Dallas Doings: 76 years of service, more volunteers

Rivae Balkin-Kliman and Hadassah members
Rivae Balkin-Kliman and Hadassah members

Rivae Balkin-Kliman and Callie Harris

Nancy Cartwright (right), president of the Alliance of the Dallas County Dental Society, recently honored Jessonda Gilbert Fox for her 76 years of service to this organization. Jessonda, born in Fort Worth, is the wife of the late Dr. A. Albert Fox, DDS. She was also a founding member of the Temple Emanu-El choir in 1945.

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Jessonda Fox honored for 76 years of service to Dallas Dental Society

Mazal tov to Jessonda Fox, 97, who was feted recently for her 76 years of service to the Alliance of the Dallas County Dental Society.
During all this time since 1940, she has served on all the Society’s committees including membership, program, social, dental health, legislative, publicity, and silver lining, and has served as chairman for the Memorial Fund for over 50 years. She was vice-president of the State Alliance Dental Society as well as president of the Alliance of the Dallas County Dental Society.
Fox, born in Fort Worth, daughter of the late Julius M. Gilbert and Mamie Gilbert Lichter, married Dr. A. Albert Fox, a Dallas dentist. Her children are Janelle Sterry (husband Milford) of Dallas, and Gilbert Fox (wife Pat) of Austin. She has three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, and many great-nephews and great-nieces including the latest great-niece, 11-month-old Rachel Mamie Gilbert. Jessonda’s current living sister and brother are Cecille Mankin Price and Louis G. (Buddy) Gilbert and wife Renee, all of Dallas.
Fox is part of four generations of Gilberts from Fort Worth, where L.G. Gilbert, a peddler in the late 1800s, became a pioneer in Fort Worth’s mercantile history. The L.G. Gilbert Department Store, starting as a small store, became one of the major department stores in downtown Fort Worth in 1890. Her father, Julius M. Gilbert, was the general manager of the store. Other members of the then Gilbert family were Sidney, Dave, Sol, Reba and Tootsie. For years, the Gilbert family story has been recorded in the Fort Worth history books.
Jessonda lives at the Five Star Premier Residences of Dallas.

The Legacy Senior Communities honors volunteers during ceremony

The staff and residents of The Legacy Senior Communities recently hosted a special event to recognize the individuals and groups who dedicate their time to enhancing the lives of the residents. This past year, volunteers spent an estimated total of 9,700 hours with seniors and staff at The Legacy Senior Communities. The organization’s volunteer program has a wide variety of options for individuals as well as groups and organizations to get involved. By providing computer assistance, giving musical performances or simply listening and exchanging stories one-on-one, volunteers give the tremendous gift of their quality time.
The event, co-chaired by Nonie Schwartz and Marilyn Schwartz, included an awards ceremony during which Rivae Balkin-Kliman, volunteer coordinator for The Legacy Senior Communities, announced the Rookie of the Year Awards, the Outstanding Student Volunteer Award and the Continued Commitment Awards. Balkin-Kliman also gave special recognition to residents of The Legacy Willow Bend Knitting Club by presenting them with the Stitched with Love Award. The members of the club come together every Monday to knit and crochet beautiful hats and scarves for those in need throughout the Dallas Metroplex. Each year, the group’s production numbers have increased tremendously, from last year’s whopping 1,600 items to this year’s 2,600.
“We are incredibly grateful to our volunteers for their willingness to spend their personal time in our community,” said Balkin-Kliman. “The influence they have on the residents and staff is indescribable. Every visit — regardless of the activity or amount of time involved — is deeply appreciated by everyone involved.”
Ben Pisik, who visits the residents to spend time one-on-one, was honored as Rookie of the Year. Sara Stewart earned the same title for her visits with assisted living residents with her 20-month-old son.
“I feel it’s important to volunteer because I truly believe in what Mother Theresa said: ‘Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love,’” said Stewart. “Volunteering is something simple, yet meaningful, that my son and I can do. I want him to grow up with a sense of respect and deep compassion for all people. Additionally, I love getting to know the seniors because they have lots of wisdom and humor to share. I am honored to receive the Rookie of the Year award, and I am so grateful to be a member of this wonderful community.”
Stewart volunteers every Thursday for about an hour at The Legacy Willow Bend with residents in assisted living, and has spent a total of 40 hours at the community. According to Stewart, her son loves to show everyone his favorite books, make silly faces, and clap his hands, and he even shared a toy or two with the seniors. She says that she enjoys spending time with the seniors discussing motherhood and learning about their life stories.
Additionally, the Corporate Rookie of the Year Award was given to JCPenney for interacting with and entertaining the residents and supporting staff members, as well as for their devotion to continuing to build upon the relationship.
Hadassah was given the Continued Commitment from an Organization Award for their unwavering support and dedication to The Legacy Senior Communities. In addition, Hitachi Consulting was honored with the Continued Commitment from a Business Award. Hitachi Consulting has yet again shown a deep commitment to The Legacy community. They have painted and decorated flower pots, planted flowers, and will be throwing a 4th of July parade/cookout theme party, as well as holding a fabric donation drive at their office to make blankets for residents. Additionally, they hope to plan a time to help beautify the creek. The consultants make a tremendous positive impact on the residents, and they are an example of a wonderful partnership with The Legacy Senior Communities.
The Outstanding Student Volunteer Award was given to Yosef Weiss, who comes to Shabbat every week, where he entertains with his talents playing the piano and leading Torah parsha discussions. He is an asset to The Legacy Communities, and brings Jewish values and education into the programming. Additionally, Jasper High School volunteers Jacqueline Mojazza, Anusha Yelne, Mili Jhaveri and Sanja Bhatia support the community by giving their time to help with resident activities and staff office support.
Anyone interested in volunteer opportunities can contact The Legacy Senior Communities Volunteer Coordinator Rivae Balkin-Kliman at rblkiman@thelegacysc.org or call 972-468-6191.
The Legacy Senior Communities, Inc. is the parent company of The Legacy Willow Bend and The Legacy at Home.
— Submitted by Amy Jones

Blessing the Babies at Temple Shalom

The Temple Shalom Young Families Committee is hosting a Blessing of the Babies. Services begin at 10:30 a.m, Saturday, June 11 in the Epstein Chapel at Temple Shalom. During services, Rabbi Paley will give a special group blessing to new babies (0-2 years old). Please RSVP to Jennifer Arndt (youngfamilies@templeshalomdallas.org or 401-484-3456), so Temple Shalom is ready to welcome and bless your baby.
Immediately following services, everyone (babies, parents, grandparents, special friends) will gather for lunch at your own cost at the Coffee House Cafe (6150 Frankford Road).

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