... special people, special recognition ...
Standing (left to fight) State Representative Mike Festa, Mayor Patrick Guerriero, MacKenzie Home Activity Director Donna Waldron and aide Rita Hernandez. Seated in front are Mackenzie Nursing Home residents and a family guest.
In October, twenty-four residents from six Melrose nursing homes and members of their families were special guests at a Senior Appreciation Reception in the Milano Senior Center. The reception was one of several events organized throughout the City as part of Melrose's second annual "Responding with Respect Week" Oct 24-30, 1999.
Sponsored by Mayor Guerriero and the Council on Aging, the Appreciation Reception tried to involve local nursing home residents by inviting them to a community event. Nursing home activity directors were actively involved in planning the event and in organizing the transportation. Remarkably, given the age and fragile health of the invitees, 24 of the 25 invited residents came to the program. Only a handful of the guests had previously visited the center because of logistical and/or transportation barriers.
Kicking off the afternoon program by welcoming guests and introducing Mayor Guerriero was Jack Beckley, executive director of the Council on Aging. Mayor Guerriero then spoke briefly about "Responding with Respect Week" and the need, in our competitive, fast paced society, to remember to respect one another. Mayor Guerriero then introduced state representative Mike Festa who also spoke briefly.
Refreshments were served including fresh fruit and assorted pastries made by students of the Northeast Metropolitan Regional High School. After refreshments, Valerie Mulvihill, activity director at the Tuell Nursing Home, presented individualized awards to each of the guests. Examples of the awards presented include most patriotic (never misses an election vote), most helpful, most artistic, wittiest, and best trivia player.
Nursing homes with guests attending the reception were Beverly Health Care, Elmhurst Nursing & Retirement Home, MacKenzie Nursing Home, Normandy House, Oosterman's Retirement Home, and Tuell Nursing Home.
November 5, 1999