Keeping residents and volunteers involved and interested

Deb Moldaschel
Winners of the first Grandfriends story contest at Divine Providence were, from left: Jaylynn Sellner, Emmaline Braulick and Santiago Martinez. Also pictured is the painting, by Elaine Stueber, that was the inspiration for the Grandfriends story contest.

Our local nursing homes have been busy devising ways to keep their residents content, while also dealing with the safety issues around the pandemic. ShellyRae Zinniel, Activities Director at Divine Providence, came up with an idea for a newly restructured summer program called, The Grandfriend Club. She held a story contest for youth asking them to write a story prompted by a painting completed by a Divine Grandfriend.

Story submissions from youth were based off of a painting completed by Grandfriend Elaine Stueber of Divine Providence. Entrants submitted a 1,000 word or less story answering the following question, “What’s the story of this painting?” and winners were selected by Judge Jenny Blick.

Winners of the contest were Jaylynn Sellner, Emmaline Braulick, and Santiago Martinez. Each submitted a story reflecting their vision about a family outing or picnic that involved eating watermelon.

Zinniel said another Grandfriend painting and story contest will be held. Contact her at for details.