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First Thanksgiving at Hospice residence warmed by Tops donation

Posted 21 November 2013 at 12:00 am

Provided photo – Marsha Rivers, development director for Hospice of Orleans, receives a symbolic turkey from Albion Tops Manager Rick Wartinger. The grocer is donating a full, pre-cooked Thanksgiving dinner to the Martin-Linsin Hospice Residence.

Press release
Hospice of Orleans

ALBION This Thanksgiving will be the first at the Hospice of Orleans Martin-Linsin Residence, which opened last December.

But for the terminally ill patients who live there, it will likely be their final opportunity to celebrate this very special holiday with family and friends. With the help of Hospice staff and volunteers and a Thanksgiving dinner donated by Tops Market of Albion, they’re planning to make it a memorable one.

End-of-life has a way of doing that: Inspiring people to make the most of the time that they have remaining together. In early September, residents of the eight-suite “home away from home” began looking forward to the holiday season, starting with “Turkey Day.”

Long before the leaves fell from the multicolored maples on the Hospice campus, Martin-Linsin patients were discussing menus, dreaming up decorations, and comparing notes about favorite recipes from years gone by.

While patients enjoy nutritious meals prepared daily at the nearby Villages of Orleans Health & Rehabilitation Center, the residents requested a feast of a fancier sort.

“What we’d really like is a proper Thanksgiving turkey dinner with all the trimmin’s,” said 97-year-old Nora.

So Hospice turned to Tops. Martin-Linsin is well-equipped to provide patients with a “home away from home” when their own home is not suitable for the level of care they need. However, the facility lacks a commercial-grade kitchen where food can be prepared from scratch by state-certified personnel. The arrangement with The Villages allows Hospice to receive and reheat ready-made meals.

Tops offers heat-and-eat food for its customers. So when Hospice of Orleans approached its nearly-next-door neighbor about serving the folks at Martin-Linsin, Store Manager Rick Wartinger promptly replied, “Yes! What kind of pie would you like with that apple or pumpkin?”

The fresh turkey dinner features a fully cooked Butterball bird, herb stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, turkey gravy, sweet potato casserole, cranberry orange relish and, of course, a 10-inch piemake that pumpkin, please!

Hospice personnel will pick up the complimentary meal, valued at $74.99, around 11 a.m. next Thursday, warm it up for the recommended two hours, and serve the grateful residents.

“This is my first Thanksgiving with Hospice as well,” said Marsha Rivers, director of development and community relations since June of this year. “Hearing the affirmative reply from Tops just added to what I’ve already been overwhelmed and blessed to witness: When it comes to taking care of each other, the Orleans community comes together.”