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Wellington Cares Volunteer Loves Helping Other Senior Citizens Story by Deborah Welky • Photos by Abner Pedraza

Evelyn Regan is one of those people whose name is not often in the news, the kind of person who quietly facilitates the lives of others, helping out whenever she can and not thinking twice about it. Family, friends and business associates have all benefited from her care — and her caring. Regan was born in Cambridge, Mass., grew up in New Jersey and, as an adult, moved to West Palm Beach, where she worked for the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s Office throughout the 1960s. “Then I met a man and married him and moved to Loxahatchee, where we raised two boys, John and Richard, on five acres,” Regan recalled. “It was a wonderful place to raise a family. My older son, John, showed goats at the South Florida Fair. We had two polo ponies we rode. One had been retired and one had pulled a muscle in his chest and could no longer play. We lived behind Tony and Barbara Coppola, and they’re the ones who helped us acquire the ponies. Polo ponies are perfect for inexperienced riders and kids — they don’t mind activity around them on the road or things flying up near their face.” About 25 years ago, after her sons went off to college, Regan downsized. She sold her home, moved to Wellington and went to work for financial planners Ben and Joanna Boynton. “My title was office manager etc., etc., etc. When you only have one employee...,” Regan’s voice trails off as her daily duties grew too numerous and varied to list. “I can’t say I’ve lived an exciting life, but it has been a wonderful and dull life. I love living in Wellington. I feel 66

may 2018 | wellington the magazine

“I get more from giving to them than anything. They are so appreciative. They just love us,” Evelyn Regan said of her work with Wellington Cares. very safe and have lots of friends. I’ve been in my condo about 20 years now, although I do miss having property and the horses we had.” About 10 years ago, Regan retired from her busy office job, but she’s still just as busy. She is a member of the Wellington Seniors Club, plays dominoes and cards, and loves to travel, visiting Greece, Italy, Croatia, Ireland, Mexico and “quite a bit” of the United States. She also has six grandchildren. “They keep me very busy, and they make me very happy,” Regan said. “They range in age from 4 to 10, so they’re very young for my age, which is almost 81.” She has also been involved with the nonprofit Wellington Cares since it began.

“Wellington Cares was founded by [Wellington’s first mayor] Kathy Foster, who patterned it on an organization out of Virginia,” Regan explained. “It has a wonderful board and wonderful trustees. Its goal is to help elderly people ‘age in place’ without the necessity of going into a nursing home or senior care facility. We, volunteers, provide respite care so their day-to-day caretakers can go out… or we’ll take the elderly to their doctors’ or physical therapy appointments… or we’ll shop for them or take them shopping.” In short, they do whatever is needed to allow clients to stay in their homes, where they feel most secure and happy. Regan said that when she started with the group, there were just a handful of volunteers, but now there are more than 40. In addition, other communities such as Royal Palm Beach and Boynton Beach are coming to Foster, asking for information on setting up their own similar programs. Regan has two clients she assists almost every week and, before she knew it, had logged nearly 150 volunteer hours in one year. “I don’t keep track of hours, but evidently Wellington Cares does,” she said, shrugging off the donation of her time. “I’m elderly myself. But I’ve been blessed with good health, and I don’t take advantage of it. I don’t take any medications, but I do take care of myself. Besides, I have always gotten along with elderly people, even when I was young. When my grandmother was widowed, she came to live with us, and I grew up with her. She moved from Cambridge to

Wellington The Magazine – May 2018  

May 2018 | ON THE COVER Palm Beach County Chief Assistant State Attorney Alan Johnson, profiled this issue. PHOTO by Abner Pedraza | Meet Ch...

Wellington The Magazine – May 2018  

May 2018 | ON THE COVER Palm Beach County Chief Assistant State Attorney Alan Johnson, profiled this issue. PHOTO by Abner Pedraza | Meet Ch...