Bringing Hope as a Member of the Board and Clubhouse

Bringing hope as a member of the Board and Clubhouse!

Vail Place held it’s annual meeting at the end of March celebrating the accomplishments of the previous year and the passing of the gavel. We welcomed new Officers: Amy Browne as Chair, Willing Long and Kristy Krueger as Vice Chairs, Cheryl Collins as Treasurer and Sharon Oswald as Secretary and new members: Ephrem, Jacque, and Kevin. And we bid farewell with great appreciation to Calynn and Jude.

Volunteer Appreciation month is a wonderful opportunity to focus in on the contributions of Calynn who served on the Vail Place Board of Directors for two terms representing the Hopkins Clubhouse. Vail Place bylaws require that 20% of our Board members are representative of people with a lived experience with mental illnesses. Calynn first came to the Clubhouse in 2011 as a Volunteer in hopes of helping others and using her education in Psychology. Caylnn joined the Clubhouse as a member to support her mental health and struggles with depression. Read more about Calynn here.

Calynn found a home at Vail Place and was encouraged to get involved from the day she walked in the door. As an individual who is visually impaired, Caylnn’s walk through the door at Vail Place was assisted by a guide dog. Calynn has had a guide dog for the past 50 years, and after losing her guide dog Benson right before Covid unexpectedly, she had to wait for a new guide dog. Calynn welcomed Melon, a 2-year-old yellow lab to her side. Calynn describes Melon as “very smart and a good companion” who she has enjoyed spending time with training to help her navigate stairs and other obstacles they may encounter together.

In her time serving on the Vail Place Board of Directors, Calynn has enjoyed “brainstorming with other board members, listening to the different committee reports, finding ways to connect with other programs at Vail Place and enjoyed sharing the impact with other board members that Vail Place has had in her life.”

Calynn enjoys writing articles for the Clubhouse newsletter and in her free time she is working on a mystery novel with a friend that is set in a fictional small town in Minnesota.

Calynn’s talents extend beyond writing to include singing and is a member of The Renovators – house band of the Hopkins Clubhouse. She both sings and plays the flute. Calynn is pleased that The Renovators are once again holding practice in person at the Clubhouse every other week and are planning to play at various events this coming year. You will have an opportunity to hear her performing this year at our Tour de Vail celebration on July 17th. As Calynn said, “The music I now am able to perform with The Renovators has helped me rediscover singing, and my confidence has grown and the encouragement I get from other clubhouse member is wonderful”.