As COVID-19 swept the country, Annette and her friends were hard at work making masks. They created a thoughtful pattern, stitched and sewed, and ultimately made hundreds of colorful masks for the residents and staff of New Cassel Retirement Community in the spring and summer of the strangest year ever, 2020. Annette saw a solution to a problem and immediately starting creating to help.

To express her gratitude to her maskmaker friends and the staff that kept them safe, Annette wanted to give back to New Cassel with a permanent structure to enjoy for generations. She thought about a playground, but ultimately decided that a picnic area underneath two shady trees would be the perfect thing. With the help of Cindy from New Cassel, Dreamweaver went to work on this special project for a very special lady.

This Dream was different than most. Normally, Dreamweaver focuses on experiences—like going to a concert or a sports game. But with all of those events off the calendar due to COVID-19, Dreamweaver had to adapt and pivot with the times. With approval from the Board of Directors, Dreamweaver was able to move forward with breaking ground!

A custom ADA picnic table was ordered and a concrete patio measured and poured. A dedication plaque was created and the area was developing into an oasis. With other important donors, more furniture was ordered, tree rings built, and beautiful mums and pumpkins decorated the area. It was even finished off with solar-powered twinkle lights draped in the trees!

It took about four months from start to finish to complete Annette’s Dream, and it was worth the wait! On a beautiful sunny fall day, Dreamweaver and New Cassel hosted a Ribbon Cutting Dedication Ceremony. Her friends and family gathered at a distance to celebrate Annette and all the special work she had done.

Cindy from New Cassel, Lindsay from Dreamweaver, and Annette all gave short speeches outlining their piece in the process. A sparkly red ribbon was cut and the space was officially open! Residents from New Cassel gathered on their balconies and on the lawn to celebrate and congratulate. Cookies and refreshments were provided for everyone to enjoy the feel of a picnic.

After lots of smiles, tears, and elbow high-fives, the space was buzzing with gratitude and excitement. Annette’s daughter and son offered their thanks and many others shared how special this place will be—for families to enjoy lunch together, for birthdays to be celebrated, for staff to step out and have a moment of calm in nature. What a gift!

Thank you to New Cassel, Ed’s Concrete, Rapid Signs, and Amber Rae Photography for your important part in making this Dream a reality for Annette.