Busy autumn underway at Willows Estate


Home marks Halloween, gears up for bazaar

A staff member donning a silly hat or a fancy scarf dangling from a resident’s neck is bringing fun and laughter to Willows Estate.

In the spirit of Halloween, the Aurora long-term care home has a box containing dress-up items so employees and residents can add a little flair to their lives during this time of year.

While rainy skies forced Willows Estate to cancel a trip to a nearby farm in search of the perfect pumpkins and local maple syrup, residents will still have the chance to take part in Halloween-themed events at the home.

There will be pumpkin-carving activities and the Sunday baking group will prepare cupcakes and decorate them with Halloween embellishments. Willows Estate will also celebrate the birthdays of residents born in October with a Halloween-themed party.

“A lot of our residents enjoy seeing the staff that come in dressed up,” says Teddy Mazzuca, life enrichment co-ordinator at Willows Estate. “We have a big box of Halloween stuff (for everyone).”

Even the home’s visiting pet therapy dogs will be dressed by their owners for the season.

The festivities continue after Oct. 31.

Once November hits, “we’re all about Christmas here,” Mazzuca notes. “We’re right into our Christmas stuff.”
First up is the home’s annual Christmas bazaar. This year’s event falls on Nov. 12 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

“Most of our guests are family members but we also have members of the community come in.”

The popular affair features a variety of tables showcasing residents’ knitted items, their homemade jams, baked goods from family members and staff, and a few community businesses selling their wares. A white elephant sale, which features garage sale items, is a big draw for visitors, Mazzuca notes.

“We have a good assortment of used items and that usually goes over very well.”

The bazaar is one of the home’s biggest fundraisers of the year. With a steady flow of visitors, the event nets between $2,550 to
$3,000 for the residents’ council. These funds help provide the residents with additional musical entertainment in their home, with as many as three to four activities a month.

“All of the money raised helps the residents’ council in the year ahead,” Mazzuca says.

Residents enjoy the extra entertainment and bus outings, which are made possible from the proceeds of the bazaar, she notes.

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