March 29, 2016, will go down in history as the day Marie Garner’s life-long wish came true! The 81-year-old resident of PruittHealth – Santa Rosa had spent her entire life hoping to become a television anchor. At age 15, she actually hosted her own weekly radio show, but family circumstances required her to move away, leaving the news arena behind. A few years later, she married and started a family. Marie’s own dreams got put on the back burner as she put all her energy into raising her four children. Then, at the young age of 34, she was widowed, and her focus shifted to ensuring her children had the best possible life she could provide for them. Fast forward nearly 50 years, and as Marie wistfully recounted her secret wish, the staff at PruittHealth – Santa Rosa knew some magic was in order.
In partnership with the non-profit Second Wind Dreams, and with the gracious assistance of WEAR-TV, the staff at PruittHealth – Santa Rosa put a plan in motion to give Marie an experience she would never forget. In preparation for her formal debut as a news anchor, Marie was treated to a manicure and hairstyle at Penton House salon. The perfect “news anchor” ensemble was chosen, from stylish suit to cultured pearls. And the day that followed was nothing short of spectacular!
The staff at WEAR-TV welcomed Marie and several PruittHealth – Santa Rosa staff with a full tour of the TV studio. Meteorologist/Reporter Kathryn Daniel took Marie under her wing and showed her the ins and outs of weather reporting. Anchor Jared Willets made Marie his co-anchor, giving her the opportunity to use the teleprompter and report on Consumer News. Marie got to experience television reporting in all its glory. Editors and studio personnel shared their tips and tricks for broadcast perfection. All in all, Marie spent an entire day living her dream, and when the program aired on three separate broadcasts, there wasn’t a dry eye among the staff and residents at PruittHealth – Santa Rosa. Friends and loved ones cheered as Marie’s beaming face filled the screen.
Marie was presented with an iPad Air to assist her in keeping up with her favorite news programs and stories, with the potential for developing a PruittHealth news broadcast featuring Marie, for the residents and staff at the facility.
When asked what advice Marie would give young people today, she emphatically stated, “Never, ever, ever, ever, ever give up!” She has followed her own advice throughout her entire life, and it shows. Marie Garner is living proof that dreams really do come true!