Hospice of Chautauqua County and Chautauqua Adult Day Care Centers Inc. will present a celebration of the life of local resident Rose Worden. The event will commemorate Mrs. Worden's 102nd birthday and will be held on Wednesday at the Present Center located at 358 E. Fifth St., Jamestown, N.Y., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The community is invited to share in the celebration. A homestyle Italian lunch will be served along with a cake to celebrate.
Hospice's Art Enrichment Program worked with the Worden family in the past and the Boys and Girls Club to produce ''The Rose Garden,'' a puppetry, movement and musical fantasy based on Rose's life. The show will be performed by the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua County Children's Puppetry Troupe. Hospice staff persons Jamie Probst, bereavement coordinator, created the soundtrack for the show, and Mike Murphy did all of the sound editing. Mary Jo Bradish, a therapeutic service coordinator and a former dance academy owner, provided choreography guidance and costuming for the young performers. Hospice ''Art Enrichment'' Facilitator, Valerie Walawender, has acted as artistic director for the puppeteers.
Boys and Girls Club Director E.J. Hayes commented, ''The puppetry program is a way for the kids to explore new creative dimensions of themselves, while serving the community in a meaningful way. They are so excited about performing this show to honor a special woman.'' Indeed, when the idea of creating a puppet show based on Rose's life was presented to the puppeteers, ages 7 to 11, they were full of questions: ''Was she born before the Titanic?'' ''Was she on the Titanic?'' ''Did she live through World War I?'' ''How did she live through the war?'' Without a doubt, the legacy of Rose's amazing ''century plus two years'' life will live on through the puppeteers tale.
Rose Worden, right, embraces her daughter, Beverly. Students from the Boys and Girls Club have worked to produce ‘‘The Rose Garden,’’ a puppetry, movement and musical fantasy based on the life of Mrs. Worden, a local resident who will soon turn 102. The show will be performed as part of a celebration of her life, presented by Hospice of Chautauqua County and Chautauqua Adult Day Cares Inc., on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the Present Center, 358 E. Fifth St., Jamestown.
Chautauqua Adult Day Care Director Frank Bercik and Associate Director Karen Lucks readily embraced the project.
''It will be an honor to share in this special tribute to Rose's life, as she is a charming woman who we all love,'' Lucks said.
''Rose has been attending our Senior Day Program for many years and it has been a pleasure to know her and her family,'' Bercik said. ''Having this celebration is a very special event. It will be a great way of getting everybody together to celebrate Rose and her life. Rose has touched all of us in a special and extraordinary way. She has been a witness to over 100 years - and we all can learn so much from her.''
Born on March 8, 1910, in Jamestown to Josephine and Vincent Brunacini, Rose was the fifth of nine children. She had three sisters and five brothers. Two brothers are still living and over 90 years of age. Her parents were born in the coastal town of Grotte, Italy, and shared their heritage with their children. After her husband's death, Josephine Brunacini opened a grocery store where Rose worked as a teen and young adult. According to Rose's daughter Beverly, the family ''always stuck together.'' Rose ''gave every penny she earned'' to help her mother after Rose's father died. Rose also worked in Albequerque. She was ''good with figures'' and worked at the county office. Some of Rose's special memories will be incorporated into the puppet show. For instance, when she was a little girl, Rose's family celebrated St. Joseph's Day with table laid out with homemade breads, canoli, puppadelova, Italian pastries and cake made in the shape of a lamb. According to Rose, everyone on the street had laid out such a table, outside on their lawn and people would go from house to house to enjoy the delicacies. In 1935, Rose married Floyd Worden. They raised three children, Jude, Shirley and Beverly.
''Some summer evenings family and neighbors would play their assorted instruments and dance on the sidewalks,'' Beverly said. ''They were often joined by workers walking home. It was a very joyful time.''
The family moved to New Mexico during the 1960s, but returned to Jamestown so Rose could be near her sisters after Floyd passed in 1994.
With seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, Rose manages to maintain an active life. She attends the Chautauqua Adult Day Care Centers Inc., Present Center, and attended the Hospice Art Enrichment Program. Her eyes sparkle as she perfectly recites the Preamble to the Constitution, and laughs heartily as she shares jokes over coffee and cookies with family and friends. All are welcome to join in the celebration at the Present Center on Wednesday.
Chautauqua Adult Day Care Centers Inc., a not-for-profit United Way agency, offers senior day programs for adults 60 years of age and older who live in community. The centers provide socialization and offer many opportunities for clients to participate in activities during the day in a caring friendly atmosphere. Senior Day Programs provide supportive staff, a secure group setting, supervision, meals, social work services, recreation and companionship. In addition, the agency has a ''Saturday Program'' in Jamestown that focuses on participants being very involved in attending local events and outdoor recreation every week. For more information, call 664-9759 or visit www.seniordayprograms.com.
Hospice Chautauqua County is dedicated to caring for patients and families facing terminal illness. Hospice offers a range of services through a team concept to meet the physical as well as the emotional needs of both the patient and the family. If you are interested in finding out more information on Hospice Chautauqua County, please visit Hospice's website at www.hospicechautco.org or call 338-0033.