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SpringRidge at Charbonneau Calendar Raises Funds for Music Education
12-1-2018

Gayle Inman, a longtime Charbonneau resident, has been a lover of the arts for as far back as she can remember. She recently tapped into this passion, and with the help of her neighbors at SpringRidge at Charbonneau, is giving the gift of music to deserving children throughout Portland and the surrounding areas.

In late 2017, Gayle was sent a copy of the now-viral photos of a group of seniors who recreated classic movie scenes for a calendar.

“I thought it was so wonderful,” said Gayle, who served with the Portland Art Museum for over a decade. “I wondered why the residents here at SpringRidge couldn’t do something just as stunning.”

After mulling over the idea, she approached the active retirement community’s Executive Director Garth Hallman and pitched him on the idea of SpringRidge residents creating their own version of the calendar.

“He loved it,” she said. “He told me to put together a budget and once it was approved, I started scouting the community looking for residents to bring my vision to life.”

Instead of the classic movies theme, Gayle decided it was only fitting to incorporate her love of the theatre and opted to recreate famous scenes from nostalgic musicals that would resonate with her peers such as “Mary Poppins”, “Phantom of the Opera”, “Oklahoma”, “Hello Dolly” and “My Fair Lady”.

Once she narrowed down the 12 musicals, she selected 18 residents – “stars” as she calls them – to bring the scenes to life. In addition to wanting to make the scenes instantly recognizable, the goal was to show off the vibrancy of residents; therefore, Gayle chose “stars” ranging in age from 72 to 98.

Because the calendar was to be a gift to the entire SpringRidge community, Gayle took care to keep the project under wraps. She coordinated costumes and props and reached out to her network of contacts, including former museum coworkers.

Among those who heeded her call was fellow resident Rick Cady, who served as the official photographer. The pair set up a photoshoot in an unoccupied residence to capture the stunning photographs that would be part of the 2019 calendar.

With the assistance of graphic designer Reid Cooper of Cooper Design, “The SpringRidge Players” calendar was finalized in late October.

The community hosted a special Happy Hour where Gayle and the calendar’s “stars” unveiled the project to neighbors who were shocked that the group had worked without detection and marveled at the beauty of the finished piece. SpringRidge graciously donated a calendar to each resident.

“Everyone did such an amazing job,” said Gayle, 76. “From the ‘stars’ to Garth to Food Services Director Danny Fernando who put together our Cast Thank You Party, I can’t say enough about how well things turned out. The calendar is definitely one of the finer things I’ve been involved with in my life.”

Since its release, more than half of the calendars have been sold. Residents and staff have bought them for friends and family and to support a noteworthy cause. One-hundred percent of all the monies raised will be donated to renowned pianist Michael Allen Harrison’s Snowman Foundation.

Located in Portland, the non-profit organization is dedicated to providing instruments, instruction and inspiration to deserving children. It was founded in 1999 to fill the gap in music left by a lack of funds in schools and the organization has raised nearly $3 million to date.  

If you would like to purchase a copy of “The SpringRidge Players”, please call Gayle at 503-694-8102. The cost is $10 and completely tax-deductible.

The charity tie-in is especially meaningful for Gayle who has been a consummate volunteer. In addition to selling the calendars, she donates her time at the onsite sundry store. In fact, even prior to moving to the active retirement community nearly two years ago, she’d spent eight years volunteering at SpringRidge Court, the assisted living and memory care community located on the SpringRidge campus.

“The calendar was a lot of work but it was tons of fun,” she said. “In my heart, I believe I was meant to do this project. It brings together all my passions and interests and raises money for music education.”

For more information or to schedule a personal tour of SpringRidge at Charbonneau, please call 503-446-6250 or visit www.SpringRidgeatCharbonneau.com.

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