Holiday Cheer Drive-By Parade
What started as an idea for just our facility has morphed into a city-wide showing of love and care. 2020 has been a truly hard year on everyone and especially for residents of long term care communities. For their own protection, visits from family members and friends and volunteers have been limited or cancelled. Many seniors do not understand what is happening and why their families cannot come see them. They feel abandoned, lonely depressed and confused.
We were not able to offer our normal Christmas party this year that usually includes about 200 family members all coming together here. The staff at Wellington Place has worked hard to try and still make the holidays special for our residents but what they really want is You. Therefore, the idea of having a drive-by parade like we had for Mother's Day was hatched. And it grew.
Activities Coordinator, Lucinda "Goo" Gohman-Kramer, put out Facebook posts asking families and community members; church groups, youth groups, fire & rescue, HPD to join in. The idea is to dress up vehicles with lights and signs, streamers and balloons, to be as festive as possible and drive passed our building for the residents to see that they haven't been forgotten. Goo began thinking that if folks went to all that trouble in the dead of winter that they may as well share that with others. As there are other assisted living and senior communities in town the parade might as well continue. She contacted other facilities to see if they would be interested and they all jumped on board with great enthusiasm. Butch Kopps from Wellspring Church, who ran a monthly Bible study group for us before the pandemic shutdown, volunteered to take over the community organization of the parade. Goo advertised on Hartford Proud!, got an article in the West Bend Daily News, got support from the Chamber of Commerce and local radio. The city police department dedicated a squad car to lead the way and the fire and rescue was on board too.
All are welcome whether you have someone here with us or in any community in town.
Staging is at the west end of the empty K-Mart lot starting at 2:30 pm on Saturday December 26th. The parade will head out at 3 pm. Maps will be given but the hope is we will have a long line to follow. The parade will conclude at Wellington Place at Hartford before it is too dark. Stay and sing some carols in the parking lot.