Rain doesn't stop Powassan from recognizing Eastholme workers and residents

·2 min read

About 100 people formed a human-chain heart outside the Eastholme Home for the Aged building in Powassan Thursday morning. Originally, 150 people were expected but Kathie Hogan, the events coordinator at 250 Clark, says the heavy rain kept many of the participants away. The event was to show employees at Eastholme the community values the effort they have made caring for the residents in a COVID environment. And Hogan says for the residents, the event was meant to show they are loved and in people's minds. “I'm so thankful for the people who showed up,” Hogan said. “It's not easy being at Eastholme. Eastholme is that little piece off the main street that, unless you work there or have an intimate connection with someone there, is forgotten. Once you're institutionalized it's easy to forget and to lose track of the fact that there are these elderly people who are a forgotten segment of our population.” Hogan says Eastholme residents came out onto balconies or looked out their windows to watch the people outside wishing them well. Many employees also watched on and Hogan says a few of the workers also joined the human chain. Part of the event included bringing Valentine cards for the staff and residents because the event was originally scheduled for Valentine's Day, until the last lockdown forced its cancellation. Hogan says many people brought cards including two young girls who created numerous hand-made cards for the residents and Eastholme employees. Powassan Mayor Peter McIsaac and Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli took part in the event. Powassan Coun. Dave Britton was also among the local high profile individuals taking part as well as Nipissing Mayor Tom Piper. Hogan says she “has no qualms about doing something again” to acknowledge the work of the Eastholme employees and to also tell its residents they are not forgotten. She's not sure yet what form the next recognition day will take, but is emphasizing there will be another one. Last December, Hogan and several local individuals organized a horseback parade that rode by Eastholme to the thrill of the residents. A drone was to fly overhead of the participants to capture a bird's eye view of the human chain on Thursday, but the rain kept the device grounded.

Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget

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