Welcome to the summer edition of the “Members Giving Back” series, through which we’ll feature some of the wonderful work being done by the members of the Trilogy communities.  There are so many philanthropic projects either wrapping up, in full swing, or on the horizon for the Trilogy members, that this edition is split into two articles.  Several of the Trilogy communities are highlighted in this article, and several more are featured in “Caring Communities – Summer Edition, Part 1” on the Trilogy Life Blog, which was published earlier this week.

Read on to discover the many ways in which Trilogy members are giving back to the community – and if you’re already a member of Trilogy, find out how you can make a difference, too!

Members Giving Back at Trilogy at the Vineyards
The second annual Friends of Ridge Making a Difference in the Quest for a Cure for Brain Cancer event was a HUGE success at Trilogy at the Vineyards!  There were 120 people in attendance vying to be the highest bidder on over 130 generously donated items in this year’s silent auction and raffle.  Just over $12,000 was raised to benefit the National Brain Tumor Society! At the event, Dr. Jennifer Clarke from UCSF filled the Trilogy members in on the latest promising research of treatments for brain cancer.  There are some very innovative things coming down the pipeline, so the “Friends of Ridge” remain hopeful for the future.

Trilogy Member Karen Eagan organized the “Friends of Ridge” fundraising group in honor of her late husband, Ridge, who lost his fight to Glioblastoma Multiforme on November 2, 2011.  Karen and Ridge both strongly believed that Ridge was able to live abundantly three years after diagnosis because of the medicines that research had provided.

Following the Friends of Ridge Event, nine team members joined Mrs. Eagan to walk in the annual National Brain Tumor Society Walk in San Francisco on Saturday May 4th, 2013.  The very impressive total raised so far this year for the National Brain Tumor Society by the Friends of Ridge Making a Difference team is now up to a whooping $15,056!  That’s a $3,000 increase over last year, making this team the #4 fundraising team for the NBTS in the Bay Area.  One hundred percent of the donations goes directly to the National Brain Tumor Society for their work in brain cancer research.  They have donated over 12 million dollars to brain cancer research in the past 3 years.

The San Francisco National Brain Tumor Society Walk was a huge success this year with total donations, Friends of Ridge included, at an astounding $601,498!  It’s not too late for you to make a donation by going to www.braintumorwalk.org/bayarea.  Just look for the Friends of Ridge Making a Difference Team.

Every day 575 people are diagnosed with a brain tumor. There are over 688,000 people living with a brain tumor right now in the United States. Devastatingly 138,000 of those are malignant.   This year in California alone, it’s estimated that 7,700 people will be diagnosed with a brain tumor and over 1500 will die from the dreaded disease.  There is NO cure as yet for brain cancer.  The money for research is critical.

Immediately following the San Francisco Walk, Mrs. Ridge Eagan headed to Washington DC where she met with Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer and 3 California Representatives including Brentwood’s own Jerry McNerney to request that they fund the National Institute of Health and the National Cancer Institute at levels that would keep urgent research for a cure to brain cancer going.  Additionally, Mrs. Eagan campaigned the Senators and Representatives for chemotherapy parity.

Currently, oral chemotherapies are not covered in the same way as IV chemotherapies.  If you have chemotherapy the old fashioned way through an IV, insurance companies cover that under your “medical” benefit, but if you are lucky enough to have modern science provide you with your chemotherapy in pill form, then suddenly it is no longer considered “chemotherapy” but rather a “prescription.”  Ridge and Karen were caught up in this frustrated situation, where his insurance company would not cover his chemotherapy medication, “Temodar”.  The cost was $9,000.00 a month, simply because it came in pill form, and not in an IV administered format.  Temodar is the only chemotherapy for brain cancer patients and it only comes in pill form.

Karen encourages her fellow Trilogy members to give the gift of hope for a cure through research with their generous donations to the National Brain Tumor Society.

