Lenny Handler is a 94-year-old resident of Sunrise of Bethesda, an assisted living community in Maryland. He spent his career in the car wash industry in New York, owning and operating two different stations for over 30 years.
On July 13, Handler put his experience to use when the Sunrise of Bethesda team held a car wash to benefit the volunteer Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad.
“The rescue squad and Sunrise Senior Living are two organizations that help people,” said Gabe Pickney, the community’s driver and activities assistant. “We thought it would be nice to show our gratitude for them by teaming up together for a good cause.”
Handler served as special adviser for the event, sitting outside and enjoying the beautiful weather while reminiscing about his days working in the car wash industry. He got to meet Deputy Chief Jim Resnick, as well as several firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs), who attended the event and had their vehicles washed.
“Lenny was thrilled with the event,” said Pickney. “To allow Mr. Handler an opportunity to live with purpose and to revel in a longtime adventure that he was involved in professionally was something that gave us all great joy.”
Over the course of three hours, team members washed a total of 46 cars, firetrucks, and ambulances, while also selling plenty of hot dogs and lunch items. In total, the team raised $500 for the fire squad.
This event was just the latest instance of Sunrise of Bethesda’s Live With Generosity program, in which residents give back to the community through local service projects.
“Residents from our community have also baked brownies and written thank you cards for the rescue squad staff, which always leaves everyone feeling happy,” said Pickney.
Giving back enables residents to remain physically active and mentally healthy, all while maintaining a strong sense of human connection by making a difference in the local community. Live With Generosity is one of eight Live With Purpose programs at Sunrise, all of which nourish residents’ minds, bodies, and spirits through enriching and personalized activities.
“We think it’s important to give back and assist our neighbors, especially ones who provide valuable services to our neighborhood,” said Pickney. “It was very nice to be able to bring to life a great partnership between our community and the rescue squad.”