Trip to Midtown Park
By Deb Silverthorn
Sixty-one residents of The Legacy Willow Bend were transported to safety to The Legacy Midtown Park after their homes suffered a power outage and burst pipes in the early morning of Feb. 15.
“Once again, I am humbled and honored to work with such dedicated, committed and resilient team members,” said Melissa Orth, president and CEO of The Legacy Senior Communities. “Employees from across the Legacy organization have pulled together to quickly and effectively respond to the most recent crisis threatening our residents and clients. Everyone offered whatever it takes to manage this unexpected union under these challenging conditions.”
Over a span of 24 hours, 31 health care patients, 26 assisted living and memory support residents, four independent living members and two dogs were transported.
The Legacy’s transportation team, its maintenance crew, its housekeeping staff and the dining and culinary staffs each helped as the transfers were planned and put into action. In addition to the residents who moved, nearly 30 employees of the two locations also spent one or more nights at The Legacy Midtown Park to shelter from the weather.
Lynne Lautin’s parents, Buddy and Rita Rosenthal, are residents at The Legacy Willow Bend and were among the group transferred. “I am so proud to be a part of the Legacy family. I appreciate what they’ve done during the pandemic and now this,” said Lautin. “I’m not sure what can be thrown at The Legacy next, but whatever it is, The Legacy will handle it beautifully.”
For many residents, it has been somewhat of a reunion as they have reconnected with friends, many of whom had not seen each other for much of the pandemic.
“It was an adventure getting here but we are always in safe hands,” said Buddy Rosenthal, who was impressed that each of the rooms at The Legacy Midtown Park was addressed to match whatever apartment number it had at Legacy Willow Bend. “The staff are the best and they treat us with kid gloves. You just know they thought of everything because they always do.”
Not all residents made the move, some deciding to brave the situation which, to them, wasn’t so dire.
“In my 57 years in Dallas, I’ve never experienced such weather, but we’ve made it through,” said Bob Weinfeld, who with his wife, Jean, remained in Plano. “The service was sporadic, but we stayed bundled up and even though it was sandwiches and salads for a couple of days it was, as it always is, delicious.”
While many details were managed quickly, there was little concern regarding COVID-19 as both communities follow the same protocols and all residents were fully vaccinated; each receiving the first vaccine on Jan. 2, the second on Jan. 23.
Helping to make the move from The Legacy Willow Bend to The Legacy Midtown Park as quickly and smoothly as possible was all about the connections. Amy Doty, vice president of sales and marketing of the Texas Jewish Post, introduced Andrew Siegel, owner of Junkluggers of Greater Dallas, to Alyssa Adam, The Legacy Senior Communities’ chief marketing officer. The two then helped coordinate the delivery of mattresses.
“The Legacy Willow Bend team went into action immediately, no questions asked, doing just what needed to be done,” said Laura Levy, The Legacy Willow Bend executive director. “The Legacy Midtown Park team also immediately went into action, prepped their community and welcomed us with open arms.”
On any other day, Siegel would have sent his truck but it was trapped behind a gate without power. An active volunteer and supporter of Jewish Family Service, Siegel called JFS CEO Cathy Barker. In a blink, arrangements were made for JFS’ Food Pantry truck and driver Jeff Sebert to make the delivery.
“The solution for help went from one link in our community’s chain to another, and as always, the answer was ‘of course,’” said Barker. “The mattresses were delivered, and the community was served, because so many hands came together.”
Independent living residents are expected to return this week or next while the health care, assisted living and memory support residents are expected to be at The Legacy Midtown Park for two to three weeks while all damage is assessed and repaired.
“I am again so appreciative of the understanding, patience and support we’ve received from our residents and clients and their families,” said Orth. “The Legacy Senior Communities has again demonstrated how unexpected challenges bring us closer together and strengthen our resolve and sense of community.”