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Five years is a long time for someone who is nearing the end of their life.  But that’s how long Miss Betty Flora, a resident of Ashwood Place Retirement Residences, has waited.  When Ashwood Place first joined the national non-profit Second Wind Dreams organization in 2009, Betty was one of three people who desired to go to Alaska.  Fast forward five years and one resident has since passed, another’s health had declined and had to be moved to another facility, and Miss Betty waits patiently.  Until, a series of happy circumstances and Frankfort citizens take action!

Cathy Moore is the Executive Director at Ashwood Place and the “Dream Weaver” of most of the dreams that have come true.  With a little help from her friends putting the “bug” in the ears of some people that can make Betty’s dream trip to Alaska a reality, plans began being put in motion and wheels started to turn.  A fire was lit in the Frankfort community and individuals and business owners stepped up to make Betty’s dream a reality.

Sammy Coulter is an extremely talented musician and vocalist who came to Frankfort in June of 2013.  He and his wife, Rhonda Gauthier, became huge in making Betty’s dream trip come true.  Rhonda and Sammy want to make a difference in this community that they have put roots in.  They are one of the new businesses along Bridge Street that has brightened the South Frankfort landscape.  Sammy has a “soft spot” for the elder community.  He is often called to entertain at senior citizen dances and functions.  And his audience can identify and connect with his brand of music.

Sammy and Rhonda first learned of Betty’s dream from April Cole, owner of Digital Expressions Photography and Capital Living.  Digital Expressions supplies all of the photographs of a resident’s dream come true (free of charge) on a CD or DVD to be cherished and shared forever.  April explained that, despite previous attempts over the last 5 years at raising funds to send Betty to Alaska, the expense was just too great.  Sammy decided to donate not only his talent and showmanship services to benefit Betty, he also donated his “winning” from a silent auction held at the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting – the use of the historic Glen Willis House.  So a benefit show was born.

Most of the expense of getting to Alaska is the air travel.  As fate would have it, Sammy’s wife Rhonda had recently won in a live auction, a flight in a fighter jet – complete with airfare and hotel accommodations for TWO!  Rhonda graciously donated her plane tickets and hotel accommodations to Betty!  She booked the hotel and airfare to reach Seattle, Washington.  With the largest of the expense of getting to Alaska out of the way, Cathy Moore jumped into action and booked a 7-day cruise for Betty to go to Alaska, departing from SEATTLE – on her personal credit card!!!

Sammy Coulter Show Benefit Concert was held at the historic Glen Willis House on Thursday.  The Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce helped facilitate the event by offering and promoting it as a Business After Hours that was open to the public.  Those in attendance were treated to both some great cover songs by Sammy Coulter, but were also delighted by his new material as well.  A cash bar, hors d’oeuvres provided by Terri’s Catering and silent auction items were available that evening to help raise funds for Betty’s dream trip to Alaska.

Thanks to the generous donations from businesses and the overall community, the evening’s activities raised $1,225.  That amount, along with prior fund raising efforts of Ashwood Place, was enough to pay for the cruise tickets that Cathy Moore had previously placed on her personal credit card.  Miss Betty and her son board a cruise this summer on August 31, 2014 for a 7 day cruise to Alaska.  She is so very excited and overwhelmed that some many people have come together to help make her dream come true!

Second Wind Dreams at Ashwood Place would like to thank the following major contributors, without whom this dream would not be realized:

  • Sammy Coulter; The Sammy Coulter Show
  • Rhonda Gauthier; Rhonda Gauthier Fine Art Gallery
  • Carmen Inman, Suzy Hosley, Carmen Engle; Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Teresa Sullivan; Terri’s Catering at the Glen Willis House
  • April Cole; Digital Expressions Photography, Capital Living
  • The Ashwood Place Staff
  • Art’s Electric
  • Pat Hancock
  • Tim Sullivan
  • Michael Claffy
  • Don Allison

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make one of these dreams come true for a senior in the waning years of their life.  Perhaps something as simple as a marked parking space or a patio added to their apartment at Ashwood.  Sometimes the dreams are a little more lofty and costly, like this dream to go to Alaska.  But whatever the dream, or whoever the dreamer, they are all important to Second Wind Dreams at Ashwood Place.  Cathy Moore’s philosophy is that “everyone knows someone that can play a part in making a dream come true – big or small”.  Some of the dreams currently in the works are:

  • A trip and an overnight stay at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, MI (one resident)
  • A trip down the Mississippi River on a riverboat “like Mark Twain” (one resident)
  • A walk-in tub installed to help with independence (one resident)
  • “See the moon” (several residents) – some ideas included taking these residents to Huntsville, AL to see the Space Museum or even a traveling planetarium coming to Ashwood

If you are someone that can help with all or part of one of these dreams or know of someone that can help with one of these dreams, contact Cathy Moore at 502-320-1087.  Ashwood Place has set up a general fund for their dreamers and are also happy to take donations in any amount at any time.  These dreams turn reality last the rest of an individual’s life.  Many relive those memories daily.  If making a monetary donation, mail check or money order to:

Second Wind Dreams
C/O Ashwood Place Retirement Residences
102 Leonardwood Drive
Frankfort, KY   40601

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 here in Frankfort.  If you’d like to help a senior’s dream come true here in Frankfort, contact Cathy Moore at (502)320-1087.  To find out more about Second Wind Dreams, log on to www.secondwind.org.

We look forward to seeing your beautiful photos from Alaska during and after your trip.  Would you believe this spunky 84 year young lady is on Facebook?!  Follow Betty’s adventures to Alaska.  Congratulations Betty!!!