Residents in isolation are given the Christmas gift of light

Residents who are currently in isolation at the Platte County Legacy Home due to positive tests of COVID in two residents and five staff members can look out and see a little bit of Christmas as trees outside of their rooms were decorated with lights Nov. 20. Karen Henion waves to the outside.


WHEATLAND – COVID has ravaged the world and the second wave has hit has put more restrictions on people worldwide. At the Platte County Legacy Home, residents are in complete isolation and are confined to their rooms, but an idea was spawned to let them see the lights of Christmas from within their chambers.
Will DeRyk from The Woolington Agency and Jeff Brown from First State Bank came up with an idea that would help brighten the season.
Platte County Legacy Home administrator, Josie Lauck who has been heartbroken with the isolation of her residents got a call that turned the lights on, so to speak.
“Actually, Will (DeRyk) called me with this idea,” Lauck said. “Scott DeWitt, our maintenance manager had to talk about it to see how we could do it and where the drop cords would plug into so that we followed our safety fire rules. We also had to determine which trees would be decorated that were outside resident’s rooms.”
There were 50 strings of lights donated by The Woolington Agency and First State Bank and 23 trees were decorated overall. The idea for lighting the complex came from a family visit that DeRyk and his wife, Tracy were on.
“I contacted Jeff,” DeRyk said. “My mother is in a nursing home in Colorado, and I know that they can’t do anything, and my wife and I were driving around one night showing our granddaughter lights. I immediately thought that Legacy was such a beautiful facility, and these poor people, we need to light them up and make it a better Christmas.”
According to DeRyk, the FFA was contacted and through the FFA Community Service Program, 24 FFA kids were gathered to string the lights. A two-hour time allotment was given and in that time, every tree was decorated. Helping DeRyk and the kids out was Lexi Hernandez from The Woolington Agency who unboxed each string of lights for the students to hang.
By Nov. 25 the drop cords were all in place and the residents had light for Thanksgiving.
“I just feel sorry for these people,” DeRyk said. “We just want to make it look pretty.”

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