Santa visits West Lake Terrace — twice

Volunteer Larry Tilander and resident Joyce Cowley spend time together at West Lake Terrace on Christmas Day.

Volunteer Larry Tilander and resident Joyce Cowley spend time together at West Lake Terrace on Christmas Day.

Volunteers make a difference to residents on Christmas Day

Two volunteers who donned Santa Claus costumes Christmas Day and stopped by West Lake Terrace to visit residents are being thanked for their generosity during the holiday season.

All 47 residents of the Prince Edward County long-term care home received presents Dec. 25, thanks to a fundraiser held in November, but it was visits from Paul Vidito and Larry Tilander that made the day extra special, says life enrichment co-ordinator Janie Butler.

At 9:30 a.m., Vidito, the husband of retired West Lake Terrace staff member Sheila Brushey, came through the doors to hand out presents to residents. That afternoon, Tilander, a musical volunteer at the home, came by to spend time with everyone and play some Christmas music.

What made their visits special is the fact that neither was asked to do it — both contacted the home to ask if they could make a Santa appearance, Butler notes.

Aside from appearances from Vidito and Tilander, several staff members dressed in Santa Claus and elf costumes, she adds.

“It was a really good Christmas Day; everybody had a really good time — we were so blessed this year,” Butler says, adding that the theme of “hope, purpose and belonging” is at OMNI Health Care’s core, and the volunteers made that shine through on Christmas Day.

“It was so nice that all the residents were thought of,” Butler says. “(The volunteers’ visit) really fulfilled a day for those residents who did not have family or friends who could visit.”

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