May 23, 2018
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Want to help Brewer-area senior citizens? Consider buying a chair

By Julie Harris, BDN Staff

BREWER, Maine — The Ellen M. Leach Memorial Home, an independent living complex for senior citizens, wants you to have a seat.

The Leach home recently purchased 96 new dining room chairs and hopes supporters of the complex’s free programs for residents will step up to purchase the 85 chairs being replaced or sponsor one of the new seats.

Fifty-five of the replaced chairs are original to the building, which opened its doors in 1996. Thirty more were purchased in 2002.

Chairs may be purchased individually or in bulk, said executive director Corenna O’Brien in an interview Tuesday.

The new chairs were purchased with money from the home’s operating budget, she said. All money raised through the sale of the old chairs and sponsorship of the new ones will be given to Friends of Ellen M. Leach Memorial Home, which provides the money for special programs offered to resident senior citizens.

Programs include a complimentary continental breakfast seven days a week, a complimentary full-course meal served at noon in the complex’s dining room seven days a week, and complimentary transportation vouchers for residents to get to medical appointments as needed.

O’Brien, emphasizing the importance of keeping the programs funded, said the two complimentary meals served daily provide the only nutrition some of the residents receive.

There is no set price for the used chairs, although O’Brien said she hopes to see them sell for a minimum of $40 each and hopefully more. She indicated the home also would consider selling them based on best offer.

Sponsorships of the new chairs will endure for the life of the chairs. The Sponsor-A-Seat program will allow donors to memorialize a loved one, perhaps even a former resident; celebrate a family name; celebrate a special day such as an anniversary, birthday or graduation; or honor a business or club with a brass plaque affixed to the chair.

Costs associated with individual sponsorships are $125 for a one-line inscription on the brass plaque, or $175 for two lines. Sponsors also may choose to have no inscription, but be recognized as a chair sponsor. Businesses and clubs need to contact O’Brien for information on the corporate level of sponsorship.

O’Brien said the sponsorships are tax deductible in accordance with federal and state laws.

Leach Home has 90 apartments: 17 at market rate and 73 based on low-income housing tax credit guidelines, according to its literature. The home relies on a limited trust fund and community support to provide the services its residents depend upon, O’Brien said.

She said she hoped community members would see this as an opportunity to get involved in a worthwhile project. Contact O’Brien at 989-8246 or or visit


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