Elderwood Residences at Wheatfield, a 55+ independent living community, celebrated its 12th anniversary in style during an Oscar-themed resident appreciation celebration complete with red carpet treatment and recognition awards.

Thanks to a unique collaboration between the independent living community and Sweet Home High School, about 20 students in the Mass Media classes of Lisa LaBrake and Brian Koziol lent their services as “paparazzi” to document the evening.

Residents, dressed in their finest, paused for their photo ops on the red carpet and were treated to a special dinner prior to an awards ceremony that featured resident comedy skits and singing talent. Residents received silver, gold and platinum Oscar trophies for years of residency. As part of the evening’s presentation, the Sweet Home students also created, edited and produced a touching video tribute to honor residents who had passed during the year.

The collaboration between Elderwood and the school enabled Mass Media students in grades 10 through 12 hone their photography skills while earning volunteer hours needed to qualify for graduation and scholarship opportunities. They were mentored by professional photographer Heather Bellini, a Sweet Home alumna.

“It was an amazing event and the residents really enjoyed themselves,” said Property Manager Tammy Ooft. “We’re already making notes about things we can improve on things for next year.”

Georgia and Luther Burnette, Wheatfield’s longest residing residents, were the evening’s honored guests. They have lived at the community since it opened in 2007.

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