The 9th annual “Gift of Age” Cabaret was held on Friday, April 22, 2016 to benefit the Eldercare Foundation, a division of VNA Homecare. Funds raised by the Foundation support the important work of Home Aides of Central New York, a not-for-profit home healthcare agency affiliated with VNA Homecare that has been serving the aging members of our community since 1966.
More than 150 guests from the local community enjoyed entertainment by singer/pianist Tony DeSare and LeMoyne College a cappella group Fermata Nowhere. The highlight of the evening, however, were the awards presented to James Hall, Timothy Lavallee and Honor Flight Syracuse.
Eldercare Achiever Awards were presented to VNA Homecare Physical Therapist Timothy Lavallee and his patient, James Hall. Lavallee believes the success of caring for someone at home goes beyond clinical care and extends to the patient’s emotional, social and mental well-being. With that in mind, he assisted Hall, a World War II veteran, in applying for Honor Flight Syracuse’s fifth mission in April, 2015. Upon his acceptance, Hall chose Lavallee, himself a veteran of the Air National Guard, as his Honor Flight Guardian and, together, the men embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to our Nation’s capitol. This shared experience solidified a bond between patient and clinician that has grown into a treasured friendship that will last a lifetime.
The Eldercare Community Champion Award was presented to Honor Flight Syracuse. Through their mission of honoring America’s veterans by transporting them to Washington, D.C. to visit the national memorials dedicated to their sacrifice and service, Honor Flight Syracuse shows our elders the respect and admiration they so deserve. The private, not-for-profit organization is one of more than 130 regional hubs of the National Honor Flight Network, whose current focus is veterans of World War II and any war veteran with a terminal illness. The program has also begun to Korean War and Vietnam War veterans. Veterans may apply for an upcoming mission at www.HonorFlightSyracuse.org. Their next mission will depart on April 30, 2016.
“We hold this event in the hope of raising our community’s compassion for aging individuals and their families,” notes Anita P. Lombardi, Chair of the Eldercare Foundation Board of Directors. “By recognizing the exemplary contributions of our honorees, we raise awareness of the importance of caring about, and caring for, our community elders.”