Photos: Sylvia Richardson Christmas Decorations

December 24, 2017

Sylvia Richardson Care Facility recently held a Christmas tree decorating contest with six areas within the facility competing against each other for prizes.

Administrator at Sylvia Richardson Care Facility Angela Brangman said, “Each year, we decorate our Christmas trees and the building, but this year we did something slightly different, we had a Christmas tree decorating contest. Six areas decided to compete against each other for prizes.

“The enthusiasm was fantastic this year, overwhelmingly so. Staff and residents in each area decorated, and the theme is health or health awareness. They decided which cause or disease they were going to focus on, so you’ll see each tree represents something related to health or health awareness.

“We have six areas starting here in the lobby. It was done by the activities department and the day care clients and highlights colon cancer. Other areas include a HIV and AIDS awareness tree, they have one in the dining room that focuses on healthy eating, there is one on flu awareness, there’s one on general health issues, and another on disinfecting and cleanliness.”

“The facility has a total of 33 full-time residents and about six daycare clients that come for the day”, Ms. Brangman stated.

“The competition wasn’t announced til early December, and I asked them to be ready for the 18th. There was a very narrow window. The judges came on the 19th of December. We chose external judges so that there would be no bias and they were objective. The judges included Dorothy Peniston, Janet Smith, and Roslyn O’Brien.

“They came and they were absolutely astonished. They didn’t realize that it was going to be a serious competition. They were very much amazed at the amount of work and effort that everyone has put into the trees this year.


“The winner was announced, and you’ll see it’s the Harmony Lane. They focused on HIV and AIDS awareness. The tree is covered in red. The red ribbon is the symbol of awareness and support for people living with HIV. As you go around and see the tree, their theme really stands out.

“The staff thoroughly enjoyed it and there was a lot of enthusiasm, they really got into it. It may be something that we continue on, and the judges recommended that it is something that should be continued and highlighted. We’ll consider that going forward.

“As a side-note, the staff went out last week for the staff party. There was an ugly sweater competition theme. The winner is displayed in the lobby. One of our nurses created that jacket. She won hands down. No one else came close in terms of the ugly sweater competition. She put a lot of effort into it, as you could see. Again, a health theme, she’s got the gloves on, and items that symbolize health and nursing.”

One of those responsible for the top hat tree in the dining hall, Camisha Talbot said, “We have a top hat tree, which has five hats and we do it all for nutrition. It’s five different food groups in nutrition, so each hat symbolized one of the groups of food. Our hats are silver, blue, green, which is the color of nutrition. Then we just decorated it and had it standing up with presents. It’s not a typical tree. It’s a new age tree.”

Dee-Ann Coke who worked with the HIV and AIDS awareness tree said, “Harmony Tree theme is based on AIDS, HIV. We’ve all had to come together and be creative and do this theme. As you see we have strawberry lights that were made by hand, crocheted.

“We have needles put on with some glitter and water in them and if you shake it up it would look like the bad cells have attacked the good cells. Also we have some needles where you have been drawing the blood which is mixed with food coloring and water. Then you have the ribbons and a team of us all got together and created this theme, AIDS.

“With the theme we’ve done little trinkets, we have our protective gear which includes the bleach, the Clorox cleaning, and the needle containers. We’ve highlighted some famous people with HIV and AIDS including Robert Reed, Mike Brady from the Brady Bunch, Magic Johnson and we also have Charlie Sheen.

“The lady on top is named Odetta and one of our staff members adopted her when she was two months old. She was at a hospital away and her mom and dad abandoned her. So I’m just going to read a little something about why we have Odetta as our theme for the angel.

“She wants to say thank you Harmony unit for choosing me to be the angel upon your tree. I love the life, arts and craft. I’m Odetta aka Odie. I’ve inherited HIV from my parents. I developed full blown AIDS that included rectovaginal fistula, and was abandoned by my father on the death of my mom when I was only 3 months old. The doctors gave me 3 months to live which meant I was not going to see my second birthday. One of my nurses and her relatives made me a part of their family. They made me feel like a little princess. Happily I gradually reversed to HIV positive. Sadly I lost the battle last November 2016 a few days before my 19th birthday. All the best Odie.”

“I want to also add that we’ve had the help of the residents as well so it’s not just the staff. It was staff and residents that created this wonderful AIDS, HIV tree theme and won the competition.”

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Comments (2)

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  1. Thank you Bernews for sharing this, as a judge it was very hard picking a winner as you can see from the pictures they were all winners. Hats off to all staff and residents who played a part. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and not forgetting the reason for the Season. JESUS!

  2. Janet Smith says:

    I was also a judge for the Christmas Tree contest. It was an amazing experience, and as Dorothy Peniston stated, it was not an easy task. The thoughts and efforts by the staff and residents was really exciting. They were all winners with beautiful results. We are hoping it will be an annual event. Remembering the resients, as the people they were and the people they still are. Christ Promised to never leave or forsake his children…..and Christ resides at Sylvia Richardson!!

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