Time and time again, Glenaire residents show that they have so much more to share. But their commitment to get involved reaches well beyond the Glenaire community. That active spirit is especially true for the Glenaire Community Relations Committee, a resident group chaired by Gloria Best.

For more than five years, the committee has been reaching out and bringing nonprofit organizations into the community, partnering to allow residents the opportunity to engage and make an impact both locally and globally. As important as it is for the residents to be active and involved, Gloria says it’s just as vital for the community and area organizations to know just how much Glenaire residents have to offer in experience, commitment and compassion.

The Glenaire Community Relations Committee provides tours of the community and organizes presentations by various nonprofits to the residents. The committee also arranges donations to those nonprofits and other organizations in the Cary community. In total, the group has donated more than $5,000 to area nonprofits over the past five years to more than 50 programs from local initiatives to global programs that make difference in communities around the world.

According to Gloria, the presentations have been truly eye-opening for the residents and the nonprofits who have come to present. “As much as we were fascinated by each nonprofit and their missions,” says Gloria, “they were excited and shocked to see how interested seniors were in what the nonprofits were doing and how we could help. (Many of the organizations) didn’t have a handle on the interests and levels of engagement of people in retirement communities.”

The Committee also awards a Distinguished Service Award to individuals or organizations around Cary. Previous winners include the Fine Arts League of Cary, Cary EMS, The Cary Police Department, and The Mayor of the Town of Cary. The most recent winner was WakeMed in Cary for their commitment to being on the cutting edge of providing quality service to the entire Cary community and to the residents of Glenaire.

“Seniors believe saying thank you is important,” said Gloria Best, Chairman of the Community Relations Committee. “And these people and organizations deserve some public recognition.”

The group’s commitment to giving back doesn’t stop there. The committee does volunteer work for the Corral Riding Academy, a program for at-risk girls. They have been actively involved in the Wake County Read and Feed, an after-school program to help under-served elementary school children. They have also worked with the SAFEChild of Raleigh program to help eliminate child abuse.

Plus, twice a year they work with the Cary Police Department and send out an announcement to Glenaire residents to collect old and unused prescriptions. The effort is designed to ensure that medications are disposed of properly and do not end up on the street.

The tours of the Glenaire community are organized through the Heart of Cary Association, which works to engage, support, and empower the merchants, organizations and residents of downtown Cary. This also helps convey Glenaire and its mission to the greater Cary community. “Since we are in the middle of town (Cary), we feel comfortable getting involved,” Gloria said. “It’s part of our calling… We are fortunate in the Triangle to have so many nonprofits and organizations.”

Gloria and her husband, Duane, came to Glenaire from their home in Eden, NC, more than six years ago. She joined the Glenaire Community Relations Committee when it was first formed and has been the chairperson for all but one year of its existence.

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