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OCC Spotlight: Meet The Oakwood Auxiliary Angels!
September 27, 2022

Oakwood Creative Care has been known for hosting empowering events that inspire our communities to band together to spark JOY for seniors with cognitive and physical challenges. Over the years, we have had a blast enjoying some of our famous Paint Nights, Bingo Nights, and other fun quarterly community events. Much of this would not be possible if it weren’t for the Oakwood Auxiliary Angels, a group of talented individuals who have selflessly volunteered by dedicating their time and attention to putting the FUN into fundraising! They have even strapped on their angel wings to volunteer at our Moments Matter Galas and so much more! 

Together with Oakwood’s leadership team, the Auxiliary Angels have long helped with chairing and campaigning for many of the Oakwood events you all know and love. The Auxiliary has been a part of the history of Oakwood since the 1970s. The legacy of the community supporting the mission of OCC is something we hold near and dear to our hearts. In 2022, we relaunched the Auxiliary with a new name and lead Angel, Phaedra Earhart. Under Phaedra’s leadership, organizational skills, and super fun personality, this group is bound to do great things! Now, we want to shine the spotlight on a few of our amazing Angels who have worked so hard to make a real difference for seniors and caregivers all across Arizona!  

Without further adieu, meet a few of our Angels! 

Phaedra Earhart

Phaedra has lived in Arizona for over 23 years and now calls Gilbert home. Growing up, she lived all over the world, including time spent in Singapore and Venezuela. She earned her B.S. at Oklahoma State University and now serves on the OCC board, the Mesa Leadership board, and her Power Ranch HOA board. Phaedra loves spending time with friends and family, traveling and appreciating other cultures, and is always thrilled to beat the pants off worldwide competitors in Mario Kart.

In her 20’s, Phaedra lost her grandmother to complications of Alzheimer’s. She saw its effects on her entire family, especially her grandfather, who promised Memaw he would “never put her in a home.” Unfortunately, he couldn’t keep that promise because of the vast health complications that come with Alzheimer’s disease, and it broke his heart.

Phaedra Earhart Arizona
Through her relationship with OCC, Phaedra has a deeper understanding of individuals and families affected with cognitive challenges and is learning how to serve them best. Phaedra volunteered to head the OCC Auxiliary Angels this past year to help spread the word about the wonderful things happening at Oakwood. She most recently completed a Dementia Champion course through Banner Hospitals and certifies individuals as Dementia Friendly through OCC.

Sandy Dyk

Sandy Dyk, Oakwood Auxiliary Angel
Sandy Dyk has 28 years of senior healthcare experience with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts Music Therapy and a Master’s in Health Administration. Sandy began her career working in an assisted living community outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin as a Recreation Specialist focusing on Music Therapy.

Soon after obtaining her Bachelor’s degree, Sandy began her lifetime career serving seniors and their families and later opened her own music therapy business while living in California. There, Sandy provided services to facilities specializing in both Alzheimer’s Disease and mental health. Not long after, Sandy was taking part in opening senior living communities, overseeing hospice agencies, and helping families navigate the world of senior healthcare when it came to advocating for and finding proper living environments that met their individual needs.

Sandy is an active supporter of all things education when it comes to supporting seniors and their families with dementia and recently became an Auxillary Angel while supporting the Dementia Friendly movement as a Dementia Champion and being an active volunteer for OCC.

Holly Moseley

Holly Moseley lives in Mesa with her husband and daughter and has three grown sons. Last summer, Holly became an Auxiliary Angel thanks to an invitation from a friend she made in her Mesa Leadership Class. Full of passion and empathy for others, Holly has always sought out and enjoyed serving others in her community.

Currently, Holly is the City Clerk for Mesa and has seen and heard about the great things Oakwood does for seniors, so joining the Auxiliary Angels seemed like a great opportunity. Holly says she looks forward to all the fun ways the Auxiliary Angels will raise funds and awareness for Oakwood’s great organization!

