Surrey Services for Seniors, a Devon-based nonprofit with a mission to help older adults live with independence and dignity, recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Jeanne’s Place, the café at the Surrey Center for Healthy Living.
The café was renamed in honor of Jeanne La Rouche, the founder and visionary leader of Surrey Services for Seniors. For 28 years, La Rouche was the driving force of the organization she formed to help older adults continue to be active members of the community.
“Surrey began in Jeanne’s Place, in her house,” said Surrey CEO Bob Madonna. “In the years since Jeanne’s passing, we’ve worked to find a special way to honor her. “
Honorary Board Member Bob Campbell shared with the more than 60 people who attended the ceremony that a café is like a kitchen in a home, serving as the energy center where people gather for food, lively discussion, and fellowship.
This is why the café was chosen to honor Jeanne.
“Jeanne gave members, volunteers, and staff the sense that they were really part of something special,” said Park Blatchford. “We can now all gather here in Jeanne’s Place to continue her work.”
Board Member John Beilenson remembered Jeanne as an entrepreneur and innovator.
“The Surrey way, matching volunteers with members, was a Jeanne La Rouche innovation,” he said. “Today, neighbor helping neighbor is standard of care throughout the aging care community.”
“Jeanne would be pleased by this occasion,” said Ursula Weissgerber, who has been involved with Surrey for its entire 36-year history. “Naming the café after her is a gesture she would appreciate because it is a place that takes care of people.
Bob La Rouche, Jeanne’s husband, agreed.
“She would have been very pleased,” he said.