St. Anne residents enjoy festive visit from Santa, friends

St. Anne residents enjoy festive visit from Santa, friends

By Paul Paterra


GREENSBURG – It was a visit the residents of St. Anne Home in Greensburg eagerly anticipated and once they came – Santa and Mrs. Claus, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and the Grinch – those residents’ faces were aglow and at times were even moved to tears.

The visitors were staff members of Rizzo’s Malabar Inn in Crabtree, who came to spread Christmas cheer to the residents of the continuing care retirement community on Dec. 21. This meant even more at a time when visits are restricted due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. They carried signs with messages, such as “We Love You,” “May Your Days be Merry and Bright” and “Joy to the World.”  They waved to the residents and jingled bells to add even more to this festive occasion.

They could not enter the facility due to pandemic restrictions, but they were able to walk up to the windows. Some residents reached out to try to touch their friendly visitors. One resident even simulated taking a picture of the merry-making group.

“St. Anne’s always holds a special place in our hearts at Rizzo’s,” said Rizzi DeFabo, owner of Rizzo’s. “We wanted to do something for the residents who haven’t been able to see a lot of people due to the pandemic. So we walked around and we waved and we spread some cheer. Hopefully, the patients enjoyed it. I know the staff enjoyed it. They got a little bit of a laugh out of it.”

The cheer they spread was obvious and welcomed by the St. Anne Home residents. There were some who stayed at the windows for an extended period of time, seemingly not wanting their visitors to leave.

“It was wonderful. I know the residents were looking forward to it,” said Mary Melko, director of resident and community engagement at St. Anne Home. “Rizzi has been such a good supporter of St. Anne Home for years. He’s had family here. He’s just a wonderful person. He reached out to us and wanted to come and do something special for our residents.”

By the reactions of the audience for which this visit was intended, the visit seemed to prove to indeed be something special.

“We enjoyed doing it, spreading some love and holiday cheer during this different Christmas,” DeFabo said.


Subscribe today!