By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 10/2010

Just in time for all your holiday shopping — the Doolittle Home auction event is back! Mark your calendars for November 6, 2010 as the seventh annual cable auction to benefit the Doolittle Home is broadcast live and on the web!

Proceeds from the 2010 fund-raising will be used to purchase an improved model of whirlpool tub for the nursing unit, where it would have therapeutic value to all residents.

Every year, the auction proceeds improve quality of life for the Doolittle residents. Last year, auction proceeds purchased an adjustable diagnostics table for the unit, providing not only greater comfort, but a higher margin of safety as should be for residents. The prior two years were devoted to raising funds for the purchase of a wheelchair accessible van used to transport residents to medical appointments and social events. The van has truly made the residents mobile and allowed them to continue to go out into the community, see their family and friends, and enjoy all Foxboro has to offer. In addition, once the van was on the road, Doolittle Home reached out to wheelchair bound veterans in Foxboro, offering to provide transportation to medical appointments if they lack access to other options.

Full disclosure: I am Doolittle’s web master, serve on the auction committee and have a very great love for the place. And Doolittle is easy to love – it’s one of Foxboro’s treasures. This beautiful residence is home to nearly 30 senior citizens, and provides total care in an elegant, dignified atmosphere.

You may know that Doolittle Home is licensed by the state as a retirement facility and also provides for the medical needs of the residents in a fully accredited nursing unit. You may not know that Doolittle is not at all like any extended care facility you have ever visited. People investigating options for themselves or an elderly loved one will quickly learn, the “Doolittle Difference.”

Like retirees everywhere, residents of Doolittle Home retain their own independent lifestyle. Many still drive. They socialize. And they enjoy the amenities of the home that include incredible (I’ve tasted it!) food in an elegant dining room setting.

I love Doolittle Home. The residents are obviously so comfortable, so happy. I was speaking with a 94 years old resident and saw her going over a sheet of paper. “So many activities,” she told me, “I have to plan my day!” I visit and I see some residents are chatting with others over cards, another is doing a puzzle, one is reading the newspaper, and several are hosting visitors. Someone might be Wii bowling. Or playing password with company from Elvis the dog!

People stay active at Doolittle in both body and mind and it’s easy to see that they are happy and comfortable. There is an activities director who plans special trips as well as in-house activities which they find enjoyable. Through the resident’s council, they have a voice in planning activities, making their needs known, and helping to plan menus. And you should see that activities calendar – it is filled with options for the Doolittle seniors. Doolittle also has regularly scheduled visits by hairdresser and barbers in-house.

The entire staff at Doolittle is just phenomenal and so dedicated. There’s little staff turnover and that means continuity for the residents. I watch the personnel interact with the residents and I am impressed by the level of care, and the obvious affection the staff and residents share.

Doolittle emphasizes the HOME. People who live at Doolittle are home.

So you can see why I have come to love Doolittle Home — for someone who loves seniors so much, to see that this fine facility provides seniors with dignity, respect, quality of life, and security for the future — well, how can you not want to help?

Which leads me to the pitch. Doolittle Home is a non-profit organization organized under section 501 (c) 3 of the IRS code. As such, it must demonstrate outside support (auctions, donations, and other support) and provide care at lower cost than could be obtained on the open market.

As part of the fundraising, for the seventh year, Doolittle Home will be holding an auction LIVE on FCA Foxboro Cable Access on Comcast Channel 8 & FiOs Verizon Channel 39 on Saturday November 6, starting at 1:00pm. I am urging you to watch, to call in and bid, and make a difference.

Live out of town? Don’t have cable TV? Not a problem! For the third year, you can watch the auction LIVE on the Foxboro Cable Access web site (www.fcatv.org) that day, and call in your bids. So no more excuses about not being able to see Foxboro Cable Access! If you have access to the web, you can watch the auction and bid!

Now, I mentioned holiday shopping and I meant it – there is truly something for everyone this year. There’s the usual excellent assortment of gift certificates to local businesses, stores, clubs and beauty salons, and (close to my heart) food.

Each of the Foxboro Cable Access/Doolittle Home Auctions over the years has featured a painting by the late Homer White, a local artist of legendary proportions known for his local scenes as well a broad range of floral, marine and landscape creations. This year will be no exception as we offer TWO paintings by Homer – a lovely image of a cocker spaniel, and a stunning ocean scene.

There are so many other items that would make a perfect gift for everyone on your list (or for yourself — c’mon, you deserve it!). How about eighteen holes of golf for four people at the Foxboro County Club. Or personal financial planning. We have electronic gadgets, digital cameras, a car GPS system, conveniences, and even two LCD flat screen TV.

We’re all sports fans around here, so how about Red Sox tickets. Or would you like the rare, New England patriots football autographed by the 2010 team? (I would!) Better yet — A VIP package to attend a Pats game in style. And how about the legendary Randy Moss autographed Patriots jersey — sure to be a collector’s item! Do you like Wes Walker? We have a framed photo of the man in action and other sports memorabilia from our local sports heroes.

We have beautiful framed images to give as gifts or beautify your home. A weekend camping at Normandy Farms. A one-of-a-kind Foxboro quilt. A ride in the fire truck on Founders Day. Beautiful handmade greetings cards, knitting’s, and one-of-a-kind hand-made crafts like the “tools” chess set. Incredible photography by locals.

New home or remodeling? We have you covered with Interior and Exterior Paint Color Consultations, kitchen gadgets and helpers, and so much more.

And that’s just for starters. By the time you read this, so much more will be added.

Local businesses and individuals have been so generous – and we sincerely appreciate it.

As always, we have a full page ad in the Foxboro Reporter for which we are most appreciative. The items are also being previewed constantly on Foxboro Cable Access.

Also, the newly-redesigned Doolittle Home web site, http://www.doolittle-home.org  features a PREVIEW of all the items up for bid. Visit the site regularly for a constantly updated preview and start making a list of the items you wish to bid upon come auction day! And while you’re there, check out the rest of the Doolittle site for information about this gem of Foxboro.

Remember: All donations are tax deductible. For additional information about Doolittle Home or its auction or to make a cash donation toward this wonderful cause, please call the Doolittle Home at 508-543-2694.

And PLEASE: Watch the live auction either on Cable Access of the Foxboro Cable Access web (www.fcatv.org) site and bid. Mark your calendar now. I am asking you — for this one day — to set aside time at 1pm on Saturday November 6 to tune into the Doolittle Auction on Channel 8.

Bid high. Bid often. Keep those phones ringing! You have an opportunity to help our seniors once again, and perhaps get some holiday shopping completed.

Help make a difference.

Thank you!

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