There’s a film from 1969 called "If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium." At Via Christi Village on Ridge, the theme could be applied to their new Adventure Club. If it’s Thursday, it must be Mexico, or Italy, or India.
“The whole concept is to transport our residents to exotic locations by experiencing their music, customs, and cuisine for a night," says Annie Washburn, the Village's activities director.
This experience is offered to residents from Assisted Living on a first come first served basis.
“We have a sign-up list and will take the first 20 to apply," Washburn says.
On one particular evening earlier this month we found ourselves in Mexico. It was the Thursday that just happened to fall on May 5, Cinco de Mayo, so it was a timely event.
Chef Maria Castaneda and her dietary team created a taco bar feast along with margaritas to top it off. The room was bursting with colorful decorations to help celebrate the Mexican culture. Music from a mariachi band played in the background. And for the evening, the residents and the staff are treated to a vacation in Mexico.
“This is the most fun I’ve had in a long time," said resident Edith Bette. "I really did feel like I was in another country for the evening."
This is just one of many activities brought to the residents of Via Christi Village on Ridge. The events calendar is packed with baking classes, where a group recently made the “world’s best chocolate cake,” spa days, exercise challenges and musical celebrities.
“Recently we brought in a ventriloquist act who was the 2015 winner of a national talent competition,” said Kaitlyn Gant, director of marketing at the Village.
"Family members are often surprised about how active their parents have become in their new environment at Via Christi Village," Gant adds. "We plan to start a photo wall to document the activities, because folks hardly believe us when we tell them that their mom or dad has become so involved."
So what's on tap next for the Adventure Club?
“We’re thinking we may go to India next month," Washburn says. ”We’ll have to put some real thought into planning that one. Our dietary team will have to get reacquainted with India’s exotic dishes. And I’m trying to figure out how to find a belly dancer.”
Resident Edith has another country on her wish list.
"I’m hoping that they feature Germany sometime soon," she says. "I’m hungry for bierocks!"