A Letter From Lucy
Updated: Feb 21, 2019
Recently, it came to my attention that The Glama Project had won some praise from a fellow GLAMA who shared her beauty experience with her peers within her home's journalism inspired newsletter, The Beehive.
I was forwarded the word document that Lucy submitted in request to be printed and shared with her peers. Like her walking into The Glama Project, I didn't know what to expect. This was really our first "formal review." Upon reading it, I was taken back that someone like Lucy took the pen to the paper (or in our times - a hand to a Word Doc) and given our project some "serious thought".
Often times I may not know the impact of days like ours make. However from her experience, her words make me want to take the small amount of pixie dust we've created and find some way to sprinkle it in BULK!
Here is what Lucy had to say:
"One day in June I saw a small sign-up sheet here at the Vi for an activity called The Glama Project. I wasn’t entirely sure what was entailed, but I signed up with few expectations for an hour on a Saturday afternoon. What I discovered was a very personal project run by an exceptional young woman named Callie Ahern.
On June 30 I showed up for my 1:00 PM appointment to find Callie half-way through that Saturday, surrounded by all her supplies and a professional photographer. She’d worked with other women before me and had appointments afterwards as well. She began by skillfully applying makeup to my face. Then draped with pearls and scarves, I posed while the photographer took photos. The effects were startling. I looked younger and certainly more glamorous than I had for years. It was nice to be the center of attention! I felt like Cinderella, (if she had become a princess in her seventies.) Only a fairy godmother was lacking.
Most of all I delighted in getting to know Callie and her assistants. Callie’s dedication impressed me, and all the other young women who helped were remarkable as well. I give her tremendous credit for all the hours of planning she must have put in to achieve her goals.
The idea for the Glama project is both original and inspirational, and it has brought a lot of joy to many of the women at the Vi.
Callie’s concept originated from a visit to her grandmother, a senior living in a retirement community like ours. Her grandmother was having a hard time adjusting to her new home and Callie wanted to do something to cheer her up. She had seen a photograph of her grandmother as a young woman glamorously dressed and with makeup artfully applied.
Callie offered to replicate the photo, and using her skills with cosmetics she worked on her grandmother to apply makeup, jewelry and accessories to mimic the photo. Her grandmother was thrilled, and the make-over helped her to adjust to the change in her living arrangement.
Her experience inspired Callie to begin a similar project for other seniors here in San Diego, where she lives. That’s how she came to help us at the Vi “age gracefully,” bringing with her boxes full of foundation, eye colors, lipsticks, blush, etc., and bags full of accessories – scarves, hats and costume jewelry. It looked like an entire boutique had magically appeared in the corner of our communal living room. In addition she enlisted the help of other volunteers, including assistant cosmeticians and professional photographers. She never charged for her efforts or supplies and sacrificed many precious days off from her full-time job to complete the project.
Once a month, Callie and her crew continued to visit the Vi, working with a total of about thirty women. She collected a gallery of all these women’s photos and published a book of the best portraits in November.
As a culmination of her efforts she made an appointment on a recent Saturday for all of us lucky ladies to be bussed to the ULTA store, where we would be introduced to some of their products. However, when she planned the visit, the sales force told her it was against company policy for a photographer to take pictures during our visit. Callie was not one to take no for an answer. She contacted the ULTA company’s senior management and asked if they would waive their policy. Not only did the management reverse themselves, but they offered the women who went to ULTA a $500 gift certificate for beauty projects. I was unable to attend that event, but everyone who went was enthusiastic about the visit, and I assume they purchased some products they sampled and made ULTA happy as well.
That same day the Lifestyle Department sponsored a luncheon for all the women who had enjoyed the Glama Project. We had donated money and purchased a gift certificate for Callie in recognition of all her devotion. The luncheon was festive and delicious.
Callie has published a beautiful book with our best photos, and we can request prints of any of the portraits taken. The album sits in the foyer of the Vi, where everyone is welcome to view it. I hardly recognize myself, I look so glamorous!
Callie says that the project will continue next year, when more residents will get the opportunity to look like a queen for a day – or a princess like Cinderella! All thanks to one remarkable young woman, with determination and imagination: Callie Ahern."
To date, we've treated 46 women at Vi to the experience of a GLAMA shoot. February 23rd marks the 7th shoot and we'll be welcome 6 more ladies to the squad!
- Lucy's Photographer: Mattie Taylor (who we can't thank enough for capturing the beauty present this day!)
- MUA: Callie Ahern
The Glama Project