching our lives with your gift of time and music.
If anyone is interested in finding out more about the programs, services, and volunteer opportunities at KDHSI, we would love to speak with you. Please feel free to call, or stop by the Centre for a cup of coffee and a chat.
Until next time,