Move to new Pioneer center was exciting for allPublished 11:15am Friday, May 27, 2011
You could feel the excitement begin to build on Saturday morning, April 30, as volunteers and family members gathered at the original Pioneer Home and started packing and moving the residents’ personal belongings and loading the vans, trailers, and pick-ups to transport them to the new facility.
There were orange wagons from Fleet Farm and Home Depot loaded with boxes. Lazy-boy chairs on dollies, and lots of muscle power being displayed as resident rooms were transformed into home-like settings.
Meanwhile, in the bright, beautiful Garden Court, the Auxiliary ladies were preparing the lunch of Gobble-up turkey sandwiches, chips, (Thank you Barrel-0-Fun) and of bars baked by volunteers.
There was a happy buzz of conversation and laughter. Families commented that the move was going smoothly and faster than they imagined. They very much appreciated the great sandwiches and hospitality. Sunday afternoon found families making finishing touches and again enjoying the snacks in each household provided by Auxiliary members.
Then finally came Monday, May 2. the day of the big move. First you could hear the drums in the distance, then came the flashing light of the lead police car. There followed the Color-guard and classic cars. Then around the comer came the marching band led by the flag bearers. All at once they started playing, “Yankee Doodle Dandy”! What a happy song, and the kids looked great on this rather chilly morning. Now, along with the Veterans’ Home Bus and Mill Street bus, there is a procession of Otter Transit green and white buses carrying the stars of the morning, the residents.
As they were assisted into the building, eyes were big. Many were seeing their new homefor the first time. Some of the comments heard were: “Wow!” “It’s so beautiful!” “I never thought I would live in a place as nice as this!” “This is home!” and again, “Wow!”
All 93 of the residents were in their new quarters before noon, and some even got in a nap before their first lunch was served. Many family members thanked the volunteers and staff, saying everything was so organized, and everyone so helpful and welcoming.
It was a thrill to be a part of it all as an Auxiliary member. A huge thank you to each volunteer and especially to EvLyn Gilbertson, Volunteer Coordinator, who had every household greeter, the front desk, the Garden Court, the resident helpers and movers all scheduled for the three days in several shifts. A monumental task. Hundreds of volunteer hours were logged over the 3 days. It also was so good to see the staff working together to make it all work so smoothly. Weeks of work by Administrators and Staff went into planning the details of such an endeavor. Congratulations. It was an exciting and wonderful time for all involved.
PioneerCare Auxiliary Member