Craft beer, a corn hole tournament, activities for children, homemade bierocks and smiles galore — what more could an Oktoberfest celebration offer?

To start, it moves Holiday Resort — a senior care, temporary respite, short-term rehabilitation and long-term nursing care facility — closer to its fundraising goal for a brick Memory Walkway around its pond.

“Emporia is such a fantastic town, because we do so much; there’s stuff going on all the time, and so being another organization who is raising money, sometimes it’s challenging to find something different to pull people to,” Holiday Resort Employee Jamie Hensley said.

Hensley valued having an event for both the public and Holiday Resort residents. People who do not typically visit Holiday Resort get to see the facility and the pond in discussion. It is also another reason for family members to visit their loved ones. Hensley also said the residents have enjoyed being outside and watching the festivities, and the Holiday Resort employees have enjoyed the opportunity for team building and celebrating the work they do, as well as the facility.

Resident Laverne Lynes described the event as “interesting” and “a complete surprise,” because she did not know of the event until a few hours prior to it starting. She said she enjoyed watching everyone.

“I was out there watching them doing the throw thing, and some of them are good and some of them are not,” she said about the corn hole tournament.

Lynes enjoyed some tacos from the La Doñas Food Truck, which she tried to purchase with the quarters she saved from Bingo, before her friend purchased the tacos for her.

Though she is not fond of the walkway pursuit, primarily because of its lack of shade, Lynes hopes Holiday Resort does the event again next year. She encourages people who did not attend to join in on the fun.

“I just really enjoyed being here. I didn’t think I would,” she said.

Events like this are a way to keep spirits light in the midst of regular loss at Holiday Resort. Lynes said most people she met when she first moved in four years ago have since died, which is difficult because of how much she loves people.

In the coming winter, Holiday Resort will host a chili cook-off as an additional fundraiser, as well as a 5K in the spring.

“I hope that they (the community) continue to show support for us,” Hensley said. “It’s one of those things that we’ve been working on our project so long that it’s hard to keep explaining that this is still the same project, but a big project like this just doesn’t come overnight.”

Holiday Resort has been fundraising for the walkway for a few years already and anticipates another couple of years of fundraising and construction. The fence around the pond, adjacent to the future walkway, is complete.

For more information about the Memorial Walkway, visit www.holidayresorts.net/pdfs/bricks.pdf or contact Holiday Resort at 343-9285.

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