By June Norvila
With mixed feelings, after 12 years on the job, Sharon Newton, site leader of the Bentley Care Centre, decided it was time to retire and enjoy activities with her husband who retired earlier in the year.
“It has been a wonderful place to work,” Newton stated. “I have made many wonderful community connections because of this job and by being involved. And I have worked with great staff.”
Newton spent four days a week on site and faced challenges on many different issues. Her official title had changed many times but the job remained the same she said.
When she first came to the facility in March 1997 there were still leftovers from the building’s closure as a hospital, and the now ‘continuing care’ facility had outdated equipment.
While at Bentley, Newton became active with the Bentley Care Centre Auxiliary and their fund raising events, was on the community services advisory board, and belonged to the community van society, all in an effort to improve the quality of life for the care centre residents.
She has fond memories of equipment upgrades, garage sales set up on the care centre lawn during fair week, being a part of fashion shows put on by the care centre’s auxiliary, building of a patio off the dining room, expansion of a garden area, watching entries in the Red Deer Festival of Trees take shape in the foyer, numerous parties, special guests, and special events held for residents, and even some building construction upgrades.
Funds from the garage sales, that soon became so popular that truck loads were hauled away and donated elsewhere, helped pay for a big screen TV for residents, seasonal decorations that adorned the inside of the facility and made it more welcoming and less formal, patio and garden area furniture, and wheelchair accessible doors.
She brought a philosophy of “if we are more open to the community then we are more accountable” and it showed in the involvement she encouraged between the care centre, its residents, and the community.
Originally from Saskatchewan, Newton said they moved to Red Deer when no nurses were being hired and she got a job with the Innisfail Care Centre. When she had the chance to get the Bentley posting in March 1997 she jumped at the opportunity and never regretted it.
“I would rather drive 30 minutes to a job I love than live five minutes from a different job,” she declared. “This last while has gone by so fast. Time flies by when you enjoy what you are doing.”
Plans are for the Newton’s to go south for the winter and then move to Moose Jaw, Sask. to be closer to family when they come back.
Cheryl Kay, who lives in Lacombe, will be the continuing care supervisor for Sylvan Lake and Eckville home care and also be the Bentley longterm care site manager. She says she likes the home-like environment in Bentley’s facility and will be on site two days a week.
Newton’s last official day at Bentley was Oct. 22 and she was still smiling while trying to tie up little loose ends that she wanted finished.
Bentley Student’s Union names 2009/10 executive
The Bentley School Student’s Union presidency position is being co-chaired this year. Kyle Huehn and Molly Cookson-Hills decided to run together as a team and share the responsibility.
Vice president is Jenna Seater and the Social Convener is Natawni Codd.
Class representatives include Etham Nickerson and Shenoah Reban for Grade 7, Troy Metro and Elizabeth Keller for Grade 8, Derek Pirart and Sevan Schmidt for Grade 9, Kyle Turnbull and Jessie Cadman for Grade 10, Amy Hawkings and Vicky Day for Grade 11, and Nina Vopni and Kaleigh McKean for Grade 12.
The teacher advisor is Christine Wu.