SCSP Hosts Hawaiian Luau for National Volunteer Week

unspecifiedBY AMANDA MOSES

Spring Creek Senior Partners (SCSP) honored National Volunteer Week (April 23-29) by hosting a beautiful Hawaiian luau in the Brooklyn Sports Club’s (BSC) café.

SCSP Director Theodora Ziongas appreciates all of the help that her volunteers provide—in fact, teamwork is what allows SCSP to reach so many seniors. In light of her heartfelt appreciation, Ziongas and Coordinator of Volunteers and Special Projects, Malika Djabbarkhodjaeva, decided to show their volunteers how much their efforts mean to SCSP and the community by hosting a tropical-themed party.

SCSP’s event was like a perfect beach getaway, sans the beach. The sun shone brightly through the large windows in the BSC Café, the room was adorned with Hawaiian decorations, and there was a lovely view of the BSC’s Olympian-sized pool.

Over 40 attendees, including members of The Arc (a communitybased organization that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,) were greeted by SCSP’s service coordinator for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Denise Ruiz, who placed colorful leis on each person. They sat at tables covered in yellow cloths, seashells, paper pineapples, and cups with tiny umbrellas. In addition, there was a delicious buffet spread with a Venetian dessert table. As the seniors ate, they were serenaded by saxophonist, Boris Kurganov.

The spirit of volunteerism really resonated for attendees like Joy Simmons, chief of staff for Council Member Inez Barron. Simmons believes that by helping others, volunteers are leading by example for people in the community. “To all of you who volunteer your time, you really help others see the value of getting involved and that is where true change and progress beings,” she announced during the party.

For the past 12 years, Orfelina Blanchard has been volunteering at SCSP. “I sometimes take people to their doctor’s appointments, exercise with them or even go on walks. I love to help people, and through volunteering I have made several close friends,” she said proudly.

Ada Pineiro observed that among the many Hawaiian-themed decorations covering the BSC café’s walls, there were also pictures of SCSP’s volunteers working with seniors. Pineiro has volunteered with SCSP for about seven years because she believes in everything SCSP stands for. “It is a great privilege to serve others at SCSP. I think it is important to care for the elderly community, and SCSP does their best to take care of the seniors’ needs,” she said.

Larissa Povoltskaya has volunteered at SCSP for about a year, and during that time she has helped translate information for seniors and made reassuring phone calls (which are calls to check up on the seniors living in Spring Creek Towers). “I felt that I needed to stay busy after I retired, so I thought I would go out and help SCSP. I wanted to do something useful, something that helped people on a personal level,” Povoltskaya said.

Whether you were a volunteer or a senior who wanted to show their appreciation at the SCSP’s party, the feeling of gratitude and love emanated from everyone at the event.

Photos by Amanda Moses