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Taking Wish-Granting to New Heights: Ohio Senior Takes to the Sky in Hot Air Balloon Journey of a Lifetime
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Sep 18, 2023, 1:31 PM ET
The experience was made possible by Wish of a Lifetime from AARP.TWINSBURG, OHIO, UNITED STATES, September 18, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ -- 78-year-old Louise Vadasz’s lifelong dream to ride in a hot air balloon was fulfilled last week thanks to Wish of a Lifetime from AARP.
Dennis Wesler, licensed aeronaut and owner and operator of Heaven Bound Ascensions, piloted the hour-long hot air balloon ride for Louise and her dear friend, Elaine Tesler. The women enjoyed a tranquil afternoon overlooking the Cleveland skyline, coasting 1,000 feet in sunny skies and enjoying 60-mile panoramic views of Lake Erie, farms, and wooden parks from Chagrin Falls to West Branch State Park.
“While many passengers reveal that riding in a hot air balloon is on their bucket list, Louise’s journey was extra special, as she was my first Wish of a Lifetime recipient,” said Wesler, who has completed over 4,000 flights.
Louise was nominated for the wish by Allie Zabrosky, Director of Memory Care at Maplewood at Twinsburg, the assisted living community where Louise has resided for two years.
Zabrosky and other staff at Maplewood at Twinsburg recounted hearing that in Louise’s younger years, when she held a 45-year career as a psychiatric nurse, Louise would often take her patients to the Ravenna Hot Air Balloon Festival in Ravenna, Ohio, and watch in awe as the balloons ascended. So when Zabrosky received a flyer for Wish of a Lifetime, she knew that it was the perfect opportunity to nominate the deserving Louise for the hot air balloon ride she always dreamed of.
Recalling the day she first learned of Louise’s wish, Zabrosky asked a group of residents how they felt about the stage of life they were in. “Most stated that they were satisfied with their lives and had no regrets,” she said. “Then, a voice – Louise’s – broke through the crowd – ‘Um… excuse me? I still have some things I’d like to do before I die!’”
While Louise is now retired, her selflessness and compassion for others remains; in her assisted living community, she often takes new neighbors under her wing and even encourages other residents to take their medications. “She can get her fellow residents to do things that our nurses can’t even get them to do,” shared Zabrosky.
Louise is eternally grateful to the staff at Wish of a Lifetime, Maplewood at Twinsburg, and Dennis at Heaven Bound Ascensions for making her dream a reality. “It was everything I could have imagined and more. I hope my experience inspires others to take a chance, try new things, and learn about the world around them regardless of age,” she said of the experience.
Wish of a Lifetime, a charitable affiliate of AARP, engages older adults at risk for isolation and their communities of care in impactful experiences that strengthen social connections and help them to live more vibrant and purposeful lives. With over 2,500 wishes granted, Wish of a Lifetime has reconnected loved ones, fulfilled life-long dreams, commemorated service, and reignited passions.
About Maplewood Senior Living
Maplewood Senior Living is known for its upscale senior living residences, offering a broad range of premier services, amenities and care to its residents. Based in Westport, CT, Maplewood Senior Living operates 16 senior living communities in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Ohio. There is an Upper East Side location in Manhattan, NY, within the company's newest brand, Inspīr. This new, senior living offering was launched to provide a luxurious option for seniors looking to join a residential community in major metropolitan areas. A second Inspīr location is under development in Washington D.C.’s vibrant Dupont Circle neighborhood. For more information, please call 203-557-4777 or visit http://www.maplewoodseniorliving.com.
Henry Kenney III
Wish of a Lifetime from AARP
Anna de Graaf
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