Saturday, people gathered along the streets of Escondido, to watch the annual Jaycees Christmas parade. But for one of the town’s residents, this event was more than a way to kick off the holiday season – it was an opportunity to rediscover a long-lost passion.
Thanks to local Kisco Senior Living Community Cypress Court’s “Dreams Do Come True” Program, 94-year-old resident Millie Koenig got to ride on the back of a motorcycle with members of the Escondido American Legion during the 67th annual Christmas parade – something she hasn’t done in almost seventy years.
“I am over the moon about this opportunity,” Koenig said. “My riding days gave me some of my fondest memories and provided me with a sense of courage and independence I don’t know that I would have found otherwise. It was amazing to get back out there after all these years.”
Koenig first learned to ride a motorcycle in 1947 while living with her husband in the small town of Big Spring, Texas. Since the couple did not own a car, her husband taught her to ride his motorcycle for emergency purposes. But what started out as a necessity quickly turned into a full-blown passion and even led to Koenig joining a local motorcycle group that rode together weekly.
Judy Lucous, Cypress Court’s wellness director and creator of the “Dreams Do Come True Program,” learned about Koenig’s passion and wanted to help her past become part of her present.
“Millie is the life of our community,” said Lucous. “Her light shines wherever she goes and she is always doing so much for her fellow residents. We wanted to make this happen for her so that we could give the woman who truly embodies the Cypress Court spirit the opportunity to make her wish come true.”
The “Dreams Do Come True” Program is designed to help residents check items off of their bucket list. It has granted several wishes since the beginning of 2012, with Koenig’s being the third this year.
For more information about Cypress Court visit LifeAtCypressCourt.com, or call 760-747-1940.