If there’s one word to describe Rita Plotinikoff, it’s “happy.”
The 70-year-old resident of Langley Gardens, a Chartwell retirement residence in Langley, lives her life by the simple rule that if you surround yourself with happy people you too will be happy.
Rita, who has multiple sclerosis, has always had a love for music, especially classic rock, which she listens to on a daily basis in her room.
This is why a trip to the PNE over the summer to rock out to the sounds of the band Foreigner had her smiling from ear to ear.
Rita’s Wish was to take a day trip to the Pacific National Exhibition to see Foreigner perform live at the fair.
For someone who loves rock music, and the sights, sounds, and excitement of amusement parks, this Wish of a Lifetime will create lasting memories for Rita and her daughter Cari, who accompanied her to the fair.
On Aug. 27, Wish of a Lifetime and Chartwell Retirement Residences sent Rita to the Pacific National Exhibition to attend the fair and see Foreigner in concert.
Rita sat in the fourth row, rocking out to one of her favorite bands.
After the concert, she met the band and got to have her picture taken with the members.
“I really enjoyed getting out, seeing the people and the lights,” Rita said. “Getting out for the day meant everything to me. This wish meant the world to me.”
Cari said seeing the band seemed to negate the pain and discomfort her mom was feeling.
“She appeared to be in a state of pure bliss listening to all their hits,” Cari said. “[This] will forever be one of, if not, the best experiences I have ever had with her. It was epic and worth the wait.”
Rita moved in to Langley Gardens at age 55 when symptoms of MS made it impossible for her to live on her own.
Through all of this, Rita’s giving spirit has never dwindled.
As one of the first residents of Langley Gardens, Rita immediately got involved with the resident council and served as the president for many years before her MS progressed to the point where she could no longer write.
Rita is still a member of the resident council and attends every meeting to contribute her thoughts and ideas, and is always looking for other ways to help out the staff members.