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NHC residents treated to Grand Ole Opry visit
Diane Myers joyfully reaches up to pet Olaf the camel while he visited with patients at NHC. Olaf is from DLG Livestock and Petting Zoo out of Doyle.

NHC residents had a grand ole time during an outing to the Grand Ole Opry.

Fourteen individuals and 15 staff members attended the field trip to Nashville for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Patients from 20 years old to over 90 participated in the musical getaway. 

“During the summer months when the weather is nice, we try to do at least one big trip per year,” said Amanda Sain, activity director at NHC. “We like to do things to give some of our patients here an opportunity to see and do something they haven’t been able to do in their whole lives.” 

Many of the residents listened to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio while growing up. Since a majority of the patients’ families were farmers, they didn’t have the sufficient funds to travel to Nashville and purchase tickets to the shows or leave the responsibilities on the farm.

Attending the famed country music venue was a dream for many participants.

“They loved it. One of the gentlemen who came with us had been to the Grand Ole Opry as a band member who had played on stage. It was a treat for him to enjoy the music as an audience member instead of a performer,” said Sain.

A handicap-accessible school bus was rented to take the patients and faculty to Cracker Barrel for dinner before the show and then to the Grand Ole Opry to see the bands Runaway Jane, Riders in the Sky and others.

Many of the residents were clapping, and with the whole handicap section at the Opry being filled with NHC members, the view was wonderful. Sain said the people who went are still talking about the experience.

“We had to rent a U-Haul trailer to bring the wheelchairs, equipment and supplies the patients may need for the night, so it took a lot of planning, but it was great,” said Sain. “It was a costly trip worth priceless memories.”

Giving the patients fun memories throughout the year is NHC’s goal by taking them to local places once a month, such as restaurants, the mall, the bowling alley, the movie theater and attending hayrides and bonfires.

NHC paid for the trip to the Opry, as well as all of the other excursions and events in order to provide patients with an enjoyable time.

“I love to be with the patients and see them smile. The dream for many of them was to go to the Grand Ole Opry and had never been before,” said Sain. “We are happy to have given them the chance to experience something they have always wanted to go to.”

Activities are held every day throughout the entire year. The most recent excitement was when Olaf, the camel, visited NHC for residents to pet. Olaf is from DLG Livestock and Petting Zoo in Doyle, which is owned by Darrell and Gretchen Simmons.