By Sandra Meyer

A new tradition has begun at Superior Residences of Brandon Memory Care. The lobby at the center no longer has just a Christmas tree, but now features a holiday tree.

The idea is the brainchild of one of its employees, Bill Andrew. He is the Life Enrichment Assistant at Superior Residences.

In December, Kitty Cunningham of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce donated an artificial tree to the center and Andrew stepped up to take care of the decorating.  After Christmas, Andrew realized that the tree was very difficult to take down so he asked the staff if he could do a holiday tree instead of taking it apart.

The first tree was a New Year’s Eve tree and was decorated with cotton for snow and noisemakers. The tree was a hit with the residents and the staff and Andrew knew he had sparked a new tradition. Since New Year’s Eve, there has been a tree decorated for Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Mardi Gras. The Easter tree is now currently display in the lobby. The rest of the year is already planned with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day trees as well as the other holidays like Fourth of July, Halloween and Thanksgiving.

“I try to change the tree overnight on a Sunday so that the residents wake up and it’s ready for them on Monday. They absolutely love it,” Andrew said.

He even asked the family members to bring in items for the trees that may be special to the residents as well as items that reflect their generation.

“For instance, a pair of evening gloves to hang on the Mother’s Day tree because ladies of that generation often wore gloves,” Andrew said.

Andrew has been an employee at the center for a year and before then he organized private events and banquets. He has played the piano since the age of four and has been entertaining at assisted living facilities for more than 10 years.

Superior Residences is located at 1819 Providence Ridge Blvd. in Brandon. The facility specializes in Alzheimer’s and other memory issues. More information can be found on its Website at www.superioralf.com or by calling 657-8587.