Celebrating Nursing Homes & the returning of Salmon...

Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2005


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It's been an eventful spring at Heritage Place in Soldotna. The month of May ushering in National Nursing Home Week and the annual Return of the Salmon Celebration held at Heritage Place. In conjunction with national Nursing Home Week, Heritage Place hosts several community events such as the Mayors luncheon where municipal officials are invited to dine with residents. Highlighting this year's Mayors lunch were proclamations from the Borough and cities of Kenai and Soldotna presented by Kenai Mayor Pat Porter and Assemblymen Pete Sprague in celebration of the participation of the local nursing facility. "I'm proud to join with the other mayors of our area to recognize the special work and love that come from this Banner facility throughout the year," said Mayor Porter. Former Kenai Mayor, longtime public servant, and current resident at Heritage Place Vince O'Riley was honored at the luncheon and commented, "I've really had my eyes opened by living here, I didn't realize what a large part of the community they served, and how much good they do for the 60 plus residents that are here and there families. The dedication of the staff here is amazing to me and their commitment to maintaining the quality of life for those who have spent their time in the trenches serving our community," said O'Riley.


Assemblyman Pete Sprague reads a Borough proclamation in honor of Nursing Home Week to former Kenai Mayor Vince O'Riley and Dennis Murray at annual Mayor's luncheon at Heritage Place in Soldotna.

Three years ago Heritage Place started a new community tradition called The Return of the Salmon Celebration, "It's an opportunity not only to celebrate and appreciate the return of the Salmon to the Peninsula, but to come together and celebrate our community, visit old friends and meet new ones. It's important to everybody, everyone has a piece of the river," said Dennis Murray, Heritage Place administrator. Lucky Kirk, Dudley Abbott and Bunny Swan-Gease were on hand to provide musical entertainment and a country beat for the party, "There is a definite rhythm to a community that shares fish as an economic base," said Vince O'Riley. Uniting the community around its common resource was a major intent of the founders of the event that included John Nelson, former member of the Fish & Game advisory committee.


The 3rd Annual Return of the Salmon event at Heritage Place in Soldotna was enjoyed by residnts, community members and entertainers alike.

Food for the event that included, fresh salmon, halibut, and scallops were donated by Kenai Wild, the Kenai River Sportfishing Association and the Professional Guides Association.

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