Harmony Manor Parade Win Sweet After December Bust

Last December, Robin Moore promised the residents of Humboldt General Hospital's long-term care facility that they could participate in a parade.

She wasn't able to fulfill that promise until last week—but she fulfilled it in a huge way, handing residents a trophy for "Best Overall Float" courtesy of this year's Fourth of July Parade producers, the Silver State International Rodeo.

"This was so exciting," said Moore, "and the residents were so proud of themselves, even though it was so hot decorating and participating. All their hard work and determination really paid off!"

Things didn't quite work out as well last December when those same residents wanted to participate in the Humboldt County Chamber of Commerce's annual Parade of Lights.

Moore enthusiastically agreed to help make that happen, but she couldn't have foreseen how difficult that promise would be to keep.

Moore worked with a group of residents to decorate the Harmony Manor van on the Friday prior to the Saturday evening event, but the older helpers were too cold to stay outside long, so Moore took the van home and was up until the wee hours of the morning—at her own home and on her own time—outfitting it for a proper place in the Parade of Lights.

When she got ready to bring the van back to Harmony to load the residents, however, it wouldn't start and none of the lights would work. Moore made multiple attempts to figure out the problem, to no avail. Finally, when her husband arrived home, he was able to get the van going; however, the lights still didn't work.

Sadly, Moore had to remove all the decorations, drive back to town and tell the residents she could take them to see the parade but they couldn't be in it. The residents, of course, were very disappointed and Moore's supervisor, Robin Gillis, said Moore felt completely awful, shedding plenty of tears.

"I know she tried above and beyond to make this happen for the residents, as she does with everything they do in activities," said Gillis, "and just to see her that disappointed and feeling like she let the residents down shows me she is doing this because she truly cares and most definitely not 'just for a paycheck.'"

Gillis said Moore isn't one to give up, though, so last week she did it all again, sans the lights, and Harmony's residents had a great time decorating the van and then participating in the parade.

"We did have a lot of fun," confirmed Moore of their adventure. "Some of us enjoyed the air conditioning in the van, while others of us walked the distance pushing our lovely residents in the heat of day!"

It wasn't until the group was safely back at Harmony Manor and Robin was helping out with an annual Fourth of July barbecue at the center that she was notified of the group's win.

"We received the awesome news that the parade officials were here to present us with the trophy for 'Best Overall Float,'" said Moore.

Moore, who was recently promoted to the position of activities director for the Harmony Manor Skilled Nursing Facility, said that announcement created the real fireworks at the facility.

"That was just great news for us!" she said.