Erin Wanken provided the music on the new piano for the Heritage Center memorial celebration last week at the Heritage Center. The celebration honored all those lost to COVID over the past year. The piano was generously donated to the Heritage Center by the Roy Benjamin family and the MMC Auxiliary.

The residents and volunteers at Marias Heritage Center have plunked out tunes on a very old, well-loved piano for a long time. The piano, though it was a faithful instrument, was often difficult to play. Lila Lindbergh, resident at the Heritage Center for many years and a skilled pianist, was one of the few that could persuade the piano to play a pretty tune. 

Though several people recognized that a piano was needed it was a tremendous expense, and not one that took priority. However, Roy and Kaylee Benjamin, along with Cliff and Jewell Benjamin, saw the old piano and felt a great burden to provide a quality instrument for the residents. Roy did the research to find the most appropriate piano, coordinated the order and worked to facilitate the delivery and the expense. Marias Medical Center (MMC) Auxiliary covered about $4,000 with the Benjamins handling the rest. The piano was transported and placed in its new home within a month! 

At that time, the National Guard and nursing students played for the residents, breaking in the beautiful new piece. The beautiful new piece is an electric piano that will allow the residents to have volume control, record different songs of their own and yet it feels like a regular piano. With weighted keys, a sleek look, and quality sound, it is difficult to recognize it as an electric piano. 

The residents are thrilled and have been enjoying it immensely. We are so grateful to the Benjamin family and MMC Auxiliary for making it possible for us to have a high quality and beautiful instrument inspiring us all! 

If you are interested in donating or have ideas for activities, call our front desk to speak with our administrator, Lisa Leck, or our activities director, Shanice Cadotte (406) 434-3290.

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