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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Tim Mahoney 'Rocks' Ebenezers' Minneapolis Campus at the Volunteer Appreciation Event

Tim Mahoney, a well known singer and song writer is a homegrown Minneapolis, Minnesota man. He was discovered on the first season of NBC's 'Voice' and was chosen by Adam Levine. He has been playing great music for over fifteen years. He is an amazing and talented tenor who makes any song sound outstanding. He has been featured on publications such as City Pages and Rolling Stone magazine. He has won countless singing contests and received countless accolades in his music career and is highly respected in the music industry. Check out his website.

Tim generously accepted to play for the Annual 'Volunteer Appreciation Event'  for the Ebenezer- Minneapolis Campus. The Volunteer Appreciation luncheon took place on April 23rd. As Director of Volunteer Services on the Minneapolis Campus, I know that  music is an integral part of this annual event. The theme this year was 'Volunteers Rock' which had a double meaning; Rock music and the Rock of Ebenezer.  Ebenezer means 'Stone of Help' and our volunteers are the cornerstone of our organization.

Tim Mahoney's uplifting music was icing on the cake at this special event. Tim made the 'Rock' theme come to life with his talent and personality. The luncheon was a sit down event, serving approximately 200 of  the volunteers that have given almost 33,000 hours to the residents on our campus. This number reflects having approximately 16 Full Time Employees.

Ebenezer's mission is "to help older adults live more independent, healthful, meaningful and secure lives." Ebenezer provides access throughout Minnesota to a full range of senior housing options, community-based programs and medical care.

Tim showed up in a trendy black leather jacket and dyed blue jeans. His silver guitar glistened throughout the St. Mary's Event Center where the appreciation event was held. Keeping with the theme of 'Volunteers Rock', each table setting had a thoughtfully wrapped inspiration rock, tied with a tag that had Rock and Roll insignia, guitars, and rock and roll stamps. The centerpiece was a colorful pail overlaid with 'You Rock' gel stickers on it. Under the centerpiece was a mirror sprinkled with pastel colored flower petals.

Can I just say, "Tim Mahoney rocked the house!" Strumming on his glitzy silver guitar during and after the luncheon, one could see that the instrument is an extension of himself. This kind, down to earth musician made the volunteers feel extra special.  He welcomed Ebenezer volunteers to join him on stage and get their picture taken with him and his famous guitar, which has his name inscribed in black across it.

What do you get when you bring in a talented musician and a room of volunteers? Happy 'Rockin' Dancers. Thanks so much Tim-you made this years' Volunteer Event a true success. You will always be a friend of the Ebenezer organization.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Review of Saving Mr. Banks

When my twin sister and I went to view the PG-13 Rated Movie, Saving Mr. Banks, we had no idea how rich the story-line would be. The cast included: Director John Lee Hancock, Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, and Bradley Whitford. 
Who says our past does not haunt us? As a person with a Master Degree in Counseling & Psychological Services, I so appreciated the way they took us all on a journey into our childhoods. We may say that our past does not affect our current state of being, but that is not true in any form. We may choose to shut it away, but even that behavior gives credence to our past, good or bad. 
The movie shows how a dad, Walt Disney, wants to keep a promise to his kids. They beg him to make a Hollywood movie from their favorite book "Mary Poppins". It took him twenty years to bring P.L Traverse, the writer of Mary Poppins to finally come to talk about the prospect. He wants to obtain the rights to take the book to the movie screen. 
P.L Traverse is not an easy woman to get along with and that is a nice way of putting it. She is a controlling, unhappy woman. She comes to work with the Hollywood team put there to help write the movie from her script. P.L Traverse seems to badger the team and also dictate her way at each and every turn, reminding them that she may never give over the rights.
Walt try's to sway the tyrannical author into giving over the rights. He wants to keep his promise to his kids. The two weeks he has P.L Traverse there in Los Angeles he does everything in his power to make her see what a gift this movie would be for adults and children. He has her stay in his lovely hotel, gives her many Disney gifts, and treats her like royalty.
You sense the deep wounds that P.L Traverse has endured by the way she reacts to the Hollywood team and by the flash backs she has in the two short weeks she is in Los Angeles. She knows she needs to at least think about giving the rights over to Walt Disney since her money has run out from writing Mary Poppins. She is at a crossroads.
You watch as her childhood memories flood her and she try's so desperately to protect the man who you learn was her father, Mr. Banks. We learn near the end of the movie why she can't let Mr.Banks be portrayed as a mean man. Walt Disney also understands that underneath P.L.Traverse's hard exterior, she is really a scared little child. Her child within comes out in a big way.
 Walt promises her as he describes his tough childhood and compares it to hers, why it is essential for him to save Mr. Banks in the movie and have him live eternally in the movie for all to see. Mr. Banks will be the endearing loving father forever more. Together, they will write the script so his charm will  live on in the hearts and minds of all ages. This is where the past and present and future can meld together to heal childhood wounds.