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Hitting the Big Apple by way of make-believe

WISH FULFILLMENT -- Forget-Me-Not program affords Mary Ann Linn a dream trip to NYC

It was Mary Ann Linn's wish to go to New York - a place she has never visited before.

Linn was unable to make that trip as a result of physical limitations, so the staff of Marquis Care in Forest Grove brought New York to her.

The grounds of the care center were transformed earlier this month into Central Park, with a horse drawn buggy ride as a highlight.

Linn's special day was made possible through the Forget-Me-Not program, sponsored by the Oregon Healthcare Foundation.

A variety of musicians entertained her, and she enjoyed a mime show, a picnic in the park and children playing 'streetball.' The horse and buggy toured her past the 'Statue of Liberty' and the 'Empire State Building' staff members had created. She then was taken to the 'New York Pink Pony Café,' where she enjoyed coffee and fresh peach cream-filled croissants while listening to poetry readings.

Linn was also serenaded by guitar inside a gazebo that had been transformed into a pavilion. Her morning was not complete until she sat down with her grandson to a lovely dinner at 'Shula's Fine Steak House' and enjoyed steak, lobster and crab, which she told us she would eat when she got to New York.

By then, Linn's day was far from over. In the early afternoon she threw out the first pitch at a 'New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox' baseball game in 'Yankee Stadium,' complete with stadium seats which were actually old seats from the Rose Quarter.

Concession vendors passed out sodas, snowcones, popcorn and Cracker Jacks. The Red Sox won by a landslide.

Linn then boarded a 'subway car' and was whisked away on a ride through a dark, noisy subway, ending her journey at the 'New York Tonic Bar.'

Her day ended with a trip to the gift shop to collect her souvenirs. Several items had been sent to her from New York that she was able to gather up and keep as souvenirs from her 'trip' to New York.

After visiting the gift shop Linn sighed and said, 'I'm so tired, I've been to New York and want to go to bed.'

When asked what her favorite part of her trip to New York was, she had a ready answer.

'The gift shop,' Linn said. 'I was able to get some things to take to my grandchildren.'