Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa—Just because residents of Sunnybrook at Muscatine cannot go out does not mean that people in Muscatine cannot bring the fun to them. On Saturday, April 4, a group of Muscatine residents put together a fun and safe costume parade for those living at Sunnybrook to enjoy from afar. 

For the last several weeks, residents of Sunnybrook at Muscatine have not gone out to lower their risk of contracting COVID-19. Concerned about cabin fever, Ty Thomas, Lead Pastor at Calvary Church in Muscatine, contacted Megan Francis at Sunnybrook and let her know the he and Alma Brunson had organized a group to put on a costume parade, with marchers spaced at least six feet apart for safety, around the outdoor perimeter of Sunnybrook. Francis loved the idea and welcomed them to surprise the residents. 

Mid-afternoon, residents of Sunnybrook saw people dressed as a pig, unicorn, bear, and dinosaur, led by a remote-control robot and followed up by a real dog. Those who saw them proved equal parts surprised and delighted. 

“That was something, else—made me feel pretty good,” said Dickie Vetter. 

“It was just what we needed. It was fun,” added Lauren Jarrett, another resident. 

Even Francis liked seeing everyone enjoy the parade so much, “Sunnybrook has always been so connected to the community through events and visitors, so with this current restriction in events and visitors, it is easy to feel forgotten, but for community members to think of our residents is really special.”

Though the costume parade provided a welcome change of pace for Sunnybrook at Muscatine’s residents, the staff has worked hard to provide a wide variety of activities. Francis elaborated that Sunnybrook has organized virtual field trips and times to watch live streams of local church services. Additionally, they have tried unique activities, such as driving remote control cars to simulate driving and practicing new skills like sign language. Staff are also helping residents use technology to contact friends and families who live elsewhere and organizing window visits.

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