Bellevue seniors go big with Fourth of July celebration

Published: Jul. 4, 2021 at 10:19 PM CDT
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BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) - A group of seniors in a Bellevue assisted living community went big this Fourth of July, celebrating the holiday and the return to some normalcy.

“We just decided to get shirts and go all out,” said Anne Protaskey, a resident of Heritage Ridge as roughly thirty other residents gathered outside to pledge allegiance to the flag, and sing ‘God Bless America’.

They had their festive T-shirts, tights, and hats, but most importantly they had each other.

“We’re a fun group and I love all of them,” said Portaskey, referring to the handful of women in their 80s who came together amid the pandemic.

“We have formed a group that we call our therapy session and we meet every afternoon and just have fun, said Phyllis Gantz.

“You would be surprised if I mentioned how personal it got sometimes,” added Rena Klerman. “We laughed, and we shared, and we had a good time.”

The women all displaying temporary tattoos as a symbol of their unique bond.

“My granddaughter and her friend came over Thursday night, and we all gathered in my apartment and they tattooed us,” said Protaskey.

They invited others in along the way, like 98-year-old Jeanette Chin.

“They consoled me, and we console each other,” said Chin. “And we have so much in common, which I didn’t even realize.”

Like so many seniors across the country residents, cut off from friends and family at the height of the pandemic, now celebrating not only the Fourth of July but the return of their loved ones.”

“It’s a relief,” said Darlene Jones. “I love the Fourth of July and I’m going to be with family later so it will be great.”

" It’s awesome,” added Naomi Norton. “We are so thankful.”

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