Two Utah Easter Seal Society officials have been invited by first lady Barbara Bush to attend a March 30 White House tea honoring Family Friends project volunteers from Utah and other states.

Charlene Robinson, Family Friend project volunteer, and Lynn Jacobsen, the society's executive director, will attend the gathering for the program, which matches senior citizen volunteers with chronically ill and disabled children.Organized in Salt Lake County in November 1987, the program has served more than 80 Utah families. Family Friends receive extensive training before being assigned to visit the families, who benefit from love, patience and compassion shown by senior citizens, who, because of the program, feel loved and are able to use various personal skills.

Robinson has first-hand experience dealing with the stress of rearing her son, Brian, 26, who has Down's syndrome. Through volunteering, she hoped to share knowledge and give a helping hand to parents facing the challenge of rearing a child with special needs.