February Jingo Features Fairytales and Fables

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JingoOur Jingo theme last month was Fairytales and Fables and to set the mood we were relocated to the top of the Scott Building in the 3rd floor recreation room. (Due to a water pipe bursting below not so that we could let down our hair). The clues covered a wide range of story lines so every resident and volunteer was able to participate in sharing an answer and explaining the story it came from. As always we are grateful for our fantastic volunteers and look forward to seeing them return for our March Jingo event!

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Presidential Pub Trivia the Highlight of Saloon Night

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The Friends of the Soldier’s Home ushered in the month of Presidents with a rousing round of Presidential Pub Trivia at our monthly Saloon Night. Just like the Superbowl, Trivia came down to the wire with a two-way tie for first place between Team Stagehounds and Team Snowflakes. After a grueling tie-breaker, it was Team Snowflakes that brought home the win! Everyone enjoyed the food this month – special thanks to our friends at the Hitching Post for the donated fried chicken! See you next month for some Mardi Gras Madness!

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Cold Outside, Warm Inside At First Happy Hour of 2015

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Happy Hour at the Soldiers Home started up again in the New Year on Tuesday, Jan. 27th. No dancing this time but a very pleasant evening indeed! Several conversations went on in earnest, and staff coordinator, Carol, provided the jokes and quiz questions. Soft drinks, beer, and a mix of residents and Friends of the Soldiers Home loved talking about the snow! Thanks to FOSH volunteers Rebekah Tosado, Tim Jones, Lori Lincoln and Liz Cocke for helping to make this happen on a cold January night!

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Friends, Veterans Do Military Trivia Together — Everybody Wins

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Jingo-2After a brief detour to bingo last month, it was back to Jingo, a game like bingo that includes a trivia question. On Jan. 8, the theme was the Civil War. The DC Soldiers Home veterans showed they knew their history! Six volunteers helped veterans play the game and enjoy the evening. Mr. Donald Stout, a Coast Guard veteran, was the evening’s big winner. He had a large smile on his face as he was wheeled back to his room. Mr. Stout said he planned to spend his winnings at the store on popcorn and candy. This was the 35th time Friends of the Soldiers Home volunteers joined our veteran friends for a Jingo or bingo game. The next match is all set for Feb. 12. It’s just one more way to say thank you to our veterans who have served their country so well. If you would like to help at Jingo, drop a line to volunteerfriendsofsoldiers(at)gmail.com.

Photos and story by John Hughes.

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New Year, Same Good Time at Saloon Night With Friends

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saloon6he first Saloon Night of 2015 was a hit. Beautiful singing and wonderful volunteers who came in to the Defender’s Inn on the DC Soldiers Home campus made everyone forget about how cold it was outside on Jan. 6. This marked the 20th Saloon Night, which has become one of the most popular programs Friends of the Soldiers Home offers — for both residents and volunteers. Mark your calendars: Feb. 3 is the next Saloon Night, and a great time is sure to be had by all at a “super” time of year. Write at volunteerfriendsofsoldiers(at)gmail.com if you want to help!

Photos by Lori Lincoln.

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Friends of the Soldiers Home Sets Record With 47 Events in 2014

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bingo1Friends of the Soldiers Home set a new record in 2014 by holding and participating in 47 events, up from the previous high of 41 in 2013! More than 200 people volunteered for the Friends in 2014, which is also a record high for the organization that was founded in November 2011. More than 25% of the volunteers helped out three times or more — this core group really made a difference for veterans and the community in 2014. Thank you everybody!

The grand finale for 2014 was Big Bucks Bingo on Dec. 30, featuring 11 Friends volunteers and many more Soldiers Home DC residents. Bingo is different in that it is a bit more serious than the game Friends usually volunteers for — Jingo. Volunteers helped several quick, savvy and able-bodied residents play multiple cards for bigger prizes. Lots of residents were repeat winners. Prizes were also given out for being left-handed, for sitting next to a winner, and for knowing the outcome of a football game! There were cookies, egg nog and wine. The usual camaraderie and good time was enjoyed by everyone!

Friends doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon and is grateful to give back to veterans in this way. The organization is off and running with 2015. The first event of the year is Saloon Night, Tuesday, Jan. 6, and Jingo on Thursday, Jan. 8. If you want to help out drop a line to Lori Lincoln at volunteerfriendsofsoldiers(at)gmail.com.

Story by Lori Lincoln, photos by Drew Schneider.

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Third Annual Soldiers Home Card Delivery Sparks Good Cheer

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Friends of the Soldiers Home partnered with the DC Homeschool Cooperative Dec. 16 to for the third annual Holiday Card and Caroling Party at the Armed Forces Retirement Home-DC. About 20 children from the neighborhood and several of their parents spread a great deal of holiday cheer. They delivered hundreds of holiday greeting cards made by the children to residents all throughout the new Scott Building. They included visiting and singing along the way! This has become a wonderful tradition and another nice way to say thank you to our veterans. Thanks to all who came out for being such nice neighbors!

Story and photos by Mary Bucci

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Best Holiday Party Has Ballet Dancers, Band and Wine From Friends

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The annual Soldiers Home holiday tree lighting party Dec. 9 was the best in the four years Friends of the Soldiers Home has been privileged to co-sponsor it. We are proud to have connected earlier this year with Kirov Academy of Ballet, which stunned the audience with a beautiful and moving performance. “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band Brass Quintet also played a wonderful mini-concert with holiday music that captured the spirit of the season. More than 40 guests of Friends of the Soldiers Home brought wine to share with veterans. Friends continued the annual tradition of presenting a wreath to the Home as a gift. A number of children looked wide-eyed at the ballet dancers and Santa and Mrs. Claus, giving the event a family feel. There was just one problem. How will next year’s event possibly top this year’s? We give thanks to Kirov and the Quintet for their great performances, and we congratulate the veterans and staff of the Armed Forces Retirement Home-DC for putting together such a beautiful, fun event.

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Holiday Version of Saloon Night Cheers Veterans at Soldiers Home DC

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saloon.funSaloon Night with Friends, the holiday version, got veterans into the spirit of the season with toasting, dancing and an overall good time. Friends of the Soldiers Home brought beer and volunteers, and the Home’s resident DJ extraordinaire, Billy White, supplied the tunes. What more was needed? Just the laughter, smiles and fun that ensued. Too bad — Saloon Nights are over for 2014. The good news is we’ll be back with the next one on Jan. 6 2015! We love these Saloon Nights as small, but wonderful, ways to say thank you to our veteran friends at the Armed Forces Retirement Home-D.C. campus.

Photos by Kerry Hamblin and Carol Mitchell

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33rd Time Is Charm for Friends, Veterans on Jingo Night

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Two Soldiers Home residents, Ms. Bradford and Mr. Coleman, continued their Jingo winning streak with the assistance of Friends volunteers Ada Loo and Eric Schaefer at this month’s get together. This is nothing new; Ms. Bradford and Mr. Coleman sat at the same table together and swept last month’s Jingo, too! The Thanksgiving- and Christmas-themed Jingo games on Nov. 13 marked the last time Friends of the Soldiers Home and residents will get together for the activity until 2015. But the year was ended on the right note, with a dozen Friends partnering with residents for a great time! It was the 33rd time Friends and residents got together for Jingo games since Friends was founded in November 2011.

Story and photos by Lori Lincoln.

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