Elders First holds ‘Jammin on the River with the Back Porch Band’ annual benefit, June 14, 2009

Murfreesboro Post, Christen Magner, June 14, 2009

With a vision of creating a caring environment for elderly patients with dementia, Tina O’Brien wanted to start a program that not only benefited the families but the community as well.

In her many years of experience, O’Brien saw a need for a new program available to those who needed help.

“I was the director for the St. Clair Senior Center and would see the wait list for families in crisis. I felt very devoted to those families and wanted to start a program available for anyone in need,” O’Brien said.

Elders First opened Nov. 7, 2007 and has served 25 families since. The community plays a large part in the program with volunteers, including high school students, Girl Scouts and home schooled children.

“Just recently we had a young man in high school come and teach a class on how to use the Wii. That was a fun day,” O’Brien said.

“We have wonderful volunteers and great connections with the community. I can’t say enough how grateful we are to New Vision Baptist Church and those who volunteer,” she continued.

Although thankful to the community and its volunteers, O’Brien would like to expand the program in the future and needs the community’s support.

The Elders First Adult Day Services Association is holding Jammin on the River with the Back Porch Band on Saturday, June 20, from 7-10 p.m. The annual fundraiser will include a silent auction and donations that will raise funds to support the Murfreesboro-based adult day care program and their vision for the future of Elders First.

The fun-filled benefit is being held at the home of Barbara Thomas, secretary of the Elders First board, and her husband, Murphy, located at 2111 Shannon Drive in Murfreesboro.

Chuck Mullins and the Back Porch Band will provide music. Partygoers will also enjoy “mini” burgers from the grill and finger foods by Halley Neal, owner and operator of Granny’s Gourmet.

The silent auction will feature the work of area artists and crafts persons including Dan Sharley, Christie Nuell, Anne Wagner, Beverly Ford Evans, George Juliano, Matthew Warren, and others. Along with these are several other worthwhile bid items including
an overnight stay at Murfreesboro’s Hastings House B & B owned by Jane and Bob Blakey, a work of art from Cathy Youree’s Picture Perfect studio, an American flag flown over the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. thanks to Rep. Bart Gordon via his Chief of Staff Kent Syler and personalized for the auction winner, and much more.

The Elders First ADS is a nonprofit organization in Rutherford County that provides a stimulating day program for elders suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia disorders. By providing the care and support, Elders First ADS assists elders and their families adjust to life changes.

The program provides supervised socialization, fun daily activities, and helps impaired elders live their lives with a sense of accomplishment. Elders First ADS offers a safe place for caregivers to leave an older family member during the daytime.

Elders First is located at New Vision Baptist Church, 1750 N. Thompson Lane, Murfreesboro, TN 37129.

The public is welcome and casual attire is requested. Donations will be accepted at the door, or may be mailed to Elders First, P.O. Box 332966, Murfreesboro, TN 37133.

For more information, contact Tina O’Brien, executive director for Elder’s First ADS and President of the Tennessee Association of Adult Day Services (TAADS), by telephone 615-418-5587 or e-mail eldersfirst@dtccom.net.

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