Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer—although it didn’t feel like it this year, as New Jersey faced record cold temperatures and heavy rain.
However, the team members in SERV Achievement Centers’ PAC program weren’t going to let the weather spoil their plans to hold a holiday barbeque for consumers.
On Friday, as storm clouds moved across Mercer County, they decided to take the party indoors. Using only two small electric grills and a crockpot, they cooked up a feast that included hamburgers, sausages, hotdogs, beans, macaroni, and pasta salad.
“Of course, it’s not easy to cook fifty hamburgers and hotdogs with a tiny grill in the breakroom, but I had a lot of fun doing it,” said Stephanie Vil, Assistant Program Supervisor. “I wasn’t going to let the rain stop us from having our barbeque—not on my watch.”
Stephanie coordinated the barbeque with help from Supervisor Michele Stewart and her team members Faith Jalarue, Brandi Green, Darlinkboye Wawood, and Sydnei Griffin.
“This was very much a group effort,” she said, “and I’m so glad we were able to work together to find a solution and make this a memorable holiday for the consumers.”
The consumers in the PAC program laughed, watched movies, and played games together as they enjoyed the delicious meal the SERV team prepared for them. After dinner, they treated themselves to popsicles and ice cream.
The PAC program reopened at fifty percent capacity in late April. Prior to that, as a result of the pandemic, the program had been limited to telehealth services since March of 2020. This barbeque was the first time they had gathered to celebrate a holiday in more than a year.
Stephanie said that she is looking forward to planning another event for consumers soon. “Hopefully it won’t rain this time,” she added.