In 2007, the Sport and Art Educational Foundation (SAEF)
was established as a certified non-profit 501(c)(3)
organization designed to serve the community as a multi-purpose
facility to benefit the lives of 1) senior citizens in the early
stages of Alzheimer's, 2) the growing population of seniors and
baby boomers whose lives have become sedentary and inactive, 3)
"at-risk" children from low income families, and 4) developmentally
and physically disabled children.
The SAEF will also serve as a state-of-the-art professional table tennis coaching facility committed to the training and development of the next generation of U.S. Table Tennis athletes for future Olympic Junior Competition and world-class participation in the sport.
"Betty Stein, 91, has been coming to the Gilbert Center for about seven months. Since starting lessons, she's been eating more and remembering more of her activities, has better balance when she walks, and is more talkative, said her caregiver, Flor Narvaez.
She's more alive — she's enjoying life more," Narvaez said, as the neatly coiffed Stein rallied the ball with coach Bella Livshin at a table nearby. "When you live with her every day, you can see the difference — something's going on.""
Heller, Rachel - The Jewish Journal. 24 Jan. 2011
"We have our members Eli, who has Alzheimer's, Anita who has Parkinson's and Edie who suffers from mild cognitive impairment have all come to play ping-pong. Edie normally requires a wheelchair, but when she arrives to play ping-pong she is able to walk, her shoulder is better, her body seems to be improving immediately afterward and her daughter at home notices significant difference. Eli remembers ping-pong the most clearly of all his current activities. Under normal circumstances he has difficulties walking, but when he comes back I notice a major difference in the way he is walking and in the way he interacts with others mentally and physically. And, the most profound difference that I notice is in Anita. She has a mixture of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's with a Flat Affect. She has a completely different affect when she returns. She is much more lucid, more alive and vibrant. She is also able to participate in mental and cognitive exercise much more successfully as well as interact with other members of the group after participating in ping-pong."
Friedler, Mina - Facilitator at Senior Schai Center located at the Westside Jewish Community Center
"Fryda wasn't sure about coming over to play because she didn't feel she had the ability and the body strength to do this kind of exercise. She doesn't have good balance, concentration, but more importantly she doesn't care for anything. Now, she is waiting for this time and she feels so excited and so motivated. Like today she hit the ball 18 times in the row. Words are simple but they mean a lot. She didn't want to even go downstairs from the floor upstairs and now she is waiting only for this time."
Hernandez, Celia - a friend of Fryda Devorak
"A friend told me about this program, that's when I called and came, because I want the best for him and the more the mind works it's better. We came for three weeks in a row and I saw how it works and it's really good, I saw a difference and I see improvement. He likes it a lot. I am so happy and if someone asks me about this program I am going to say, "yes, go"."
Alvarez, Sue - Caregiver for Wolf Zaidman
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