Author Archives: David

And the winner is…

On behalf of Reel Tributes, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the contest sponsors, we would like to congratulate Carol Amos for winning the inaugural Your Favorite Memory contest. Her story, “The Dining Room”, was an emotional and beautifully-written tribute to her mother’s sense of fashion. Carol’s prize is a customized documentary film, produced by Reel Tributes, to celebrate her mother’s life.

Read Carol’s winning story below:

One of my earliest memories is participating in a fashion show with my mother at the YMCA when I was four or five years old. My mother made us matching poodle style dresses out of a white, blue, and black fabric with a poodle design. We were the hit of the fashion show.

My mother was an expert seamstress but mainly self-taught. She made all of our clothes and also my brother’s Easter suits with matching coats. She transformed our dining room into a sewing room and we spent countless hours together as she taught me to sew at an early age. She taught me the importance of perfection. Even if a mistake was not visible, my mother would say, “I will know that it is there.” So I learned how to remove stitches and took pride in wearing my well-made garment. My mother taught me about fabric, color, fashion, and how to modify a pattern to suit my own taste. I made some of the widest bell-bottom pants in high school. I continue to use my sewing skills today.

I learned to sew in the dining room but more importantly I learned life lessons. Some of the lessons were direct conversations with my mother about God, faith, achievement, honesty, time management, setting goals, and how to be a lady. My mother modeled some of the lessons as I watched her stop sewing to listen or give counsel to a friend on the telephone or to bake a cake for a bereaved friend. Other lessons such as commitment, service to others, and how to treat people, I overhead as she spoke on the telephone to friends. All of these lessons helped transform me as I developed from a girl into a woman.

When my mother began to lose her memory seven years ago, we moved her to an assisted living facility. Her sewing machine was placed in a prominent place in her suite but we soon realized that my mother lost her ability to sew. The sewing machine became just another piece of furniture. Now my mother resides in an Alzheimers facility and the sewing machine resides in my basement, both a reminder of what used to be.

After battling Alzheimers disease for over eight years, my mother still has a keen fashion sense. She sometimes compliments patients in the doctor’s office about their clothes, shoes, or purses. When my mother receives compliments about her outfit, she sometimes responds, “I made this outfit not long ago.” I smile because I know that I recently purchased her clothes and her statement confirms that she truly enjoys the outfit. On one occasion, my mother complimented me by saying, “I like your new suit.” I was shocked because it was a new suit. Glimpses of the mother I used to know are pleasant surprises and give me strength for the remainder of this Alzheimers journey.

We’re thrilled to announce a partnership with TrustedFamily!

Sometimes, you hear about a company doing amazing things and know right away you have to meet them. When we at Reel Tributes heard about TrustedFamily, that’s exactly what happened. Founded in 2007 by two young entrepreneurs- Edouard Thijssen and Edouard Janssen–  the company’s technology enables business families and family offices to manage their affairs more effectively and to keep the family together over the generations.

After talking with Edouard Thijssen, we quickly recognized the potential for collaboration. When you visit their website, www.trustedfamily.net, it’s easy to see why they’ve been so successful. Their platform is easy to use, well-designed, and brings together a wealth of resources (family, business, financial, and philanthropic) into one place. It’s no wonder they’ve grown their client base to 50 families spanning 15 countries.

We are excited for the amazing things to come from Reel Tributes’ new partnership with TrustedFamily! To learn more about the partnership, and how Reel Tributes’ clients can benefit from the TrustedFamily’s services, read our press release at http://www.reeltributes.com/view/news/trustedfamily/.

Have thoughts or questions? Let us know in the comments below, or send us an email at info@reeltributes.com.

Stories to make you laugh, cry, and think

The stories are in! The response to the Your Favorite Memory contest has been simply incredible. Each and every story is a powerful reminder of the ways Alzheimer’s Disease can impact an individual. Even more importantly, they showcase how brave and resiliant a family can be in caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

The stories are short, gripping, and inspiring. Click here to read about a mother with an impeccable sense of fashion, a daughter who called her dad Mr. Wonderful, and one woman’s journey that taught her how “Love will safely carry you through the roughest seas”.

