Art ‘friendraiser’ helps sustain adult day center

Page Robbins Adult Day Center guest Bill paints a chair for the center’s annual Art from the Heart fundraiser next Thursday at the Quonset. The free event will feature around 50 pieces of artwork created by guests of the adult day care center. For more information, call 901.854.1200. Photo by Graham Sweeney

Participants at Page Robbins Adult Day Center have been busy creating pieces of artwork that will soon be for sale at the center’s annual Art from the Heart fundraiser.

Friends of Page Robbins will enjoy seeing and purchasing pieces of art that the clients have created. There are paintings in water color, acrylics and tempera; pencil drawings; pieces of pottery; mixed media; textiles; and more that have been embellished by the daily participants, most of whom have some form of memory loss.

Herbie Krisle, executive director of Page Robbins, called the event a “friendraiser” as much as a fundraiser.

“This event showcases our tagline, ‘Life doesn’t end with memory loss,’ by sharing myriad art pieces that people you might not expect could create, have,” said Krisle. “The pieces are amazing, actually. As are all our participants.”

In addition to the 45 or so pieces that will be available at the silent and live auctions, there will also be pieces for sale by art instructors Heidi Walter and Michele Price.

An anonymous donor also plans to match all proceeds up to $10,000.

Shirts with the slogan “Best Day Ever“ will be sold at the event, which will be 7-9 p.m. June 12 at the Quonset, 178 S. Center Street, Collierville

“Our goal,” said Katie Kirkpatrick, development and communications director, “is to make every day the best day ever.”

Page Robbins is an independent agency that provides nonresidential weekday care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory loss, as well as the frail elderly, who may or may not have memory issues but would benefit from security and stimulation.

Art from the Heart is one of three annual fundraisers hosted by Page Robbins to help supplement the cost for the center”s 65 participants. Each year, the center must raise around $700,000 just to meet a basic budget. Clients annually pay for the other half of the $1.4 million necessary to keep the center going.

Page Robbins Adult Day Center began in 1995 as an outgrowth from the work of compassionate individuals in the county. Collierville United Methodist Church housed a caregiver support group, whose members recognized a significant need in their community: Caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, caring for their caregivers, and providing much-needed respite.

Page Robbins’ mission is to “provide unique and uplifting daytime care for adults with memory loss, in a safe environment, while empowering and educating their caregivers and the community.”

“We embrace joy in the moment,” said Krisle, “focusing not on what has been lost, but on what is now.”

Days at Page Robbins begin around 6 a.m., though clients are welcome to arrive later to meet their preferred schedule. Participants peruse copies of the local newspapers and other reading materials, and beverages are served to each client’s liking. Breakfast is almost always prepared as a hot meal and is served 7:30-8:45 a.m. each day.

After breakfast, participants are reminded to use the restroom. Then, the day’s activities truly begin. The center’s 14-person direct-care staff divides the participants into smaller groups based on their cognitive function, so they will actively engage with people who have a similar level of cognitive and physical abilities and so activities will not be overwhelming. Page Robbins even has a men’s group.

The morning may include an art or music class, some sort of exercise, a word search or a group crossword puzzle. On occasion, participants create crafts or have hands-on activity, like pea shelling or corn shucking.

Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. A sample lunch menu could include baked salmon fillet with sauce, scalloped potatoes, green beans, a roll and pound cake with berries. Participants then enjoy quiet time with relaxing music and have time to peruse magazines and picture books.

Early afternoon usually includes music, an art class, baking cookies, dice, dominoes, cards, flower arranging or woodworking, such as building a birdhouse. If the weather is nice, seniors sometimes enjoy time in the therapeutic garden. After a 3 p.m. snack, participants work simple jigsaw puzzles, play table games and enjoy recorded music. The center stays open until 6 p.m.

Every activity Page Robbins offers is “adult appropriate and success oriented.” Clients are encouraged to participate in group activities. However, if they would prefer to read or look at a magazine, they can do so.

The center is at 1961 S. Houston Levee Road in Collierville. Call (901) 854-1200 or visit pagerobbins.org for more information.

Editor’s note: Business feature stories appear in all four of the Journal West 10 newspapers in Shelby County. Check back weekly to learn about new and longtime businesses in Bartlett, Arlington, Lakeland and Bolton, as well as Millington, Collierville and Germantown. We also welcome your suggestions on who to feature next; email ideas to Bartlett Express Editor Carolyn Bahm at carolyn.bahm@journalinc.com.


GRAHAM SWEENEY is the editor of the Shelby Sun Times and the Collierville Independent. Contact him at graham.sweeney@journalinc.com.