hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

January 17, 2013

Money to make dreams come true 'grows' on holiday wreaths

By Mike LaBella
mlabella@eagletribune.com

---- — They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but it does grow on wreaths, in a sense.

This year, holiday wreaths “grew’’ $600 to help make the dreams of a local nursing home’s residents come true.

For the last 12 years, Penacook Place Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has participated in the Tree of Dreams program, which gives residents the chance to live out a dream, such as riding in a race car, flying a plane or attending a Red Sox game at Fenway Park.

The program grew into a two-day event this year. When it was over, it had raised $600.

Shortly before Christmas, guests at Penacook had the chance to stroll the home’s main hallway, decorated with more than 30 wreaths created in various themes by staff, residents, friends and relatives. The visitors selected the wreaths they wished to bid on. It was nearly double the number of wreaths raffled off the year before.

“It was such a warm and festive atmosphere,” said staff member Rosanne Estep.

“The wreath themes ranged from the traditional red, green and gold motifs to an Egyptian-themed wreath, to a holiday candy treat wreath, and even to a dog lover’s wreath with colorful dog treats and festooned with a bow made from a leash,” she said.

Penacook is a member of the international organization Second Wind Dreams, which promotes the philosophy that a person is never too old to dream. Once members of Penacook’s Dream Team discover a resident’s dream, they work to make it happen.

The opportunity to participate is open to all Penacook Place residents. Family members, staff, and community members are welcome to help in the achievement of residents’ dreams.

Penacook’s Dream Team has helped plan family reunions, visits to favorite restaurants, deep sea fishing excursions, shopping trips, a ride in a tractor-trailer truck, and even a dream wedding complete with a reception in the Penacook Place Dining Room.

One resident dreamer was honored by a Boston Marathon athlete who ran the marathon in his honor. The marathoner visited Penacook Place and presented the honoree with an official marathon jacket and a medal that only the first 2,000 runners to complete the marathon receive each year.

Penacook Place is at 150 Water St. It is a 160-bed facility.