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This Story is provided by The Herald Times

Vendors bring the mall to Meadowood

First Meadowood Health Pavilion Mall lets seniors shop from home

By Nicole Brooks 331-4232 |

December 10, 2008

In a twist on holiday shopping, vendors brought their wares to shoppers during the first “Meadowood Mall.”

Employees from local and chain stores came to the Meadowood Health Pavilion Tuesday to sell sweaters, jewelry, ties and other goods to Meadowood residents looking to do some holiday shopping.

“Our residents cannot get out and shop,” said Sherri Ganka, activities director at Meadowood Health Pavilion, who called the stores and asked them to participate.

“They know they’re not going to make tons of money off us,” she said of employees from the seven stores that set up shop at Meadowood, including Target, Macy’s and locally owned My Sister’s Closet and Rebecca & Me. But the day wasn’t about profit, Ganka said, adding that a regional manager from women’s clothing store Christopher and Banks came to help.

The 66 residents of the Health Pavilion and hundreds more living in Meadowood Retirement Community were able to browse goods yesterday afternoon with the help of volunteers from Southern Care Hospice and 10 nursing students from Ivy Tech, working under the guidance of nursing professor Nona Melton. Meadowood is a teaching site for Ivy Tech’s nursing program.

“Nurses have helped us try garments on people,” Ganka said. She noted vendors were sensitive to shoppers who can’t see or hear well, bringing items that smelled pleasant or were soft to the touch, to appeal to their other senses. They were also sure to stock affordable gifts, staring around $5, as well as pricier items.

Health Pavilion residents Luise David and Dean Summers agreed the mall day was convenient.

“The service was a smashing success, the way they demonstrated their goods,” Summers said. She found gifts for friends, and a few things for herself.

Asked if she wants the vendors to come back next year, David said, “Yes, it would be nice. It’s not always so nice (shopping at the mall), quite crowded.

“I got what I wanted. I have a big family,” she added of yesterday’s event.

If seniors didn’t find exactly what they wanted displayed in the health pavilion’s halls, they could fill out wish lists and, Ganka said, the vendors would bundle those items at the store and either family members or staff will pick them up.

The one-day event may become an annual tradition, Ganka said.