McLean Auxiliary presents grants and scholarship awards at Strawberry Festival

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For the past 46 years the McLean Auxiliary has supported volunteer services and grants that directly benefit McLean residents, staff and the entire community.

On Monday, June 4, the group awarded over $16,500 in grants at its annual meeting and Strawberry Festival, including funding for assisted living therapeutic and memory care programs; home care and hospice; art/ceramics; musical entertainment; a patient personal needs fund, and specialized equipment for post-acute care and rehabilitation.

Members of the McLean community accepted grants supporting resident activities and programs awarded by The McLean Auxiliary during the Annual Grant Awards Reception and Strawberry Festival on June 4. Those present included (left to right); David Bordonaro, McLean President; Peggy Coburn, MPH, Administrator Home Care and Hospice, Rebecca May, Outgoing Auxiliary President; Carlene Rhea, Director Assisted Living and Resident Services; Kathy Cookson, Director of Therapeutic Recreation; Lisa Clark, VP and Administrator McLean Health Center. (Missing from picture: Anne Rolfe, Director of Post-Acute and Rehabilitation)

“This is a wonderful day for McLean and a wonderful day for the Auxiliary,” said David Bordonaro, McLean President. “We all know that without you, McLean wouldn’t be who we are or going where we are going. The best thing about this group is seeing you all around our campus on a daily basis and watching the effects you have each day with our residents, families and our entire community. I sincerely appreciate it and thank you for all you do.”

The McLean Auxiliary also recognized Natalie Muller, a Certified Nursing Assistant at McLean, as the recipient of its annual $1,500 scholarship. This scholarship is awarded each year to an employee, or a child of an employee, who will be attending college in the fall to pursue a career in a health care-related field. Natalie is pursuing a BS degree in Allied Health at the University of Connecticut. Dylan Teixeira received the $500 Merit Scholarship in memory of past auxiliary member and president, Jane Schlichter. Dylan has worked as a dietary employee at McLean for two years and is pursuing a degree in nursing at Central Connecticut State University. The recipients accepted their awards from Auxiliary Scholarship Chairperson, Marge Diachenko.

Auxiliary Scholarship Chairperson Marge Diachenko awarded this year’s Annual McLean Scholarship to Natalie Muller and the Merit Scholarship in memory of Jane Schlichter to Dylan Teixeira. This scholarship is awarded each year to an employee, or a child of an employee, who will be attending college in the fall to pursue a career in a health care related field. Pictured left to right: Natalie Muller, Marge Diachenko, Dylan Teixeira.

The McLean Auxiliary raised the majority of funds through multiple fundraisers, along with the Auxiliary Gift Shop, conveniently located in the McLean Health Center. The shop is run exclusively by volunteers, and is open to residents, families and the public. All purchases are tax-free and directly benefit the McLean community. Recently, satellite shops were opened in the McLean Village (catering to residents in Independent Living) and the McLean Outpatient Rehabilitation Clinic.

The McLean Auxiliary also sponsors many wonderful events and activities for the residents throughout the year. For more information on the McLean Auxiliary or to become a member, please send them an email at or call the auxiliary voicemail at 860-658-3710. Visit its website at