SuDoKu for Seniors (SFS), a community-based program, created by retired Bomoseen resident, John Hale, had a successful fundraiser last week at the Lakehouse Pub & Grille on Lake Bomoseen.
"We had 36 participants and generated more than $600 from sponsors, which covers our expenditures to date," said Hale. "We thought of the event as an awareness promotion, not to mention just plain fun. The party was a big success in all regards."
Hale started SFS in the fall of last year, and it is growing throughout Rutland County, as he has reached out to the senior activity centers, facilities, and housing.
"I wanted to help others even though I was not good at puzzles," said Hale. "While visiting a friend in the hospital who was working on Suduko, I asked what on Earth is that?" He continued, "That was the beginning, and now I am afflicted with CSS, compulsive Suduko syndrome."
Will Shortz, crossword puzzle master made a guest appearance via the large screen T.V. at the restaurant officially kicking off the day's events.
Shortz shares Hale's passion and said, "The successful aging of our seniors is a puzzle I'm interested in solving. SFS is rapidly expanding and looking for support. I encourage you to get involved."
"We're always looking for volunteers to take ownership of a program and expand the project even further," said Hale.
SFS consists of college students and other volunteers teaching the number puzzle to seniors at various neighborhood facilities. GMC student, Elliot Shore, runs the Poultney branch at the Young at Heart Senior Center every Tuesday, 1-3 p.m., with the assistance of CSC student, Michelle Park.
At the fundraiser, Shore and Park taught basic skills at the beginner table. Volunteer Tricia Lawrence of Rutland and Hale taught new techniques at the intermediate table, and volunteer Julanne Sharrow of Rutland supervised the black belt tournament.
The black belt participants, Rita Turok, Hales's daughter-in-law and Dusan Vuksanovic, a GMC student, competed with Vuksanovic coming out as the winner.
Benefactors for the fundraiser included Lakehouse Pub & Grille offering the venue with coffee and pastries in the morning and lunch by Brad Burns, chef/owner; Castleton State College, Chrispin L. White, director of the Robert T. Stafford Center for support of the community; Green Mountain College, Renee Beaupre White, director of career services; Castleton Village Store, John Rehlen, proprietor; Gilmore Home Center, Jeff Larson, proprietor; Green Mt. Country Depot, Messrs. Kelly and Leslie, proprietors; Water Guard, Marty Waserman, proprietor; The Riley Agency, Terry Riley, proprietor; Century 21 Bird Real Estate, Wenda Bird, proprietor; and personal friends of Hale, who wish to be referred to as Jim and Ida.
For further information, contact John Hale at 802-273-2293 or www.SuDoKuforSeniors@gmail.com and Mary Thomas, director of Young at Heart Senior Center in Poultney at 802-287-9200.