Fair season extends to nursing home residents in Mahoning
Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS Leah Wehr strokes the nose of Partee Boy at the Mahoning Valley Fair held at the Mahoning Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. From left are, Melissa Holland, staff, Wehr, Vanessa Smith, staff; and Jenelle Strohl, horse owner.
Mahoning Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Mahoning Valley, presented its second annual fair for the residents and their loved ones. The event was held Wednesday in their courtyard at the center.
The fair opened with a pie eating contest offered by five staff members and a shoofly pie baking contest, which was also entered by staff members.
Then it was, popcorn and lemonade, cotton candy and funnel cake and fair games for most of the afternoon. There was even a dunk tank and livestock to see and touch when a pair of horses were trailered in by Strohl Barrel Horses owner Jenelle Strohl.
"This is the second time we've done this," said Cindy Swatt, activity director. "We know it's hard for the residents to get to the county fair, so we bring the county fair to them."
Bernadette Rodrigues, director of special events; was the first person to dunk her brother, Chris, who is director of human resources. Later all of the residents lined up to be heckled by Chris and each one of them was able to dunk him, either by throwing a ball or touching the target.
"It's all good," said Bernadette. "The water is cold. We tried to warm it up by boiling 15 gallons of water, but it didn't help much."
Mary Lou Hailey, a resident, was one of the first residents to dunk Chris. She laughed as he splashed into the pool.
For Maebell Rehrig, she was thrilled when she was able to hit ping pong balls with a spray of water from squirt bottle.
Leah Wehr, a resident, was thrilled to stroke the head of Partee Boy.
"We're actually filled to capacity," said Bernadette. "We have 142 residents and most of them came to the fair."
The event was coordinated by the activity staff, Swatt, Ann Sharpley and Nancy Snyder. The therapy staff organized the games for the residents.
"It's a great multidepartment joint effort," said Swatt. "It's a great sunny day and there is a nice breeze. Perfect day for a fair."
Music was provided by a self playing accordion.
"This is a great location," said Bernadette. "We have the shaded area on one side and shadows on the other.
With prizes to win and great fair food to eat, the residents had a great time enjoying the great Mahoning Valley Fair.