Jeff ‘Elvis’ Bodner performs for the residents of Crystal Ridge Manor on Friday, May 8, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Seniors celebrate early Mother’s Day with their families and Elvis in Chilliwack

Physical distancing didn’t stop senior mothers from dancing and celebrating with loved ones

It may not have been as up-close-and-personal as they may have liked, but the residents at Crystal Ridge Manor saw some very special visitors on Friday.

As the group of senior women sat in the shade under a tent, Jeff ‘Elvis’ Bodner entertained them from the other side of a white picket fence at the Chilliwack retirement home on May 8. He thrust his hips and curled his lip as he belted out classic rock-and-roll tunes in his white fringe jumpsuit.

But he wasn’t the only guest that day.

The residents’ family members were also there for the annual Mother’s Day celebration, even though it looked a lot different this year with physical distancing measures in place due to COVID-19.

There were no hugs or kisses for moms. No sit-down meals together. And photos of moms and their grown kids together were taken with a fence separating them.

But the coronavirus restrictions didn’t stop staff from making it as special for the residents as they could, said general manager Margaret Kostrzewa.

In addition to the live entertainment, each mom at the care home was given a balloon and some flowers. One woman who lives in Texas (she had planned on attending the event but could not due to travel restrictions) paid for a chicken dinner and ice cream cake for all of the residents.

And despite being separated by a four-foot-high fence, it didn’t stop the adult children from showing their appreciation for their mothers.

“I love you, Mom,” called out one person. “I wish I could hug you.”

“Happy Mother’s Day, Mom,” said another.

It was, indeed, a happy time for the seniors that Friday.

“It was a fun day as residents got up to dance and saw their loved ones,” Kostrzewa said later that day. “So much fun in these crazy times.”

RELATED: Family sings Happy Birthday outside Chilliwack care home to 100-year-old woman


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Jeff ‘Elvis’ Bodner performs for the residents of Crystal Ridge Manor on Friday, May 8, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Jeff ‘Elvis’ Bodner performs for the residents of Crystal Ridge Manor on Friday, May 8, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

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