The assisted living facility has created a GoFundMe campaign to ensure bucket lists of residents are fulfilled. Recently, 99 years old, Lydia Gross learnt to fly courtesy of the Forever Poplar initiative
Poplar Estates is taking a new approach to helping seniors achieve their dreams and carry on a legacy through a GoFundMe campaign. The seniors created a bucket list of things they would want to do, and Poplar Estates has taken it upon themselves to ensure these needs are met by organizing a GoFundMe campaign.
As part of the initiative, 99-year-old resident Lydia Gross had her dreams of learning to fly fulfilled when the Wingman Flight Academy in Dickson, Tennessee, offered to give Gross the entire experience after watching a music video illustrating the Bucket List Campaign.
The music video, which was uploaded on www.foreverpoplar.com, reveals the residents’ bucket lists, and Lydia Gross had hers fulfilled on June 5, 2021, as Wingman’s Chief Instructor/Owner Toby Rice, allowed her to take the yoke for nearly 30 minutes of an hour-long flight from Dickson to Downtown Nashville and back.
After having her first experience learning how to fly, enthused Gross said, “I had the opportunity to learn to fly many, many years ago, and I didn’t, and I always regretted that decision.” Lydia Gross worked for JAARS (Jungle Aviation and Radio Service) in 1989, doing clerical work. During her stay at JAARS, Gross worked around pilots who offered to teach her to fly. Her doubts about being able to afford flying as a hobby stopped her from leveraging the opportunities presented themselves while at JAARS.
“Lydia is in the evening of her life, and we thought a sunset flight over Downtown Nashville would be a special first flight for her,” says Toby Rice, Co-Owner of Wingman Academy. There in support of her first flight, Gross had three of her fellow residents and her son, Dave Gross. For Dave, it was the fulfillment of a dream his mom nursed for years. He said, “My mom always teased us that she was going to learn to fly to make her sons jealous. Well, today it’s happening, and I couldn’t be happier.”
From all over the country, Gross’ family followed the first-flight event online from music video to take off and landing as they prepare to celebrate her 100th birthday on August 25, 2021.
Caregiver and Media Director of Poplar Estates, Kevin Sage, came up with the fundraiser idea for seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We were all under lockdown together. I was talking to the residents about what they’ve always wanted to do but never had the chance, and they started dreaming again and came up with some incredible ideas. I knew we just had to figure out a way to make it happen,” says Sage.
Armed with the Bucket Lists of all the residents, Sage wrote a song and produced a fun-filled, pop music video starring the cast of Poplar Estates to rally support. “Lydia was the first resident to share her dream with me, so it’s extra special that Lydia gets to be the first one to see it become a reality.” Sage believes this is the first of many wishes to be granted based on the response they are receiving. Donations are being collected via their GoFundMe campaign at www.foreverpoplar.com, where the music video can be seen as well.
About Poplar Estates
Located in Columbia, Tennessee, Poplar Estates is a senior living facility that seeks to provide assisted living, memory, and progressive care to aging adults. Through its Media Director, Kevin Sage, the facility has organized a GoFundMe campaign targeted at helping fulfill the bucket lists of seniors residing in it.
For more information about Poplar Estates and the GoFundMe campaign fulfilling seniors’ dreams, please visit http://www.foreverpoplar.com.
Video URL: https://youtu.be/0D91_eYXl9k
Release ID: 89026824