Merry Christmas from Copeland Oaks & Crandall Medical Center

Christmas at Crandall Medical Center is a time to celebrate hope, joy, love, family and friends! Residents of Crandall Medical Center and their loved ones have had opportunities this Christmas Season to celebrate with a menu of special events. Each evening from Monday, Dec. 11, through Friday, Dec. 15, the Crandall Life Enrichment Dept. has hosted a holiday party.  

“Because we have many residents at Crandall who enjoy celebrating with family and friends, we offer 5 different opportunities. We know that residents and their visitors get to know folks in their same ‘neighborhood’ within the facility. In the smaller groups there is a casual atmosphere that is great for conversation, song and fellowship,” said Bambi Eisenman, director.

An array of holiday treats is provided for each event by the Copeland Oaks Food Service Dept. and entertainment is provided by Norm Shaw, professionally known as “Stormin’ Norman.” Theme for the events is “Silent Night.” Attendance at each party varies from 50 to 100.

Highlight of the evening is a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Santa is played by Terry Fraser of Alliance, retired Sebring police officer. Carol Baker appears as Mrs. Claus.  

Carol is a graduate of “Santa School.” Carol says that playing Mrs. Claus is a way for her to give some joy to folks in skilled nursing where both she and her mother in law, Esther Baker, and received care and rehabilitation services.

The 50 to 100 guests at each party are greeted by the 5 staff members of the Crandall Life Enrichment Team.

During the Holiday Season, Crandall residents were also entertained by “Flight,” the performance group from the United High School show choir!

Dave’s Christmas Village

The Christmas celebration has been very special throughout the Copeland Oaks campus this year. Besides a full menu of parties, programs, concerts, and holiday light excursions, residents, visitors and staff have been enjoying an elegant holiday Snow Village while warm and cozy inside. Dave Mannion, Copeland Oaks CEO, has graciously displayed the 200 plus piece miniature village that has been a highlight of the Holiday Season at the Mannion household for the past half-century.

Reminiscent of the era immortalized in Norman Rockwell’s paintings and prints, the village brings memories of Christmases past. Each piece of the village is part of the Department 56 Snow Village collection.

“I have always been enthralled with Christmas, especially the Christmases I remember as a youngster,” said Dave. “I love the carols of the 40’s and 50’s, old-fashioned Christmas cookies, tinsel on the tree, and sleigh rides through the woods.”

As one of a family of 7 children, Dave noted that there were not a lot of extravagant celebrations for birthdays or holidays through the year in the Mannion household.  “But, my Mom always made Christmas a very special celebration every year. We looked forward to it for 12 full months as it was a magical time with music, singing, wonderful food, a fresh tree with glowing lights, decorations and visits from friends,” he remembered.

“For the past 25 years, I have helped to re-create those wonderful memories and that special feeling I had as a kid through the village,” he explained. The village is now enjoyed by the Mannion grandchildren who can hear stories of Christmas in the “good old days” as they learn of the family heritage.

To accommodate the growing village, Dave built a 16-foot shelf on a window box in his home.  He estimates it takes about 20 hours to arrange the village and all of the accessories and figurines each year. “It truly is a labor of love. I remember when I acquired each piece, who contributed it as a gift and how it connects to my life,” he said.

The village will be displayed through the New Year weekend in the Kimnach Lounge on the 2nd floor of the Beeghly Complex between Buildings 2 and 3.

“This is the Mannion family’s way of saying a special ‘Merry Christmas’ to our Copeland Oaks family,” said Dave with a twinkle in his eye.     

A Holiday Message from Dave Mannion, CEO

Dave MannionOne of the most remarkable Christmas stories, and one of my favorites, comes from one of the darkest moments of modern history.

World War I ravaged a continent, cost millions of lives and left destruction in its wake. But from the midst of this dark conflict comes the story of the Christmas Truce of 1914.

The Western Front, only a few months into the war, was a deplorable scene of parched soil and blood. Perhaps as if to give the combatants one day to breathe again, a truce was called from Christmas Eve through Christmas Day.

As darkness settled over the front like a blanket, the sound of exploding shells and the rat-tat-tat of gunfire faded. Faint carols, in French and English on one side and in German on the other, rose to fill the silence of the night.

By morning, soldiers hesitantly began filing out of the maze of trenches into the fields. Gifts of rations and cigarettes were exchanged. Family photos were shared. Soccer balls appeared. Up and down the Western Front, soldiers who only hours before had been locked in deathly combat, now faced off in soccer games.

For one brief but entirely remarkable day, there was peace on earth. Some have called the Christmas Truce of 1914 “the Miracle on the Western Front.”

Hungry for good news, one German infantryman wrote in his diary: “The English brought a soccer ball from the trenches, and pretty soon a lively game ensued. How marvelously wonderful, yet how strange it was. The English officers felt the same way about it. Thus Christmas, the celebration of Love, managed to bring mortal enemies together as friends for a time.”

Events like the Christmas Truce are worth celebrating. But they lack permanence. Such a fleeting peace is what we often find in our quest for the real meaning of Christmas. If we are looking for permanent and ultimate goodwill, love, and peace, we must look beyond our sparkling decorations, rich food, gift-giving, and get-togethers. We must look to a simple manger.

Christmas is the time we as Christians celebrate the Nativity. Christmas is a time of great joy on the Copeland Oaks campus as we focus on the birth of the Christ child, evidence of God’s great love for us. The halls of Copeland and Crandall often reverberate with the sounds of traditional Christmas carols performed by the Copeland chorale, the chime choir and visiting church, school, and community groups. The Sunday and Wednesday Vesper services during Advent focus on the coming of Jesus and the joy of the birth of Christ during the Christmas Season. Nativity scenes are prominently displayed in lounges and chapels. Our Christian heritage at Copeland Oaks runs especially deep during this special season of light and love.

