Fresh off the heels of a big win in Montreal, the Buffalo Sabres push for the playoffs made its way to VA Western New York Healthcare System on Wednesday, March 23. Defensemen Chris Butler and Steve Montador took time out to visit with Veterans from the Willow Lodge Community Living Center, located on 8D of the Bailey Avenue Facility.
“The warmth and personality of those two guys was so impressive,” said Nancy Kaszynski, VA Recreation Therapist. “Our patients can’t stop talking about it.”
Montador and Butler chatted up the Veterans while serving them pizza donated from WNY Heroes, and providing each with an autographed Sabres cap. Afterwards, they visited the individual rooms of those Veterans who weren’t feeling up to attending the pizza party.
“We can’t thank the Sabres enough for their visit and hope they had as much fun as we did,” said Kaszyinski.
The Willow Lodge Community Living Center is a 20-bed unit focusing on hospice/palliative care and rehabilitative care. The center has housed Veterans from 21 to 102 years old with a goal of making their stay as pleasant as possible.
In order to insure the highest quality of life for their guests, Kaszynski and the rest of the staff at Willow Lodge go above and beyond to provide moments for Veterans that are as homelike as possible. For some this may mean a cold drink, pleasant smile or a wheelchair push to the outdoors. For others, it’s the numerous activities and group programs the facility provides.
Highlighted events held at Willow Lodge besides the Sabres’ visit have been a chili cook-off, a Super Bowl tailgate party, fish fry dinners provided by AMVETS Post #14 and a Mardi Gras Party complete with a Dixieland Band.
The Willow Lodge Community Living Center is currently accepting donations of items that enhance VA health care helping each of America’s Heroes feel at home. Suggested items include current movies, audio books, cards or other board games and music CDs. Volunteers to visit Veterans, assist with meals or host a movie screening are also appreciated. Donations should be made to VA WNY Healthcare System, 8D/General Post Fund 1860. For more information call Nancy Kaszyinski at 716-862-3237.