Since the summer of 1993, Rachel Kersnter has been dedicated to meeting the emotional needs of senior citizens through her gift of music.
Rachel has performed more than 325 concerts at retirement homes and senior centers sharing her talent and personality with these sometimes forgotten individuals. Wheelchairs, feeding tubes, IV bags and restraints present no boundaries for Rachel when she passes out hugs at the end of her show. Rachel has completed education classes about the effects of aging and promoted community awareness and elimination of elder abuse by performing at several fundraising events supporting this cause.
Although Rachel never charges for her shows, some facilities do present her with monetary gifts, which she promptly donates to her church or her favorite charities, such as Canine Companions for Independence, Multiple Sclerosis and The Blind Babies Foundation.
"Rachel's enthusiasm and commitment to living a life of service makes a positive impression on those around her," commented Dr. Kingon, Rachel's nominator. "Her unique and fresh approach to service encourages awareness, as demonstrated by a successful Dog Wash fundraiser Rachel organized not only for the purpose of raising money but also to raise community awareness for Canine Companions for Independence."
Rachel's social life frequently includes motivating her friends to join in service projects. During this past holiday season, Rachel invited friends over for a cookie baking party where she and her friends baked more than 700 chocolate chip cookies to be given to inmates incarcerated at Chino Prison. While the cookies were baking, the girls also decorated placemats for women residing in a shelter for battered women. Additionally, Rachel regularly participates in city beautification projects such as painting over graffiti.