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Where were you during the 2003 blackout?

Partying at Fox Run’s grand opening, say residents and staff

Created date

December 9th, 2013
City blackout

Do you remember where you were during the blackout of August 2003 that shut down power in much of the Northeast and Midwest? Many of the residents and staff at Fox Run will never forget where they were that day. The massive power outage happened to coincide with the Erickson Living community s grand opening party on August 14 leaving the dedicated staff figuring out how to feed and entertain 400 guests without electricity. Novi dignitaries, residents, reservists, and priority list members were being dropped off by the busload and seated in a large outdoor tent which was air conditioned. Live music greeted them as they entered, Fox Run Sales Counselor Carolyn Ives recalls. We were ready to begin the formal festivities of presentations and speeches, and I was just about to walk up on stage. That is the moment Ives learned the power had gone out. Initially, she says the staff thought it was only Fox Run that was affected, but they soon learned that wide stretches of the U.S. were in a blackout. Carolyn says cancelling the celebration was never an option.

The party must go on

The clubhouse was set up for a party the food was already out, there was staff at the door with champagne and tuxedo strawberries, and a string quartet was ready to play as people entered the clubhouse for the first time, Ives says. Fortunately for the guests, Fox Run was equipped with backup generators that readily kept the air-conditioned food refrigerators up and running a good thing since the temperature in Novi was in the 90s. The staff snapped into action to keep the party going, and from all reports, they pulled it off without a hitch. Fox Run resident Barbara Birmingham was in attendance at that memorable party. To this day, she is impressed by how the staff was able to remain calm in the face of what could have been a crisis. I don t think most people who were there really realized how massive [an outage] this was, Barbara says. They went on with the program, cut the ribbon, and served refreshments. It was cool inside because the AC kept working. It was as if nothing had happened.

All the bases covered

Not only did the Fox Run staff show residents on that day that they could throw one heck of a party, they also proved that the community is a place where residents can feel safe and secure no matter the circumstances. Backup generators, 24-hour security, on-site EMTs, and, of course, a highly trained and competent staff mean Fox Run residents have the peace of mind that they will be taken care of in any emergency. Following the blackout, Fox Run remained without full power for two days. Barbara says the staff went above and beyond to ensure that residents were comfortable and safe during that time. She says meals were served as usual, and ad-hoc entertainment was set up in the clubhouse. We were really impressed with the fact that they were able to do all of this without it seeming like a crisis situation, Barbara says. They have never let us down in ten years.