Hillcrest Nursing Home in McCook, Nebraska, celebrates its 50th anniversary Thursday with the community and the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce, as Hillcrest Administrator Colinda Nappa, left, accepts a plaque of recognition and congratulations from Chamber Director Tacie Fawver. Residents and guests, including Hillcrest board of trustees member Janice Bamesberger, enjoyed cheesecake and toppings. The nursing home opened June 6, 1963, having been built by Red Willow County on land provided by the City of McCook. Residency capacity was 40. The first administrator was Florence Clough, and her husband, Melvin, kept the books. Alice Smith was the first supervising registered nurse and Betty Crystal and Hulda Terry Frick were the first nurse's aides. Dora Amann, recovering from a broken hip, was the first resident. Over the years, the facility expanded to include special care units, independent living apartments and a child care unit called "Little Folks Daycare." The infant care room of Little Folks was dedicated -- with a bronze sculpture created by Cambridge artist Sondra Jonson -- in the name and memory of Frances L. Nilsson, R.N., of McCook and Omaha, who believed, "Each one of us is a unique expression of God's divine plan. By caring for one another with love, we best serve Him." A second anniversary celebration activity will be Monday, with performer Johnny Ray Gomez at 7 p.m., in the front living room parlor.
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