Volunteer Spotlight

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Gary Dyak, Villa Memory Care Program

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Gary helps Memory Care residents create artwork

St. Paul’s Volunteer Gary Dyak brings a love of art as well as a background in nursing to his volunteer work with Memory Care Program residents at St. Paul’s Villa. Gary’s first job as a nurse was with St. Paul’s thirty years ago, and he says he has had a warm place in his heart for St. Paul’s ever since.

On behalf of everyone at St. Paul’s, we would like to thank Gary for bringing his rich experience back to St. Paul’s through volunteerism, and for leading the Memories in the Making art program. This program helps Memory Care residents express themselves creatively through painting projects led by volunteers like Gary and activity coordinators.

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Memory Care resident Vivian paints flowers

Gary was a nurse in the Army Reserves and spent more than 20 years as a research nurse working on HIV drug development at UCSD. In addition to this experience, he is also an artist and has a degree in fine art. When Gary retired from nursing, he looked for volunteer opportunities that could put his love of art to use.

“Working with the Memories in the Making program has been fun and challenging at the same time. I have had to think outside the box about art projects that would be fun for seniors experiencing different levels of dementia. I get a kick out of some of the senior artists when they get a paint brush in their hands and then I see that sparkle of recognition as they put paint to paper.”

Thank you, Gary, for volunteering your time to brighten the days of our memory care residents. Volunteers like you make all the difference for St. Paul’s!

Would you like to volunteer with St. Paul’s? Please contact Volunteer Coordinator Stewart Gaddy at (619) 239-6900.