“She was a member of their Pioneer Club, and participated in a lot of the Special Olympics,” Russell Deane said of his daughter. “We also started a bowling tournament, and used to take them bowling once a week.” Russell Deane, now 93 years old, said he and Lillian began their relationship with The United Arc around 1965. Lillian was a longtime member of its board of directors, and Russell said he was president at one point. The two raised a daughter, Nancy Lee, who had Down syndrome and benefited from the nonprofit’s many services. As their daughter got older, the Deanes worked alongside The United Arc to establish transitional homes for her and others. Nancy predeceased her mother, dying in 2012 at 54 years old, Russell Deane said.
Russell and Lillian Deane have been involved with The United Arc since its foundation. The organization provides services from its offices in Greenfield, Turners Falls, Athol and Holyoke. The chicken pot pie dinner will be held Saturday, April 24, at 5 p.m. at the United Church of Bernardston. Meals cost $10 and include sides of butternut squash and cranberry sauce, as well as “Russell’s famous carrot cake” for dessert, Devine said. Bernardston residents who are homebound and require local delivery can call Kiwanis Club member Joel Cole at 413-834-5484.
“Between Russell and Lillian, they have over 100 years of association with The Arc,” Devine said. “That’s kind of a lot for one couple.” Kiwanis Club member Dan Devine said Lillian Deane’s husband, Russell, is a longtime and founding member of the local chapter, and the club has held the annual memorial dinner each April since she died in 2017.
Source www.recorder.com Zack DeLuca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-930-4579.
“We’ve been pretty well connected with The Arc for quite a while,” Devine said. “Just ’cause it’s COVID, we’re not forgetting the members there. And we just know that, for Russ and other members of our club who have interacted closely with them over the years, it’s a special thing.” The Kiwanis Club’s chicken pot pie dinners often benefit different local organizations, and fund scholarships for students, but each April proceeds go to The United Arc. Devine said in previous years, before COVID-19 limitations, The United Arc has used the donation to support social events. In addition to the cost of the meal, Devine said a donation bucket will be on site Saturday “in case someone would like to give a little more.”
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