John-Wesley Villas Sweetheart Dance Gets National Attention


Photo: Anna Scott/John-Wesley Villas

 To give the residents a Valentine's day to remember, Mary Hudson, the executive director of John-Wesley villas, wanted to do something special this year for her residents - a Valentine's Ball.  However, Hudson realized there was an issue with hosting this type of function because most of the resident population at John-Wesley villas women.

A week ago today, Macon resident and John-Wesley Villas Marketing Director Lauren Rutherford posted a request via social media:

"ISO men in uniform to come dance with our residents here at John Wesley Villas. Firemen, police officers, military. We'd love for you to come. Our residents would love you and our staff too. Valentine's Day, Feb. 14th for their Sweetheart Dance 2-4pm. Live music, coke floats, photo booth, and more. Please message me if you'd be willing to make a senior's day!" 

It only took 156 shares and 57 comments for word to reach Macon-Bibb Fire Chief Marvin Riggins.  Chief Riggins then dispatched 20 of his finest men to the Thomaston Road retirement village on Valentine's Day.  When Valentine's Day arrived, Firemen were greeted by staff and residents in the residence hall for an afternoon of music, dancing and nostalgia.   The tables were adorned with flowers arranged by Barbara Lloyd and USA Dance of Macon, a non-profit organization that supports amateur, social and competitive ballroom dancing was also on hand that day to aid the firemen.

Photo: Anna Scott/John-Wesley Villas

Rutherford, along with Mary Hudson and John-Wesley Villas' staff and volunteers, were grateful to Chief Riggins and the Macon-Bibb Firemen who attended.

"We cannot thank the Macon Bibb Co. Fire Dept. enough for coming and making our residents Valentine's Day so special!! There were so many individuals that helped make it possible. FOX24 News said, 'Our crew has never smiled more while editing a piece.'  I feel confident in saying our firemen enjoyed our Sweetheart Ball."

John-Wesley Villas plans to make the Sweetheart Ball an annual Valentine's Day event. 

The success of this event gained the attention of local news media as well as CNN who picked up the story the next day.  

Read CNN's story HERE.




posted 05/01/2017 in Community, Trending Now


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