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Couple brings joy to senior citizens

Happiness and hope are contagious.

Don’t believe us? Just ask Corey Schieler and his wife Pam who dressed up in old homemade Halloween costumes recently. While visiting Pam’s parents, Sam and Lois Sutter, at their senior living facility in Normal, they made it a daily routine to dress up in order to spread some joy from the parking lot to a second story window.

“We are a close family and this is a fun way to show how much we love our mom and dad,” Pam said.

For 24 straight days, the Schielers wore costumes and wrote positive messages on signs to not only entertain Sam and Lois, but other residents of Evergreen Senior Living in Normal as well.

It all started in March when the facility went on lockdown and Pam wanted to see her parents from the window to check on them. Corey threw on an old costume the first night to make them laugh and never looked back. The positive response they received made them realize they must keep it up for several more weeks.

“All of the residents started opening up their windows and wanted to say hi,” recalled Corey. “We knew we needed to keep continuing it because they were on lockdown and couldn’t even leave the building at that time.”

Corey’s parents, Duane and Diane Schieler held what Corey refers to as some “epic” Halloween parties at their Fairbury farm over the years which led to this effort.

“My wife and I started making costumes for those. I think our first one was a hamburger and McDonald’s french fries,” Corey said.

Facebook friends of the Schielers were interested in seeing what costumes the couple would come up with each day. This turned into a ray of positivity with something to look forward to in these questionable times.

“Some of the costumes we had and some I had to create out of what we had still in the house so we had to be creative,” added Corey. “We started running low on duct tape and cardboard.”

Like so many others, the Shielers have been working from home during the day which required costume preparations the night before or the morning of. Some dress-up highlights included President Donald Trump with Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Fonz telling everyone happy days will be here again.

Indeed they will.

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