MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ: On Sunday, August 30th, Beacon of Life Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) , located in Oceanport, NJ, hosted a 100th Birthday Celebration for Al, one of their members. A U.S. Army Veteran, Al served in World War II and proudly wore his Veteran hat for his celebration. The Beacon of Life Team knowing Al's passion for The Monmouth Race Track, planned his party to occur outside at the track, a couple of months before his upcoming November 18, 100th birthday! Beacon of Life employees thought of every detail to make Al's celebration extra special, including having one of the official races named after him.
Al commented, "I love Beacon of Life because they take care of me, we have fun events, they take me places, and they make me feel like part of the family. We are all friends, and something important to me is that the food is always delicious."
Beacon of Life is not a nursing home but provides a wide variety of community based health and social services to enable their members to remain as independent as possible. Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, called PACE was created as a way to provide senior citizens with flexibility to receive health care and recreational care needs while helping them remain in the comfort of their own community. Beacon of Life cares for the whole person, from health and wellness, to social and mobility needs.
Hear Al talk about why he loves Beacon of Life:
TAPinto had the privilege to sit with Al for an interview at his birthday celebration, as he reminisced about his days of growing up in Patterson NJ. It was back in the day when Al says he recalls that everyone supported one another, broke bread together. A quart of milk was 11 cents, and a loaf of bread was a nickel. "We had good luck then. We had people from other countries coming together, and we all adopted each other and shared what we had. One day we would share Italian bread, the next day Jewish. The Jewish bakeries were terrific. Beacon of Life reminds me of the good old days when everyone supported each other in the neighborhoods we lived in."
During the pandemic lockdown, Al missed his every day social interaction at the Beacon of Life facility where he would go for social activities, etc, but there was never a break in the care he received. "When the pandemic closed the day hours at Beacon of Life, they never left me. They come to my apartment every day and help me with my medications, and they help me to wrap my wound on my ankle. They bring me my groceries I need for my favorite recipes. I love to cook, especially soup and I make a list, and they bring me all the ingredients, and then we cook together."
Pinni Friedman, LNHA, Executive Director of Beacon of Life, PACE, was at the track to celebrate Al, "Our Beacon of Life Team and our PACE members are truly like one big family. We care for the whole person and everyone is important. We know each member personally. For example, we know how much Al loves the Monmouth Race Track, so we showed him the Beacon family way of celebrating and took him to the races!"
After watching the races, the party moved to The Monmouth Park Racetrack's picnic area at the Lady's Secret Cafe, where they sang happy birthday to Al and everyone enjoyed cake together. There were many families who didn't know Al but heard he was celebrating his 100th birthday, and they stopped to wish him well and many thanked him for his service to the U.S. Army. When he was leaving the picnic area, guests at all the surrounding tables were moved to hold a spontaneous clap-out for him.
See spontaneous clap-out for Al here:
It as a beautiful ending to the kick-off 100th Birthday Celebration for Beacon of Life's Al! Happiest of Birthdays to you dear Al!
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