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Caroll Spinney Visits Westview

October 25, 2016

     Author, artist and puppeteer, Caroll Spinney and his wife, Debra, joined residents, patients, employees and family members at Westview Health Care Center on Friday, October 21, 2016 for a special viewing of the documentary, I am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story.

     Temporarily transforming the facility's formal dining room into a movie theater, the movie was projected upon a movie screen for the capacity crowd. Westview's dietary department provided light refreshments for the event, including a personalized cake decorated with the image of Big Bird.

     The documentary chronicles the life of Woodstock resident, Caroll Spinney, a man who, since 1969, has lent his body, voice and heart to the two iconic Sesame Street characters: Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. Utilizing an abundance of personal family footage and interviews with Mr. Spinney's family, friends and coworkers, the movie beautifully captures the heartwarming story of his 47 year journey as a performer, husband and father.

     Following the conclusion of the film, Mr. and Mrs. Spinney continued to delight the captivated audience with a question and answer session including a very special guest appearance by Oscar the Grouch.

     "We can't thank Mr. Spinney and his lovely wife Deb enough for sharing their amazing story and their time with all of us here at Westview," stated David T. Panteleakos, Administrator. "Caroll Spinney is truly an American treasure. His performance as Big Bird and Oscar over the past 47 years continues to transcend generations and cultures around the world."

     Caroll Spinney stated, "We are thrilled to bring our story to everyone here at Westview. This event deeply resonated with us and we truly enjoyed experiencing the wonderful reactions."

     "Although this marked our 23rd time watching the film, I found myself a little more emotional being surrounded by so many loving and caring people," Mrs. Spinney added. "Caroll and I try to live our lives in constant appreciation and gratitude. As expressed in the movie: "You have this life and every day is precious."

Westview Health Care Center is a 103-bed skilled nursing inpatient facility, which includes a distinct and self-contained 28-bed subacute short-term rehabilitation unit and an Outpatient Rehabilitation and Aquatic Center, both dedicated to providing quality health care services. Along with garnering a perfect five star overall rating found on Medicare.gov Westview is proud to have received such accolades as US News and World Report America’s Best, Consumer Reports Top 10 Connecticut Nursing Facility rating and Health Grades 5-Star Top Ranking.

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