Established in 2005, Redstone’s Wishing Well Program gives residents the chance to check an item off their bucket list. This program is funded kindly by donors who enjoy seeing the smiles our residents radiate as they experience their requests. Since its conception, we have granted so many wishes like a ride in the sidecar of a motorcycle, a GED test, and our most recent trip to Van Gogh’s Immersive Experience. North Huntingdon resident Joe Rusinko, age 76, was nominated to take his turn in making an everlasting memory, granted by our Wishing Well Team. His wish, made true on Friday, December 10th, was to visit Pittsburgh’s exclusive Original Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit. Kate Oden, Care Partner in North Huntingdon, accompanied Joe to this magical evening. Joe, a great fan of Vincent Van Gogh, has spent quality time recreating his most known paintings with puzzles which you can see all over Joe’s apartment. “At present I absolutely want to paint a starry sky,” says Joe, “It often seems to me that night is still more richly colored than the day; having hues of the most intense violets, blues and greens.” The essence of Van Gogh’s works live within Joe’s spirit!

This mesmerizing exhibit, designed by Massimiliano Siccardi, contains over 500,000 cubic feet of Vincent Van Gogh’s famous artwork digitally projected in a 360 degree fashion. Attendees are encouraged to envelope themselves in the paintings as they come alive around them. Joe did just that by being completely surrounded by Van Gogh’s quotes, the gallery quite literally comes to life! This exhibit has been seen by over 2 million visitors in Paris and our very own resident had the opportunity to place himself within Van Gogh’s work. Joe even had the opportunity to leave his mark, permanently, on the exposition. Joe and Kate wrote their names on gold tags and tied them to the bridge, a true homage to Van Gogh’s use of golden hues in his works.

For the Wishing Well, residents are nominated by employees by either visiting the respective or by digitally entering a nomination form to the magicians on the Wishing Well Team who make it happen. Kate, also Joe’s nominator, says, “When I saw that the exhibit was coming to Pittsburgh back in July, I knew that it would be an amazing opportunity!” Within the parameters of safety and resources, we do not feel that any wish is too big to grant, we truly love filling the hearts of residents. “I love the wishing well program for granting these opportunities for our residents, it’s truly so special,” says Kate, “This is my second trip that I’ve gotten to attend. When I was first hired as a CNA at Redstone, I went to the National Aviary with a resident who had a deep love for birds. These experiences are unforgettable.” An annual fund raiser runs during March in support of this mission. We are very happy to offer this to residents and hope we can continue it for years to come! The feeling is truly unmatched when we see a resident smile while doing something that they love or had always wished to do.