Holly, Oakwood Auxiliary Angel

Denise Siemen

Denise, Oakwood Auxiliary Angel
Denise Siemen grew up in the Midwest and East Coast before settling in Arizona in 1998. She is currently a full-time realtor, and although she loves what she does, she says she wants to do more to give back to her community. Denise has always had the heart to serve, especially considering her very first job after college was dedicated to helping adults with disabilities. Denise says it makes her feel good to help others and wants to feel like she’s making a difference. Earlier this year, Denise became an Auxiliary Angel after hearing about Oakwood through a friend. After learning more about the organization, Denise knew she wanted to be a part of it and is genuinely grateful to continue to help people make their lives a little brighter and spread a little sunshine!

Lori Marsh

Lori Marsh currently works for The Summit at Sunland Springs Assisted Living & Memory Care in Mesa, Arizona. She currently resides in the city of Chandler with her nine-year-old daughter, Allie, husband, Jordan, and dog, Lucy.

Lori sees the Auxiliary Angels as a way to spread the word about a great organization that is making a difference in the lives of caregivers and their loved ones going through memory loss. Lori says, “I am fortunate that I do not have any family members with dementia or Alzheimer’s, but I carry the APOE4 gene, so I see what the future could hold. Giving back now is a gift that I can give.”

Lori, Oakwood Auxiliary Angel

Jennifer Cummings

Jennifer Cummings, Oakwood Auxiliary Angel
Jennifer Cummings is the Branch Director with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley at the Grant Woods Branch and has been with the movement for five years. Growing up in the military, Jennifer has been provided with many life experiences that have taught her to be resilient and adaptable, making her a strong leader with a great work ethic. After six years of working with Mesa Public Schools and raising her children, Jennifer wanted to use her skills to mentor and guide youth and teens that need us the most. 

Jennifer was asked to be a part of the Oakwood family by joining the Auxiliary Angels in June of 2022. Her passion for wanting to help support and give back to the community is exactly what motivates her to assist others in times of need. Jennifer says she is honored to be part of the Oakwood Family and looks forward to advocating for those who have been affected by dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other challenges.

Nancy Barnett

Nancy Barnett is a retired Registered Nurse (RN) whose nursing career was in Community Nursing and Patient Care Navigation. There, Nancy was responsible for transitioning patients through the Continuing Care System.

Nancy has long been acquainted with both Oakwood’s director and program, especially since Nancy has been a family friend of Oakwood Creative Care’s President and CEO, Sherri Friend, for many years. Nancy has had the pleasure of watching Sherri grow within her role while also playing a fundamental role in developing the foundation of Oakwood that we all know today. Nancy says, “I am joining the Oakwood Auxiliary Angels because I believe in Oakwood – how it improves the quality and brings joy to lives!”

Nancy, Oakwood Auxiliary Angel

Diane Smaw

Diane Smaw grew up in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona. Diane has been married to Rockne for 58 years, with whom she has been blessed with three married children, 12 grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter (all of whom live nearby). Diane’s last and most fulfilling job was working at her church, coordinating grief groups and meeting with families to plan their loved one’s funerals.

Having known about Oakwood since its inception, Diane has been a regular Monday volunteer for some time. Diane is looking forward to being an Auxiliary Angel and becoming more deeply involved with Oakwood!

Join The Oakwood Auxiliary Angels!

Oakwood Auxiliary Angels

From everyone at Oakwood Creative Care, we are so grateful to each of the Auxiliary Angels for every effort they have put forth to spark joy and creativity for Arizona’s seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other age-related challenges.

If you would like to learn more or are interested in how YOU can become an Oakwood Auxiliary Angel, please reach out to Phaedra Earhart today by emailing phaedra.earhart@gmail.com!

P.S. Did you know Oakwood Creative Care is bringing back the JOY in aging? We believe a diagnosis should not have to define your life. Instead, we have devoted our mission to reigniting hope for caregivers and older adults with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other age-related challenges. Click the button below to learn more about how we do this through our research-based, cutting-edge, creative care model found at each of our Day Clubs.

Oakwood Auxiliary Angels

Welcome

We're a nonprofit organization based in Mesa, Arizona with three senior day club locations (and a fourth on the way) which serve older adults with Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's, and various other physical or cognitive challenges. Life does not end with a diagnosis. Our members continue to learn new skills, enjoy new discoveries, make friends, laugh, and live a joy-filled life. Our team of dementia experts lead support groups, events, classes, and private sessions with caregivers and families, guiding them on the best methods to care for their loved ones while also caring for themselves.


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