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Fall/Winter Spring 2018 2015


A Lifetime of Music Joseph Tarsia

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The Inside Story

As we start 2018, Willow Valley Communities looks forward to another exciting year: a year of growth, innovation, and reimagination. Our beautiful new Vistas community on our Manor Campus is bustling with activity. Our newest residents have finished unpacking and moving into their apartment homes; they’re settling in and discovering a vibrant new lifestyle at Willow Valley. The new Chautauqua Hall, also on our Manor Campus, finished its first season, coming alive with enthusiastic audiences for dances, concerts, lectures, meetings, parties, and other gatherings. Willow Valley Communities continues to evolve in so many ways other than what is exhibited in brick and mortar. Our residents continue to inspire us by what they do, where they go, and how they give. This issue of Willow tells stories of Willow Valley Communities residents in Cuba, on an Iron Man Triathlon course, cycling across the country for a cause, loving and honoring their pets, enhancing the lives of

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local youth, and even partnering to produce an entirely new music genre in a recording studio. As you enjoy this latest issue of Willow, it’s our hope that you’ll learn more about our exceptional residents who are leading the charge in an engaged and involved way throughout the greater Lancaster community and beyond. Kind regards,

John G. Swanson Chief Executive Officer Willow Valley Living


Willow is a publication of Willow Valley Communities









The VUE Rooftop Terrace Opens to Great Fanfare


Reaching Our Community

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Mind, Body, Spirit

The Willow Way of Life The Pets We Love

Perspective The Pearl of the Antilles: Willow Valley Residents Travel to Cuba

The Destination for the Serious Senior Athlete


Innovation & Growth Chautauqua Hall: Grand Gathering Venue

Changing Young Lives Through Music & Theater

Out & About Three Local Lancaster Restaurants Earn National Honors and Recognition



Feed the Soul Taking Another Chance at Love

4 A Lifetime of Music Joseph Tarsia WillowValleyCommunities.org



The VUE Rooftop Terrace Opens to Great Fanfare Now that construction is complete at The Vistas luxury apartments, its beautiful new VUE Rooftop Terrace offers a relaxing respite for not only new Vistas residents, but all Willow Valley community members. This rooftop lounge area offers amazing views and features comfortable seating for gatherings as well as a fully stocked and staffed bar with gourmet snacks on scheduled evenings. The multiple modern-style gas fire tables have proven to be an enticing gathering space for new residents to meet their fellow community members for a relaxing evening. Everyone can enjoy refreshments and beverages while taking time to marvel at the striking views of Lancaster County farmland on one side and the skyline of Downtown Lancaster on the other. New friendships are quickly forged as Willow Valley Communities residents from across both campuses join with Vistas residents in welcoming conversations and social invitations.


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Out & About Luca

Three Local

Lancaster Restaurants Earn National Honors and Recognition

ma(i)son Ma(i)son During their visit to Lancaster, Alton Brown and his companion also dined at the chef’s table overlooking the open kitchen at Ma(i)son. One of Brown’s posts on his Facebook page after his visit stated: “If you’re anywhere near Ma(i)son in Lancaster, PA, and you’re not having the mushroom gnocchi, what’s wrong with you? #maisonpa.” Alton also praised the eatery for “going above and beyond and getting everything exactly precisely right.” Taylor and Leeanne Mason, who own Ma(i)son and Luca, commented about the success of local eateries: “Small markets like Lancaster are where some of the best food in the country is being cooked right now.” 230 N. Prince St., Lancaster, PA 17603 717.293.5060 MaisonLancaster.com

Alton Brown, chef, author, and host of Food Network’s “Good Eats,” has stopped in Lancaster on several occasions, dining at Lancaster city restaurants and posting rave reviews about his experiences on social media.


During one Friday night’s dinner rush at Luca, the Italian restaurant on James Street in Lancaster city, Brown arrived unannounced with a companion -- the reservation had been made under another name -- for a two-course meal and dessert. On a social media post, Brown later praised a salad at the restaurant, calling it “the best salad in the world.” The simple salad appears to be made from a mixture of different greens with parmigiana and an anchovy dressing. The restaurant also recently received national attention when, in her “Bites” column, New York Times writer Kathryn O’Shea-Evans raved about a pasta dish she enjoyed there. The writer further said she would have liked to have “licked the plate,” after finishing a seared artichoke dish paired with a dipping sauce of smoked paprika aioli. She added that she “wolfed down” Luca’s farfalle pasta dish. In the article, O’Shea-Evans also said she had a “primal reaction” to the La Prima Volta cocktail she ordered at Luca, which she called a “frothy spin on a whiskey sour garnished with charred lime.” 436 W. James St., Lancaster, PA 17603 | 717.553.5770 LucaLancaster.com

Barberet Barberet Bistro & Bakery, located in downtown Lancaster, will quickly transport you to Paris with classic French cuisine and patisserie perfection.


