We like to think that every day is a celebration at Perry Wellness Center. Individuals are frequently celebrating improved mental health, month or years of sobriety, weight loss, and other personal triumphs. We also celebrate traditional events like birthdays and holidays, going all out to involve everyone.
For example, birthdays are a BIG deal on campus. On an individual’s birthday, he or she is given an “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY” badge to wear all day. Celebrants wearing the badge can collect donations from peers and staff throughout the day.
On birthdays, the Happy Birthday song is led by Annie Ruth, and a card is presented to the birthday guy or gal, signed by staff and peers. (The birthday song is not complete until Stuart Perry booms, “…and many more,” bringing laughter and applause from the assembled group.)
Name the holiday, and Perry Wellness Center is prepared to decorate the campus in seasonal tribute, hold parties, and encourage costumes. The holiday season will soon be in full swing, and visitors can share in the spirit of celebration at the market, where pumpkins, scarecrows, and wreaths will rule.
Recently, we participated in a different type of celebration – one designed to honor the memory of two people dear to us. It was the fifth anniversary of the death of Rhonda Hubbard’s mother and also a time of remembrance for the death last year of “Uncle Bill” Perry. Peers and staff gathered at the campus fountain and launched five helium-filled balloons into the heavens. Rev. Ron Boynton shared a celebration prayer, and remarks were shared by peers and staff. A round of applause followed.
Peer Annie Ruth noted, “We need to remind each other of the dedication and love of life and family of Uncle Bill. He was a great man.” As many of you know, Bill Perry was the patriarch of the Perry family and, among many other ways, showed his support of the center by providing the site on which we now operate. His frequent presence is missed.
In the photo above, staff and peers gather to launch memorial balloons to honor the memory of Rhonda’s mother and “Uncle Bill” Perry.