Special neighbors gather at Thanksgiving

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

Two groups of people - neighbors of sorts - who often find themselves apart from family on holidays got together for a time of fellowship on Thanksgiving Day.

Residents at the Benton House assisted living facility, located just off Rock Quarry Road in Stockbridge, got a visit around lunch time from members of the Henry County Fire Department, who stopped by for some coffee and a chat.

JoAnn Cain, activities director for Benton House, said the HCFD personnel asked if they could come by and were welcomed with open arms.

"We love our fire department and police department," said Cain, whose earlier career included 25 years as a police officer in Forest Park.

The folks at Benton Village - which includes the Benton House and Benton Manor buildings as well as the Beacon Point memory care unit - take donuts to local public safety personnel every year on Sept. 11 as well as on Donut Day in November.

They are served by three different HCFD stations - on Flippen Road, on Hwy. 42 near Eagle's Landing Parkway, and on Rock Quarry Road just north of the railroad bridge.

The Benton Village complex has more than 100 residents, all of whom are in their 70s or older with many in their 90s. The oldest resident right now is 97, Cain said.

As one might expect, having that many residents in that age group can mean a lot of emergency calls, and HCFD personnel are there regularly to help with falls and other incidents.

"They are always Johnny-on-the-Spot," said Cain. "And they are so respectful. You'll not meet a better bunch of guys."