March 1998

Edwina Leas

by Joseph H. RADDER

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Edwina leas is amazing. At 71, this volunteer extraordionaire visits 20 or more times a week at Lakewood Health Care Center on Maelou Drive in Hamburg. The residents have given her the endearing name of “The Bag Lady” because of the different bags she carries filled with surprises for the residents. Whether it’s a residents birthday, outing or facility fund raiser, Edwina helps out wherever she’s needed. That includes letter writing, reading to residents, making lap coats, wheel chair bags, decorating residents rooms, or making holiday decorations and baked goods. She also devotes time to her friends at Orchard Heights and Eden Heights facilities who look forward to her monthly visits.

When Edwina isn’t out visiting or volunteering, she enjoys quilting with the quilt group she helped to form with six other women. They meet every other week. In 1996, her quilt group formed a guild with three other groups that meet monthly. She shares her handiwork of quilts, embroidered pillows and pillow cases, and homemade ornaments as gifts for friends and residents.
St. Mary’s Church in East Eden benefits from Edwina’s time and love for people, too. She contributes as a Eucharistic Minister, volunteers for church picnics, and helps out with “Renewal” and Mission services.

Three times a week, she walks with a heart patient and after 32 years still works for the same family. Edwina and her husband, Elmer, continue to garden and freeze produce for winter. The couple loves spending time with their three children and six grandchildren. There’s no doubt Edwina’s “forever young and active” attitude brings joy to all those lucky enough to know her.

Joseph H. Radder is a freelance writer.


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