Quick-witted and affable Jordan Perlman answers nearly 80 questions a day, Monday through Friday, as a volunteer concierge at the Miller Information Desk at Cleveland Clinic. With nearly 9,000 volunteer hours amassed in more than eight years, the Clinic continually honors the Judson Manor resident with awards for his long-time dedication.
“It gives me something positive to do,” says Jordan. “I enjoy helping people. I’ve made a lot of friends.”
Through his volunteer work at the Clinic, he was named the 2012 Cleveland Indians Volunteer of the Year, and was honored to throw out the ceremonial “first pitch” at a Tribe game at Progressive Field.
A lifelong Clevelander, Jordan grew up in Cleveland Heights, and then lived in East Cleveland for most of his adult life, where he ran his family’s clothing shop until he retired. He moved to Judson Manor in University Circle in 2007, settling in an elegant two-bedroom independent living apartment that reflects his love of modern art. He owns many pieces by Cleveland artists.
Jordan proudly claims that he is hardly ever home due to his active schedule. Beyond his commitment to the Cleveland Clinic, he attends art gallery openings and dinner parties with friends on most weekends. His kitchen is spotless and his refrigerator is bare.
“I eat out a lot,” he smiles.
Petite dynamo Marilou Abele is passionate about retirement living in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood. It’s the main reason she and her late husband, Bob, relocated to Cleveland in 1998 to live at Judson Manor. “With all the museums, symphony and Case Western Reserve University, the Circle is such a stimulating environment – it was a natural choice,” says Marilou.
Since that time, she spends nearly every waking moment volunteering at many Circle institutions.
For example, at the Cleveland Children’s Museum, Marilou is “resident seamstress,” repairing toys and costumes. She also leads story hour once a month. “I love their motto-‘learning through play’,” says Marilou. “I think that’s important for kids today.”
Back at Judson Manor, Marilou forms the nucleus of the storied Judson Manor Knit Witts, along with long-time community volunteers Margaret Witt and Karen Jackson. The Knit Witts produce an enormous amount of hand-knit items annually. Sales enable the group to donate on a regular basis to Cleveland area hunger centers. Since the group’s founding in 1988, they’ve given an estimated $32,500.
Each year, they donate about 50 hand-knit hats to local elementary schools, churches and other worthy causes. The group also bequeaths stuffed toys (about 35 each year) to the youngsters at the neighboring Ronald McDonald House.
“I spend about three evenings a week knitting,” says Marilou. “I enjoy knitting the toys for the kids.”
“Overall, I’m very community conscious-I believe in the organizations I support,” she says.
For more information about the independent living lifestyle at Judson Manor, please call (216) 791-2004 or click here.
Did you like this post? Read Part 2 of the Judson Manor Residents Give Back Series.