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Parade celebrates Nursing Home Week

COAL GROVE — Everyone loves a parade, especially in Lawrence County. And to celebrate National Nursing Home Week, there was a parade in Coal Grove and a cookout afterwards for nursing home residents.

This is the third year the parade and cookout have been held and this year attendence was down a little bit because of Monday’s cold, rainy weather and fears that it would continue on Tuesday.

But the weather was a bit chilly and the rain held off. The parade was led by a pumper truck from the Coal Grove Volunteer Fire Department, an honor guard from the VFW Post 8850, the Wendy’s girl and Coal Grove Mayor Larry McDaniel.

Portsmouth Ambulance, MTS and Patriot Ambulance all helped transport the residents from Sunset Nursing Center, Riverbend Nursing Home and Fountainhead Nursing Home to the H. Jae Roush building in Paul Porter Park.

Jane Brown, Sunset Nursing Center, and Angie Kepp, of Portsmouth Ambulance, helped set up the event.

“We’re a little bit disappointed (by the lower turnout) but yet we are happy for the nice day we have and we are going to have a wonderful time,” said Kepp. “We just want the residents to come out and have a great day.”

Brown said the residents were having a good time.

“They look forward to it,” she said. “It’s an awesome time.”

The music was provided by the brother and sister duo of Stanley and Loretta Stamper.

“They were very happy and eager to come and celebrate this day with us,” Kepp said.

Also attending was Baxter, who is a certified therapy dog at Sunset Nursing Center. It was the three-year-old black Labrador’s first real trip outside the home and he was enjoying the smell of the grill even if he wasn’t allowed to eat.

Kepp added the whole event is put on through donations. The hot dogs and hamburgers were provided by MTS and Portsmouth Ambulance and then each nursing home sent soda, chips, a covered dish or desserts.

“Everybody just brings in something,” Kepp said. “It’s going to be a good time and we are just going to dance the day away.”