Moments That Matter at Chartwell Trilogy: Holding court with the Toronto Raptors

Cathy, Garfield and accompanying staff sit courtside. Raptor Corey Joseph poses for a picture with the group.At Chartwell Trilogy Long Term Care Residence in East Toronto, nothing is more important to staff than the happiness and health of their residents. With this in mind, the team headed into 2017 with a renewed sense of purpose and dedication, and decided to assemble a committee of staff who would help residents’ wishes come true through their Moments That Matter program.

“Moments That Matter is Chartwell’s emotional wellness program that encourages residents to share a special moment or dream with staff so they can help make it a reality,” Administrator Christine Maragh explains. “It’s very important to my team to support our residents however we can and help them achieve an optimistic attitude that contributes to their sense of happiness and fulfillment.”

When the committee began collecting moments from residents, they were surprised to find that two individuals shared the same wish—to attend a Toronto Raptors game. “Cathy and Garfield both enjoy watching basketball in the evenings. They are huge Raptors fans,” Christine says. “They find the games diverting and entertaining; it gives them the strength and positivity they need to manage their health issues on those difficult days.”

Garfield poses, smiling, alongside Raptor Jonas ValančiūnasDetermined to make Cathy and Garfield’s aspiration a reality, the home was quick to reach out to the Toronto Raptor’s Marketing & Communication Manager with their story. They were thrilled when they learned the generous sports organization would not only provide them with complimentary tickets, but swag bags and jerseys for Cathy and Garfield!

On March 19, the two excited residents headed to the Air Canada Centre in downtown Toronto accompanied by four staff members. They couldn’t believe their luck when they were invited to watch players warm-up courtside, where they took selfies with the mascot, cheerleaders and even had a meet-and-greet with Raptors players like DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valančiūnas and Cory Joseph! Their luck continued during the game that followed, the Toronto Raptors crushing the Indiana Pacers in a wild 116-91 game.

“It was amazing to meet the players and watch them practice,” Cathy describes. “Overall, it was an unbelievable experience… best moment ever!” The Raptor, the team mascot, talks to a smiling Garfield.

“The whole experience was a dream come true," Garfield adds. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.”

“The look on Cathy and Garfield’s faces during the whole experience was priceless,” Christine recalls. “Life is about those small and big moments that matter, and we’re so glad we could make this happen for our residents. It has given us all a sense of accomplishment and the drive to make more moments come to fruition.”

In photos (top to bottom): Cathy, Garfield and the staff pose with Toronto Raptor Corey Joseph, Garfield smiles for the camera with Jonas Valančiūnas and The Raptor.

This story was originally published by Chartwell Retirement Residences and has been reposted with permission.