Owner, operator, and chef, Cédric Barberet has over 25 years of professional pastry experience with a Master’s Degree in Pastry from Patisserie Chereau in France and continues to receive recognition for his culinary expertise. He was recently named in the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America by Dessert Professional Magazine, the nation’s leading publication for the chocolate, pastry cake, artisian bread and frozen desserts industries. Cacao Barry®, the premium French brand of chocolate and cocoa products for gourmet professionals, has recently appointed Cédric Barberet as a member of its international Ambassador Club. Cédric is a member of the Académie Culinaire de France and was awarded Chevalier de l’ordre du Mérite Agricole, translated to “Knight of the Order of Agricultural Merit” by French Minister of Agriculture for his work in promoting French culture through baking and cooking abroad. 26 E. King St., Lancaster, PA 17602 | 717.690.2354 26EastLancaster.com/barberet | info@barberetlancaster.com




“My background is in electronics. One day someone asked me to fix a tape recorder. The tape recorder was in a recording studio. I fixed it and never left.” — Spring Run resident, Joe Tarsia, founder of Sigma Sound Studios


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Talking to Joe Tarsia and his wife Cecelia in their bright Spring Run residence is truly a surreal experience. The couple from Haddonfield, NJ, has a beautifully appointed apartment with fashionable furniture and accessories throughout. It’s elegant, yet comfortable, warm, and welcoming. Interspersed on the walls, in between all the framed family photographs and tasteful artwork, hang gold records, pictures of Joe with various rock stars, and a City of Philadelphia citation signed by Mayor Goode. Also on display is a certificate acknowledging Joe for his work on the 1978 Album of the Year Saturday Night Fever, various autographs, and a note signed by the Jackson 5 thanking their daughter Lorraine for a plate of brownies. Joe is the founder of Sigma Studios, the legendary Philadelphia music studio known for creating The Sound of Philadelphia. The Sound of Philadelphia is defined in many

ways by different musicians, writers, and producers, but it can most easily be described by the songs written by the famous team Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff (“Gamble and Huff”), and also those by Thom Bell. It was these legendary songwriters who chose Sigma as their recording base and trusted the production of their music to Joe and his team. The Sound of Philadelphia became a phenomenon—a phenomenon that achieved $10 billion in record sales. Yes, that’s billion with a “b.” The songs produced at Sigma during those years literally started and defined the disco era. Songs like Backstabbers and For the Love of Money by the O’Jays , Me and Mrs. Jones by Billy Paul, You’ll Never Find by Lou Rawls, Rubberband Man by The Spinners, and The Theme from Soul Train. These and so many more were the songs that were Philly’s answer to Motown. The rich, soulful sound of the sixties and WillowValleyCommunities.org


In 1952, Joe was a lab technician at Philco Corporation, a radio and television consumer products company. He also worked on the side repairing televisions and other electronics. It was in 1960 when he was asked to fix a tape recorder in a recording studio, and the music bug got a hold of him. Joe got a job at Cameo Parkway Records, where he was excited to work with artists like Bobby Rydell, Chubby Checker, Dee Dee Sharp, the Dovells, and the Orlons. Soon, Joe was promoted to Cameo’s Chief Engineer. In the fall of 1967, Joe thought it was a good time for him to go into business for himself. The British Invasion was taking over and changing the face of pop music, spearheaded by a new band called The Beatles. Cameo was sold, and Joe and his wife Cecelia both agreed that his future there was uncertain.

