On Saturday, September 21st the staff and residents of AHRC NYC’s Fineson IRA bid a fond farewell to summer 2019 in a big way. With the support of a team of outstanding Direct Support Professionals and management, the men and women who live at Fineson hosted an end-of-summer backyard blow-out attended by nearly 100 invited guests including friends, family, and staff from eight other AHRC NYC Manhattan residences.

Poala Bullock, a Direct Support Professional at Fineson, was the mastermind behind this exceptional event. She designed and customized the 1950s decor that turned the first floor of the house into an authentic mid-century Malt Shoppe. The menu was a teeny­ boppers dream: White Castle burgers, French fries, root beer floats and much more. However, “Miss P,” as she is affectionately known, and her team truly outdid themselves with the costuming: T-Birds in leather jackets and sunglasses and Pink Ladies in poodle skirts and Bobby Socks were in abundance.

Kraus residents, Wesley Eng and Rodney Colon.

Kraus residents, Wesley Eng and Rodney Colon.

Fineson resident Oriana Venchiarutti

Fineson resident, Oriana Venchiarutti performs a song

The centerpiece of this all-day event was a screening of a Fineson favorite, the 1978 film Grease. Residential Services’ Director of Facilities Maintenance, Faith Xikis, turned the Fineson backyard into an outdoor theater complete with a stage, a projection system, and a super-sized movie screen. The stage was open to anyone who wanted to perform their own rendition of their favorite song. Spoiler alert: there was NO shortage of eager talent to strut their stuff for a very appreciative (and discerning) audience. Dance captains, Leila Islam and Betty Abbott (both Assistant Managers at Fineson) lead the chorus line with some impressive dance routines. The film was pre-loaded with subtitles, so everyone could join in the fun, singing along with familiar ’50s tunes while watching John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John burn up the screen.