Valentine’s King and Queen reign supreme

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Add the names Richard Oakley and Beverly Perry to the list of “Royal Residents” who live at The Bridge at Cherry Hill in Johnston.

In keeping with tradition, the Johnston-based assisted living and retirement center held its annual Valentine’s Day King and Queen coronation Tuesday with a number of events that were filled with love.

From the time activity director Breein Ferri placed the gold crowns and red velvet caps on Oakley and Perry until she formally announced their coronation to residents who were seated inside The Bridge’s Bistro, it was a day made special for the Royal Couple of 2017.

It was also special in many ways, courtesy of The Bridge’s “Super Staffers” like Executive Chef Marvin carter, Dining Room Manager Ann Mari Cardilli and Director of Maintenance Rick Bigelli. The coronation was highlighted by a special Valentine’s Day luncheon that spoke volumes about Chef Carter’s talents. The dining room was aglow with red hearts, white linen tablecloths, sparkling sterling silverware and a red chocolate rose at each table setting.

For Oakley, who is 75 and worked for a chemical company for many years before retiring, the selection as king came as quite the surprise.

“I never expected anything like this,” said Oakley, who has four children and has lived at The Bridge since 2015. “I’m honored, to say the least.”

Perry, meanwhile, seemed like the “Belle of the Ball,” as the saying goes, and was excited about her coronation.

“You’re never too old to enjoy this sort of event,” said Perry, who will celebrate her 74th birthday next month and has lived at The Bridge since 2012. “It’s wonderful…exciting…I’m so happy and honored.”

For folks who knew Perry prior to her retirement, being crowned The Queen of Valentine’s at The Bridge at Cherry Hill was well deserving, especially since she helped shape the lives of 100 young boys during her days as a special social worker.

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