Onalaska seniors celebrate Independence Day together

ONALASKA, Wis. (WKBT) — The holiday weekend kicked off a little early for the senior residents of an Onalaska living community. 

Lights and sirens signaled the way for this community to come out of a COVID-19 imposed hibernation.  After more than a year of isolating from the virus, and as a consequence, each other, the vaccinated seniors at Havenwood of  Onalaska are celebrating Independence Day together.

“The older you get the more important it is, ” said David Segler, a Havenwood resident who served as parade marshal.

“It’s an exciting time. It’s really fun to get them out of their rooms, ” said Kathleen Manning, Havenwood’s life enrichment director. The pandemic forced Manning to end group activities and outings.

During the past year and a half, she offered residents one-on-one programs.  Now that many residents are vaccinated against COVID-19, Manning says her residents can enjoy retirement the way they had planned to.

“It’s really fun to see what our dream was. We had just opened when COVID hit, so we never really got to do our magic. Now were just beginning to do that, ” Manning said.

Havenwood started taking residents on day outings last month. Staffers say the trips are very popular.