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October 08. 2013 7:52PM

Greater Derry Caregivers celebrate quarter of a century


Cindee Tanuma, executive director of Community Caregivers of Greater Derry, shows off the Loaner’s Closet at the organization’s office in Derry. (Hunter McGee Photo)

DERRY — It’s been 25 years since Community Caregivers of Greater Derry began serving the area, and now it’s time to party.

The organization will celebrate its service to the community with a gala and silent auction scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 24, at Zorvino Vineyards in Sandown, said Cindee Tanuma, Caregivers’ executive director.

“Twenty five years is quite a milestone to celebrate,” Tanuma said. “We just want to encourage people to not miss out on a great event.”

Keynote speaker of the evening is John Clayton, an author and former New Hampshire Union Leader columnist. Clayton will engage the audience by posing such questions as: “If you were writing a book about New Hampshire, what would be in it?” Tanuma said.

A baseball signed by Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes is among the items set to be auctioned. Along with the baseball, the organization has received a number of donated items and memorabilia, including day passes to Disney and an autographed photo of Patriots’ placekicker Stephen Gostkowski. The photo was donated by the Kraft Family/New England Patriots Charitable Foundation.

“Right now we are looking good on the auction,” Tanuma said. “We are just trying to get people confirmed to come. It’s not like we offer this a lot.”Guests can also have fun participating in a “cork pull” game and win business-donated wines ranging in value from $10 to $90.Caregivers began in 1983 when a group of people from the community and local churches came together to found the organization after seeing a need for volunteer services to supplement existing programs, Tanuma said.

Volunteers strive to help the elderly, disabled, and chronically and temporarily ill stay in their own homes and communities as long as possible, she said. They assist with such tasks as medical transports, light chores, grocery shopping, friendly visiting, yard work and home upkeep.

There are 450 caregivers assisting about 350 clients, Tanuma said. Last year, the volunteers helped 325 people.

The organization strives to meet the needs of volunteers by matching them to the level of service they feel comfortable delivering, Tanuma said.

Volunteers have logged 235,000 hours since formal time tracking began in 1992. During the past 25 years, they’ve helped more than 1,775 people. In just the past 12 months, volunteers drove more than 100,000 miles.

Along with matching volunteers to clients for services, the staff runs the Loaner’s Closet for Durable Medical Equipment. More than 5,000 pieces of donated equipment are on loan to the general public, Tanuma said.

Tickets can be purchased for $30 by calling 432-0877 or by stopping by the Caregivers’ office at 58 E. Broadway Ave. in Derry. A complete list of sponsors and auction items can be seen at www.comcaregivers.org.


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