Record turnout for MHRC and Chipola Pavilion parade

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    All eyes are on the television Thanksgiving morning for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Those attending and participating in the parade Friday afternoon for the residents of Marianna Health and Rehab and Chipola Pavilion must have thought they had joined those ranks. The turnout was something no one could have possibly imagined with the residents beaming from ear to ear throughout the one-hour plus event. Cars lined up to participate stretched from one end of Kelson at Noland to the east and west to Smith Street on the west. Every through street from Kelson to Fourth Avenue was lined with vehicles eagerly awaiting their participation in the parade.
    It was an event welcomed by the entire community but none more so than by the children and families of those who reside at the Center. Due to the pandemic, they have not been allowed inside the facility for several weeks and have been visiting by phone, Facetime, and through windows. The look on the residents faces as they waved, held their signs and offered greetings said it all.
    MH&RC Administrator Melinda Gay was more than pleased, “We lost count of the cars and trucks. I’m so thankful for the amazing community support for our residents and staff. It’s wonderful to live in a small community. Our residents made signs for their families all week and then to see families made signs and banners for their cars was beautiful to see. There were lots of smiles, waves and even a few tears. When we put the word out to the community for the parade, I thought it would last 20-30 minutes. The parade lasted an hour and twenty minutes. It was amazing. I love Marianna and Jackson County – what a great community!”
    The Center has a special place in the heart of Trevor Mayo, “After not being able to see my granddaddy in over a month from COVID-19, it was so awesome to see him standing, waving, and shouting, ‘I love you’. I cannot thank MHRC enough for doing this not only for my family but for all other families that got to see their loved ones. Also, thank you to the community for the overwhelming amount of love and support you showed.”
    Speech therapist Susan Ramin was touched by the turnout, “In over 25 years in long term care services under my belt, I can safety say that for residents, staff, extended families and our great community that was one of the greatest moments of my professional care, just that opportunity for spouses, grandkids and such to see their loved one and of course a social distance was priceless and to be honest we miss their families visiting. They have become apart of our families as well. Blessed to be a part of the MHRC family.”
    Scott Edwards has family at MHRC and was more than happy to participate, “When I heard about the parade for the residents of Marianna Health and Rehab, I was ecstatic to participate. My wife and I have family in there and it has been tough not being able to visit. I pray for this pandemic to be over soon and we all can get back to normalcy. Big thank you to the City of Marianna and Marianna Health and Rehab for putting this together.”
    Alice Pate was all smiles in the parade, “It was a blessing to see the smiles on the faces of the residents and to see the joy on the faces of the family members who got to see their loved ones. I am so honored to be able to participate.”
    Rance Massengill was appreciative of the opportunity to be in the parade, “As with many things that we take for granted. How fortunate we are to have the good people of Marianna Health and Rehab to assist us with our loved ones. And wasn’t it a great showing of all the people who came to support their loved ones.”
    Hayes Baggett was impressed, but not surprised by the turn out for the parade, “When I first was told of the upcoming parade, I knew people would participate. During this time of social distancing, it is so hard for families not to be able to go visit. This gave the residents’ families opportunity to see their loved ones smiling faces – even if it was from a distance. I was honored to participate in such a great event.”
    Carol Dunaway said she expected nothing less from our community, “I am so proud of our community for the incredible turnout Friday afternoon and all the love shown for all the residents. I saw families and friends full of joy by being able to engage with their loved ones. I saw their love for their special person. I saw first responders, law enforcement, community leaders showing their love for our frontline workers and residents. I saw mask wearing healthcare workers holding umbrellas to shield the residents from the sun. Singing, dancing and being cheerleaders for the residents. I saw the residents, the moms and dads and grandmas and papas, sisters and brothers waving, smiling, and singing. I saw their love for a community that showed up, showed up for them. I saw love.”
    As for the TIMES role in the parade, it was phenomenal. Nickel (the TIMES mascot and my baby) had a fantastic time, seeing all the happy faces from the youngest of grand and great grandchildren to the grandparents and great grandparents seeing their loved ones with smiles on everyone’s faces. Kudos to all who played a part in making the event a huge success.

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