By MEGHAN McCOY
The Matlacha Hookers donated $4,000 to the Beacon of H.O.P.E. recently for their senior programs. The funds were raised during the Hookers' first annual Afternoon Delight event on April 7.
Matlacha Hooker Arlene Stornello, co-chair of the Afternoon Delight event, said the group donated the money to the Beacon of H.O.P.E. at its general meeting on May 13. She said they hope to hold the event again in the near future.
Beacon Board of Director President Elsie Stearns said she worked with the Hookers as the Beacon liaison for their inaugural event.
"Our focus this year at the Beacon is the seniors because there is such a need there," she said.
Stearns said the funds donated will only be extended to Pine Island and Matlacha seniors.
The assistance will help such areas as medical deductibles, Meals on Wheels, rent, water and phone, mammograms, lab work and prescriptions, dental care, food cards for in-between food stamps, support for grandparents who have to become parents, gas money for interviews and doctor appointments; property taxes, personal hygiene products, renew drivers license and senior events, such as balance, memory, health insurance and end of life care.
The efforts, Stearns said, are in conjunction with various agencies such as F.I.S.H. and the Pine Island Food Pantry.
She said the Beacon's goal is to help senior's excel instead of enabling them.
"How can we get them set up, so that our funds can be spread as far as we can spread them and help as many as we can," Stearns said.
The Beacon of H.O.P.E. will hold its first seminar in August for senior citizens. The seminar will highlight helpful tools for technical advice.
Stearns said many senior citizens receive some type of new technical device and have no clue on how to work the phone, tablet or computer.
"They don't have the knowledge to use them properly," she said.
Stearns said the seminar is intended to help seniors learn how to use these devices so their communication can be better.
Other seminars will discuss the topics of purchasing health insurance, vision and hearing and memory. Breakfast will be provided for the seminars, which will be held at the Pine Island United Methodist Church.