BY SCOTTIE TAYLOR IVERSONCOMMUNITY EDITOR
Linda Holloway, Sharron Brandrup and Marge Utne founded the nonprofit Rainbow Bridge 25 years ago that later became Bessie’s Hope, a living legacy to Linda’s grandmother, Bessie “Granny” Stephens, because of her tragic experience in a nursing home. The recent Bridge of Love Gala keeps part of that original name and raises funds to bring generations together – especially matching at-risk youth with elders who might not otherwise have a visitation. Shockingly, 60 percent of nursing home residents receive no one-on-one visits.
There was plenty of Texas spirit at the Marriott DTC. Linda’s 91-years-young mom, Peggy Shelton (Bessie’s daughter), was in from Wichita Falls. Sharron attended Texas Wesleyan. Both honoree Pat Robinson and presenting sponsor LaFawn Biddle are Texas natives.
“My mother spent 13 years in a nursing home,” said honoree Pat. “We need to remember the forgotten.” The program was packed with touching testimonials and entertainment. Student Emily was thrilled to be a young visitor to the “treasure homes” and Don, said of his fellow residents: “When they see the children, their eyes light up.”
Doug Tisdale called the elders “age advantaged.”
Linda Holloway sang a moving song written by her grandmother, but through her called “Remember me the way I was; but love me the way I am.” Gayle Novak, Ms. Senior America belted out her winning number from Mamma Mia with Crystal River. Then there was dancing to Homeslice Band. Because Gayle Novak was Ms. Colorado Senior in 2018, Lori Adams is Ms. Colorado Senior 2019 and on the committee and Linda Holloway was Ms. Colorado Senior 2008, there were many former pageant winners on hand to assist making the evening a warm and beautiful success. Bessie’s Hope won a National Points of Light Award and Generations United Program of Distinction Award.
2018 All Rights Reserved. Villager Publishing |