Helen M., a resident at Coleman Care Centre in Barrie, was thrilled to be part of a late summer/early fall Fashion Show, organized by the team members and hosted by the residents.
“At my age of 92 I have never been in a fashion show and I can’t believe I made it into one,” Helen says, her enthusiasm matched by each of her fellow models. Several remarked at how the music and the lovely dresses made them feel special, saying they were happy to have the opportunity to be the centre of attention, somewhat like a Hollywood Star.
“I was fascinated by the whole event and my beautiful dress,” said another model, Helen K.
The village was decorated to feel like Hollywood, complete with a red carpet down Main Street leading to the dining room where food and drink awaited the models and guests. The fans and spectators lined the street awaiting the arrival of the models, who had been preparing with hair and makeup in the Salon before their runway unveilings.
Events like this, beyond the typical recreation calendar, inspire the team members be ever more creative, for the impact carries on long beyond the event.
“I’m motivated to plan these types of programs for the village as it gives the residents an opportunity for new experiences,” says Amanda W. “I also enjoy working with the team to create the programs in hopes that it will make at least one residents’ day.”
The smiles on the faces of the models as they walked the runway, cheered on by their fellow residents, were priceless, says team member Danielle T., and part of the reason the team keeps working towards creative event planning.
“The smiles on our residents faces motivate me every day to plan events bigger than our daily programs that I know will make each individual feel special,” she says.
Some of the dresses came from Barrie’s Loved Again bridal store, and the team was grateful to share a community connection to help make the fashion show successful.
“I felt I needed to bring in dresses to make the residents’ day, to make them feel young again and just to have fun,” says Alyson H. who lined up the connection with the store.” Other dresses came from team members’ closets, and Karen Andrews says helping them become the centre of attention with hairstyling, makeup sessions and the gift of a new dress for a day is a special opportunity, as a team member.
One of the residents told Karen she loved her after the event wrapped up and Karen was helping her get changed. The moment brought tears to her eyes, and not for the first time that day.
“Those are the moments that fill my cup and we can see the difference we are making in the residents lives,” she says.