Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

April 29 2015

Loving, Serving, and Spreading Happiness

Wendy Carranza, GMC Community Services Committee
“I have spent this earthly passage trying to love, to serve, and to spread happiness.”- Armand Marquiset
In the spring, Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly (LBFE) has a big party with a French name: the Fête d’Armand Marquiset. “Fête” is the French word for party, and Armand Marquiset was the French humanitarian and Little Brothers’ founder who began the organization as a lone volunteer more than 60 years ago. He began delivering meals to Parisian elders and was soon regularly visiting 30 elders each week. Soon other volunteers joined him, and the “Little Brothers” were founded. Little Brothers quickly grew, and in 1959, the first chapter in the United States was founded in Chicago. The mission of LBFE is to alleviate loneliness and isolation among the elderly.

This year the Fête was held at three locations: Little Brothers headquarters, De LaSalle High School and the Irish American Heritage Center. Members of PCMA’s Greater Midwest Chapter Community Services Committee volunteered at the high school and the Irish Center, helping set tables and put up decorations in advance of the party-goers’ arrival. When you have meeting planners and hotel and meeting suppliers on the scene, you know the decorations and place settings will be done right and look great! Volunteers finished the job in record time, with more than an hour of the allotted time to spare when they were finished. Hundreds of elders attended the party and had a blast, with great food, live music, and lots of fun socializing with friends and volunteers.

The Fête is Little Brothers largest event of the year, with more attendees than their Christmas and Thanksgiving luncheons. Cecilia Straney, Chief Development Officer of LBFE, recently stated that their events “…provide an emotional boost that carry with the elders for a good long while.” The Greater Midwest Chapter Community Services Committee was proud and happy to help out at the event and ensure a great time for the attending elders. A fun time was had by all attendees and volunteers.

About the Author

Wendy Carranza is a Meeting Manager at the American Medical Association. She is a member of GMC’s Community Services Committee.