GEM News

GEMz Power of Art Zoom Classes

left to right: Olivia, Ana & David

GEM participants attended a virtual program on the afternoon of August 6th where Barbara Hanft led us as we  crafted stained glass tissue-paper candle holders using the colors of the Lumbee Tribe’s tribal seal. This program was followed by an exciting program on August 13th with The Lost Colony choir.

The Lost Colony choir presented GEM with a performance video just for them, with a live question and answer session with cast members Olivia Schaperjohn and Ruthie Sangster.  GEM Center participants were thrilled and gifted their hand-made candle holders in appreciation and thanks. GEM has been partnering with the Lost Colony forover12 years and we thank Lance Culpepper, Production Coordinator,  for his support over the years!

If you or a family member would like to learn more about GEM programs call Gail Sonnesso, executive director at 252-480-3354.

A Well-Deserved Honor

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Each year, the Governor of North Carolina recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community through their dedication to volunteer service. GEM’s Gail and Angelo Sonnesso were among the 16 Dare County citizens who were selected for the 2021 NC Governor’s Volunteer Service Award…more

To see the 2021 NC Governor’s Volunteer Service Award video, CLICK HERE.

In Community News:

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Local Families are Thankful for GEM
in the Community
. Read the article published in OBX Common GoodCLICK HERE.

Additionally, read Gail’s Letter to the Coastland Times HERE.


AAA Robotic Companion Pet Program

The AAA (The Albemarle Commission Area Agency on Aging) is excited to announce that they will be piloting a new program geared toward older adults suffering from isolation and loneliness as a result of the COVID pandemic. The AAA recently purchased a limited number of robotic companion pets to help address these issues among the older adult population and those living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias.  CLICK HERE for more information.

GEM Hosts English Tea Party

On December 21, 2019, GEM provided a Christmas carol sing-along and a traditional English Tea Party for participants of the Meaningful Days program.

To read more about it,
CLICK HERE.


Gail Sonesso featured at LWV “Hot Topic Luncheon”   Click for full story


Susan K. Preston Memorial Scholarship created for residents in COA’s Nurse Aide program

We are thrilled that these amazing professionals and community leaders came together to provide this intensive program for Certified Nurse aides in the best practices in care for people living with dementia! It was my honor to know Susan and work with Noel! full story

Community Music Wellness Program

We are thrilled to have been a partner in The Community Wellness Program on September 18. . About 30 people were in attendance. Outer Banks Presbyterian Church was well represented as well as our own GEM family. We were thrilled to have Three Ministers at the program several children too. Becky told amazing stories of elders and music and gathered us all in with song. Click here for highlights and photos.

Thank you, as always, to Becky Watson, and to Pastor Jody, Beverly, Cathie, Gail and the Outer Banks Presbyterian Church for hosting this joyous program that provides the power of music to enrich the mind, body and spirit of everyone in this wonderful and loving community.

Special thanks to the Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament

On Monday, August 12, 2019,
GEM was awarded a check for $2000
from the Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament.

Thanks to Heather Maxwell
and the Tournament Committee.