Besides celebration, the Christmas Season is a time of healing and renewed strength for those of us on the Administrative Team as we strive to continue the Copeland legacy of providing the highest quality of life for each of our residents and a safe, satisfying workplace for our staff.

May the message of peace and love brought to you by the Christ child at Christmas fill you with joy throughout the New Year.

Meet Irma Hood

When you walk into the Copeland Oaks villa of Irma Hood, there will be over 100 angels saying “halo” to you. Angels are part of Irma Hood’s Christmas observance, but also give her joy throughout the year.

  • 4 year Copeland Oaks resident
  • Avid angel collector since 1984
  • Wants to travel to NYC – to see the famous angel tree in the Metropolitan Museum of Art of course!

Irma started collecting angels in 1984 when she moved to Fairmont, W. Va., with her husband, Wally, who was offered a position as football coach at Fairmont College.   “I saw her picture in a Smart Home catalog and we immediately connected; knew I just had to have her as a Christmas decoration,” remembered Irma of her very first angel. From then on, she was “hooked” on angels leaning about their history and position in different cultures, religions and artistic styles. In explaining how her extensive and varied collection has evolved, Irma said. “Friends and family have been blessing me with angels for over 20 years.”

Because they were given to mark a myriad of birthdays, holidays and milestones in her life, Irma says, “the angels occupy the loveliest corners of my thoughts.” One of her tiniest angels is made from macaroni; rigatoni for the body and bowtie pasta for the wings. One of her most exotic is a clay angel from Peru.

Created in a wide variety of different media, Irma’s collection includes an angel made from a re-cycled soup can, antique lace, hand-punched copper, and cornhusks. “It’s amazing how artisans can look at something that most of us would just throw away and re-purpose it into a beautiful angel. And, that is part of the fun of collecting,” she noted.  

Her most unusual angel is made of raw wool, hand-made by a former work colleague who lived on a sheep farm near Westerville. “We met when Wally was a football coach at Oberlin College and I had a position as secretary of a nearby church. Her angel has reminded me of our friendship all these years,” said Irma.  

At the top of her “bucket list” is the wish to travel to New York City to see the famous angel tree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “The display, only open for the Advent and Christmas season, is a breathtaking collection of the most exquisite classical angels in the world,” Irma reported.

Irma’s angels have followed her across many states as the couple moved when Wally was offered new opportunities during his extensive college coaching career. Her Copeland Oaks villa is “house number 22” she counted.  “Coming to Copeland Oaks in 2013 was one of the best moves we have made,” she said. “Since living here for the last 4 years, I have met many, many angels who don’t have wings. That includes other residents and Copeland staff who are always available to offer a cheery ‘hello,’ a kind word, or help with whatever you need. You never feel alone here.” Irma said.

Get to Know Meet Cindy Morrow & Lola Fonner

Cindy Morrow and Lola Fonner have been honored with the coveted Ruth Zealley awards. Presented annually at the employee Christmas celebration, the Ruth Zealley awards honor a staff member of Crandall Medical Center and Copeland Oaks for outstanding service. Cindy is an administrative assistant in the Crandall Staffing Office and Lola is Copeland Oaks’ receptionist. Nominated by their peers, the criteria for the award winners include courtesy, kindness and concern for all residents, willingness to adapt and help others, and reliability. The award is endowed by the friends and family of Ruth Zealley, former Copeland Oaks resident.

Cindy joined the staff of Crandall Medical Center in 2010 and worked as a nursing assistant and restorative aide after completing the State Nurse Aide Training program offered at the skilled nursing facility. Cindy accepted the position in the Crandall Staffing Office because she felt it would provide an opportunity for her to use the business and office skills she had honed in her previous positions.

Before joining the Crandall staff, Cindy was district manager for a national restaurant chain, responsible for business at stores in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio.  After beginning her career as a server, Cindy spent 20 years in the food service industry before changing to health care.

“I have always enjoyed working in a customer service environment. Now all of the employees at Crandall are my customers and I am enjoying them every day,” said Cindy.

That feeling is mirrored by Crandall staff as one of her peers wrote in recommending Cindy for the Zealley Award: “She goes out of her way to help others; never complains and is always pleasant greeting you with a smile.”

Lola worked at Copeland Oaks shortly after graduating from Sebring High School, but left her position to raise two sons.  “And, my husband’s job took our family all over the U.S.  We moved 18 times in the last 20 years,” she noted.

When the family returned to Sebring 2 years ago, Lola returned to Copeland as a diet aid and cashier in the Main Dining Room.  Her sons are now college students.

“I have always been a ‘people person’ and thought the receptionist position would give me an opportunity to get to know just about everyone on the Copeland campus,” said Lola.

In recommending Lola for the Zealley award, a co-worker wrote, “Lola is unfailingly patient and kind with our residents and visitors.  You can’t look at her smile and still have a bad day!”

“We recognize that employees who serve faithfully each day are the heart of our mission and we are grateful to each one.  We are pleased that we can present this award each year through the generosity of the Zealley family to recognize two people to represent the talented and dedicated Copeland and Crandall work force,” said Copeland CEO Dave Mannion in announcing the honorees.

We’ll Help With Moving Costs!

Move into a beautiful Lakeshore Apartment by March 31 and we’ll help with moving costs.

Experience Copeland Oaks by exploring this website or visiting in person. To schedule a friendly, no-pressure tour, call 330-938-6126 or 800-222-4640.