And make sure to vote for the story you love. The winning family receives amazing prizes, including a Reel Tribute and gifts from Lacroix, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, and Massage Envy. Do them a favor by supporting the writers, and tell your friends about it too. Help us spread awareness for Alzheimer’s, one story at a time!

The website with the stories is www.reeltributes.com/vote. Learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease at www.alz.org/desjsepa/

Seasons Greetings from the Reel Tributes Team!

Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Chanukah, or Kwanzaa, we wish you all the best this season has to offer. And we wish you an incredible year in 2012; a year full of love, laughter, and family memories.

May we suggest you make this season not only one of sharing gifts, but also one of sharing family stories. Think about preserving a story or two for those who will want to know: ‘What were the most joyous holiday moments of the 2011 holidays?’

You’ll be glad that you did. After all, it’s hard not to love a great story!

Still looking for gifts? Check out our 11 Attributes to the Perfect Gift for the 2011 Holiday Season.

Best wishes for a great 2012,
The Reel Tributes Team
David, Caleb, Rebecca, Alison and Lin

11 Attributes of the Perfect Gift for the 2011 Holiday Season

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
– Winston Churchill

Scratching your head to come up with a great present for your loved ones? Every year we give presents, yet somehow picking out gifts only seems to get harder as time goes on.

To make your life a little easier, we’ve done the research for you. Our team of expert gift-givers has come up with the 11 attributes that make for the perfect holiday gift.

For the 2011 season, your gift should…

1. Be fun to receive. Gifts should bring a smile to the face of the recipient. They should create an immediate impact. Think of the sight of a kid riding his brand new bike for the first time. The perfect gift brings that level of excitement to adults and children alike.

2. Be fun to give. The best gifts are the ones that you’re proud to give. When was the last time you were excited to give dad a new tie? In the words of Leonard Nemoy, “The more we share, the more we have.”

3. Provide long-term enjoyment. A gift’s instant gratification doesn’t mean the joy should be short-lived. On the contrary, a gift should create a lasting impact. The ideal gift is so meaningful that 5 years later, the recipient remembers not only what the gift is, but who gave it and the emotions they felt when it arrived. Think of the moment you received your first pet, and how it changed your life forever.

4. Bring people together. The holiday spirit is all about bringing family and friends together. Studies have shown that strength of relationships and amount of time spent with family are the keys to happiness. The best gifts create quality time with loved ones.

5. Be meaningful to the giver and recipient. Gifts that have a deeper meaning are the ones that create the biggest impact. Experiences are often more meaningful, and provide longer-lasting happiness, than material gifts.

6. Provide a great value. As gift givers, we want to know that we’re getting a good value for the item we’re buying, especially in today’s economic environment. Ask yourself, “How much is this gift actually worth?” The answer should make the price tag seem irrelevant, or, in the case of the MasterCard commercials, “Priceless”. Another question to consider: will the value of the gift appreciate or depreciate over time? The best investments are those that increase in value as the years go by.

7. Be high quality. It’s often tempting to save money by buying a cheaper item. But less expensive doesn’t mean better value. High quality gifts will last longer, perform better, and look nicer. Luxury daily deal websites offer high-quality gifts at a lower price—the perfect combination!

8. Involve some creative effort. Finding a great gift should be a labor of love.  A perfect gift is meaningful in its creation, not just in delivery.

9. Be original. We’ve all asked the question, “What do I give the person who has it all?” The perfect gift allows the giver and recipient to realize that there’s plenty more to experience and appreciate in this world.

10. Be personalized. The ideal gift could only come from you, and could only be given to that special someone. It’s an extension of your relationship and strengthens the bond between giver and recipient.

11. Speak to the character of this holiday. What’s unique about the 2011 holiday season? Every family will answer that question differently. Think about how you want this year to be remembered, and give a gift that is special for this particular holiday.

Hopefully this has sparked some ideas of the gifts that meet these attributes.

Looking for inspiration? One gift that meets all 11 attributes is a professionally produced documentary of your loved one. This holiday season, celebrate the lives of your parents or grandparents with a broadcast-quality film from Reel Tributes. Capture the stories, the laughs, and the memories that have defined your family. It’s an investment that will only appreciate over time. And one that will be appreciated by the entire family today, tomorrow, and for generations to come.

Reel Tributes: the official sponsor of family spirit this holiday season. Contact us to start your customized film today.

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