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Blair Ridge launches season with sleigh rides

By DANIEL HERDA - dherda@h-ponline.com

Blair Ridge Health Campus residents decked the halls and took a ride on a “two horse open sleigh” last week as they kicked off the Christmas season.

Residents celebrated the launch of the season by caroling, enjoying cider and hot chocolate, watching a live nativity scene, and dressing in fun Christmas sweaters. There were also sales during the event, with the proceeds going towards the Alzheimer’s Association. Some of the funds will be donated to research and some will stay at the health campus, according to officials.

“The majority of the money stays local and some of it goes to fund research,” said Miami County Chamber of Commerce President Sandy Chittum.

The campus has a large evergreen tree decorated with hundreds of strings of lights placed on it. They also had an official tree lighting ceremony after the many lights were placed upon it.

“The tree was so big that you had to go back and keep letting more lights for it,” Chittum said. “It is spectacular and a great way to kick off the Christmas season.”

One of the most popular events of the evening was the carriage ride, which had two massive white horses pulling it.

“It is like a flashback to the old days,” Chittum said. “The whole thing was really, really neat.”

Blair Ride Health Campus Community Services Representative Mary Gross said the campus will be holding fundraising events to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association throughout December.

Gross said the health campus will also be offering gift wrapping services for a small fee, with the proceeds also going towards their Alzheimer’s fundraiser.

She further said that the campus holds many community events and fundraisers throughout the year – with Trilogy Health Services assisting them in coming up with a topic, or a theme, for the events and fundraisers.

“Over the summer it was for the Salvation Army and this winter it is the Alzheimer’s Association,” Gross said.

She also said the staff and residents are both excited to be part of Blair Ridge’s fundraising program this winter.

“We have a lot of residents donating time to help us raise money for Alzheimer’s,” Gross said.

Chittum said initiatives like Blair Ridge’s winter fundraiser to raise money for Alzheimer’s is exactly what the Peru and Miami County community is all about.

“I feel blessed that they are a part of the community,” Chittum said. “The residents, the staff, they are just a wonderful group of people.”