A group effort made a request by a resident at an assisted living community come true.

Thelma Whittinghill, a resident at Country Gardens Assisted Living Community, wanted to make mealtime an easier experience for herself and her friends. She wanted 15 Lazy Susans for their dining room to make condiments easily accessible.

A Lazy Susan is a rotating tray that makes food or other objects easily available to all by turning the tray until the item can be reached. 

Whittinghill knew Brian Jackson of Junior Achievement, so she explained her idea to him. Junior Achievement is a nonprofit organization that brings the real world to students through a hands-on curriculum delivered by a trained classroom volunteer.

Jackson spoke to Muskogee Public Schools Superintendent Mike Garde, who supported the idea and approved it as a project for the high school’s carpentry class. An anonymous donor paid for the materials, “which shows the generosity of the community,” Jackson said.

Jackson and Garde presented the Lazy Susans to the community Friday. The table additions were appreciated.

Having a Lazy Susan will “keep us from saying ‘please’ and ‘pass something,’” said Ruth Lang, one of the residents. Another resident, Velma Dean, said, “We can get it for ourselves and not have to ask for it.” 

Jean Deming seemed to appreciate the gift the most. “Now we don’t have to reach clear over here to get something,” she said.

Garde told the residents that “they contributed to their (carpentry students’) success because for every hour they spent making these goes to accumulating points for the 300 Club.” He explained that students who complete 300 hours of community service are allowed to wear a colored cord on their graduation gowns.

“They (carpentry students) want to come out and see you all and see their Lazy Susans in action,” he said. “You can thank them personally,” he said to applause.

Garde said that the project gave the students “purpose” and allowed them to practice their skills and design capabilities. 

Reach Mark Hughes at (918) 684-2908 or mhughes@muskogeephoenix.com.

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