Lovely Ladies club brings smiles to seniors at Stratford Court

by Mort Mazor

Publish Date:

Thursday, May 17, 2018 3:40 pm EDT

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News Organization:

The Sun-Sentinel

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Three chaperones and five girls from the Lovely Ladies Leadership Club of Boca Raton made an unannounced visit to Stratford Court Senior Living facility off Southwest 18th Street in Boca Raton on a recent Saturday morning.

They greeted some residents on the sun-dappled back patio with cheerful smiles and handed out hand-drawn greeting cards with assorted upbeat messages. One read: “Have a Happy and Nice Day.” Another: “Have a fantastic day…Great, Amazing, Outstanding, Happy.”

“We take the girls to various local communities and facilities to bring joy to the strangers they meet for a few hours once a month,” said Margarita Duncan Vanegas, who, along with chaperone-mothers Vicky Schultz and Neia Villegas, escorted the girls ages 12 to 14 who are students at St. Jude Catholic School and Eagles Landing Middle School in Boca Raton.

“Young women have a unique contribution to make to society,” Vanegas said. “The Lovely Ladies Leadership Club recognizes this, and aims to provide them with the encouragement and guidance they need to discover their talents and become leaders.”

She said the parents dedicate time, effort and creativity to developing the club’s activities and a plan for character development. The girls find high goals, lasting friendships and dedicated guidance.

“The club motivates them to use their talents in order to lead and serve others at home, school and in the community,” Vanegas said. “We meet monthly for a fun activity, learn about human virtue and enjoy true and loyal friendships.”

Resident Sylvia Mintz celebrated her 103rd birthday last March. She talked about growing up in Brooklyn and spending her adulthood in Buffalo.

They met 98-year-old Bernard Greenberg, the resident jokester. He made them laugh and received warm hugs from the girls in return.

“Seeing the smiles on the seniors faces as we gave them the greeting cards overwhelmed me with joy,” said 12-year-old Kayla Mansoir. “It shows how little things can make a big difference in someone’s day.”

Alyssa Schultz, 13, said, “I’m glad we went on this visit. It was fun to learn about the people there and hear their advice. It felt so good inside to see them smile and laugh. I can’t wait to go again.”

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