Fulfilled wish for south Charlotte senior fits her to a tee
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Tuesday, Jun. 03, 2014

Fulfilled wish for south Charlotte senior fits her to a tee

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/30/14/36/18feEY.Em.138.jpeg|210
    - HOPE YANCEY
    Greg Cunningham, left, executive director of Carriage Club of Charlotte, greets resident Sarah Hill. Hill’s wish to renew her passion for golf was granted by Wish of a Lifetime, a national organization that fulfills wishes of senior adults.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/30/14/36/DI9i7.Em.138.jpeg|210
    - HOPE YANCEY
    Sarah Hill, second from left, sits surrounded by several generations of her family at Carriage Club of Charlotte, including, from left, great-grandson Matthew Lye, daughter Marcie Causey, great-granddaughter Katie Lye and granddaughter Caron Lye. The family is celebrating the granting of Hill’s wish by Wish of a Lifetime, a national organization that fulfills wishes of senior adults.
  • Learn more:

    Visit Wish of a Lifetime at http://seniorwish.org for qualification guidelines and how to apply.

Sarah Hill was dressed for a party in a stylish black-and-white outfit on a recent afternoon in an activity room at Carriage Club of Charlotte.

Hill, 85, was the guest of honor at a May 20 celebration at the south Charlotte retirement community.

Hill had her wish granted by Wish of a Lifetime, a national organization that fulfills the wishes of senior adults. Hill’s wish was to return to the golf course.

Hill worked for the city of Reidsville for almost 35 years. After she retired, she took golf lessons but became too busy with other interests to continue, she said.

Wish of a Lifetime gave her a chance to renew her passion for golf by providing a golf course tour and private instruction at the Dana Rader Golf School at the Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge.

The organization also supplied golf-themed party decorations and cake from a local bakery for the celebration: pound cake, of course, since Hill is known for her love of that dessert.

“She makes the world’s best pound cakes,” said Hill’s granddaughter, Caron Lye.

Hill also likes to watch golf on television and said her favorite professional golfer is Phil Mickelson.

“She’s my husband’s golf buddy,” said her daughter, Marcie Causey.

Hill was nominated for the wish fulfillment by Rebecca Lynch, resident programs coordinator for Coach House assisted living at Carriage Club of Charlotte.

Lynch said Hill is a member of the welcome committee, serving as a volunteer ambassador for other residents.

“She’s just an awesome person all the way around,” Lynch said.

Ann Davis is one of Hill’s Carriage Club neighbors. She said that without Hill’s help, she wouldn’t have selected her room.

Davis said that if she needs anything, she knows she can just knock on Hill’s door.

Brookdale Senior Living operates Carriage Club of Charlotte and other retirement communities nationwide. Greg Cunningham, executive director of Carriage Club of Charlotte, said the goal of the partnership between Brookdale and Wish of a Lifetime is to recognize residents and give them opportunities to do things they thought were impossible.

According to its website, Wish of a Lifetime was founded in 2008 by accomplished skier and former NFL football player Jeremy Bloom in honor of his grandmother, who encouraged him in his athletic career.

The nonprofit organization, with headquarters in Denver, Colo., grants four types of wishes: commemorating military service, renewing and celebrating passions, reconnecting friends or family and fulfilling lifelong dreams. The nonprofit has granted wishes throughout the country.

“I’m not used to being a celebrity,” Hill said of being the center of attention at the party, though she said she wasn’t nervous about her upcoming golf lesson the next day.

“I think she’s gonna be a good golfer,” said her great-grandson, Matthew Lye, 7.

Hope Yancey is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Hope? Email her at hyanceywrites@gmail.com.

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