Members Giving Back at Trilogy at Rio Vista
In the past few months, Trilogy at Rio Vista members have been having fun while raising funds for worthy causes.  Knowing that everyone loves a good game of Bingo, the Trilogy Bingo Club was able to gather the community together to raise $1,500 for the Rio Vista Little League.  The Rio Vista Senior Men’s Golf Club combined their love of golf with their desire to make a difference through two recent fundraisers.  Their Armed Forces Day fundraising tournament was held on May 8th to benefit veterans in need.  A week after the tournament, Senior Men’s Golf Club members presented their donation to the Community Action North Bay charity on behalf of veterans at the “Hats Off to Vets!” breakfast at the Jelly Belly conference center.  They were proud to have both their club and Trilogy member Jim Malone chosen as honorees in recognition of sustained charitable service for veterans.  Just a month later, on June 12th, Senior Men’s Golf Club members were ready to make a difference yet again through their 4th bi-annual Prostate Cancer Benefit Golf Tournament.  Thank you to the golfers of Trilogy at Rio Vista for their continued generosity!

Sometimes we don’t have to look far to find someone who could use our support.  The Kare Bears of Trilogy at Rio Vista have been offering much-needed assistance to their fellow Trilogy members for several years now. The goal of the Kare Bears is to reach out to their Trilogy neighbors in their time of need due to sorrow, sickness, loss of a family member, or other life challenge. They have many volunteers to help, whether through a phone visit, a hot meal, a ride to a doctor’s appointment, assistance in securing the help of social services from outside of Trilogy, or just plain “tender loving care.”  Each village of Trilogy at Rio Vista has a separate Kare Bears group to assist the members in that section of the community.  The Oakmont Kare Bears are currently gearing up for their biggest fundraiser of the year – their annual fall garage sale. The proceeds of this fundraising sale allow them to offer care to their community members throughout the year. This year’s sale will be held on Saturday, October 5th from 10a.m. to 4 p.m. The location of the sale is to be determined, and the Kare Bears are hoping that a Trilogy member with a three-car or large two-car garage will be able to help them out with this problem. This location would be needed on the day before the sale (October 4th) for set up, as well as on October 5th during the sale.  If you would like to volunteer your home, please call Marti Rogers or Kathy Russo, whose contact information can be found in the Member Directory of MTL.

But wait, there’s more generosity being displayed at Trilogy Rio Vista!  In an effort to assist families in need in the greater Rio Vista area, Trilogy members have been donating personal items (such as toothpaste, soap, and shampoo) to Rio Vista Community Services.  Thank you to all who have donated to this collection of personal items, which cannot be purchased with food stamps. So many struggling families are appreciative of your efforts. Please remember that this is an ongoing effort, and that people of all ages, from infants to adults, are in need of your donations.  Don’t forget the unopened travel size items you receive at hotels, and keep your eyes open for great deals on personal items at the dollar stores! If you have any questions about how or where to donate, please contact Carol Benkie, whose contact information can be found in the Member Directory of MTL.

Members Giving Back at Shea Homes at Ardiente

The generosity of several Ardiente members was on display for all to see on July 4th as the American flag was raised high above the community during a flagpole dedication ceremony.  Several months ago, the Ardiente Veterans Club recognized the community’s need for a flagpole, to reflect the patriotic spirit of the Ardiente members, many of whom are veterans or spouses of veterans.  Through various fundraising efforts, which included a very successful pancake breakfast event and the sale of commemorative bricks at the base of the flagpole, sufficient funds were raised to purchase a flagpole, the installation of the flagpole, and a reserve fund for future maintenance and upkeep.  The commemorative bricks will be placed on the sides of the flagpole base, and will remain in place permanently in honor of the veterans of Ardiente.  Each brick will have the name and branch of service of the veteran – or if a brick is purchased for a non-veteran member, an American flag can be engraved next to the member’s name.  What a beautiful way to honor our country and celebrate the patriotism of this community!  If you have any questions about this project, or if you would like to purchase a commemorative brick, please contact John Tedmon, president of the Ardiente Veterans Club, whose contact information can be found in the Member Directory of MyArdienteLife.com.

