Luau Transforms Community for First Anniversary Celebration
By Barbara Sutherland
Golden Sands was transformed from a prairie locale into a tropical holiday destination to celebrate the community’s first anniversary on June 11. There was music, dancing, and the focus of any self-respecting luau feast, a 'roasted pig' – which in this case was not so much ‘roasted’ as baked and iced.
“It was all hands on deck,” says recreation coordinator Theresa Cardinal, referring to the days prior to the luau. “The community was abuzz decorating and transforming the lobby area, main dining room and cottages into a Hawaiian oasis.” Wellness Supervisor & Educator Ali Knechtel led the preparations and her husband and daughter helped out blowing up countless balloons – “using their own wind power; no pumps used at all!”
On the day of the luau, employee care partners donned their most tropical summer attire and went to the cottages to drape a colourful ‘flower lei’ around each resident’s neck. Every visitor received the same welcome and lei when they entered for the celebration. “It delighted the residents when they saw that their family members came to see them dressed up,” says Theresa.
“Everyone was in awe of the amazing meal the kitchen crew prepared,” says Theresa. “We had BBQ beef ribs, chicken skewers, a pineapple rice dish, fresh fruit, chocolate-dipped strawberries, mini key lime cheesecake, and strawberry cake for dessert. Kathy Roy our Cook outdid herself by creating our very own roasted pig... cake! The bright pink pig was a masterpiece!”
It was a nice hot sunny day, so following the feast, many residents and care partners retired to the outdoor courtyard where they visited and sipped on mai-tai mocktails made from the leftover fruit from the feast. “It was so delicious and it made it incredibly hard to want to go back to work,” says Theresa. Providing a relaxing musical backdrop to the afternoon, was resident Sherill Verboom on accordion, accompanied by a friend on guitar.
Photo: Demonstrating their hula dance moves, are residents and employee care partner Kathy Roy (cook), and on the right, hospitality Aide Sobiada Arab.