By: Jenn Schanz
Kicking off with a flash–mob dedicated to Joyce Meeks, the second annual Tabitha block party wasn't just a celebration of the facility's staff and elders, but a tribute to a loved team member.
"The timing is such that during such a sad time in the Tabitha family, that we really could use tonight to celebrate Joyce. And we know that if she were alive and with us that she would be here celebrating with the biggest smile on her face," says Tabitha President and CEO Christie Hinricks.
Joyce worked at Tabitha as a CNA, and was working toward her nursing degree.
She was scheduled to work the temporary tattoo booth at Thursday's carnival.
Instead of closing the booth down, Tabitha staff transformed it into a memory board.
"We're honoring Tabitha and Joyce by keeping the stand going and having her picture here and bringing laughter, like she did for us," says Joyce's supervisor Sandra Hovis.
Those who worked closely with her say she was always smiling, and brought an energy to the Tabitha team that will not soon be forgotten.
"She was the heart and soul of our unit. She was the one person that you went to with your problems. She was the mom you never had," says Jessica Carpenter, who regularly worked the night shift alongside Joyce.
Face painting, a dunk tank, cotton candy, and music made for a high energy celebration of life.
Something Joyce's coworkers say, she would have wanted.