Can you help mark Remembrance Day at Perley Health?

This summer, I celebrated my 99th birthday with my family and friends at Perley Health and had so much to be thankful for, including my six children, 11 grandchildren and 20 great- grandchildren. In my 100th year, my life is brimming with good people, loving family, top- notch care, and plenty of things to keep me busy.

When I think of the full life I lead and the exceptional care I receive at Perley Health; I am also grateful to you, for making so much of this possible.

You help my fellow Veterans, residents, and me enjoy our best lives daily. Thank you for supporting exceptional care, hardworking staff, and innovative programs at Perley Health.

Thanks to your continued support, I have rediscovered my love of painting through the Ozerdinc Grimes Family Therapeutic Recreation and Creative Arts program at Perley Health, at 98, no less!

When I arrived at Perley Health last year, Ross Imrie, an instructor in the art studio, noticed some of my old oil paintings. Learning that I had given up oil painting for health reasons, Ross suggested I try painting with acrylic paints. I am so glad he did.

These days, I love sitting in front of my easel in my sun-filled room, letting my brushes lead the way to colourful paintings of landscapes. Painting again brings me joy and purpose and puts a smile on the face of many others, including my daughter, Carole.

In my first few months at Perley Health, I completed nearly twenty new paintings, many of which were on display in the gallery near the art studio, over the summer. The staff was encouraging and helpful in creating the exhibition of my art.

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My life began in Lowertown, Ottawa, in 1923, where I was part of a big, close-knit family of ten children, my parents and my maternal grandmother. As a young boy, I loved sports and life with my family and friends. I left school in Grade 9 to begin working as a labourer with my father, then as a clerk in the Federal Government.

When I was eighteen, I met Claire, the girl of my dreams. We married two weeks before I shipped out to Europe after enlisting in the Canadian Army. When I returned home after serving my country, I finally met my daughter Madeleine who had been born while I was overseas. I visited the grave of my dear mother, who passed away in my absence.

In close to 100 years of living, I have seen many things. Serving Canada during the Second World War is something I am both very proud of and deeply marked by. Even 80 years later, I struggle with what I saw and experienced. A loving family, good friends, rewarding career, volunteering and a love of art helped me cope.

Claire and I found a home for our growing family in Eastview, which became Vanier, and the years flew by raising children, working and volunteering in the community. I’m proud of the career and success I enjoyed in the public service. I always believed in giving back and was happy to serve on boards and to give time to our church. 

Learning new things, especially creative things, has always brought me joy; whether it was cooking, golfing, learning to
sew and, of course, painting.

Being able to escape into art and painting at Perley Health, means so much to me and is one of the many ways that your loyalty as a donor enhances my quality of life. Thank you for allowing me to rekindle and enjoy a passion that has played such a big role in my life.

Your impact goes well beyond me to all the Veterans and Seniors who call Perley Health their home. Because of your loyalty as a donor, residents sleep better, have active social lives, receive exceptional care, enjoy innovative programs and experience life to the fullest extent possible.

Staff are encouraged when they see the belief and value you place in the work they do through your support. Believe me when I tell you that, the people who work at Perley Health are the biggest part of what makes my quality of life what it is. You lift the spirits of these fantastic, hardworking people through your giving.

Because of you, hundreds of families like mine have peace of mind knowing that the people they love are being extremely well cared for as they age.

In a few weeks it will be Remembrance Day. With its long history of caring for Veterans, Perley Health marks the day with great dignity and reverence for the many Canadians who served our country. It means so much to me and my fellow Veterans to be honoured and remembered in the place we now call home.

Can I ask you to be part of Remembrance Day 2022 at Perley Health by continuing your support of exceptional care? If you donate today, a Canadian Flag will be planted, on your behalf, in the lawn of the Rideau Veterans Residence in time for November 11th.

It would mean so much to all of us to be able to look outside and see a sea of flags fluttering in the autumn breezes and in remembrance of our service and sacrifice.
It would also serve as a powerful symbol of the difference your support makes each day at Perley Health.

Will you consider making a donation today and supporting the care of earlier generations who helped build the lives that so many Canadians now enjoy?

I hope my letter today has found you in good health and enjoying Fall. These months have always been one of my favourite seasons, as the forests and trees change colours and look like giant works of art.

Thank you for so much for taking the time to read my letter today and for considering my request to make a special donation in time for Remembrance Day. Our community of Seniors and Veterans is so fortunate to have you in our lives.

Best wishes,

Roland “RJ” Lalonde (Artist at heart)
Father, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather and Veteran Resident, Rideau Veterans Residence and proud donor.