The Palms at Ponte Vedra held a Thanksgiving celebration with its residents for the first time in a couple of years.
According to executive director Barbara Matteson, the postponement of the celebration had been due to several factors starting with the COVID-19 pandemic and then trouble finding staff to help put on the event in the years to follow.
However, they have weathered those issues and are back to providing their residents and their families with the holiday social experience Matteson believes they deserve.
One of the ways they have found helped when it comes to staffing for a large gathering like that, is looking to Ponte Vedra High and Bolles School students to work as servers at the assisted living and memory care facility.
“We decided to go with the high school students, and they have been just wonderful,” Matteson said. “They are so well brought up and the residents enjoy seeing their smiling faces. You just couldn’t do an event like this if you didn’t have the needed staff.”
The minute one walked through the main doors of The Palms at Ponte Vedra, there was a murmur in the air of people conversing and sharing in laughter and memories, which Matteson acknowledged is much better than the sound of silence.
“They (residents) need their family around them, especially during this time of year,” Matteson said. “The smiles are endless, and everyone is just so happy to be a part of today. It makes my heart feel good and makes it all worth it.”
And of course, it would not be Thanksgiving without some turkey and all the fixings that usually accompany it, such as homemade mashed potatoes, stuffing and green beans, as well as a table of dessert options to choose from.
Now that the Thanksgiving celebration is back and was a success, there are already plans for The Palms to have a Christmas celebration as well to continue sharing the holiday spirit.