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Gene Gene the Dancing Machine

 

Join Al Bisher, SilverFox, and Mike Frederick Matrix Video Sound for the Gene LaFont Celebration of Life event to be held at the Venue on Saturday, April 8th.   

The event will honor longtime Cape resident Samuel Gene LaFont, who passed away in early February.  Affectionately known as Gene, Gene, the Dancing Machine, he will be missed dearly by those that knew him.  Gene is perhaps best known for Lafont Auto Sales. However, when the WW II paratrooper retired, he became a volunteer with the Cape Girardeau Senior Center's homebound meals program.  In recognition of his longtime volunteer efforts, Bisher is heading up a fundraiser for the Senior Center's meal delivery program as part of the April 8th celebration.  

The Senior Center, also called the OAKS, offers hot, nutritious meals both in-house and via delivery to area seniors who are unable to drive.  It takes a lot of time, energy, and funds to keep this program going for area seniors.  Over 200 residents receive a hot meal delivered to their homes every day, just in Cape and Scott City alone.   For those that are homebound, the daily nutrition and human interaction are priceless.

Susan McClanahan, Administrator for the Cape OAKS program, laughs when recalling Gene LaFont and John Hill Jr. together.  She says, "They teamed up and delivered meals together for many, many  years on the north side of town in a little blue station wagon.  And they drove the wheels off that car!" McClanahan says, "He had a knack for used vehicles, he was instrumental in getting us a couple of vehicles for meal delivery that helped build our fleet."

Gene touched more lives than he knew. Rhonda Bramlett, Aging Matters Nutrition Project Director, says of Gene, "He is a true testament of the benefits to someone who stays active both mentally and physically. He is a good role model for his peers."

McClanahan believes that Gene aged well because he was so active.  She said that after meal delivery became too much to handle he still spent a great deal of time at the Senior Center.  She recalls that he was always on board for fun and in the middle of every activity - though there was never enough dancing for him. "Gene worked, walked, and spent time with people. He aged well and he was attracted to younger people.  Not because of the obvious reasons, but because he didn't know he was old", McClanahan says of Gene. As we laugh together over her impression of Gene, we both hope for the same in our own lives!   

For more information on the event check out the Facebook Page

The host agency for the meal delivery program is Aging Matters, find out more about their mission to enhance the lives of area seniors here

The OAKS nutrition program is standing ready for more volunteers to expand their delivery area.  The organization is the only one of its kind in the area and is faced with a large base of seniors in need every day.  For more information about the program or to get involved click here

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