If it is true good things happen to good people, Venice is in for a sensational 2019.

Venice Bayfront Regional Medical Center staff this year adopted 24 families for their Adopt a Family program. Families received toys, clothes, food and gift cards. Plant Services adopted seniors. They installed grab bars, installed a new toilet, fixed a water leak in the wall, bought a new CPAP machine, water pik and a turkey.

The Love and Cookies crew at the Venice Yacht Club for the 27th year packaged 273 containers of cookies for Hospice families in the area and enjoyed a holiday luncheon. At the luncheon they got to hold and hug Harper, a life-like robot baby seal created in Japan and purchased by Hospice to heal and comfort families and patients. Everyone fell in love with Harper.

My 2019 calendar is already filling up with celebrations and fun and, of course, fashion shows.

Never too late for gratitude

Special thanks to everyone who made Venice a winter wonderland. Downtown looked spectacular and Blalock Park and all the colorful decorated homes. It was fun to see people catching the spirit in Christmas sweaters and jewelry and silly hats. The manager of Dairy Queen wins the silly hat award. Musicians and actors made sure our hearts soared.

In spite of all the “beautification,” the spirits of peace, love and joy prevailed. Bravo Venice.

One of our best

The special person of this week is the new CEO of Venice Regional Bayfront Medical Center, Karen Fordham. Karen is new to Venice and along with her daughter and son already feels at home. They come from Michigan.

One of Karen’s goals is to make everyone associated with the hospital know they are an important part of the team. That includes staff and volunteer board members who were recently dispatched to do a physical survey of the hospital. She is a regular at Senior Circle, always acknowledging the volunteers.

Karen encourages positive feedback and is the first to offer a kind word and some encouragement. At the recent Adopt a Family party she thanked the staff for the generosity and told them, “You are our gift.” Her goals are to be an active member of our Venice community and looks forward to meeting as many people as possible.

Karen Fordham is one of the women who make Venice a great place to live.

Fran Valencic is the social columnist for the Venice Gondolier Sun. She welcomes your tips and ideas. Contact her at franvalencic@comcast.net

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