A year ago SPRYE, Rye’s organization to help older adults stay in their homes, started signing up members and commenced operations.
A year ago SPRYE, Rye’s organization to help older adults stay in their homes, started signing up members and commenced operations. To celebrate the anniversary, a fundraiser cocktail reception with a silent auction is planned for Thursday, November 1 at Wainwright House. The special guest that night is retiring State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer, who will be honored for her support of seniors’ causes.
In the past year SPRYE has grown steadily and already attracted 95 fee-paying members, close to its first-year goal of 100. It has already made an impact in the lives of both longtime residents and newcomers,
“As a newcomer to Rye, SPRYE gave me the opportunity to meet other Rye seniors, enjoy social occasions, and be introduced to regional arts venues earlier than otherwise might have been the case,” said Valerie Sullivan.
Betty Nye, a longtime Rye resident, reflecting an interest in a different range of services, added, “I had to give up driving a car recently, but SPRYE filled the void with free rides for medical appointments and shopping provided by very caring volunteers.”
Most members, like Valerie and Betty, have signed up on their own. Others have been signed up by their adult children looking for help in caring for their aging parents. A small number of low-income members enjoy a big discount from the standard membership fee.
Services are provided by 55 volunteers and a 16-member board led by President Nancy Haneman and Executive Director Betti Weimersheimer, SPRYE’s one employee. Thirty-two of the volunteers provided 60 rides in August, while others help with home repairs, organizing events, and staffing the office provided by The Osborn.
SPRYE is seeking more volunteers, particularly drivers, to sustain and increase the supportive services for those requiring them.
The organization has a busy fall schedule. Following September’s visits to the Brant Foundation and Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, more trips are planned, including one to the Noguchi Museum in Queens. Also on the schedule are the regular monthly current events breakfasts, afternoon presentations on varied subjects at Wainwright House one Wednesday a month, several brunches, and a holiday lunch in December.
Executive Director Weimersheimer responded, “I invite anyone interested in volunteering at SPRYE, or coming to the November 1st event, or desiring more information about membership, to give me a call at 481-5706 or go to www.sprye.org.”