After the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey throughout Houston, residents of The Buckingham – Houston’s premier senior living community – are thankful for the support and dedication of the selfless team members who helped maintain a sense of normalcy during the storm. Many employees stayed at the community 24 hours a day to provide food, uplifting conversation and care to meet the residents’ needs, even as their own homes were flooded and their lives impacted significantly. To show their appreciation, the senior residents recently came together to help employees impacted by the storm during the community’s annual Oktoberfest fundraiser. The annual celebration began seven years ago when resident Inge Liesner began holding the event, in which she organizes the entire occasion and cooks for all in attendance, to raise money to support the Alzheimer’s Association. While coordinating the event for this year, Liesner decided that funds raised from the event would be put to best use by donating them to The Buckingham Relief Fund, which supports team members affected by Hurricane Harvey. In total, residents raised over $7,000 at this year’s event.
“Because the team here at The Buckingham took care of us, it’s only natural that we want to show our gratitude,” said Liesner. “The Oktoberfest fundraiser is not anything new for our community, but what we are doing with the funds for this year’s event is, and it’s absolutely the most appropriate. This event and the funds raised are only a small way to show our thanks, but it’s something we had to do knowing that so many of our team members were impacted by Harvey. This was our way of showing them just how much we appreciate everything they do for us, especially the sacrifices they made during the storm. We wanted to let the team members know that we don’t take them or their actions for granted.”
Each year, Liesner cooks a variety of authentic German dishes for those in attendance. During the event, residents were treated to traditional appetizers and beers during happy hour, followed by a seated dinner. During the dinner, attendees were served a number of homemade Oktoberfest plates prepared by Liesner, including Semmelknoedel, or bread dumplings; Spätzle, a Bavarian pasta; and Schweinebraten, a pork roast. The meal was followed by a dessert buffet filled with treats both new and familiar for those in attendance to enjoy.
“It’s safe to say that Harvey was unable to dampen spirits at The Buckingham,” said Darrell Sheaffer, executive director of The Buckingham. “While the anticipation of the storm and the uncertainty of what would happen was present for all of us, our team did an incredible job of making sure that residents never needed to worry. It’s wonderful to see how our community has come together to serve one another during times such as these, and we are grateful for residents like Inge Liesner who lead the charge in lending a helping hand. At The Buckingham, we are truly a community where people care for each other, and it is resident-organized events like the Oktoberfest fundraiser that show the heart of our community.”