Maplewood ‘has a lot of heart’

Tegan McNeill paints a child’s face during staff appreciation day at Maplewood.

Brighton home hosts staff appreciation day, fundraiser

BRIGHTON, Ont. – When those who take care of the vulnerable become vulnerable themselves, a community steps up to support them.

That was the case Sept. 23 as scores of Maplewood staff, residents and family members took part in a fundraiser for a Maplewood registered nurse (RN) and a personal support worker (PSW) who both have cancer.

Maplewood administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator Rachel Corkery goes for a splash in a dunk tank fund-raising event Sept. 23.

The Brighton long-term care combined a staff appreciation day with the fundraiser, hosting a barbecue in its backyard, featuring a bouncy castle, dunk tank, face-painting, music, a DJ and other activities.

Under sunny skies, at least 125 people stopped by for a hot dog and a visit. While adults socialized, children jumped in the bouncy castle, slid down adjoining slides and had their faces painted.

“This is incredible,” said Shawn Riel, OMNI Health Care’s chief operating officer, who attended the event.

Shawn was referring to the large turn-out. “This home has a wonderful reputation and it has a lot of heart.”

Administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator Rachel Corkery said the staff appreciation event led to the fundraiser and “it snowballed” from there.

“We’re helping two staff members fundraise for the fight of their lives,” Rachel said.  “We’re right here in their corner.”

The administrator noted the home’s staff members are a fantastic, caring group of people.

She anticipated having about 50 staff members taking part, having fun and socializing, which would also make the event a success from her perspective.

A particular highlight of the event was the dunk tank. Many of those who attended were anxious to see Rachel and Dean Mclaren of the UFCW Local 175, go in the drink.

For a $2 donation, people threw balls at a target, with a bull’s-eye dropping the person on the dunk tank’s seat into the tank of cold water.

Rachel and Dean both went under several times.

A table with a donation box was set-up near the tank. At press time, the exact amount of money raised from the event wasn’t yet tallied. Rachel anticipated it will be about $600.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at e-mail deron(at)