Friday, April 13, 2012

PNA Superstar Volunteer - Jeanne Barwick

“Jeanne is one of the most community-minded people I have ever met,” states Cecily Kaplan, Director of the Greenwood Senior Center. As an active participant in the local community, Jeanne Barwick was invited to join the Greenwood Senior Center Board of Directors in 2005 by Jim Moore, a longtime leader at the Center. Jeanne, who has owned and managed Mae’s Phinney Ridge Café for 23 years, believes community volunteer work is good for business, good for the community and good for the soul.

Over the years, her work with the Greenwood-Phinney Chamber of Commerce, the Phinney Neighborhood Association and the Greenwood Arts Council brought her a certain degree of recognition among the locals. Now, all of that has changed. Now, whenever she finds herself out and about in the neighborhood, she is not necessarily recognized as “Mae,” but more often as the “Bingo Lady” from the Senior Center!

“I love it!” says Jeanne with a warm smile and a mischievous glance.

Ed Medeiros, former Executive Director of the PNA, loves to tell stories about the first couple of times Jeanne stood in front of a crowd in her role as Chamber President. “She was so nervous and shy!” It seems she’s found her comfort in the role of “Jeanne, Jeanne the Bingo Queen” on the last Friday of the month at The Greenwood Senior Center. Until recently, Lauren Sisto (aka “The Sisto Kid”) shared the stage and Marilyn Shulman is the “Karaoke Queen.”

“So many wonderful volunteers have made this event a very successful fundraiser for the Center. Fundraising has never been so much fun!” Jeanne says.

Jeanne has generously shared her creativity and incredible energy with the Greenwood Senior Center, bringing vitality to events like Bingo Karaoke Night and projects like the Alzheimer’s Café.

Jeanne’s partnership in supporting one of the Greenwood Senior Center’s most exciting new programs, The Alzheimer’s Café, has been truly amazing. Center staff are grateful to Jeanne for her willingness to open her doors for this monthly gathering, held the second Tuesday monthly from 3:30-5 p.m.

The Phinney Ridge Café had been a long-time fixture on the Ridge when Jeanne Mae Barwick moved to Seattle from her native Wisconsin. Jeanne took one look at the homey neighborhood diner and fell in love. Her enthusiasm, warmth and calm demeanor add the perfect ingredients for the success of the Alzheimer’s Cafe.

“Her monthly menu varies but the offerings are always simple, delicious comfort foods that mark the season. We could not ask for a better venue or host for this event.” says GSC Social Worker Carin Mack.

If you haven’t met Jeanne, she’s hard to miss! Her cheerful demeanor and genuine smile can be found often at Mae’s Phinney Ridge Café, a great spot for a family celebration or a get-together with friends, as well as monthly at the Greenwood Senior Center’s Bingo Karaoke Night. A big thank you to Jeanne for all that she has done at the Greenwood Senior Center, the Phinney Neighborhood Center and our entire community as a whole.

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