Aaron’s brightens New Year’s for Wildflower Lodge residents

By Bill Rautenstrauch, The Observer January 12, 2011 03:02 pm
BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH
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Residents of a local assisted living facility had their end-of-the-year holiday season brightened up considerably, courtesy of Aaron’s of La Grande.

The furniture and home electronics store at 1602 Adams Ave. gave Wildflower Lodge the use of a 72-inch Mitsubishi television over New Year’s weekend, and then agreed to leave it longer.

 

The television was the focal point of Wildflower’s New Year’s celebration and gave the facility’s most avid sports fans a big-screen look at some of the most anticipated football games.

They even got to watch Monday’s BCS title game between the University of Oregon and Auburn.

“It’s great because you can see everything more clearly,” said Gary Caufield, a lifelong football fan who has lived at Wildflower the past two years.

Activities Director Carol Evans said Caufield and his fellow resident friend Gary Wright asked about the chances of renting a big-screen television for the New Year’s weekend.

Wildflower called Aaron’s, which said it does not do short-term rentals. Evans was disappointed, but that didn’t last too long.

“They said they would loan us a TV for the weekend,” Evans said. “They brought it over on New Year’s Eve and hooked it up.”

Evans said she had inquired about something with a 50-inch screen, but Aaron’s went her one better, bringing the 72-inch that’s almost like a movie screen.

Residents gathered round to watch football games, movies and the traditional ball drop from Times Square.

“It’s been really good for some of our older residents who have vision problems. It makes it easier for them to see what’s going on,” Evans said.

Adding to the fun, Wright brought his WII console with sports disk to the TV and hooked it up. He and Caufield bowled late into the evenings.

That was especially good for Caufield, who is a Special Olympics bowler and welcomed the chance to practice.

“But I can’t beat the other Gary on the WII,” Caufield said.

Aaron’s had been scheduled to pick up the TV the Monday after New Year’s, but decided to leave it for the UO-Auburn tilt.

Evans said she hopes Wildflower can buy a big-screen TV for the residents someday. She also said the residents are grateful to Aaron’s for the use of the Mitsubishi.

“It’s been a big hit. It was so nice of them to loan it,” she said.