It began as a simple plan to hang Christmas lights around Cordova Community Medical Center. CCMC’s 11 long-term residents have spent much of the year isolated from the public as a precaution against the novel coronavirus. Christmas lights outside residents’ windows could help them enjoy the holiday festivities in spite of these circumstances, Materials Manager Vivian Knop said.
“I’ve been here a long time, and the residents that are here are like our family,” Knop said. “We need to help our family, and do what we can for them.”
However, the display quickly grew to include a menagerie of over 200 snowmen assembled by hospital staff, local students and other community members. These snowmen were made from plywood, car tires, rebar and other unusual materials. On one slope, a pair of illuminated snowmen ride a toboggan made from part of an old bone densitometer.
CCMC’s menagerie of snowmen includes a “waving area,” where visitors are encouraged to greet residents at the windows above. This way, the display will help residents get more interaction with the community, Knop said.
The hospital is also inviting community members to send Christmas cards to residents. Cards can be delivered directly to the hospital or mailed to “Resident, Cordova Community Medical Center” at PO Box 160, Cordova, AK 99574. Participants should send their cards at least a few days before Christmas, as cards must be quarantined for a period before being passed on to residents.
CCMC is also hosting a snowman-building contest. Community members can participate by making a snowman — out of snow, not wood — at the rear of the hospital and then taking a picture of their creation. Photos can then be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, at CCMC’s Facebook page or by tagging CCMC’s Facebook page in one’s own Facebook post. Each month, CCMC residents will judge the snowmen submitted. Prizes for top-performing snowman-builders will include gift cards to local businesses. The competition will continue until there is no longer sufficient snow available to build snowmen.