Resident of Saint Simeon’s center has her wish fulfilled.


There was a time when Laura Blakewell graced the stage as a ballerina.

On Wednesday, she was able to reminisce about her years as a dancer when she was visited by a sugarplum fairy, snowflake, nutcracker and the Mouse King.

The dancers, from Tulsa Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker,” spent the afternoon with Blakewell at Saint Simeon’s Senior Community, where she resides.

“The ballet was something I liked very much. This is really special,” said Blakewell, formerly of Oklahoma City.

The visit was part of Saint Simeon’s Tree of Dreams program, a Make-a-Wish-style project for residents of the senior living community.

“This is a way to enrich their lives and do what we can to make the time they have left as precious as it can be,” said Lindsay Morris, spokeswoman for the center. “A lot of times they were not expecting to move into assisted living or memory care and may have had things on their bucket list that they didn’t get to check off.

“Just because you have a wheelchair or other impediment, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to make those dreams come true.”

The idea for Blakewell’s dream came from one of her caregivers, Kanisha Townsend, who thought that because Blakewell can’t go see the ballet, she would bring the ballet to her.

“Laura is always talking about being a dancer and about ‘The Nutcracker,’ ” Townsend said. “Some dreams are things people have never done. Other dreams are to do what you’ve always done. She can’t dance anymore, so this brings a her little piece of something she did all her life.”

The Tulsa Ballet dancers who visited Saint Simeon’s on Wednesday were Erick Garnica, Tomoka Kawazoe, Tyleigh Baughman and Alberto Penalver.

Saint Simeon’s staff and volunteers work to make about four to six dreams come true each year.

One resident, for example, once lived near Fort Gibson Lake and made a request for a flight over the lake. Staff members were able to get a helicopter ride donated, and the resident and his wife took a private flight over the water.

Another resident dreamed of watching an Oklahoma City Thunder game live, which she was able to do during an exhibition game in Tulsa.

“She wears her Thunder gear every game day and can be heard yelling at the players while watching the game,” Morris said. “She told me this experience was the best night of her life.”

Other Tree of Dreams wishes have included a chocolate bath, fishing trips, spa trips and birthday parties.