Snowmen and smiles make for a happy Monday at The Vines in Elgin

  • Ali Isunza of South Elgin brought along several little volunteers, including Sophia Preston, 22 months, left, and Isunza's son Carson, 4, to build a snowman Monday outside The Vines Senior Homes in Elgin. The more she built, the more the kids destroyed, which was pretty entertaining for the residents inside.

      Ali Isunza of South Elgin brought along several little volunteers, including Sophia Preston, 22 months, left, and Isunza's son Carson, 4, to build a snowman Monday outside The Vines Senior Homes in Elgin. The more she built, the more the kids destroyed, which was pretty entertaining for the residents inside. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Residents of The Vines Senior Homes in Elgin watch volunteers make snowmen outside the back window Monday.

      Residents of The Vines Senior Homes in Elgin watch volunteers make snowmen outside the back window Monday. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Milly Fricke laughs and makes a face at kids visiting the The Vines Senior Homes in Elgin on Monday. The kids had come with their parent volunteers to build snowmen outside the windows but were inside warming up.

      Milly Fricke laughs and makes a face at kids visiting the The Vines Senior Homes in Elgin on Monday. The kids had come with their parent volunteers to build snowmen outside the windows but were inside warming up. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Jenevieve Isunza, 2, and Sophia Preston, 22 months, play in the snow Monday outside The Vines Senior Homes in Elgin. The plan was to build snowmen for the residents to enjoy, but the kids much preferred knocking down the snowmen as others tried to build them.

      Jenevieve Isunza, 2, and Sophia Preston, 22 months, play in the snow Monday outside The Vines Senior Homes in Elgin. The plan was to build snowmen for the residents to enjoy, but the kids much preferred knocking down the snowmen as others tried to build them. Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 2/23/2021 6:15 PM

Ali Isunza visited The Vines Senior Homes in Elgin on Monday with two goals: build some snowmen and bring some smiles.

One outta two ain't bad.

 

Isunza, of South Elgin, brought her kids and a couple of friends, hoping to be joined by other volunteers in building a bunch of snowmen outside the dining room, and then maybe near the bedroom windows of some of the residents.

Turns out, no one else could make it.

So, Isunza and friend Phylis Termini of South Elgin, with the "help" of Isunza's 4-year-old son, Carson, and 2-year-old daughter, Jenevieve, and Termini's 22-month-old granddaughter, Sophia, set out to build some snowmen.

At least the adults did. The children were much more interested in snowman destruction.

Every time the adults would make any progress, the kids would be right there to dive on a snowman or tear it down.

The residents inside the building didn't seem to mind, smiling and watching as they ate their lunch.

"They enjoyed seeing the kids and the laughter and the fun," said Termini, whose grandfather Eugene Termini lives at the Vines.

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"That was great," Eugene Termini said. "Sure kept me busy."

Isunza said she saw the snowman-building idea on Facebook and is always looking for things for her kids to do during the winter. They first tried it a few weeks ago at Heritage Woods in South Elgin.

"The residents were smiling and laughing at the windows," she said. "It just filled my heart."

After an hour and 45 minutes of trying Monday, and with the kids safely inside, Isunza was finally able to complete one small snowman on a bench that no one wrecked.

Vines activities aide Pat Franz said her residents enjoyed the show, regardless.

"They just loved the kids and they brought smiles to their faces," Franz said. "We all need some happy times these days."

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