By ANGELA HUSTON
Special to The Gazette
SEVILLE â€” Pearl Ferguson, the activities director at Meadowview Care Center, has spent the last 30 years helping people. This past October, her years of service and dedication were recognized at the Resident Activity Personnel of Ohio Conference in Columbus, where she received the Activities Director of the Year Award of Excellence. The surprised Ferguson, whose name was submitted by staff members, was selected from a field of nominees from the 12 districts in the RAP Conference.
The 52-year-old mother of two, grandmother of five, had been a home health care nursing assistant many years when an activities director position opened at Doylestown Health Center. Ferguson spent 12Â½ years there before coming to Meadowview nine years ago.
The Doylestown resident goes to a lot of meetings, does marketing and visits HUD apartment residents in Creston once a month, but she describes the primary function of her job at Meadowview as â€œmaking everybody happy (including staff), and, most important, carrying through with the goals of life residents here deserve. After all, weâ€™re in their home.â€
Among the many activities Ferguson has either initiated or enhanced are a recently started tai chi class, the Castaway and Hookers Club, which gives residents an opportunity to engage in knitting and crafts, and the ROMEO Club (retired older men eating out), which gets the gentlemen out to nearby restaurants twice a month.
Residents also look forward to the annual craft bazaar that invites outside vendors to Meadowview, and the upcoming Angel Tree celebration in memory of residents who have passed away â€” friends and family members come together with residents for prayer and remembrance of loved ones.
Many residents have become actively involved in preparing and sending mail and packages to a former Meadowview staff member now serving in Iraq, and Ferguson said the residents have really gotten into the fun of sending Tuck, a stuffed turtle, on tagalong vacations with friends and family members. â€œHe has been to Myrtle Beach and Madrid (we laughed and joked about whether he needed a passport), and has sent back photos of himself enjoying famous sites he visits, and postcards telling a little about what he gets to see and do in his travels.â€
Ferguson, obviously devoted to her work, has brought Meadowview a long way and is most deserving of her award, but she is quick to point out, â€œMy job here is made so easy because of the staff. I couldnâ€™t do it without them; they are a phenomenal group of people to work with.â€
Huston is a freelance writer from Medina.