WINCHESTER, Ky. (LEX 18) — Seniors at Winchester's Boonesboro Trail community had a lot in store this Valentine’s Day.
One resident, Henry Snipes says, "This is a good place to enjoy yourself right here."
Miss Kentucky America stopped by to celebrate the holiday and sing a few tunes.
Ann Smith, a fellow resident shared, "She sang all the songs I know!"
"We're just having a Valentine's Day party, and so far it's been great," says Jim Medley, another resident.
The group enjoyed lunch from a local restaurant and a lot of treats from all over the country after a Facebook post asking for Valentines got more than 600 shares.
Boonesboro Trail’s Life Enrichment Director, Brandi Anderson, says, "We have really had an outpouring of love from local organizations, schools, churches, and just people in the community who wanted to shower our residents with gifts."
Haley Wheeler, Miss Kentucky 2021, says Valentine's Day is one of her favorite holidays and she couldn't think of a better way to spend it.
"I thought what a better way than to come out and show seniors love and to tell them that somebody cares about them than by coming on valentine's day."
Residents shared music and memories from their past, but there's a special reason that Miss Kentucky wants to share her time and talents in this way.
"When I was younger my great-grandpa had Alzheimer’s disease,” says Wheeler. “So, that really shook me and made me realize that something needs to be done about this -- and I didn't realize that I could actually do something in a scientific way until college. So, I got my degree in that, but as Miss Kentucky, I’m not currently doing my speech pathology work so, I made it a point while I was competing in pageants to pick an issue to support."
Wheeler has a master’s degree in speech pathology and aspires to work with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Wheeler says she sees how music touches seniors' hearts and even brings back a memory.
"It's just been so special that I get to touch so many seniors and especially seniors that are pretty close to my hometown today. I hope they had a great time because I got so much out of it and I can only hope that they got something out of it as well,” says Wheeler.
Wheeler says seniors have been forgotten -- especially during the pandemic. She believes it's important to use your talents in a way that will help uplift others.
Boonesboro Trail Senior Living does have its own dedicated memory care unit. Anyone interested in learning more about the community are encouraged to check them out on social media and online.