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The Waters hosts Independence Day parade

Friday, July 2, 2010

Clad in patriotic gear, Linda McClain, a nurse's aide at The Waters of Greencastle Nursing Home, introduces Rosco the beagle to residents Gertrude Hoffa and Pete Curtis at the home's Independence Day Parade on its facilities. This year marked the first year for the event.
GREENCASTLE -- Event organizers at The Waters of Greencastle Nursing Home invited residents, employees and community members to witness and participate in the facility's first-ever Independence Day parade Thursday morning, complete with live entertainment and patriotic fare.

The Greencastle Fire Department and children from area organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Visiting Angels, Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church and ResCare Community Youth Services were encouraged to dress in patriotic costumes for the walk in front of the residents. The procession also had a canine contributor -- Roscoe the beagle, who was pulling a wagon of water bottles. The Waters adopted him from the Humane Society about a month and a half ago, executive director Holly Wachtel said.

Residents and participants were also treated to popsicles and snacks while an Elvis Presley impersonator serenaded the crowd on the facility's parking lot.

Activity director Candy McMickle and Wachtel came up with the idea for the event about a month ago because the holiday this year fell on a weekend. McMickle wanted to have an event for employees to participate in the celebration, she said.

"It's something patriotic for people to be a part of America and to bring in the Fourth for everybody," she said.

Residents also helped decorate wheelchairs and make snacks in preparation for the parade.

The Waters resident Pete Curtis joins in a dance with physical therapy assistant Emily Fields during an Elvis impersonator's rendition of "Kentucky Rain." Other entertainment included a visit from the Boy Scouts, Greencastle Fire Department, Visiting Angels, Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church, Res Care Community Youth Services, Smokey the Bear and Tigger.
A resident of The Waters for six months, Ardie Jones said she enjoyed her seated view of the parade just outside a tent set up in the parking lot. While Elvis wasn't from her generation, she said, she still had a great time at the parade.

"It's nice because the kids get a kick out of it," Jones said.

Seated underneath a patriotically decorated tent, husband and wife Waters residents Carl and Freda Carews spokes about how they used to have family get-togethers and picnics before they were residents at The Waters.

This year, the couple plans to watch the Greencastle fireworks show on July 4, but the efforts of event organizers in putting on things like the Independence Day parade are always appreciated, Freda said.

"They did a good job," she said. "They try hard to make it nice, and it is."

In gratitude for their participation in the parade, The Waters also gave gifts to the organizations, including school bags, chalk and sand pails, and McDonald's donated goody bags, McMickle said.

Sherri Wahl, direct child care worker at ResCare, said involving youth in service events like the parade Thursday morning is a good way for them to give back to the community; every week the group visits with residents to talk and paint their nails.

"They start to build a rapport with the residents and really look forward to it," Wahl said.

McMickle said overall she was pleased with the turnout for the event.

"It might get bigger in coming years," she said, "but for now it was small enough to organize easily but big enough to enjoy."

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