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!
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.
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.
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!
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.”
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 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!”
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
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.