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Sunnyside residents take annual trek for treat

Gordy Lundquist of The Warming House greets Verna Dzick and her staff person Jason Peterson. Lundquist makes a point to stand at the ramp and greet each of the senior citizens as they roll up to get their ice cream at the annual wheelchair stroll. Jamie Lund/jlund@pinejournal.com1 / 4
Sunnyside Health Care Center staff and Cloquet police officers help wheelchair-bound seniors safely across Highway 33 as they make their way to The Warming House for ice cream. Jamie Lund/jlund@pinejournal.com2 / 4
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Lyle Twite enjoys his ice cream cone outside on the deck of The Warming House last Thursday. Jamie Lund/jlund@pinejournal.com4 / 4

A group of about 35 senior citizens enjoyed a stroll last Thursday to The Warming House in Cloquet for ice cream.

The 15th annual wheelchair stroll from Sunnyside Health Care Center went smoothly, in spite of the road construction on Highway 33. The last layer of tar was not down in the center for the passing lane, resulting in some significant bumps to maneuver.

Not to worry.

Officers with the Minnesota State Patrol and Cloquet Police Department stopped traffic on the highway to help the seniors cross safely. Several officers also came to the assistance of the volunteers to get the wheelchairs over the large bumps.

Dan Lundquist, owner of The Warming House, was waiting on the sidewalk to greet the seniors. There was plenty of handshakes and smiles and even a smooch from an older woman for Lundquist.

Dan’s father, Gordy, (founder of Gordy’s Hi-Hat) stood ready to greet people at the wheelchair ramp at the restaurant. Gordy has always made a point to greet the people every year for the stroll. He knows most of them. He said the event is payback to the people who have been a part of the community for years.

Once the small parade reached The Warming House, they were able to either sit inside, where the tables had been cleared out to create room for the wheelchairs, or outside and enjoy the beautiful sunny day.

Lyle Twite chose to sit outside on the deck to enjoy the weather and the cold treat. He said he has been eating ice cream at Gordy’s for many years.

“I enjoy the kids (volunteers),” Twite said. “I was one of the first ones here when they built the place (Gordy’s Hi-Hat).”

Gordy said his favorite part of the event is just seeing the expressions on the people’s faces.

“They deserve it,” Gordy said as he leaned on the railing and watched the road construction on Highway 33 in front of the restaurant. “It makes us feel good.”