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What started out as a conversation of places you would like to go turned into a reality for our 81-year-old Elder Joyce Williams.

Joyce is an elder who attends some activities, but never any outings. So when she mentioned to me, “I’d really like to go to Graceland,” I said, “Okay, we can go in the spring.” She just sat back in her chair, and gave me this yeah right look.

So, as December approached, we had a chance to go to the Rockettes. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to test Joyce on her stamina for a long distance trip, which she didn’t think she could do. With family encouragement, Joyce went on her first outing to see the Rockettes in Nashville. After our great experience with the Rockettes, I looked at Joyce and said, “Remember, we have Graceland in the spring.”

As the excitement built for Graceland, Joyce blossomed. She attended not only more facility activities, but local outings as well. When the March calendar rolled around and Joyce saw the Graceland trip, she knew I wasn’t joking – she was going to Graceland. As elders learned of the trip, it grew into a girl’s trip, according to 66-year-old Elder Linda Richerson.

When bags were packed  we were ready to go! We loaded up the van and I told the ladies we weren’t on a schedule, so we could stop when we wanted and shop when we wanted!  During the drive we discussed what we would like to eat for dinner, and it was decided that we would stop at a restaurant that we don’t have at home – we would have an adventure at a new place. We decided to eat (and shop) at Loretta Lynn’s Kitchen. Once we finally arrived at our hotel, we were all worn out and ready for bed. However, as girlfriends do, we ended up talking and laughing until 1 o’clock in the morning!

Since we went to bed so late, we decided to let the girls sleep in and then serve them breakfast in bed.

“I like breakfast in bed,” said 65-year-old Edler Beverly Taylor. Beverly is a regular traveler with us and attended the elder vacation in Myrtle Beach, so she was used to the spontaneity of our outings! After breakfast, we headed to Graceland.

As we waited for the tour bus to pick us up, 89-year-old Elder Alene Despain said, “When my son dropped me off at the nursing home last yea,r I thought my traveling days were over!” Ms. Despain had also been one of the skeptical elders who thought she couldn’t go on an outing. She would say yes, but when it was time to go, she would change her mind and decline. We were ready for the decline when we told Ms. Despain we were loading up for Graceland, but we were so happy when we didn’t get it! The other elders had been encouraging her to go with them on a girlfriend vacation. Midway through the Graceland tour, Ms. Despain said, “I’m glad I came on this trip!”

As we toured, they reminisced about Elvis memories they had, his outfits, his family and his life. We spent some time in silence as we were in the meditation garden where Elvis and his family were laid to rest. Linda mentioned that this was her favorite area of the tour.

Beverly liked the statue of Elvis, while Alene and Joyce stated they liked it all! We went to Rockabilly’s Café, which is reminiscent of an old time soda fountain that served burgers and fries, and of course played Elvis music from the jukebox!

We headed home (after another stop at Loretta Lynn’s just to pick up a few things we wished we would’ve bought the first time) with our Elvis and Loretta Lynn souvenirs, and the wonderful memories made on our Girlfriends Trip!

– Sally Rineker, QOL Director 

The elders at Sunrise Manor celebrated Mardi Gras all day with games, crafts, a parade, and a big party.  They enjoyed eating White Castle hamburgers “sliders” during the party.  Ms. Withington said, “This is a nice treat!”  Mr. Williams said, “It’s been a long time since I had a slider!”


“Love cures people – both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.” - Dr. Karl Menninger

Today we celebrate Valentine’s Day with our Elder, whom we love.   We had a fun filled day, with good food, conversation and the crowning of our Valentine King and Queen.  Each neighborhood had a Prince and Princess which was nominated by stakeholders and elders, then we had a Penny Drive Fundraiser to select the King and Queen.  Our Valentine Court from left to right Lucille Hines and Hobart Hines (not pictured) represented the Wildflower Neighborhood, James Downs and Nellie Brewer represented the Blvd. of Champions Neighborhood, Charles Reed and Alene Despain represented South Fork Neighborhood and Mildred Fulkerson and Gary Stephens (not pictured) represented the Bluegrass Heights Neighborhood.  The 2014 Valentine King and Queen is Mildred Fulkerson and Gary Stephens from Bluegrass Heights!!  (Gary was unable to attend the festivities we will present him with his crown and sash when he is feeling better.)  A few elders painted and created the saying for a Valentine’s Day pallet for silent auction. All decoration at the party were made by our elders.

Our 2nd floor and 1st floor neighborhoods competed to see who would play in the 2nd Annual Flag Football Superbowl.  The 2nd floor Cougars verses the 1st floor Panthers played for bragging rights.  It was a typical football game with the national anthem, cheering, food and yes, trash talking!  Everyone was very competitive.  The Panthers jumped to a quick lead score a touchdown on their second down.  Right before half time the Cougars scored to make the score 21-14.  The Cougars have the ball after halftime and quickly score to tie the ball game 21-21, both teams during the 2nd half had a really tight defense with no team scoring in the second half, so we went to a tiebreaker, with the defending Champions the 1st Floor Panthers winning the 2nd Annual Flag Football Superbowl!

Hello.  My name is Tim Shockley and I am the chaplain at Sunrise Manor.  I began my ministry here on January 2nd after having worked in hospice care for the past 12 years.  I am originally from East Tennessee and moved to Kentucky in 1991 to attend seminary.  The first church in which I served in KY was Buffalo Baptist here in Larue County. I am excited and blessed to be at Sunrise Manor and look forward to many years of ministry in this place.
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All birthday’s are special, but at Sunrise Manor January is a special month.  Ms. Taylor turned 104 on the 3rd and Ms. Walsh turned 101 on the 28th.

This fall, about 170 Signature residents and caregivers traveled to Branson, Missouri for the annual resident vacation. For a glimpse of the action, check out the video below.

Families joined their loved ones for a potluck luncheon today.  It was good food, fun, and fellowship.  A true blessing to have this special time together.

It was a sad day for the residents and stakeholders at Sunrise Manor: we had to say good-bye to our beloved Chaplain, Judy.  Although we are so happy that she gets to retire and enjoy family, a new grandbaby, and traveling with her husband, she will be truly missed by all.