As Live A Dream coordinator for the Trilogy Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Trilogy Health Services, Serena Haming is devoted to helping seniors to fulfill bucket list wishes all year round. After the pandemic year of 2020, the resumption of many Derby Festival events this spring presented a renewed opportunity for residents of 13 Trilogy campuses.
Since 2018, Live A Dream has partnered with the Kentucky Derby Festival on an event tailored for seniors – the annual Steamboat Trial Race on the Ohio River aboard the historic paddlewheeler, Belle of Louisville. Following the cancellation of the event in 2020, 100 Trilogy residents, including some in wheelchairs, along with some two dozen staff members, set out on April 26 to renew this cherished event. They were accompanied on board the Belle by representatives of the Derby Festival decked out in their signature jackets, and by a live band that drew the seniors to the floating dance floor. Everyone on the Belle had to have been fully vaccinated, and masks were required for all. The mighty steamboat followed the same route it did on race day but without its two rivals, the Belle of Cincinnati and American Duchess from South Memphis, alongside.
“Our seniors have sacrificed so much this past year, so hearing them laugh and share joy together… it was just as fulfilling for us as it was for them.”Live A Dream Coordinator Serena Haming
“Before setting sail on their steamboat adventure, Trilogy residents made sure that they were Derby-ready by having their hair styled and putting on their finest spring apparel. “Seeing their excitement, capturing their smiles — that’s what I’ve missed the most,” Serena said of the unique event. “Our seniors have sacrificed so much this past year, so hearing them laugh and share joy together…it was just as fulfilling for us as it was for them.”
“Live A Dream is a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the lives of seniors across the U.S. Our mission is to learn their stories, embrace their passions, and create experiences they can cherish forever. In this way, we hope to give back a little of what they have given, and continue to give. To learn more about Live A Dream, or to apply to live your own dream, please visit www.liveadream.org
By Barbara Myerson Katz | Photos by Patti Hartog