The tree-lined driveway leading onto the Marbridge campus is typically filled with residents taking walks or riding bikes, but on Saturday, June 16, the driveway was filled with people – and animals – as residents, staff, and loved ones celebrated the annual Ranch Round Up.
“Events like the Ranch Round Up are important for residents because they are encouraged to try something new,” said Marcus Mercer, Director of The Ranch. “They get an additional opportunity to engage with resident trainers and other guests, and it fosters an opportunity for community members (i.e. vendors, volunteers) to come in and engage with residents. Ultimately, this continues with the goal of staying integrated within the community and the abilities of our residents.”
The Ranch Round Up is a two-hour, annual event. This year, activities included a dunk tank, petting zoo, train rides, music, karaoke, lawn games, a food court, and more. Residents from all three communities – The Village, The Ranch, and The Villa – were invited to attend along with their loved ones, prospective residents, and Marbridge staff.
Despite the occasional distraction of rain, two activities in particular drew big crowds: the petting zoo and the dunk tank. The highlight of the petting zoo is the interaction with goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits, pigs, geese, and lambs, allowing residents to connect to the animals in a different way than their typical daily interactions. Smiles were plentiful at the dunk tank, giving residents a chance to dunk their favorite staff members – including resident trainers, directors, and even the Vice President of Operations, Scott McAvoy.
“The smiles on the faces of particular residents creates the lasting impression on me,” Mercer added. “There is also a music element that connects everyone; seeing the singing and dancing that occurs is great.”