Rotary brings the celebration to Bridgeway residents
Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 25, 2017
As beads flew and king cake was served, the Bridgeway residents got into the Mardi Gras spirit along with Rotary Club of Picayune members on Tuesday.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Foundation International, which has motivated the Rotary Club of Picayune to get out and celebrate big events with the people of the community, Rotary President Jeremy Sheasby said.
“This is the first year we have celebrated Mardi Gras with these wonderful people and the turnout was great. Everyone seems to be having a good time and we hope to make this a tradition,” he said.
Bridgeway Apartments is a community for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities that provides them with an opportunity to live self-sufficiently. The complex’s mission is to “be an instrument of healing for children, youth and families in spirit, mind, and body so they live responsibly and productively with purpose and hope,” Bridgeway Apartments website states.
Rotarians arrived early to provide a large cookout-esque spread, including hamburgers, hot and mild sausages, potato salad and, of course, lots of king cake.
Then, the Bridgeway residents and Rotarians shared each other’s company, mingling and preparing for the rest of the day’s festivities.
“We don’t get many chances to come and spend time at Bridgeway, so this was definitely a great time for all of us to catch up,” Sheasby said. “This is part of the community we want to help out more.”
After stomachs were full, everyone headed outside for a second line parade as part of the Mardi Gras celebration, where participants threw beads and offered gifts to the Bridgeway residents.
Rotarians donned masquerade masks and handed out gifts, from fancy beads to stuffed animals.
“We just want to make sure that they know they are a valuable asset to this community, just like anybody else,” Sheasby said.
Coming into the event, Sheasby said the goal was to bond with the residents and build a relationship. In the near future, Sheasby hopes that the Bridgeway residents will join them in other upcoming events, getting them out in the community to help give Picayune a brighter future.