Palace Suites residents help students affected by Sandy

 Palace Suites residents help students affected by Sandy

Students show off blankets, hats and scarves knitted by The Palace Suites Knitting Club.

The Knitting Club of The Palace Suites recently found a particularly rewarding project for Hurricane Sandy relief, which helped students at two East Rockaway, NY elementary schools.

The knitting club members pooled their talents creating blankets, hats and scarves for the children in grades K-6 of Center Avenue and Rhame Avenue Elementary Schools that had their homes damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

“Knitting for a purpose really fueled their creative energies,” said Via Butler, the lifestyle director at the Suites. “My assistant, Nava Harari-Knopf, had been looking for a charity-oriented project for their talents and the ladies embraced the idea of a Sandy relief effort.”

 Palace Suites residents help students affected by Sandy

Dorothy Siegle, a member of the Knitting Club, is pictured with blankets for students affected by Hurricane Sandy.

When Butler learned from a resident’s daughter that a Miami school was collecting items for Rhame Avenue, the knitters — Alicia Botero, Virginia English, Jean Mandell, Lee Shapiro and Dorothy Siegle — wanted to get involved as well.

Working with the school principal, Harari- Knopf coordinated the Knitting Club’s effort to send 30 blankets plus 20 hats and scarves to keep students warm during the winter months.

The knitting group meets weekly and is dedicated to their craft. While studies have shown that knitting, crochet and other repetitive needlework offers numerous health benefits and helps prevent and manage stress, pain and depression, which in turn strengthens the body’s immune system, the social interaction is a benefit too. The ladies derive tremendous satisfaction knowing their work is helping others.

The Palace campus also includes The Palace Renaissance, which offers assisted living; The Palace Royale, offering “catered living,” and The Palace Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, a Medicare five-star community, which received the Governor’s Gold Seal Award and is the No. 1 rated skilled nursing facility in Florida, according to U.S. News and World Report magazine.

The Palace also operates two communities in Homestead, The Palace Gardens, an assisted living community, and Homestead Manor Nursing Home as well as The Palace at Home, a Medicare-certified home health agency.

The Palace’s newest community senior luxury rental community is now under construction in Coral Gables and will be South Florida’s first urban senior living community. The Palace at Coral Gables is pre-leasing.

For more information, call 305-270-7000 or visit

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