Alden store owner Paula Royer had more arts-and-crafts merchandise than she knew what to do with, then she remembered a connection made several years earlier through her longtime friend Bob Bethell. Six years ago, he had put the previous owner of Prairie Flower Crafts, Sara Sleeper, in contact with Tammy Hammond, founder and executive director of Rosewood Services. As an employee of the popular Alden store back then, Royer was involved in organizing that first delivery to Rosewood. Then three years ago, as new owner of Prairie Flower Crafts, Royer donated even more craft items to Rosewood.
Bethell, who was a longtime state representative when he tragically passed away four years ago in a car accident, was on Royer’s mind when she recently decided to donate merchandise yet again. Over the years, the longstanding Alden shop has morphed mostly into a fabrics and quilt store, and the craft items are no longer needed. So this spring, Royer filled a small trailer full of wicker baskets, some wall art, along with an assortment of candles and pillows and delivered them to Rosewood Services.
“Bob put Tammy and I together six years ago, and it’s like every so often, he puts us together again,” said Royer. “He continues to be a strong influence in my life. I’m the mayor of Alden today because of him and his influence on me.”
Joining Royer for the short delivery trek this time was Bob’s widow, Lorene Bethell, who recognized the significance that the donation had to Bob’s memory.
“Bob was great about fostering connections, and because of that, his work goes on today,” added Lorene. “He would be pleased to see this happen for such a great cause. He loved Tammy and people of Rosewood Services because of everything they represent in helping people with disabilities.”
Many of the items donated are going to the Rosewood Studio where people with developmental disabilities will use the merchandise to make products that will either be sold at craft shows, or be placed for sale at Rosewood Wine Cellar. Other donated merchandise has been provided to Rosewood AKTION Club, which will be sold to raise money for the organization’s fund-raising efforts. Rosewood AKTION Club is an affiliate of the national Kiwanis organization that promotes service in action for people with developmental disabilities.
“On behalf of Rosewood, I’m happy to receive this donation from Paula, not only because of what it allows us to do for our folks with Rosewood Studio and AKTION Club, but because it is connected to the memory our friend, Bob, who I have always referred to as our Guardian Angel,” said Hammond. “I thank Paula, Lorene and Bob for believing in our cause and for helping in so many ways to allow our folks to lead quality lives.”