Seniors at a local retirement community are having their bucket list wishes granted by the owner.
Glenn Bell opened Harrison Pointe in Murrayville nine years ago and he has made quite an impression on residents and staff at the retirement community.
“He’s a great guy,” said Marie Crellin, a resident. “He’s always friendly and always smiling, you can see he cares.”
Crellin, 87, recently crossed off an item on her bucket list when Bell treated Crellin and her partner Fred Roots, 87, to a performance of Luzia, the latest Cirque du Soleil show happening in Vancouver.
“I thought it was wonderful, people don’t that for you,” she said.
Bell accompanied Crellin and Roots to an afternoon show where the couple experienced the executive lounge and third row seats at the show. The group later dined in the city before returning home that evening.
“It just made me feel special,” she said.
Crellin has been at Harrison Pointe since it opened. She estimates there are 140 residents plus staff, and Bell knows everyone by name.
“He’s just not a boss,” she laughed.
“We all feel the same.”
Bell started the idea at Harrison Pointe last October. He purchased a giant silver bucket from Amazon and invited residents to submit their wishes – which he pays for out of pocket.
“The first one we selected was a 100-year-old lady who wanted to go [white water] raft riding, but I couldn’t get anyone who would take a 100-year-old on a raft,” Bell laughed.
He instead arranged a boat ride for the resident on the Fraser River.
“She just had the time of her life, and that was actually the first one we did,” he said.
But not all the residents were initially open to the idea.
After a few residents seized the opportunity to have their wishes granted, Bell posted photos from their experiences around the giant bucket, which got the residents talking.
“It’s extremely rewarding,” said Bell. “I feel a little selfish doing it to be honest because it’s just a wonderful time. They’re just so happy, they can’t get the smile off their face.”
Since last October, Bell has taken residents on helicopter rides, the Sea-to-Sky gondola, FlyOver Canada, a Montreal Canadiens game in Vancouver, and the Indian Arm boat cruise.
Bell admits the residents have introduced him to activities he might not have thought to do himself, but says he also feels guilty for getting to take in all the experiences himself.
Christie Hansen, executive assistant at Harrison Pointe, said Bell does more than just grant the resident’s their bucket list wish.
“I can get emotional talking about it,” she said.
Hansen said it not uncommon to find Bell on a Friday afternoon having happy hour with the residents, talking with them.
“He’s a good man, he leads with his heart, definitely,” she said. “He takes really, really good care of the residents… wanting to make sure they are living their best life.”
Hansen said Bell isn’t a “typical” business owner. Every Wednesday he leads the residents in a singalong and plays guitar.
“He performs for them, he’ll unplug a toilet if he needs to,” she laughed
Bell said there are other wishes he is working on, including a resident who asked to take a ride in a fire truck and another who wishes to go whale watching.