It was an ordinary Saturday for 90 year old Dorothy Cornett of Frankfort. She resides at Ashwood Place Retirement Residences and got all gussied up in her Kentucky blue for a day out shopping with her daughter. What she didn’t realize is that she was in for a real surprise!
Cathy Moore, Executive Director of Ashwood Place and the “Dream Weaver” of Ashwood’s Second Wind Dreams program, had placed a contacted Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton months earlier and made a special request.
Dorothy, “Dot” to her family and friends, was a sheriff deputy for twenty years back in the day in Perry County, Kentucky. Her daddy was sheriff there. She did many things while a civil servant. But there was one thing that she never got to do that she always wanted to do – drive the sheriff cruiser with lights and sirens blaring!
“I’m shocked. I didn’t know I was going to do this”, Dot tells Lex 18’s Ivory Hecker during an interview after she got to live her dream.
Dot was greeted and picked up at Ashwood Place by Sheriff Pat Melton, Deputy and the Honorable Former Governor Julian Carroll. Governor Carroll re-presented her with the Kentucky Colonel certificate she was originally awarded back in 1968 for her civil service in the community. While Sheriff Melton presented her with her own Franklin County Deputy hat. Then a convey of vehicles filled with family, friends and media proceeded to an empty parking lot, where she was able to get behind the wheel and finally drive a sheriff deputy cruiser – a dream she had had for decades!
Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton received the call months ago from Pam Olds, Marketing Director at Ashwood Place She explained the Second Wind Dreams program at Ashwood Place and told him of Dot’s story. According to Sheriff Melton, “It was a no brainer”.
Dorothy got to drive the Franklin County Sheriff cruiser in a parking lot with Detective Rick Rogers by her side. Lights flashing and the sirens blaring. Detective Rogers stated that, “this is a great opportunity to honor someone who has been in our profession for years and a second chance to come out and see the new cruisers. It was just a wonderful experience. When we took off and she hit the gas for the first time, she said “Oh My!” I said ‘yes, ma’am. These things are very fast.” And after that, she just had a smile from ear to ear. And laughed when I hit the sirens. And she just enjoyed every minute of it and I enjoyed doing it with her.”
After Dorothy drove the cruiser, Sheriff Melton said of her initial reaction back at Ashwood, “She was shocked! She was like ‘What’s going on?’ It was great. She didn’t have a clue that it was coming. All her family and friends were there. It’s just a great event.”
“I never got to drive the sheriff deputy car before. I got to guard the jury – the women and the jury duty. And I got to collect the taxes. And I never got to do that”, says Dorothy. She went on to say that driving the cruiser was fun and that the sirens were not as loud as she thought they might be.
Several family members, including her daughter, Theresa, were on hand to see Dot’s dream come true. “She deserves it”, she continues, “I don’t think mom ever thought about herself. She was always busy thinking of other people. She is the most wonderful woman in the world.”
But the festivities did not stop there! Dorothy’s family held a get together back at Ashwood in the private dining room. They milled over old photos in albums. They laughed. They reminisced. They honored the woman who had spent so much of her time dedicated to others.
Click HERE to see Lex 18 coverage of Dorothy’s Second Wind Dream
About Second Wind Dreams at Ashwood Place
Want to help a senior realize their dream? Contact Cathy Moore at 502-320-1087. No gesture too small to help a deserving senior realize a dream! Join the dreamers on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Second-Wind-Dreams-at-Ashwood-Place/134513169955511.
Second Wind Dreams is a national non-profit organization, based in Alpharetta, GA that makes dreams come true for eldercare community residents throughout the U.S. thereby changing the perception of aging, and Ashwood Place is a FiveStar Senior Living community in Frankfort, KY. www.secondwind.org 678-624-0500