The members of the Nimblefingers Club were very busy during the past month making items to send to the victims of the Oklahoma tornados. Two boxes were sent out containing 15 quilts, 4 crocheted bears, 1 crocheted baby afghan and 1 adult afghan. Plans are now being made to make items for the victims of the Colorado fires. All Ardiente members are invited to attend a Nimblefingers gathering any Tuesday between 11:30 and 1:30 to see what is being made. New members are always welcome as they knit, crochet, quilt and do different types of needlework. They work on items for their personal use as well as charity projects. There is no requirement for specific projects, and they enjoy chatting and socializing while we work.  Find out more about this club in the Club Directory of MyArdienteLife.com.

Members Giving Back at Trilogy at Vistancia
Several Trilogy at Vistancia veterans are doing their part to make a difference in the lives of homeless veterans.  They have set up a donation box in the library at their community in which they’re collecting goods for the MANA (Marine, Army, Navy, Air Force) House.  Thanks to the generosity of their fellow Trilogy members, they were recently able to take a large load of donations to the MANA house – and they would like to encourage everyone in the community to keep the donations coming!

The MANA House is part of the Madison Street Veterans’ Association.  It provides transitional housing and support for homeless veterans trying to assimilate back into society. MANA House has just opened a women’s dorm and has been overwhelmed by the number of female veterans who need assistance.

Please see the list below for a sample of items needed.  In addition, cash donations are always welcome. If you would like to donate money to help, please contact Trilogy Member Bill Conner, whose contact information can be found in the Member Directory on MTL.  Or, you may drop your donation in the box in the library and it will be delivered to MANA House.

Items Needed Include:

  • Basic toiletries – Hey vacationers, get those small toiletries from your hotels and donate!
  • Cleaning supplies (bleach, cleansers, etc.) – When you pick up something for your home, buy an extra item to donate.
  • Women’s clothing, interview clothes, undergarments, and shoes
  • Men’s shaving essentials
  • Toilet Paper – When you go to the store to purchase toilet paper, consider buying an extra package for the MANA House.

If you would like more information on the MANA house, please click here.  Thanks in advance for your contributions!
Trilogy at Vistancia Women’s Club (TAVWC) members are continuing their efforts to offer support A New Leaf/Faith House, a shelter for victims of domestic violence.  They have recently kicked off their School Supply Drive through which they’ll furnish backpacks filled with school supplies for the children who are staying at the shelter.  All Trilogy at Vistancia members can help these children to have a successful school year by bringing school supplies to the donation bin located in the Kiva Club library.

The TAVWC will also be accepting monetary donations.  Please make your check out to Trilogy at Vistancia Women’s Club and mail or drop it off to Pam Clements, Charity Liaison, whose address can be found in the Member Directory on MTL.  You are also welcome to drop off your donation at the Women’s Club table during Happy Hour.

Suggested Donation Items Include:

Toddlers (0 – 2years)

  • Coloring books
  • Crayons

Pre-School (2 – 4 years)

  • Coloring books, crayons
  • Washable markers
  • Tablets
  • Blunt nose scissors
  • Glue sticks

Primary (5 – 7 years)

  • Erasable slates
  • Crayons, colored marking pens
  • Drawing Tablets/activity books
  • Large size pencils
  • Glue sticks
  • Blunt nose scissors
  • Anti-bacterial lotion

Older Kids (8 – 12 years)

  • Binders
  • Binder paper
  • Spiral notebooks
  • Scissors
  • Rulers
  • Pencils, pens, colored markers
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Erasers
  • Anti-bacterial lotion

Note: The Women’s Club will be purchasing the backpacks to ensure consistency.
Discover additional volunteer efforts of Trilogy members in “Caring Communities – Summer Edition, Part 1,” which was published on the Trilogy Life Blog earlier this week.