Working with all ages
Despite being the only woman in her household, Debbie Eyerly has found a way to serve the community and stay connected to her feminine side. For the past five years, Eyerly has worked with the Leavenworth area Junior Miss Pageant.
The pageant, which will be June 3 and 4 at Basehor-Linwood High School, will offer $1,800 in scholarships to winners. The Leavenworth-Lansing Women's Chamber of Commerce helps out every year in different capacities with the pageant. Eyerly said her favorite experience was working in hospitality.
"I loved helping the girls get ready and seeing the emotions during practice," she said.
Eyerly became especially close with a former Junior Miss contestant, Megan Warner, who also volunteered at Twin Oaks, where Eyerly is executive director of the facility's Assisted Living Community.
After working in retail for many years, Eyerly started working in home health care and eventually came to Twin Oaks in Lansing. She worked there until the Twin Oaks Assisted Living Community broke ground in 1999.
Eyerly said she enjoyed the residents in the community. She does what she can to make the residents' living experience there a pleasant one.
"We try to take the fear out of people coming to live here," she said. "We wine them and dine them. I like being around elderly people and seeing them be happy and enjoy life."
From putting on music and dancing to days of pampering, the staff at Twin Oaks provides guests with options to keep them occupied.
"It's unlimited the things you can do to make them happy," she said. "It's so neat to see them smile."
She also enjoys it when visitors such as University of Kansas basketball player Wayne Simien grace the community with their presence.
"We need more people like him to have as role models," she said.
Name: Debbie Eyerly
Address: 121 Ethel Lane
Occupation: Executive Director of Twin Oaks Assisted Living Center
Graduate of: Leavenworth High School, 1976
Family: Husband, Jeff, SBC employee; son, Daniel, 17, Lansing High School student
How long have you lived in Lansing and what brought you here? I moved here in 1986 because we were house shopping in the area. I was born and raised in Leavenworth.
What do you like most about Lansing? It is growing a lot, and it has more to offer for people in the community. If they put in a Kohl's and a Jones Store, I would be happy.
What do you do to relax? I work in the yard and weed-eat. I love flowers with brilliant colors and bulbs.
What would surprise people about you? That I weed-eat. I also love to organize, decorate (I like flowers everywhere) and cook.
What's the best advice you ever received? Never assume anything.
What organizations do you belong to? Leavenworth-Lansing Women's Chamber of Commerce, beautification committee; Junior Miss for Leavenworth County, First United Methodist Church