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A 100th birthday celebration gesture benefits others

Project Action, a free transportation programme for seniors, will be riding a little happier this season, thanks to a selfless donation from 100-year-old Marian Lemond.

Ms Lemond held a high tea event, in honour of her milestone birthday on September 21.

Instead of gifts, she asked party guests to make donations to Project Action — and was able to hand over $1,100 to the charity.

When asked what motivated the charitable act, Olga Scott, Ms Lemond's daughter, said: “When we decided to celebrate this important event at Coco Reef we looked at charities to support. Because mom is a bilateral amputee, meaning she's missing both legs below the knee, the family agreed on Project Action because of the service it provides for people like mom.

“When you think of them picking people up at 5am for dialysis — we just felt they were the charity of choice. In lieu of gifts we asked people to provide donations, and we were able to give them $1,100.”

Robyn Eve said her grandmother Ms Lemond was still active and in great spirits in her advanced years.

“Despite having lost her legs she still reads the paper and daily devotions without her glasses,” Ms Eve explained. “I can't do that and I'm 41.

“She's in fantastic health, and still has black in her hair at 100-years-old, so I trust grey hair will not be in my future.

“Her Christian faith is what I admire most. I think that's what has kept her going and it's something I look up to.”

Project Action provides complimentary transportation to seniors and the physically challenged Island-wide.

Cindy Swan said Ms Lemond's generous donation will go towards covering the charity's administrative costs, which run up to $110,000 annually. The organisation typically gives out between 1,800 and 2,100 rides a year.

She said the organisation was extremely honoured to received the donation.

“What personally touched me about the gift is that, out of all the charities she could have chosen and selected to give her birthday gifts to, she chose Project Action.

“We are not one of the big sexy charities, we are a small grassroots charity and she chose us out of all of that.”

Ms Swan said every donation helped the charity continue its important services. “The reality is there will come a day in many people's lives when they cannot drive themselves and will have to depend on a service, like Project Action, or their relatives, to transport them to point A or B.

“Such donations help us to keep the service free of charge. Some people will send us something like $5 and we appreciate every penny because we don't have any big benefactors and it all really does help.”

Project Action has two vehicles — a blue bus, which provides services to organisations like rest homes when they are going on trips to WindReach or to events like the Bermuda End to End.

There is also a red bus, which offers individual door-to-door services, taking people to appointments, getting their groceries or to trips to the hairdresser.

Ms Swan said: “Sometimes seniors utilise us just for a ride and change of scenery. A lot of times in rest homes the people never get out and for them it's an amazing outing.

“It's really rewarding to see the ladies getting ready, the men ironing their shirts — it gives them a real quality of life that they need to have.”

For more information on Project Action; or to find out how you can donate, phone 297-5044 and speak with Rose Douglas.

Gesture: When Marian Leman, pictured front, celebrated her 100th birthday she asked party guests to make a donation to Project Action rather than give her gifts. As a result she was able to donate $1,100 to the charity. Also pictured from the left are: Robyn Eve, Nicola Gowdie, Rose Pat Douglas, Ernest De Grilla, Cindy Swan, Olga Scott.

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Published October 17, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 16, 2013 at 9:55 pm)

A 100th birthday celebration gesture benefits others

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