Auto shows are never just about cars—they are about the memories we create and share. Historian Roy Foreman has loved cars ever since he was a kid. On August 1, Foreman and others from the Winamac Old Auto Club shared their love for automobiles with the residents of Spring Mill Health Campus.
Spring Mill Health Campus, located in Merrillville, is an assisted living and short-term rehab facility. Each year, the Spring Mill team hosts a car show displaying older vehicles for their residents. For the last two years, Spring Mill has partnered with the Winamac Old Auto Club to provide the cars.
“The car show does more than entertain the residents; it brings senior citizens a sense of comfort,” said Lisa Bondi, Life Enrichment Director for Spring Mill. "It really connects to the residences and nostalgia. It [the show] helps them become comfortable and reconnect with things from their era."
The event also helps residents with mental health issues, possibly sparking old memories.
"Residents with dementia become more interactive,” Bondi said, “A lot of people with dementia, they lose their recent memory, but with their long-term memories we can tap them out.”
The show brought back a lot of good times for the attendees. George Grogloth, Vice President of Winamac Old Auto Club, knows that every car has its own story. Grogloth has been participating in auto clubs since he was ten years old. His father was a mechanic, and his uncle was the past president of the club. Grogloth enjoys letting people experience pieces of the past.
"We have to give God credit for letting us have cars like this and for making it possible to share vehicles like this with these people," said Grogloth.
The tables were packed with all kinds of American food: Hot Dogs, potatoes chips and ice-cold drinks in the cooler. The residents happily chatted with each other. Roy Foreman knows all the history behind each car, and he acts as the club’s own personal Historian. The Winamac Auto Club offers a strong sense of community.
"It's a thrill to see the elderly look at the cars and say, ‘Oh yeah, I had a car like that,’ or that dad or grandpa had a car like that," said Foreman.
When Foreman was a child, his uncle had both a Ford Model T and a Ford Model A. Foreman loved going to the garage to sit and look at the cars.
"While I was in college, I bought a Model T Ford and I've just been hooked ever since," Foreman said.
Learn more about Spring Mill Health Campus and the ways they care for and engage with their residents at springmillhc.com.