Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
MT. PLEASANT — 98-year-old Shirley Madden took to the mighty Mississippi Wednesday as the latest recipient of Addington Place’s Dare to Dream Program.
Madden is a lifelong Henry County resident who often speaks of her time on river cruise ships with her late husband Bud.
According to Madden, she and bud boarded all up and down the Mississippi on cruises.
When Addington Place Administrative Assistant Emily Allen told Community Relations Coordinator Cody Flietner of Madden’s sweet memories an idea was born.
Flietner knew he wanted to take Madden on a trip down the Mississippi.
When Flietner ran into trouble with the original boat he had lined up for the excursion he took to Facebook in search of another.
Carleen Bauer-Nollen excitedly volunteered to help with the adventure.
“I have a pontoon at the marina! What are the plans?” she excited wrote on Flietner’s post.
Flietner, Allen, Bauer-Nollen, and Madden boarded the pontoon with precautions in place.
Jokingly Flietner gave Madden a set of water wing floaties.
“I’m safe daddy, I’m safe,” Madden said as she laughed at the joke.
Madden, however, did reveal that swimming was not one of her talents, and the crew took care to wear life jackets as they cruised out of Bluff Harbor Arena.
For nearly two hours Madden sat back and relaxed as she took in the scenery and asked a multitude of questions about the barges, trees, and water.
Those passing by on the water were sure to wave as Madden’s crew passed by.
“I don’t know how I ended up with this, but I’m sure glad I got it,” Madden said of the experience. “Now I have something to tell my kids when they call.”
Flietner said it was the perfect day, and Madden was not one to disagree.