Dear Friends of Old Friends Club,
It is my great pleasure to announce that Old Friends Club has merged with Dementia Support Northwest.
I am filled with pride and confidence that the OFC model of replicable social respite programs will continue to expand to enrich the lives of people living with dementia and those who care about them.
Here’s how this transpired.
Success, and A Conundrum
Over the last couple of years and with a very small team, Old Friends Club has developed a comprehensive Toolkit and systems of support to equip others to offer these life-changing programs to people in their own community. My deepest gratitude to Katie Spears and Katie Zeitler for their substantial contributions of expertise, brilliance, and hard work. Now the Clubs can be established anywhere and can welcome people of any culture, identity, even language. Old Friends Club now has a firm foundation from which to launch Clubs everywhere in partnership with OFC Affiliates. And, until now, a conundrum. How do we make it happen? I’ve learned so much over the last 7½ years to make OFC what it is, but this next stage requires a whole new set of skills.
A Shared Vision
Enter Dementia Support Northwest, a 40-year-old, person-centered, community-oriented nonprofit serving northwest Washington. OFC’s relationship with DSNW started when they began planning to open four Clubs to serve Whatcom County using the OFC model. Their process was deliberate and smart and revealed the strengths of the organization’s leadership. We realized that by joining forces, we would create an organization greater than the sum of its parts.
As of April 4, 2023, Old Friends Club became a program of DSNW. This merger is to ensure that the work of Old Friends Club will continue and expand.
As the founder of OFC, I did not enter this lightly. It is a bit like sending a child off to college knowing they are well equipped yet standing by to help them succeed. I am honored to be joining the board of Dementia Support Northwest alongside others who also bring an understanding of the benefits of social respite programs and a commitment to improving the lives of people affected by dementia.
I’m happy to introduce you to Dan Gray, Executive Director of Dementia Support Northwest. Dan has caught the vision of OFC and is committed to building a network of engaging programs for those living with dementia, and support and respite for those who provide their care.
We hope you will continue to support OFC. You are needed now more than ever to achieve this vision as we build capacity to add and support new Affiliate partners. DSNW will maintain OFC funds in a separate account, which means your donations will support OFC programs as they always have. The biggest difference will be the expanded reach.
With gratitude and anticipation of good things to come,
Founder, Old Friends Club
Board Member, Dementia Support Northwest
Dan Gray, MPA | Executive Director