Brighton Cruise Night members swing by Maplewood

Car club enthusiasts enjoy residents’ reactions to vintage vehicles

Jen Dusenbury won’t soon forget how a resident was moved to speak and reminisce during the experience of seeing an old car.

Jen and her husband, Will, run the Brighton Cruise Night, which involves car enthusiasts gathering at a parking lot in town and putting on display their collectible and/or vintage cars. Brighton Cruise Night usually takes place on Mondays at one of the local grocery stores.

After a successful visit last summer, Jen and Will recently approached Maplewood administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator Rachel Corkery about bringing the show back to the Brighton long-term care home.

Jen shares with The OMNIway what makes the experience special for car club members and she and Will’s motivation for including Maplewood in Brighton Cruise Night.

“Will and I have been running the Brighton Cruise Night for about nine years now and love it,” Jen says.

“Our daughter and grandkids help out as well,” she notes.

“We love going to the (long-term care) homes so that the people can see the old/new vehicles and maybe relate to one of them.

“I remember last year a family member said to me that the person they brought out had dementia and most days did not know them. (The resident) knew one of the cars and talked about it the whole time,” Jen explains.

“They thanked us very much for coming. That is why we love doing this.”

Brighton Cruise Night typically features about 30 vehicles. On the day set aside for Maplewood, the weather was challenging so the club members brought about 10 vehicles instead.

During the Maplewood drive-up, residents saw a 1918 Model T, a 1926 Model T and other vehicles from various decades including some from the 1930s, the 1960s and the 1970s.

The administrator says Maplewood appreciated the club’s gesture.

“We are very lucky that the local car club did their car show here,” Rachel says.

In addition to the cars, Maplewood had a food truck and an entertainer on site.

Rachel says residents loved the cars but equally enjoyed the social interaction with fellow community members.

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