Poland assisted living resident Virginia Chiarello will tell you time and again that she is Italian and proud!
On November 17th, we hosted our very own Italian Festival… Virginia’s Italian Festival, to be exact. We created a special design and had shirts made for her entire family and the Activity Staff, along with special coasters for every place setting and then some. We had all of our residents eat a special Italian meal in the Main Dining Room, with reserved seats for the Chiarello Family. We had spaghetti, meatballs, green beans, antipasto salad, tiramisu, Italian bread, and even a cookie table.
As an even bigger treat for Virginia, her family made pizzelles with her very own recipe, which are said to be the best around. We also had The Jim Frank Trio in to entertain, wearing their Italian Festival garb and playing all Italian music, their specialty.
At one point, Virginia’s grandson took her in the middle of the floor and was dancing with her and singing “That’s Amore” to her, a real tear jerker for all of us! She had family and friends from all over come in for the event, even from Washington State. Virginia has a singing bear she brings to every activity event. Her special bear is dressed as a chef and sings “That’s Amore”. We were able to find the rest of the Italian singing bear set as an extra surprise to present to Virginia. She was absolutely delighted to see the full set together, and we had to convince her that they were indeed hers. At one point, she said to our Activity Director, Lisa, “why would you do all this for me? I’m nobody.” To which she replied, ‘Virginia, you most certainly ARE someone and you’re important to us!’