Published on February 23, 2018

Crosstown Square Artist is a Gem

Geneieve Bennett helps other residents create crafts

Genevieve Bennett, who lives at Crosstown Square in Silvis, had what seemed to be a modest request. She asked if there was space she could use for her art projects and materials.

Julie VanWinkle, care transition supervisor at Crosstown Square and Illini Restorative Care, suggested some space in an unoccupied apartment.

“I just started with a little space. Now look at it,’’ Genevieve said.

The apartment is now full of bangles, baubles, beads … everything needed to make bracelets and necklaces. Tables are covered by materials and paints.

Also on display are Gen’s paintings, which she typically embellishes with beads or other materials, along with various completed projects on display. If anyone is interested, she sells her art.

On the wall in the hallway is a Gen’s Gems sign with hours of operation. She is a 90-year-old entrepreneur at Crosstown Square.

Genevieve Bennett is enjoying a vital, independent life.  She has a spacious, comfortable suite on the second floor of the 67-unit Crosstown Square.

She still drives to Hobby Lobby for materials, although she suggests she should only go on Sundays, when Hobby Lobby is closed.

She teaches other residents painting and jewelry making and occasionally takes over the Crosstown Square kitchen to make barbeque ribs or bake cookies for others.

“I’m afraid just to walk down the center aisle at Hobby Lobby. I’m afraid to get started on something else,’’ Genevieve explained.

Active Lifestyle

Gen hand makes every piece of jewelryGenevieve said she has no trouble filling her days at Crosstown Square.
“There is always something going on to keep you busy,’’ she explained. “The staff is great at having something for us to do.’’

Crosstown Square has a unique advantage as the only senior independent living community in the Quad Cities connected to the medical support services of a hospital and clinics.

Crosstown Square is connected to Genesis Medical Center-Silvis and Illini Restorative Care.  The connections give Crosstown Square residents easy access to an eye clinic, laboratory, Genesis Outpatient Physical Therapy, and Medical Equipment, physician offices and surgical services.

Residents who need a medical test, have an appointment with a provider, or need hospitalization, have easy access to health services without having to go outside or be transported.

Should residents of Crosstown Square need a higher level of care or require recovery from a surgery, Illini Restorative Care is available for that transition.

Genevieve Bennett, who has lived in the Quad Cities since 1954 and has owned a home in Port Byron since, retired from Deere & Co. in 1981. She knew she needed something to fill her days.

“I started taking all kinds of classes. I took classes in oil painting, acrylics, jewelry making. They let me use my imagination,’’ she explained. “It’s very relaxing for me. This room inspires me to create. I’m glad they gave me the space. I come down here about every day.

“When I come down here, I work on something based on how I feel. I feel like a pastel blue today.’’

She finds ideas for projects from newspapers, magazines and “some of them just come to me.’’

Genevieve encourages other residents to come down to create.

“Sometimes their hands shake a little, but most people who try can do something,’’ she explained.

Genevieve’s independence includes opportunities for social interaction; some of which she creates herself through Gen’s Gems and her cooking.

Renovation Underway

Crosstown Square is in the early stages of a $450,000 renovation. The renovation will include new wall coverings, new paint schemes, renovation of apartments and the addition of 2-bed suites on the first floor. Genevieve plans to move from her second-floor suite to one of the newly created suites.

Residents personalize their apartment with their own furniture and favorite keepsakes. Each apartment features its own private entrance from an interior hallway, private baths equipped with safety features, ample closet space, kitchenette areas, and window treatments.

Crosstown Square residents have access to scheduled transportation to shopping and special events; outdoor gardening and walking areas on lovely wooded acres; an on-site convenience store; and, nearby access to neighborhood shops, restaurants and recreational areas.

If residents have a special event, private dining and meeting rooms are available.

To take a tour of Crosstown Square, or for questions, call (309) 281-3276.

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Crosstown Square

Crosstown Square

Crosstown Square in Silvis offers assisted living care while enhancing overall independence.

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