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ALMOND QUEEN HOPEFULS

Ripon event showcasing Bethany Home

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ALMOND QUEEN HOPEFULS

The 2013 Almond Blossom Queen candidates prior to their introductions Thursday night are, from left, Lauren Van Till, Gralyn Pope, Alyssa Drennan, Michaela Ratto, Anna Fassler, and Morgan Scott.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin


POSTED January 12, 2013 1:20 a.m.

Bethany Home nursing facility director Barbara Camping was placed on a pedestal by one of the six candidates for Almond Blossom Queen speaking on the merits of the Ripon skilled nursing home for the 51st annual festival’s kickoff dinner at the Spring Creek Country Club Thursday night.

Alyssa Drennan lauded Camping in her speech praising the Bethany Home leader for her attributes of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control before the 300 in attendance at  the Ripon Chamber of Commerce event.

Drennan, who has worked as a volunteer at Bethany Home said it is the simple acts of kindness that make Ripon the community what it is today.

At the end of her speech she held up a framed portrait of Camping saying, “I challenge each of you to find a Barbara within you when you go home.”

Debra Emig of the Ripon Soroptimists Club introduced the candidates at the podium for their individual turns at the microphone.

Graelyn Pope was introduced as being determined, joyful, bright, and always with a smile.  The topic chosen for her speech was “in-home care” at Bethany.  She compared promoting real peace with a quote from Mother Theresa, who put it very simply: “Go home and love your family.”

Pope had made a quilt representing Bethany Home that she held up during her presentation.  Small business card size tents had been placed on each of the tables at the dinner.  Citing that she felt Bethany was a “Home of Dreams” as depicted in her quilt, she asked everyone to jot down their dream on the cards.

At the end of the speech she collected the cards and dropped them into a rooftop chimney on the quilt.  She said those written dreams would remain as part of the quilt as long as it hung on a wall in the nursing facility.

Michaela Ratto was introduced as being “funny, competent, and open-minded.”  Her topic was the Adult Day Services at Bethany Home.

She asked the audience to hold up their hands if they would occasionally enjoy a little quiet time to themselves and be free to go shopping, knowing that someone else is caring for their aged relatives.  That is what the Adult Day Services makes possible, she said.

Ratto noted that the day center opened in 1989. It has a cost of $40 per day – lower than the national average.  She recalled one gentlemen at the day services as being “very cute” when he told her that he wanted to take on the X-Factor.

“Family members in the program are given time to relax and get things done,” she said. 

She ended with a quotation she had recently learned, “You shall rise up for the aged and be loved for them.”

Queen candidate Morgan Scott was introduced as being “ambitious, outgoing and goal oriented.”  She hopes to work as 911 dispatcher in the future.

Scott is involved in the JROTC at Ripon High School.  The topic for her speech was the Beth Haven Assisted Living division of Bethany Home that has three separate buildings.  All are located on Wilma Avenue near Second Street with one strictly for residents who need a dining room for meals and also need to be overseen for taking their medications on time.  The other two are for memory impaired individuals.

Candidate Anna Fassler was seen to be “bright, eccentric and amiable,” according to Emig.  Fassler’s topic was “Independent Living,” at the nursing facility.

“I knew very little about Bethany until I started my research,” she said.  “After my tour, I can’t wait until I am 62,” she chuckled. “From the apartments to the independent homes, each has a quality of living that can be managed by one person.  You don’t get just a place to live but a place to love.”

Fassler noted that pets are also welcome – after an OK from management.

“After the chats with ladies on my tours of the facilities, I recognized that they all had the markings of high school girls talking about their weekends,” she quipped.

She added that she could perceive a new age of opportunity and strength for the seniors living independently at Bethany Home from the apartments to the cottages and the available recreation and therapeutic swimming pool activities.

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