Schervier Pavilion celebrates its first resident wedding

| 30 Sep 2011 | 08:36

WARWICK - “It began with a friendship, then a bonding followed by love and now marriage.” Those were the sentiments expressed by Caryl McCoy, a resident of Warwick’s Schervier Pavilion nursing home as she exchanged marriage vows with her fellow resident and longtime friend Frank Belmonte. It was near perfect weather on Sunday, Oct. 17, when the families of Caryl McCoy and Frank Belmonte, their friends, Schervier Pavilion residents, staff and volunteers gathered together at the facility’s outdoor gazebo for the first resident wedding in its history. Caryl McCoy, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, had been living at Schervier Pavilion, a skilled nursing facility on the Warwick Campus of the Bon Secours Charity Health System, for several years when Frank Belmonte arrived in May of 2006. He also had Multiple Sclerosis, was living with his sister Kathleen up until that time and had recently incurred a fractured hip with an infection and other complications. “My sister was the matchmaker,” said Belmonte. “She met Caryl, a widow, and suggested that she meet me. We had something in common. We both had MS.” Belmonte felt that under the circumstances he was better off living at Schervier Pavilion than at home with his sister and he and Caryl soon became good friends. “Caryl advised me that it was safer to stay here,” he said. “He was also chasing me,” McCoy chimed in. It soon became apparent that Belmonte and McCoy had become the best of friends. They not only sat at the same table for lunch and dinner but they always enjoyed being together at the numerous entertainment events and outings provided by the recreation staff at Schervier Pavilion. And when the wedding plans were recently announced, the officials and staff at the facility as well as the local business community and other volunteers were ready to provide their full support. “I can’t tell you how many people came forward to help make this wedding such a great event,” said Sharon Webster, Schervier Pavilion’s director of social services. “It was a wonderful expression of support from our community.” Webster, who organized the ceremony at Schervier Pavilion and the reception at the Greenbriar Room in nearby Mount Alverno Center, thanked all of those who donated their time and services. They included Town of Warwick Justice Peter Barlet, who performed the ceremony, and Town Clerk Marjorie Quackenbush who left her office and came to Schervier Pavilion to arrange for the marriage license. “Not only did local businesses donate food, cakes, flowers, party favors and what-have-you,” said Webster, “but after people in our community heard about this, volunteers came forward to help with the decorations or whatever they could do to help make this a wonderful and memorable event for Frank and Caryl. They succeeded and this wedding along with many other events that are held here demonstrated that our residents have an opportunity to enjoy life and friendships at our facility.”