‘If this makes them happy, I am happy.’

‘If this makes them happy, I am happy.’

Spokane, Wash. – At 89 years old, Frank Percy walks 2.5 miles every day. One of his favorite routes is around the pond on the campus of Good Samaritan – Spokane Valley where he lives. So, when the pond needed attention, Percy decided to do something about it.

He dropped off a gift with Claudia Ouwerkerk, development officer, to support pond repairs and enhancements.

“Many residents are like Frank and would like to see us ‘spruce up’ the pond,” said Ouwerkerk. “It’s an integral part of their well-being especially with this pandemic.”

The “spruce up” comes with an estimated $50,000 price tag. The generosity of nature-lovers like Frank is helping the location bring plans to life faster than otherwise possible. 

Well-being and wetlands

The fresh water pond sits on about 113 acres of land. This spring, it hosted 10 different species of migrating ducks. The pond is also home to 30 species of birds, 24 turtles, fish, snakes, rabbits, insects and one muskrat who caused damage to the fountain wiring. He’s getting relocated soon, Ouwerkerk notes.

“The pond provides access to nature for a population that may not be able to go out to the woods and enjoy that anymore,” Ouwerkerk said. “Our skilled nursing residents enjoy the freedom of communing with nature out there.”

Plans for the pond which include:

  • Asphalt paths for residents on wheelchairs and scooters.
  • A new roof and paint for the gazebo.
  • More outdoor seating.
  • A butterfly and hummingbird garden.
  • Products to keep the pond clean and free of harmful scum.
  • A new pump for the fountain.

‘If this makes them happy, I am happy.’

Percy, a retired Army officer, spent his life in service, especially to his loved ones.  His apartment is full of their pictures, most notably his late wife of 53 years and love of his life, Joanne, and their four children, “Army brats,” as he calls them. Then winks and smiles.

When Joanne passed away, moving to the campus where one of his daughters is a nurse seemed like a good idea. The pond was also a draw.

“I hope that my gift will help,” Percy said. “I would like for people to be happy. If this makes them happy, I am happy.”

To support priorities, like the pond project, and other needs at a Good Samaritan location, you can give securely online.

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