BARRETT TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Every year in the Poconos, companies and individuals come together to raise money for local non-profit organizations. The 13th annual Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser has raised more than $2 million dollars. This year the group chose six non-profits to help, including The Friendly Community Center in Barrett Township.
62 years ago, Mason and Yvonne Linn vowed to love each other in sickness and health. Over the years, the couple added five children to their family.
“I look back today at some photographs that are in some albums of her standing there with her kids. And I think, ‘Wow. There is the mother of my children. And what a wonderful job she did'”, says Mason Linn of Mount Pocono.
But today Yvonne can’t remember their names.
“Today, I’m lucky if one of them calls and she knows who it is,” adds Linn.
Six years ago, Yvonne started acting strange, doing things like putting the car in reverse instead of drive.
She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, a form of Dementia. Now, Yvonne can’t dress herself, cook or clean.
Her 83-year-old husband has become her caretaker.
Mason wanted to get his wife out of the house, moving and doing activities. So earlier this year he found The Friendly Community Center.
“The Friendly Community Center is a place for people of all ages to stay healthy, keep fit and have fun,” smiles Jamie Bowman, Director of The Friendly Community Center.
Mason joined a dementia support group, while Yvonne is in the ‘Making Memories’ program.
“We’re trying to draw out the people who have a tendency with Alzheimer’s and Dementia to sort of become withdrawn,” says Nancy Hook of The Friendly Community Center.
A lot of people in our area suffer from some form of Dementia. The Center’s one of the only places locally with a Dementia program.
“And they are wonderful to her. They are aware of her problem. And they will come over and hug her. Or wish her well when we leave,” smiles Linn.
With this year’s funding from the 13th annual Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser, The Friendly Community Center plans to expand it’s Making Memories program. They’ll start art and music therapy, helping to channel memories through music.
Eyewitness News reporter Brianna Strunk is emceeing the big event this year on Thursday, July 28th. That’s when we will learn how much money all six non-profits will receive.