Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center brought the magic of the MACY*S Thanksgiving Parade to the heart of their nursing home community with their third annual Gurwin Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“Our Gurwin Thanksgiving Parade has become a new tradition that is beloved by our residents, staff and visitors” said Kathleen Biggs, Assistant Director of Therapeutic Recreation at Gurwin. “We are so pleased to be able to bring the magic of the holiday season to our residents and to share this special time with them.”
Gurwin’s creative Therapeutic Recreation staff turned 18 medical carts into brightly colored “floats” decorated in themes including Garfield, Spiderman and Mickey Mouse, akin to the iconic balloon floats from the MACY*S parade. The base of each float was created in five hours while all balloons seen on the floats took four hours to be inflated. Guided by 10 handlers in Thanksgiving-themed attire, the homemade floats wound their way along the parade route, through vestibules and hallways, their twinkling lights shining for the nearly 400 short- and long-term residents currently living at Gurwin.
The parade was led by four-year-old Lily, daughter of Nicole Hopper, Director of Therapeutic Recreation at Gurwin, and Dr. Frank Hansen and the Commack High School Jazz Messengers Band, who provided live music for Gurwin residents to get in the holiday spirit.
“The Gurwin Thanksgiving Parade is a wonderful kickoff to the holiday season,” said Stuart B. Almer, President and CEO of Gurwin Healthcare System. “We are so thankful to our talented and compassionate staff who work tirelessly to support the physical and emotional needs of our residents. Our unique parade creates a holiday buzz throughout the Gurwin community; it has become a much-anticipated event by all.”