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Car Parade Honors Residents of Retirement Community in Douglassville

By Keystone Villa at Douglassville

Jun 16, 2020
Participants in the Honor Parade held at Keystone Villa at Douglassville are Kevin and Kathey Graul, seen holding a sign in support of her father and resident, Larry Steinmetz. (Photo provided by Keystone Villa at Douglassville)

DOUGLASSVILLE, Pa.  – Keystone Villa at Douglassville wowed its residents with an Honor Parade Wednesday afternoon. Over 50 cars carrying 121 family members and 13 “grand-dogs” participated in the drive-thru event.

Families were encouraged to be creative and decorate their vehicles in honor of their loved ones and were staged at Wawa on Maplewood Drive in Douglassville. With assistance from the Amity Township Police Department, parade traffic was guided safely across a section of Route 422, known as Benjamin Franklin Highway.

Anxiously awaiting residents were delighted by the lengthy procession, which traveled through the personal care and independent living parking lot.

“This was amazing,” said longtime resident Mary Okuniewski. “It brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful day!”

Longtime Keystone Villa at Douglassville resident Mary Okuniewski awaits the start of the Honor Parade. She was overjoyed to see her loved ones, including her great-granddaughter Erin Okuniewski among the parade’s participants. (Photo provided by Keystone Villa at Douglassville).

Overjoyed to see her family members waving from the line of cars, Okuniewski was especially elated at the sight of her great-granddaughter Erin Okuniewski holding a sign through the vehicle’s sunroof that read, “We love you, MomMom.”

Erin Okuniewski, the great-granddaughter of resident Mary Okuniewski, holds a sign that reads, “ We love you, MomMom” during the Honor Parade held for Keystone Villa at Douglassville residents on Wednesday, June 10. Also pictured with Erin are Alaina Kay and Sophia Hogan holding the American flag. (Photo provided by Keystone Villa at Douglassville)

Also thrilled by the Villa’s endeavors was resident Bill Baseley. His brother made the trip from Maryland.

“We haven’t seen each other in quite some time,” noted Baseley. “This was such a wonderful event.”

The retirement community has restricted visitors to the building since March following recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in efforts to prevent COVID-19.

Over 50 cars carrying 121 family members and 13 “grand-dogs” participated in the drive-thru parade held at Keystone Villa at Douglassville on Wednesday, June 10, in recognition of its residents. It was a heartwarming event for the residents, who hadn’t seen their loved ones since March when the retirement community restricted visitors to the building following recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in efforts to prevent COVID-19. (Photo provided by Keystone Villa at Douglassville)

“Our residents have missed seeing their loved ones, so we came up with a creative way to get everyone together while staying six feet apart,” said Cyndi Trombley, marketing director for independent living.

She also noted, “We’re all in awe of the amazing turnout. It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day to celebrate our residents. The Villa team expresses our gratitude to the families, Wawa and Amity Township Police Department, for helping make this a safe and successful event.”

During these uncertain times, staff members have helped residents to stay connected and engaged with each other and their loved ones. Since visitations continue to be restricted, families have communicated via video chat and arranged window visits.

Participants in the Honor Parade held at Keystone Villa at Douglassville are Kevin and Kathey Graul, seen holding a sign in support of her father and resident, Larry Steinmetz. (Photo provided by Keystone Villa at Douglassville)

Inside the community, residents have enjoyed a safe, socially distant music concert, community-oriented projects, and planted a garden of fresh vegetables and herbs.

“We’ve really been trying to think outside the box to bring happiness to our residents. This has been a difficult time for everyone, but the staff and residents continue to work together to make the best of it,” said Ann Carr, marketing director for personal care.

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