Our guests today were:  Fridley Rotarian Gordy Backlund, New Brighton City Recreation Coordinator Ali Luken and Charlie Longbella’s new salesperson, Wren Jacobs.
Our presenters today were Beth Wiggins, Director of Caregiving and Aging Services and Jenny West, Community Educator for Caregiving and Aging Services at Family Means. Founded in 1963, Family Means is a non-profit helping individuals and families through challenges in all of life’s stages.  Beth and Jenny were here to give us a preview of a new virtual reality tool that helps caregivers and others view the world through the perspective of a person living with dementia.  This immersive sensory experience gives the user a firsthand experience of the short term memory loss, spatial distortion, disorientation, visual disturbances, communication problems, and cognitive difficulties experienced by those who have Alzheimer’s Disease.  Virtual reality simulation of these Alzheimer’s symptoms helps caregivers to better understand, create empathy and learn to be better caregivers.  Charlie Longbella agreed to wear the VR goggles for the demonstration and we were able to experience it with him on the big screen.  The software simulates the sensory distortions experienced by Alzheimer’s sufferers and we all shared Charlie’s frustration with trying to accomplish even simple tasks.   Jenny Beth and Dennis, and are shown below.
President Dennis Connolly reminded us that the Gold Plate Dinner Planning Committee with meet at 11AM on Tuesday the 18th at the Exchange.  All are encouraged to attend.  Cindy Carlson noted that we need several more GPD sponsors to equal our 2019 sponsorship total.
GPD ticket guru, Jed Hamoud, began distributing tickets to members at today’s meeting.  PLEASE return the completed stubs to Jed ASAP and start looking for friends, family and business associates that might like to join you at the Gala.  Let Jed know if you need more tickets.
Dennis also noted that the District 5960 Grants Management Seminar will be held in Rochester on May 14th, from 5:30-8:30PM
Check your email today for a complete list of upcoming activities.
It was Charlie Longbella’s 33rd birthday this week so he was roped into wearing the infamous birthday hat while we serenaded him with the birthday song (see photo below).