Brookdale and Wish of a Lifetime Made the Trips to the National Cherry Blossom Festival Possible

25 April 2018

Carole Grandstaff and Kitty Zietz, two Brookdale residents, share a lifelong passion for the beautiful Cherry Blossoms that bloom each spring in Washington D.C. as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Both residents recently renewed this passion by attending the 2018 festival thanks to Brookdale and the non-profit Wish of a Lifetime. 

Kitty is a resident at Brookdale Guadalupe River Plaza in Kerrville, Texas. As a child, she became intrigued with the story of the 3,000 cherry blossom trees gifted to the city of Washington D.C. by Tokyo in 1912. Over the years she learned everything she could about the Cherry Blossoms, and at the age of 91, her desire to attend the festival was stronger than ever. Upon her arrival to the nation’s capital on March 24 for the festival’s opening ceremonies, she discovered that the Cherry Blossoms had yet to bloom, but Kitty did not let this bring her down. She spent her time visiting the many sights D.C. has to offer and attending festival activities. The local NBC affiliate TV station even interviewed her about the experience.

“I am forever grateful to Brookdale and Wish of a Lifetime for turning my wish into a reality,” said Kitty. “I have enough memories to sort through to keep me busy for a while.”

Carol’s father sparked her fascination with Cherry Blossoms when he took her to see the beautiful trees in D.C. at the age of six. She thought it was the most beautiful sight she had ever seen. Now a resident at Brookdale Willow Wood in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, she wanted to relive that experience again. The Cherry Blossoms were in full bloom when she arrived in D.C. on April 13. She spent the next two days exploring the city amongst the backdrop of the Cherry Blossoms. “I was treated like royalty, and everything came together smooth as glass,” said Carol.

Carole and Kitty prove that achieving one’s dream is possible at any age and their wish experiences help raises awareness about the importance of keeping older adults dreaming, daring and discovering.

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