Many Garlands members find new purpose as they pursue post-retirement passions on a volunteer basis. Meet some of the Garlands members for whom “giving back” and “paying it forward” are a big part of their inspired and engaging Garlands lifestyle.
Meet Garlands Member Lee Heckmeck
When Lee Heckmeck, a retired UPS customer service representative, moved to The Garlands at age 69, she was a self-professed “dog person.”
Lee chose a Garlands first-floor apartment with a patio that was perfect for her and her rescued dog. However, after her pooch passed away, Lee weighed her options and decided, “Although I’m really a dog person, as I age, cats are easier to take care of.” Now she has two—Charlie, a short-haired gray and Marley who is black and white and very fluffy.
Lee’s love of animals led her to volunteer her time for the past twenty-five years at pet rescues, where she helped care for and walk many a dog. Currently Lee helps with fundraising at Save-a-Pet in Grayslake by monitoring donation collection cans throughout the northwest suburbs. Her top donation spot is the Brunch Café in Kildeer across from Deer Park Mall—“They do fabulously!” she reports as she happily counts the proceeds to help her four-legged friends.
When not caring for animals or making her donation rounds, Lee plays Mahjong, Gin Rummy and dominoes with Garlands neighbors. She also enjoys going down to dinner with various Garlands friends and then returning home to snuggle up with a good book and her two fur babies.