Activities Calendar for the Upcoming Week

Simsbury High School Music Honor Society shares their gift of music at McLean as part of The Harmony Bridge Project

Members of the Simsbury High School music program had toes tapping and hands clapping as they performed well-known folk tunes for McLean residents on June 12 in the fireside lobby.

Many of the performers are part of the Tri M Music Honor Society, a program of the National Association for Music Education. The group participates in The Harmony Bridge Project, an initiative started by Michael Levine, founder of the Dallas Brass, which encourages student musicians to play for the elderly in their local communities.

Activities Calendar for the Upcoming Week

McLean Auxiliary Awards Grants

McLean Auxiliary Awards $20,000 in Grants at

Annual Annual Meeting and Strawberry Festival

Directors  from the benefitting departments accept their Grant Awards

For more than 40 years, the McLean Auxiliary has supported McLean by providing volunteer services and grants that directly benefit McLean residents, staff and visitors.

On Monday, June 2, the McLean Auxiliary awarded $20,000 at their Annual Meeting and Strawberry Festival to benefit resident life and included music and horticultural activities, a Patient Special Needs Fund, specialized equipment for patient care, and a new server for residents in the newly-renovated dining room.

“The McLean Auxiliary is integral to our mission and success and their generous charitable contributions enhance quality of life and programs for residents every day of the year,” said David Bordonaro, McLean President. “

The McLean Auxiliary also awards an annual scholarship to an employee, or a child of an employee who will be attending college in the fall to pursue a career in a health care related field.  Debbie Davis, RN, an evening supervisor at McLean, (pictured below) accepted the $1,500 scholarship from Jane Stevenson, McLean Auxiliary Board Member and Scholarship Chairman.

The 2008 scholarship recipient, James Cody of North Granby, returned to express his continued gratitude and shared that he has now just graduated from American International College with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

The McLean Auxiliary raised the majority of funds through their Gift Shop, conveniently located in the Living Room of the Health Center.  All purchases are tax-free and there is something for everyone – from cards to jewelry, scarfs, seasonal gifts, light snacks and other items of comfort and beauty. 

For more information on the McLean Auxiliary, visit their website at

Activities Calendar for the Upcoming Week

June Newsletter


5th Grade Students from Tootin’ Hills School form lasting Friendships

with McLean Residents

 Collaboration between Tootin’ Hills Elementary School and McLean, started back in in 2007 when 5th grade teacher, Karen Barton, felt strongly that education was not just about reading, writing and math. She wanted to create a service-learning experience that encourages social growth and ethical behavior for her students.

“Children at this age need to start to “give back,” participate in their community and extend themselves beyond their own worlds. The “Grand-Friends” program helps them understand the value of people of all ages” says 5th grade teacher, Karen Barton, who organizes the program between Tootin’ Hills School and McLean each year. 

Students from the fifth grade classes visit McLean three times a year, partnering with residents to engage in different activities each time – from interviewing their designated grand-friend and writing a corresponding essay, to collaboratively writing poetry. Students celebrate the friendships they’ve built during the year by performing their spring choral concert for the McLean community in the central lobby during their third visit.

This year, McLean residents anticipated their Tootin’ Hills friends and many waited in the lobby close to an hour ahead of the scheduled concert time – as they were looking forward to not only the choral concert but seeing their young friends.

The Village at McLean celebrates their annual Pancake Breakfast

Also known as “Dorothy’s Breakfast,” volunteers serve up breakfast with a smile to over 65 hungry members

of the McLean Community  

The sizzle of griddles marked the start of the Annual Pancake Breakfast held in the Burkholder Community Center this past Thursday morning. Dorothy Ianzito, with the help of her good friend Bud Petersen, has been organizing this delicious event for McLean Village residents since 2007.

“I enjoy putting this breakfast together every year for our community, but I could not do it without the help of my good friend, Bud, and of course all of the wonderful volunteers,” said Dorothy Ianzito.

This year, with the help of 12 volunteers and wonderful kitchen staff at The Village, they served over 65 hungry patrons a traditional menu of pancakes, bacon, fresh fruit cup, orange juice, coffee and tea. In addition to cooking and serving, Dorothy’s volunteers helped with setting long family-style tables, valet parking, greeting residents as they walked in, and of course, cleaning up. 

As the enticing aroma wafted through the Burkholder Community Center, camaraderie and community were the order of the day as neighbors sat together enjoying a delicious pancake breakfast, catching up and enjoying each other’s company after a long, cold winter.

 Photo: “Dorothy’s Breakfast” organizer, Dorothy Ianzito, a resident of  The Village at McLean for 16 years, enjoys the community of people and  the supportive environment reflected by the annual morning get-  together. When asked how long it takes to organize this popular event  each year, she will tell you that she begins organizing the next pancake  breakfast almost as soon the last one ends and works diligently with all  of  her volunteers and McLean staff to make sure the event runs smoothly  year after year.  






 Photo below: Henry (Hank) and Barbara Smachetti, two of this year’s 12 volunteers serve up pancakes and bacon to over 65 residents and staff during McLean’s Annual Pancake Breakfast in the Burkholder Community Center

Activities Calendar for the Upcoming Week

Dr. Bernie Siegel presented "Healing the Heart of Caregivers" at The New McLean last Thursday to Residents, Families and Staff

Best-Selling Author Offered Inspiring Lessons for Caregiving, Healing – and Living Life to the Fullest.

Thanks to a generous gift from the McLean Auxiliary, residents, family members, and staff had the opportunity to listen and learn from best-selling author  Dr. Bernie Siegel as he presented “Healing the Heart of Caregivers” in the McLean Health Center on Thursday, May 8th.

Dr. Siegel, a graduate of Cornell University Medical College and a surgeon for many years, has traveled internationally and touched lives around the world with his inspirational and very poignant life lessons he’s gathered over the years working with his patients, their families and caregivers. 

Retired in 1989 with a passion for helping patients, their families and caregivers, Dr. Siegel understands the importance of empowering the patient. He is the author of 13 books, each one written with the sole purpose of reaching those struggling with health or life challenges.

During his time addressing the group, he encouraged the audience to “find what makes you lose track of time.” He followed the request by presenting the idea that if you love what you do, and are passionate about it, you are less aware about the time. Then, with a smirk and a nod he playfully asked the audience “How can you age if you never know what time it is?” – to which he was rewarded with smiles and laughs.

 Dr. Siegel continued by singling out the nurses in the audience with a simple request – specifically for those caring for elderly patients – “Help them live. You’re not just trying to cure their disease; you’re helping that patient have a life, so be kind and compassionate.” 

During the hour and a half session, Dr. Siegel shared stories and drawings done by former patients as a way to illustrate the importance of recognizing underlying or long-standing obstacles that can sometimes hinder treatment or cure. He balanced that message with reminding the audience of the power of the mind when it comes to healing, and the benefit of positive thinking. He ended his presentation with a few simple instructions:

  • Be your unique authentic self
  • Take care of yourself
  • Learn to laugh for no reason
  • Don’t let the kid in you die  

Valuable lessons for caregiving,healing … and living life to the fullest.

 Photo: Dr. Bernie Siegel and Lisa Clark, Vice President and Administrator of McLean Health Center


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