Kay Fitzgerald, a resident of Priceholme residential care home on Givendale Road, has always loved ballet and once danced with the prestigious Sadler’s Wells Theatre Company.
Her family would have loved for her to see the internationally renowned Bolshoi Ballet perform at a theatre but the Russian-based company had no upcoming UK shows planned.
Anna Gillon, the home’s manager, decided that one way or another, Mrs Fitzgerald would see the Bolshoi perform - and if Mrs Fitzgerald could not get to the Bolshoi Ballet, she would somehow get the Bolshoi to Mrs Fitzgerald.
Secretly working with her family, the team at Priceholme arranged a viewing of The Nutcracker performed by the famous company on a wall-sized screen in the residents’ lounge for Mrs Fitzgerald, her family, friends, and other residents.
Mrs Fitzgerald was unaware of the surprise until she entered the decorated lounge where she was cheered, given a guest of honour seat and an ice-cream before the performance began.
She and the guests then enjoyed a ballet-themed buffet, birthday cake and champagne.
Special ballet style keyrings were created for the guests as a memento of the day.
Mrs Fitzgerald’s daughter, Sally Maynard, said: “A huge thank you to Priceholme for the day.
“It was a wonderful event you created for Mum. They really went above and beyond the call of duty.”
Sally’s husband, Peter, added: “We’re blown away by everything they did today, it was very creative.”
Mrs Fitzgerald was joined at the celebration by her best friend of 43 years, Patsy Maynard - whose son is married to Mrs Fitzgerald’s daughter, and they have adjoining rooms at Priceholme.
Asked what the secret was to reach her 100th birthday, Mrs Fitzgerald said: “Having a lovely family.”