Residents gathers together, holding hand-made signs, and sharing smiles, a bubble of excitement building up around them. They were here for Brian, a volunteer, and his special surprise.
“I was completely shocked,” said Samantha, concierge and lifestyle consultant assistant at Masonville Manor Retirement Residence in London, ON. “We went downstairs and I saw everyone staring at me with huge smiles. I saw Brian down on one knee. We were both nervous and Brian asked me to marry him. I started crying and all the residents cheered.” It took Samantha a few more moments to see that residents were holding up signs that said, “Will you marry me?”
High school sweethearts from Windsor, Samantha and Brian moved to London so she could attend university. Soon after, Samantha started working at Masonville as a server. Brian began volunteering there, first hosting poker games on Sundays, then bringing dogs in for visits and helping out with events.
When it was time to propose, he thought it was only fitting to involve residents, who are so important to them. While Samantha was visiting a resident, Brian headed to the dining room and asked a few residents if they’d like to help with the proposal at 4 o’clock. Word travelled quickly, and 50 or so residents joined together for the occasion.
After discovering her passion for working with seniors, and growing into new roles at Masonville, Samantha completed a retirement management certificate. She recently started a position as Retirement Counsellor at Kensington Court Retirement Residence. The future looks bright for the couple, who have moved back to Windsor.
“This couple was, and still is, loved by all our residents. We were very sad to see them both go, but very excited for what adventures await them,” said Patty Urquhart, lifestyle consultant at Masonville.
Samantha and Brian are already thinking about special ways to include residents in their wedding festivities, perhaps by visiting to show off her dress, or having a small reception there.
“[The residents] have been a huge part of my life. I plan to stay in touch with them,” Samantha said. “I am also excited that in my new role, I’ll still get to bond with residents and families. Just the other day, I gave a tour to a family and I loved getting to know them. I can’t wait for the resident to move in!”