Recently, over 400 Meadowood residents and team members participated in Spring Fling, an all-day, magical event. There were games to play, wares to buy, music, socializing, and delicious eats galore.
The event was extra special because it was the first event that brought everybody back together in person, according to Jody LaVerdure, Director of Development and Community Relations at Meadowood.
Jody was in charge of the daunting task of planning the Fling. She put together a committee of residents and team members, and they got to work. Two months of planning went into the day of fun activities for residents and team members, who enjoyed shuffleboard, water volleyball and bocce tournaments, golf, cornhole, karaoke, sales of jewelry, woodworking and baked goods, a band, food trucks and more!
A Heartfelt Thank You
What was the reason for the event? “The idea actually came up in a board meeting,” Jody explains. “The board wanted to find a way to recognize and thank the staff and residents for all that we have done during the pandemic, so we came up with the concept of a Spring Fling, and the board generously offered to pay for the food trucks. It was really nice. It was just a way to thank us for all we did. The residents volunteered and the staff was so dedicated during the pandemic,” she continued. “The board wanted for us all to be able to come together as a community and celebrate and recognize everyone’s contributions.
Food truck choices included barbecue, lobster rolls and Asian bento boxes. And for the pièce de résistance, an ice cream truck was brought in by the husband of Resident Care Director Angie, who owns Downtown Scoop, an ice cream shop in Souderton, PA. The ice cream truck was sponsored by The Meadowood Residents Association. “That’s always a fun thing to have here,” says Jody, “because all the residents and staff know and love our Resident Care Director Angie.”
Hugh Trumbull, President of the Meadowood Residents Association, who also helped plan the event, agreed. “We served over 400 servings of ice cream, he said. “This gang really loves ice cream.”
According to Hugh, one of the Meadowood traditions that began during COVID-19 continued at the Spring Fling.
“We had a bunch of events, from bocce to shuffleboard to water volleyball, all played with teams of residents and employees — not playing against each other, but with each other on the same teams,” says Hugh. “That is something that began during the pandemic. We realized the employees and the residents really had to work together to stay safe. There was a strong bridge of cooperation that grew during that time, the idea of residents and staff working together to do things, whether we’re playing or working. It took root and has grown into the post-pandemic period. That was very much apparent during the Spring Fling,” he says.
Masks Come Off. Smiles Go On.
Jody was thrilled that the full day of fun events went off without a hitch. “I was ecstatic. It’s always challenging when you’re planning an outdoor event because, when the forecast changes, you have to make adjustments at the last minute,” she says. Although an evening concert had to be moved inside due to rain, the event was an unmitigated success.
“It was a team effort,” stresses Jody. “Lots of departments were helping out. And everyone was having such a great time. The event was on June 3, and we had just lifted our mask mandate in the community center on June 1 since the vast majority of people are vaccinated,” she continues. “This was the first time we were all back together and could see smiling faces again. Everyone was just beyond thrilled to be celebrating together and not be behind a mask.”
“It was a lot of work,” Jody says. “But it was worth every minute to see the pure happiness.”
What was the best part of the day? “Everyone loved the food trucks, because you could decide which one you wanted to go to — that was a big hit,” says Jody. (Hugh and his wife had lobster.)
But the fellowship was even better. “It was so great to be social again,” Jody says. “It was a magical day.”
People may be able to feel that magic again next year. The event went so well that Meadowood may repeat it next spring.
But the community won’t have to wait that long for the next magical day. The events are coming fast and furious — and residents are just as quick to participate.
“What we’re seeing is that people are really eager to get out and move around and talk to other people,” Hugh explains, “and socialize face to face again.”
Just a few examples: “We had a trail walk this morning, and we had really good participation,” he says. “Yesterday, we had a tour of resident gardens and we had a great turnout. It shows you that people are eager to get out and about.”
Hugh sums it all up: “We had over 50 people arrive to become residents during the pandemic, and we were all wearing masks. Now we’re taking the masks off and putting name tags on so we can get to know each other.”
We’d love for you to visit the Meadowood campus and experience our welcoming atmosphere for yourself. To learn more about upcoming events, click here.