MOWSF Blog | Senior Stories | Volunteer News
When Friendly Visitor Volunteer Katie found out that her senior pal Zane had passed away, she was naturally sad. The two had a wonderful three-year friendship filled with dance lessons, lunches, movies and more. But when she learned that there had been no memorial, no ceremony or other remembrance held for the 91-year-old ballroom dance aficionado, she knew she change that. She decided to do something extra special to honor her friend’s memory by planning a night at his beloved Tonga Room.
So Katie got to work reaching out to her friends and to Meals On Wheels of San Francisco, which had introduced the two as part of its Friendly Visitor volunteer program in 2012. She also called up the Fairmont Hotel San Francisco, home to the Tonga Room, one of Zane’s favorite spots in the City. Together they were able to plan “Dance Like Zane,” an evening of joyful remembrance with dancing and cocktails.
At the event, 50 people turned up to help Katie remember Zane, including friends of Katie, Zane’s neighbors, MOWSF Executive Director Ashley McCumber and Melissa Farrar, Public Relations Director of the Fairmont San Francisco. The Tonga Room offered a specially discounted Mai Tai to those who came to “Dance Like Zane,” as well as 10% of the bar proceeds during the event.
The Fairmont had helped MOWSF give Katie and Zane a special night of out of dinner and dancing in the spring of 2013 as part of a “Random Acts of Kindness” campaign funded by the Brin Wojcicki Foundation.
“I had such a vivid recollection of seeing Zane and Katie on the dance floor and how happy they were,” says Melissa of the Fairmont. “It is our goal to assist local organizations on a more ongoing basis than just one-off donations and to really create personal connections. This was a wonderful celebration of a life and the community that Meals on Wheels has produced through its admirable efforts.”
Katie displayed a poster with photos of her and Zane, and Marcie Judelson of Boomercize took to the dance floor and gave a group dance lesson. She taught the rumba, which was one of Zane’s favorites.
You can read more about Zane and Katie’s adventure at www.mowsf.org/dance-like-zane.