Mont St. Joseph cel­e­brates grand­par­ents

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - CLASSIFIEDS - ARTHUR WHITE-CRUMMEY @arthur­whitePA • arthur.white@pa­her­ald.sk.ca

For one day of the year, the Mont St. Joseph nurs­ing home trans­forms into the liveli­est spot in Prince Al­bert.

It hap­pened this Sun­day, on Grand­par­ents Day. This year, staff and vol­un­teers strung up bal­loons, in­flated a bouncy cas­tle and wel­comed well over a hun­dred fam­ily mem­bers to the fes­tiv­i­ties.

“It’s just a nice day to have every­one to­gether,” said Glenn McMullen, chair of the Mont St. Joseph Foun­da­tion.

The weather co­op­er­ated for one of the day’s sig­na­ture events: a stroll around the Mont St. Joseph grounds. Us­ing wheel­chairs and other mo­bil­ity aids, fam­ily mem­bers pushed their loved ones along the home’s ver­dant gar­den paths.

“It gets the res­i­dents out and they get some fresh air and some en­joy­ment,” McMullen said. “Fam­ily and friends push them around the perime­ter of the build­ing. They come in with a new ap­petite af­ter their walk and have some food.”

For any res­i­dents left with­out vis­i­tors, vol­un­teers and board mem­bers are ready to jump in and lend a hand.

“No­body is left out if they want to go for the walk,” McMullen said.

Rick Lawrence is one of the home’s new­est res­i­dents. He said he’s plan­ning to head out for his tour of the grounds a lit­tle later in the day. For now, he’s en­joy­ing a live mu­si­cal per­for­mance, fea­tur­ing coun­try clas­sics like Johnny Cash’s Fol­som Prison Blues.

The mu­sic, the food and the fes­tiv­i­ties all earn high praise from Lawrence. But most of all, the day is about spend­ing time with fam­ily.

“My son-in-law and grand­chil­dren are here,” he said. “So I’m look­ing for­ward to tak­ing them around and show­ing them where I stay.”

McMullen said Grand­par­ents Day is also one of their most suc­cess­ful fundrais­ing events. They col­lect pledge sheets from fam­ily and sup­port­ers and so­licit cor­po­rate do­na­tions. RBC stopped by to present a gi­ant $5,000 cheque.

“Of course one of the main func­tions is to raise money and that’s what we do,” he said. “It’s a pretty suc­cess­ful event for that.”

Eighty-nine-year-old Ar­mand Rabut spent the day rem­i­nisc­ing with his son, daugh­ter and grand­chil­dren. He said they talked about “many things,” but es­pe­cially the fam­ily farm 30 miles out­side of Prince Al­bert.

“(We talk) about the olden days, and what they used to do at home on the farm,” he ex­plained.

He said he ap­pre­ci­ates the hus­tle and bus­tle of Grand­par­ents Day, in small doses. Usu­ally, he said, Mont St. Joseph is a place to en­joy peace and quiet.

“It’s al­right for a day; I wouldn’t want to spend a whole week (like this),” he said. “I’d need an­other wheel­chair for that one, one with a mo­tor.”

His daugh­ter Ar­mande said the work­ers at Mont St. Joseph are do­ing a great job.

“It’s just a fan­tas­tic day,” he said. “It shows how grand­par­ents are very ap­pre­ci­ated. It’s just good to be with dad.”

ARTHUR WHITE-CRUMMEY/DAILY HER­ALD

Fam­ily and vol­un­teers take Mont St. Joseph res­i­dents out for a stroll around the premises.

ARTHUR WHITE-CRUMMEY/DAILY HER­ALD

Ar­mand Rabut sits with his daugh­ter Ar­mande and other fam­ily mem­bers at Mont St. Joseph’s Grand­par­ents Day cel­e­bra­tion.

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