“Heart’s Desire” Program Takes on Assisted Living Resident to the Race Track

As a young man, Leonard Tousignant used to frequent Charles Town Races & Slots with his wife Renée to bet on the ponies.  On October 30th, Leonard traveled 512 furlongs by a black Lincoln Towne Car provided by A Bargain Sedan to Charles Town, West Virginia to relive those moments. Arden Courts Alzheimer’s Assisted Living of Annandale has a program designated to fulfill dreams or past experiences called Heart’s Desire. The Heart’s Desire program took Leonard to West Virginia where Erich Zimny, Charles Town Races and Slots Racing Administrator gave him a “Day at the Races.” Leonard was quick to notice how different it looked from when he used to come years ago. He mentioned it wasn’t as large or as fancy of a facility as it is today.  Leonard shared the story of when he and his wife purchased property in Middleburg, Virginia and discovered the tombstone of famous racehorse Gallorette; a name familiar to racing fans. This is one of many memories that he had the opportunity to reminisce about.

Thanks to Charles Town Races and Slots Leonard experienced the races VIP style. He and his brother Norman were treated to a five star dinner at the Skyline Terrace, a restaurant that overlooks the track where the races take place. Each table had their own individual flat screen TV’s where you could view the race and also place your bets electronically. In the second race, named “The Leonard Tousignant Race” after him, Leonard placed a bet on the # 4 horse, Exist at odds of 6 to 1. Erich took Leonard and his brother Norman down to the racetrack and allowed Leonard to present the trophy to the winning jockey, Luis A. Batista, who rode “Sing to the Sky” to victory at odds of 4 to 1. Leonard shook the hand of winning trainer Jeff Runco and immediately recognized the name and asked, “Were you a jockey?” Jeff answered, “Yes, I was.” Leonard proceeded to tell him how he remembered him as a jockey and watched his races. He certainly was reliving his past experiences on a wet fast track in Charles Town.

The award-winning Heart’s Desire program gives residents at Arden Courts of Annandale the chance to fulfill their greatest wishes and desires. Thanks to the cooperation of Charles Town Races and Slots and A Bargain Sedan, Leonard was able to relive a simple pleasure.

Arden Courts of Annandale, located at 7104 Braddock Road, is an assisted living residence created for individuals in the early to middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other related memory impairments. It is designed to fill an unserved niche for both residents and their families by providing a 24-hour a day caregiving alternative for the time when home care is no longer possible, but skilled nursing care is not necessary. Contact us at 703-256-0882 for more information.

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