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Jean Keuneke and Norma VonGunten discuss the next step of the Yo-Yo’s they are making at Kingston Residence.When you think of Yo-Yo's, what immediately comes to mind? Probably "walking the dog" with a Duncan Yo-Yo, first made popular in the 1920s but still well recognized today.

At Kingston Residence Assisted Living on Winchester Road, Yo-Yo's have a whole different meaning. A dedicated group of residents have taken to sewing Yo-Yo's as a way of giving back. For these residents, Yo-Yo's are an accessory that you wear to compliment your attire or to decorate a purse, scarf, coat or hat.

Activity Director, Diane Peterson at Kingston Residence, first got the idea from Susan Boxell, the daughter of one of our beloved residents, Evelyn Smethers. The enjoyment of making the Yo-Yo's remains.

Yo-Yo's are easy and fun to make and the materials are inexpensive. They are comprised of two round disks of material in two sizes, sewn in circles and placed one on top of one another and finished off with a button or other embellishment. A clasp pin can be hot glued to the back or sometimes a corsage straight pin is used as it may be easier to manage.

Kingston's residents have taken it one step further and also created hair clips out of small Yo-Yo's, by attaching a hair barrette. Getting together as a small group and cutting the material, sewing the fabric into circles reminds one of an old-fashioned quilting bee when the ladies could all socialize as they kept their hands and minds busy. Some residents take the work back to their apartments to sew while watching their evening television programs.

Jean Kenueke is the unofficial natural leader of the group. As someone who has always enjoyed sewing, Jean feels that making the Yo-Yo's provides meaning. Particularly since the proceeds of selling them go to the Alzheimer's Association. Some of the buttons she uses as decoration are from her mother's collection and this also makes her feel good that they are going to a good cause. Jean says that when she is out and about "people always inquire about them and comment about how colorful and pretty the Yo-Yo's are."

Yo-Yo's are fun to make for different holidays. Kingston Residence sells them at various fairs in Waynedale such as the St. Therese Fall Festival and the Waynedale United Methodist Church Bazaar. The residents also hand-make note cards with the proceeds from all items going to the Alzheimer Association. For those who have purchased Yo-Yo's, we thank you for your support! Wear them with pride!


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