How a goat parade echo’s the dedication of the employees at West Central to the people they serve.
On June 7th, an event dubbed the Goat Parade occurred to lift morale of residents at a couple of West Central owned senior housing properties in Cass County.
Julie Lehman, Service Coordinator at Greenleaf estate, explains how a former resident who was a long-time farmer wanted to see some farm animals make an appearance on the property. Due to set backs because of COVID-19 and restrictions for the safety of residents, the Goat Parade was in the works for over a year, and on June 7, one resident’s dream, became a reality.
Four goats made their appearance to Greenleaf and Walnut Estates in Belton and Raymore, respectively. Residents and their families were able to receive a few cups of goat food and be marked as a stop on the goat parade so they could enjoy the four-legged company from the comfort of their own porch if they wanted.
The parade was made complete with members of the local law enforcement, animal control and fire fighters joining in the fun and interacting with residents.
The small herd of farm animals and public servants made their rounds, stopping for treats, photo ops, and even being held by the residents. Dawn McDonald, Community Initiatives Coordinator for Cass and Henry County, handed out information on pet and internet safety to all the residents as well.
McDonald said, “It was amazing to hear laughter and giggling from the young, elderly and everyone in between” when reflecting on the event via an email.
Spirits were high for the residents taking part in the parade. One resident cheekily remarked, “There is a bunch of little goats, visiting a lot of old goats.” Other residents reflected on their youth and what animals they had growing up, while others were just excited to give the tutu wearing goats a handful of treats.
The goats are owned by West Central Community Services Associate, Taylor Berthold. Berthold was kind enough to transport the goats in her Prius.
“I’ve been here 18 years and I would do anything for the residents”, Lehman said, perfectly summing up the dedication to care the employees of West Central Missouri Community Action Agency possess.