Pennswood Village Celebrates 35 Years
Photos courtesy of Nicole Jones
Pennswood Village opened its doors to its first residents in June of 1980. Since then nearly 1,500 residents have called Pennswood Village home. The founders of Pennswood Village envisioned creating a caring community – one that was much more than a community of apartments and services, “but a community of persons united in a sense of responsibility for each other and for the broader community beyond the walls of Pennswood,” as stated in 1996 publication Creating a Caring Community…The Story Of Pennswood.
“The original group of founders wanted Pennswood to have a spirit based on Quaker values, and that spirit lives on today,” said Lisa Ogletree, Board Member and Chair of the Stewardship Committee.
This past Saturday, Pennswood Village celebrated its 35th Anniversary. All residents and staff were invited to attend the event.
The evening began with an elegant dinner prepared by our very own Chef Steve Plescha and his team. Dinner was served in all of our dining venues and featured a butter lettuce salad topped with heirloom tomato, blue claw crabmeat bisque, baked cold water lobster tail, grilled prime rib, spice-rubbed game hen, mustard roasted new potatoes, carrots with marsala almonds and mint, green beans with blister tomatoes and fresh cauliflower with Grand Marnier hollandaise.
A selection of desserts prepared by Pastry Chef Bobby Paylor and his team included salted caramel tarts, biscotti bites, champagne and berry parfait, key lime shortbread, Limoncello puffs, cappuccino tarts, and deconstructed strawberry cheesecake, among others were beautifully displayed in the café.
As guests entered the community building, they were greeted by a photo booth to capture memories of the evening. Hot hors-d’oeuvres were in the lobby followed by the dessert display in the café. A string trio played in front of the fireplace as guests finished dinner and joined the party.
Penn Hall was transformed into the main party space with floral displays arranged by our Flower Committee, and staff and residents danced the night away with DJ Art.
An important component of the 35th Anniversary celebration was to celebrate and recognize everyone who has generously donated to Pennswood Village in honor of our anniversary. During our anniversary year, the Stewardship Committee is especially encouraging gifts to the Fellowship Fund, which promises confidential financial support to our residents who outlive their assets through no fault of their own.
Ben Hoyle, Pennswood Village CEO stated at the anniversary celebration, “Nothing speaks better about our sense of community and purpose than our commitment to each other. The Fellowship Fund is an important vehicle for making this commitment personal and meaningful to those who may have outlived their financial resources… Last year 16 individuals were the beneficiaries of support. Awards ranged in value from $11,700 to $44,000. As of the end of May the Fund had a value of $1.3 million. We anticipate assistance grants of over $400,000 this year… Today is not the conclusion of our work to rebuild the Fellowship Fund. It is, however, a very important step forward.”
He continued, “This evening we would like to announce the formal goal of raising $1 million for the Fellowship Fund by our next Anniversary, June 10, 2016. To date, our ‘silent’ phase has generated $323,000, including $62,000 in charitable gift annuities. This was accomplished by gifts that were both large and small. Every gift matters.”
A silent auction at the event raised additional funds for the Fellowship Fund. Donated items included photographs by residents, tickets to the Trenton Thunder and Sesame Place, an elegant dinner for six by our very own Chef Steve, floral displays and gifts, and wine and food baskets, among other items.
Helen Greven, Pennswood Resident and President of the Residents Associations spoke at the event about the extraordinary sense of community that exists at Pennswood, and the reasons for the celebration: “We all have images about what it means to live in a village. It means knowing most of the inhabitants, at least by sight; and knowing a good deal about the daily lives of most of your neighbors. A village depends upon the qualities of tolerance and compromise, and sometimes asks us to put the needs of the community above personal comfort and satisfaction. It means that if someone is in distress, you respond, because in a village you are in the same boat navigating the choppy seas of life…. My sense is that we are all part of a fascinating tapestry, where every thread strengthens the whole. As individuals we may not realize it, but our existence is important to many others in ways that may never actually be mentioned.”
For more information on Pennswood Village, give us a call today at 866-740-4977.