Strike a pose

When Joan Engle, director of community relations at Cascade Park Communities in Tacoma, heard about an idea that Ingrid Payne, a senior at Gig Harbor High School, had for her senior project, she knew it would fit right in with the residents of Cascade Park.
Payne’s idea was to do semi-makeovers and put together glamour shots using the residents as her models.
The project is due in April, and Payne’s topic is lower-income senior citizens.
Payne has always had a soft spot for senior citizens.
“When I was in middle school, there was a club after school called the Share Club. You could pick what you wanted to do, and I was interested in working at an Alzheimer’s home,” she said.
She bonded with the residents there and recognized that they needed the company. “I would love to continue volunteering with older folks,” she said.
Rochelle Hayden acted as Payne’s mentor for the project. “She needed someone who was related to some sort of charitable work or community work, and I am involved in a lot of different charitable organizations in the community,” said Hayden.
The two put on their thinking caps and came up with the idea of the glamour shots. They called Gene Juarez Academy and told them about the project. Students there were more than happy to sign on to help. They brought their advisor with them and earned credit for their work.
Engle was delighted that Cascade Park Communities could be part of the project.
“The residents were very excited,” said Engle, adding that since there were limited spaces, the signup sheet filled up quickly. The volunteers hoped to make the day special for a total of 80 seniors.
The plan was to use men and women and give them hair trims and new hairdos, apply makeup and then have them choose fancy clothes to wear for their closeup shots.
Everything went off without a hitch.
Resident Helene Nigad, a breast cancer survivor, said, “I was excited to hear about this event and to get makeup.”
Nigad got makeup and more. She chose a zippy hat and a fancy boa and proudly posed for Payne and her glamour shot.
Volunteer Jaime Morey helped Charlotte O. Johnson choose makeup.
“I was so excited I couldn’t believe it,” said Johnson after she picked a white boa and sat for her photo.
Volunteers enjoyed their day, as well. “This is a good pampering day,” said Morey.
Payne said the senior project is mandatory for graduation. Her passions are photography and cosmetology, and next year she hopes to attend Aveda Institute in Seattle, a cosmetology school.
Hayden said senior projects are supposed to be related to the student’s interests, so the Cascade Park event fit right in with Payne’s passions.
“She wanted to do something for senior citizens, and we brainstormed ideas and she came up with this idea. We took our ideas to Joan Engle and asked which one she thought they would benefit from the most,” Payne said.
Gene Juarez Academy sent eight people to do the hair and makeup.
“We are hoping the volunteers might continue to be involved,” said Hayden.
Cascade Park Communities accepts Medicaid residents only, and after all of their expenses there are limited funds, so they don’t have money to spend on extras explained Hayden.
“This is a way to put a smile on their face,” she said.

Loretta Unick expresses surprise at her new hairdo at the Cascade Park Communities glamour photo day. (Joan Cronk/Senior Scene)
Loretta Unick expresses surprise at her new hairdo at the Cascade Park Communities glamour photo day. (Joan Cronk/Senior Scene)