‘We’re all in’ said residents and staff at the Wildpine Residence fourth anniversary celebration

Author: Lesley McKay

It was a day of celebration at Stittsville’s Wildpine Residence on June 15th. The retirement home was celebrating their fourth anniversary and the management and staff had a big celebration planned for the afternoon – ‘Casino Day in StittsVegas’. Photos: Stittsville Central)

The theme for the day was ‘Casino Day in StittsVegas’ for the fourth anniversary of Wildpine Residence in Stittsville on June 15th. Stittsville Central staff were invited to take in the celebration with the residents and staff for this afternoon of amusement and quite the afternoon it was. Every table was full of gambling residents eager to place their bets.

(The staff of Wildpine Residence who planned the special ‘Casino’ day for the residents to celebrate the 4th Anniversary. Photo: Wildpine)

The planning began back in February or so when at a staff meeting Lucy Di Santo and others asked what could be done to celebrate the upcoming fourth anniversary. In light of the tough three years of COVID during which activities were subdued, it had to be something exciting for the residents (and staff too). Well, why not a casino themed celebration? From then, the plan came together with all the staff working to make the day an entertaining one for everyone.

With everyone onboard, Stittsville business All in Casino was called to bring their Vegas gambling tables, dealers and even a Vegas showgirl to Wildpine. There were signs to be made, food to planned and perhaps a tipple for those enjoying themselves. It seems that G&Ts are the drink of choice for Wildpine residents.

The day had finally arrived with the expectant gamblers making a grand entrance into the Casino, walking the red carpet and posing for photos under the Casino entrance signage. The room was full of excitement with music playing, Casino themed signs, dealers in place, the Blackjack, Casino War and Crown & Anchor tables just waiting for the residents to choose their game. In no time, the guests had arrived and tables were filled while onlookers waited for the chance to play. The atmosphere was just right.

Finger foods were passed around by staff to the residents and drink orders taken. The residents were having the time of their lives at this anniversary party.

One of the stars at the Blackjack table was Ernie Allen, who somehow knew the rules of the game (must be from his days flying a spitfire), as he assisted others in making their ‘hit me’ ‘don’t hit me’ bets. Things got serious when Ernie removed his hat! At 101 he was not going to be defeated by a deck of cards and made his bets wisely winning a few hands against the dealer.

Mrs. Dunn got right into the excitement of her Roulette game, she turned her ballcap backwards – nothing was going to get in the way to stop her from winning. She was having a grand time piling up her winning chips.

Of course, there was no money to be made at any of the games, just a win of more gambling chips and lots of fun. Being a generous crowd, when a player would leave a table, they kindly passed their chips to the next gambler sitting down.

I spoke with a resident named Sharon, a former nurse, who has only been at Wildpine for eight weeks and she “couldn’t believe that this is what she had to look forward to while living at the residence”. “The activities are always enjoyable and I’m happy my family chose this place as my new home,” she added. She also wanted to ‘boogie’ when a favourite song was being played saying, “I love to dance”.

It was an afternoon filled with fun for all. You could plainly see the joy on the residents’ faces as they enjoyed their win-lose-or draw day of celebration.

Congratulations Wildpine Residence on your 4th Anniversary! How are you going to beat this for your 5th?! We’ll just have to wait and see.