Heart’s Desire

Heart’s Desire

Zandex’s Heart’s Desire program is modeled after the “Make a Wish” foundation.  Every month at every Zandex facility, residents put special wishes into a hat and a wish is drawn out.  Most wishes are easy to fulfill: lunch out with a friend; a Sunday visit to the church they attended for years, a trip to a sporting event.  But sometimes the wishes are more difficult, like the gentleman who wanted to go Bungee Jumping!  Yes—he went!  Some of the more remarkable wishes we’ve fulfilled include:

  • A Carribean cruise to swim with the dolphins
  • A platinum tour of Elvis’s Graceland in Memphis
  • A trip to Las Vegas to see the showgirls
  • Flying a son in from across the country for a visit
  • Hawaii!!
  • A trip to a family reunion in Tennesee
  • A beach vacation with family to Ocean Isle, North Carolina

George Rehl’s wish was a simple one.  He hadn’t seen his brother, John, and sister-in-law, Evelyn, in years.  George and John are close, but because of health issues on all sides, had not been able to get together.  John and Evelyn live at an assisted living residence in Cambridge.  George submitted a wish to the heart’s desire committee to spend the day with John and Evelyn.  And so it was arranged.  George and crew were loaded onto the Zandex Funmobile and they were off to Cambridge to pick up John and Evelyn.  It was a great reunion.  The group celebrated old times at their favorite restaurant, Theo’s.  Theo’s is famous for their homemade pies, a fact that the group took advantage of!  The rest of the day was spend chatting, laughing, reminiscing and visiting the Dickens Victorian Village in Cambridge.   Evelyn wrote, “How can we say thank you for the wonderful time that you all arranged for us last Friday.  The extra ride you gave us to Cambridge was wonderful in that bus that made it so easy for us to get in and out of.  To us, it was like you were angels from heaven.  God bless you all.  And the way you arranged for John and George to meet again!–which we thought would never happen.”

George, John and Evelyn visit Dickens Village

 One of Carlton Hellems favorite activities was flying  airplanes.  Flying was attched to many great memories.  So when he submitted his heart’s desire wish to fly again, the Cedar Hill crew started making plans right away.   In 1942 Carlton began teaching advanced flying ad Purdue University in Lafayett, IN.  Her entered the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet in 1944 and in 1946 was assigned to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds as a bomber test pilot.  Later the army sent Carlton to Alaska where he flew C-54’s with a troop transport group.  During his career he worked at Wright Patterson and worked at AGMC concentrating on inertial guidance systems until his retirement.  In short aeronautics was his life.  Carlton was very excited when the day came and the Cedar Hill crew drove him to the local airport where, with a great smile, he boarded a private plane and flew off into the sunrise.  “I flew the plane just like old times,’ said Carlton after his return to the airport.  It was a moment those who were there will not soon forget!

Carlton Just Before Takeoff

 You just have to meet June Saunders once to know she’s an adventurous lady with loads of personality and a zest for life and new experiences.   June had always wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride.  When she heard about the heart’s desire program, she let her wish be known.  So, with a lot of advance planning and the generous support of the Re/Max real estate folks, Cedar Hill was able to make June’s wish come true.  She and Daughter Diane Quinn met the Re/Max folks at the parking lot of OUZ early in the morning when the air was crisp and cool.  The tough part was climbing into the basket, but then it was up, up and away.  June said it was one of the most thrilling experiences of her life.  What was most unexpected, she said, was how quiet it is when you are up above sailing in the wind.  Flying is one thing, but landing is another!  As the balloon came down, they were so close to the trees that June grabbed a handful of leaves to help her remember the experience.  As she exited the basket, Rich Stephens was there, as he had followed the balloon on his motorcycle to assist in the landing.  June said, “There’s just one more thing I want–to ride back to the facility on the back of your motorcycle!”   So Rich broke out his extra helmet and away they went.  What at day!  See a video of June talking about her experience in our video library.

 Dwight Long is a dyed-in-the-wool Ohio State fan.  Not just your average fan, Dwight served as a Redcoat volunteer ushering at the Ohio State home games for over 20 years!  Over that time he built many great friendships with his fellow Redcoats and had great memories of the team, the fans, and the Best Darn Band In The Land.  When Dwight heard about the heart’s desire program, he knew right away that he wanted to have that experience again.  With the help of The Ohio State University and his friends at Cedar Hill, Dwight was able to go to the Ohio State spring game.  Not only did he have a great time watching the game, but many of his redcoat buddies learned that Dwight would be there and come over to catch up.  Dwight was just glowing after the experience!

Dwight And A Redcoat Buddy