The Christmas Village surrounding a 40-foot Christmas tree in Downtown Johnstown has added some new real estate! Starting this year, visitors will be able to find a castle inspired by the movie “Frozen” that is sponsored by the Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber Physical Therapy Department.
In November 2020, the PT Department proposed the idea of building a Christmas House to the Marketing and Foundation Departments. A team of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants met through Zoom to solidify the idea of building the structure inspired by the castle of Arendelle in the movie.
By February, the idea became a reality thanks to Physical Therapist Breanne James’ father and neighbor volunteering their hours, creativity, and excitement to construct the home.
During times of Covid with the inability to meet all in one large group, team passion and camaraderie were fostered through this project. This led to collaboration with community members – since a bunch of physical therapists didn’t really know much about building a house. Thanks to Keith Barclay of Barclay Electric, Mark Leventry of Leventry Construction, and Director of Plant Operations John Pudliner of CSSMCW for being a huge asset in volunteering their time and efforts to help us create our dream.
As for the team volunteers, a special recognition goes out to Heather Pudliner, Mandi Golden, Elizabeth Stiffler, Breanne James, Kelsey Wallen, Megan Painter, Julia Simko, Tom Anders, Melissa Kelly, and Tonya McCool.
The castle was transported with the assistance of Keith and Mark on November 10 to Central Park Square in preparation for Light Up Night. As Keith helped to unload the castle and put some finishing touches, he said, “Not bad for a bunch of PTs!”
Physical Therapist Tonya McCool said, “We are grateful for the experience, joy, and teamwork that this castle brought for our department over the year when things were unpredictable and stressful. We are thrilled to be a part of the Christmas Village this year and for many years to come.”
About Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber
Founded in 1906, Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber (CSSMCW) is an independent, non-profit acute care hospital in northern Somerset County, bordering Cambria County. The 54-bed hospital shares a campus and collaborates with Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine at Windber (CSSIMMW), a private, non-profit biomedical research center. With more than 450 employees, CSSMCW is the fourth largest employer in Somerset County. CSSMCW’s mission is to provide excellence in personalized, quality health care services through innovation, research and education in response to community needs. For more information visit www.windbercare.org.