Jim Ryal, retired salesman

IMG_0446Jim doesn’t mind talking to people, whether he knows them or not. This is how he naturally became involved with various activities around campus. The retired salesman, who spent 30 years with Storage and Handling Equipment, Inc., visits with several residents in the health center that he has gotten to know, several times a week. “The residents love him,” reports unit clerk Delia Pickering.

“Some of them do not have many visitors,” Jim explains. “It’s the right thing to do.”

Visits are augmented with outside excursions when the weather is nice. Jim is pictured here with resident Larry Clevenger in the Helen Berry Memorial Garden. Jim and two other male residents regularly take wheelchair-bound residents for walks outside and over to the lake as a group, weather permitting. “I benefit as much as they do,” he says of the experience.

In addition to personal visits, Jim was asked to start the Breakfast Forum program back up. This involves asking local business leaders and politicians to come speak to the residents. He enjoys asking people to come speak and making sure the event is well publicized. He has successfully coordinated a program every month during 2014, and they have been well attended. Speakers have included Sheriff Grady Judd, Danielle Drummond from Lakeland Regional Health Systems, Tom Phillips from PolkTransit/Citrus Connection, and various candidates running for office.

Jim and his wife Marjorie have been residents of Florida Presbyterian Homes for two years.

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