The comforting back and forth of a rocking chair never feels as soothing as when it's rocked to benefit others, Karen Kutzer said.
"It was more fun than a barrel of monkeys," she said of last year's inaugural Rocking for Residents to raise money for those who live in nursing homes.
Ms. Kutzer is vice president of advancement for the Vincentian Collaborative System in McCandless, which operates the three facilities where the second annual Rocking for Residents fundraiser will be held from noon to 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
The facilities are Marian Manor, 2695 Winchester Drive, Green Tree; Vincentian de Marillac, 5300 Stanton Ave., Stanton Heights; and Vincentian Home, 111 Perrymont Road, McCandless.
In the rock-athon, residents, family members and friends engage in pledged rocking in 15-minute intervals.
Last year's fundraiser drew 600 volunteers whose efforts raised more than $70,000. The money purchased three bladder scanners at Marian Manor and two therapeutic whirlpool tubs at Vincentian Home.
This year's goal is to continue raising money for a therapeutic whirlpool tub at Vincentian de Marillac and to purchase personal flatscreen televisions for each residence in the other homes.
Funds also will go toward blankets and blanket-warmers to soothe aches and pains.
In addition to the rocking, the fundraiser will include raffles, bake sales, music by a disc jockey and games, such as a cake walk in which participants dance following floor markers until the music stops. Winners are awarded cakes.
"We have so much fun with this game," Ms. Kutzer said.
While registration is preferred, rockers may stop in the day of the event.
The chairs -- some owned by the homes and others loaned for the day -- will be set up by the time rockers arrive.
"Just come in and rock," Ms. Kutzer said.
About 700 residents live in the three homes. While some reside in independent living, most are in assisted living or skilled care.
Ms. Kutzer said the rock-a-thon is the ideal group activity for a nursing home.
"This is fun and allows people to forget about their cares for a day, she said.
Details: www.vcs.org/event/rocking-residents-2013 or 412-548-4056.
Margaret Smykla, freelance writer: email@example.com. First Published June 6, 2013 8:45 AM