Every year since 2013, I have had the honor and the privilege to take our residents to the Allegan County Fair. It’s a time of the year that I really look forward to with our residents, next to Christmas of course! Every year gets better and better.
We started getting in to the parade in 2013 with the bus and us walking along, and in 2014 we had our first float which got 2nd place. This year we continued with our float and again we won 2nd place with four of our residents on the float and 4 on our bus which our driver, Lori, made up to look like a cow.
In 2015, we started doing one of the booths in the Agricultural Barn and won 8th place. This year several of our residents and staff worked on crafts and other projects to decorate our booth with the theme of, “Where Agriculture, Entertainment, and Education Join Together.” This year our booth won 5th place!
And of course, what would the fair be without several trips to eat, drink, and enjoy all of the sights and old friends we haven’t seen in a while. These trips bring out the best in our residents and staff together. Those that don’t normally socialize or smile, suddenly are the most talkative ever. And that fair food, the wonderful smorgasbord of fried food, always tempts the appetites of those that don’t normally want to eat. It’s a wonderful time for all involved.
My favorite moment is the parade, the smiles and waves of our residents to the crowds, and that “sea of red;” our amazing staff, family and volunteers, that without, I would not be able to pull any of this off. Waving to the crowds of people, where we find staff and family members and families of those who have passed, and are excited to see again. So, to all of you, staff, residents, family, and volunteers that help make this week a reality for all involved and bring all of those smiles to life, I thank you. This week is as important to me as it is to them, and I couldn’t do it without all of the help I receive.
-Eric Rittenhouse, Hillcrest Coordinator