MORRISBURG – When Marion Johnston won the virtual Bingo championship at Chartwell Hartford Retirement Residence, she couldn’t think of a thing she wanted as her prize.
Puzzles? Crosswords? Treats? No, said Marion, she didn’t need anything material at all.
“When she said she didn’t need any of those, I racked my brain for the kind of things she enjoys that could be an experience,” says Crystal Faqiri, lifestyle and program manager at Chartwell Hartford.
Residents have been playing Bingo virtually while they can’t gather in a group as usual, getting a number each day until a win is declared.
For music loving Marion, nothing could be better than what Crystal dreamed up to reward her win – a personal and interactive livestream concert by her favourite country western singer, Jumpin’ Jimmy Leroux.
The singer/guitar player took Marion’s requests texted to him by Crystal, including her favourite, The Green Green Grass of Home. Marion worried he wouldn’t know it but Jimmy immediately launched into a beautiful, touching rendition. At other moments, he had her laughing so hard over his corny jokes that she forgot to eat her popcorn.
Here’s one, perfect for the season sandwiched between Halloween and the Christmas holidays: What do you get when you cross a vampire with a snowman? Frostbite!
“Marion said that he’s the type of entertainer that makes you feel like you’ve known them for years,” Crystal says.
“During the live stream, she said that he was so interactive that she felt like he was right there in front of her in person. She called it the best prize she’s ever gotten.”
Jimmy has performed at Chartwell Hartford over the years including outdoors during the pandemic lockdown and was pleased to do it.
“Crystal did a great job setting this up and updated me with helpful happy comments. It was great to hear I made Marion smile and she even laughed at my jokes,” he says.
For Marion, it was simply “the best prize ever.”
“It was such a personal gift and I really can’t express how much it meant to me,” she says. “I don’t think you could have picked a more thoughtful prize … except if it was a million dollars!”