There are over 1500 people who volunteer and share their time helping the Friendship Centers. Today we want to introduce you to Peg Fritts. Her passion for art and life are so apparent, especially when she's sharing insights with her students.
A Sarasota resident since the late 1950s, Peg has been connected to the Friendship Centers for many decades. Her mother, Mary LeGore, was one of the early founders and a personal friend of Brother Geenen’s. “I have long admired the incredible work that is being done here,” says Peg. “I love that the activities foster thinking and brain activity, not just for the simple minded. “
Today she counts a balance class and bridge (three times a week) among her weekly activities. The painting class, however, truly touches her heart.
“The format of this class is non-judgmental and very relaxing,” she notes. “Everyone enjoys being together and I love seeing what the painters can accomplish. It’s a wonderful stress relief. The participants get a great deal of satisfaction from their work. And for me personally, the class provides a motivation to keep me painting, a discipline and structure that I can’t always find at home. “
Peg , who also volunteers at The Pines, feels that this is her “payback” time. “I’ve had a great life, she comments. “Now it’s time to give back.”
She has seen a lot of changes at the Friendship Centers over the years as the campus and programming have expanded, but one thing she says that hasn’t changed is the level of support that it provides to so many people, and not just for the indigent. “Whether it’s medical, dental, computer classes or art, the scope of this place is just amazing,” she says.
“There’s a great deal of love here.”