Glenmeadow will offer a livestreamed raffle at the end of October, supporting area businesses while also providing a fun and informative activity for residents and those in the wider community.
Laura Lavoie, director of life enrichment, conceived of United We Shop #Glenmeadow; this new event will be broadcast to Glenmeadow residents on Oct. 29 at 2:30 p.m. via the nonprofit’s in-house television station. The program will also be available online for the general public. After the event, a video of the raffle will remain up for viewing on YouTube.
The idea to host United We Shop #Glenmeadow came to Lavoie after a resident, Bill Burrows, asked if Glenmeadow would host such an event as an activity, and Lavoie was hesitant, given the economy.
“There was no way I could ask small businesses struggling with COVID-19 for something we could raffle off,” Lavoie said, noting that items in raffles typically are provided through donations from area businesspeople. “I thought about it and realized, ‘What if we turn it completely around? What if we say to businesspeople, ‘We’re calling because we want to support you and want to purchase something from you.’”
For United We Shop #Glenmeadow, the Life Plan Community purchased one item each from roughly 50 local businesses, and the products will be raffled off during a livestreamed event intended for both residents and community members.
From Oct. 23-29, residents can purchase raffle tickets in person and indicate the items they are interested in. Members of the public can purchase tickets online and indicate their items of interest by visiting Glenmeadow.org/events.
In addition to viewing the purchased products up for raffle, residents and community members will also be privy to information from each business, highlighting safety precautions each has taken to ensure customer safety during the pandemic.
Some of the business owners will be also be featured in brief Zoom-based conversations, in which the entrepreneurs can talk about how they have adapted their safety protocols due to COVID and whether they are open, allowing curb-side pickups, making deliveries to customers or have other new measures in place. “Whatever they would like the public to know,” Lavoie said.
“The people running these businesses are extremely grateful,” said Lavoie, who organized the event with a committee that included these residents: Burrows, Bunny Bewick, Janet Black and Joan Rosenbaum. “This allows businesspeople to say, ‘We’re still here. Please come in. We’re keeping people safe.’”
Lavoie said some business owners are so grateful for the support that they are matching Glenmeadow’s purchase amount, donating another item of similar—or added—value.
Professional entertainer Jimmy Mazz will help host the event with Glenmeadow’s President and CEO Anne Thomas. Together, they will draw winners’ names.
Any proceeds that result from the raffle will be used to defray the cost of Glenmeadow’s own adaptations due to COVID.
Anne Thomas, Glenmeadow’s president and CEO, said the raffle is a great example of the creative freedom that team members have to be innovative as they enhance the lives of residents. “This is a great idea, and I’m proud it came from a long-time team member,” Thomas said, adding, “We hope it goes viral. It’s a total win-win concept.”
Glenmeadow is a nonprofit Life Plan Community—formerly known as a retirement community—and it has a mission to serve seniors in the Greater Springfield region, whether they live on the Longmeadow campus or in their own homes.
Established in 1884, Glenmeadow is an accredited Life Plan Community; it provides independent and assisted living at its campus at 24 Tabor Crossing in Longmeadow and expanded Glenmeadow at Home services throughout greater Springfield.