Joseph and Cecelia Tarsia at their Spring Run residence seventies produced at Sigma brought artists from far and wide to Philadelphia to cut their records at the studio. But it wasn’t just the brilliant writing that brought musicians to Sigma. Joe himself had a reputation in the music industry for a unique talent that allowed him to achieve a succinct sharpness and crispness to everything he engineered—and this was decades before the digital era. Joe says he worked very hard to “faithfully capture what the musicians created.” 6

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Joe remembers how hot the music scene was in Philadelphia at that time. It was the home of Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, Chubby Checker and Bobby Rydell were starting up, and the new FM technology was making everything sound better. It was an electric time. Joe took the chance and purchased a lease on the second floor of the 212 North 12th Street Building (formerly Sound Plus Studios), where he upgraded the studio from 2-track mono to 8-track stereo. Operating as a one-man facility, Sigma Sound opened its doors for business on August 5, 1968. It didn’t take long for Joe, as head of Sigma Studios, to become known as the leader in cutting-edge recording technology. This was something that was always extremely important to Joe: to be a step ahead in music technology. Instantly, hit records were being produced and recorded, earning Philadelphia and Sigma Sound Studios a place in music history. Cecelia served as Joe’s receptionist, and as artists would wait their turn in the studio, she would talk with them, even babysit their small children while they recorded. “I was their psychiatrist, marriage counselor, and friend,” she recalls. “It was an incredible time.” But it wasn’t all fun and games for the couple. Joe and the team he soon needed to add worked long and crazy hours

Jackson 5 sang “Happy Birthday” to her. Their daughter baked the Jacksons brownies as a thank you, and they in turn wrote the note that is now framed and hanging in the Tarsia’s Spring Run apartment. Joe and Cecelia were invited to the White House by President Jimmy Carter for a special ceremony on June 7, 1979, to introduce the idea of dedicating the month of June to celebrating the impact of African-American music. Today, African-American Music Appreciation Month is an annual celebration in the United States.

“ Thank you note from the “Jackson 5” to Joe’s daughter Lorraine to accommodate the artists’ and producers’ schedules. To meet the incredible demand, Sigma was open 20/7 with the other four hours saved for maintenance. Some of Joe’s favorite sayings to his employees were, “When opportunity knocks, you got to be there to answer the door,” and “When the fish are running, the boats go out.” As crazy and challenging as it all was, Joe and Cecelia remark how the long hours and dedication brought the employees and their families so much closer together compared to what is typically found in other companies. The closeness continues even to this day. Sigma employees still get together and reminisce about all the fun, albeit hardworking days. “We’re really a family,” says Cecelia. In order to keep up with the increasing demand, in 1976 Joe went to New York City and opened three studios in the core of Manhattan’s music district. Sigma New York was another instant hit, attracting the likes of Whitney Houston, Madonna, Steely Dan, The Village People, Talking Heads, Paul Simon, Ashford and Simpson, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, Cindy Lauper, Grace Jones, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Robert Palmer, the Four Tops, Elton John, and many, many more. Joe and Cecelia talk about those times with recording stars just as easily as they speak about time spent with their Willow Valley Communities neighbors. Parties with Bruce Springsteen, recordings with David Bowie, Cecelia cooking dinner for the Jackson 5. “They were just a bunch of young kids that wanted a home-cooked meal,” she remembers.

Joe has won many industry awards for his engineering accomplishments, including over 200 gold and platinum records. His Philadelphia studio was cited as a national rock and roll landmark in A.M. Nolan’s Rock and Roll Road Trip and Dave Walker’s “American Rock and Roll Tour.” Sigma was also prominently featured in the 2003 book Temples of Sound by Jim Cogan and William Clark. The State of Pennsylvania named Sigma’s 212 North 12th Street location as a historical landmark, which was dedicated during a crowded ceremony on the site. Joe has served on the Board of the Variety Club and the Institution of Audio Research. He is a founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Society of Professional Audio Recording Services (SPARS), past Chairman of the Philadelphia Music Alliance, and past National Trustee of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Joe and Cecelia have two children: Michael and Lorraine. Michael Tarsia became president, chief engineer, and CEO of Sigma Studios in 1990 until it closed its doors in 2003. Michael is a Grammy-recognized engineer and now owns and runs his own independent studio. Lorraine is the CFO of Atwater’s Foods Groups and resides in Baltimore with her husband, Maryland Assistant Attorney General W. David Rawle. There are three grandchildren: Nicole Tarsia, and Patrick and Rebecca Rawle. And after so many decades of working with so many rock and roll stars, who would Joe say are his favorite artists? His favorite rock band is Aerosmith. “I never worked with the band, but I love their energy and front man, Steven Tyler.” Joe adds that his favorite pop artist is Billy Joel. “I worked with Billy in 1972. He is a fantastic musician and an even better song writer.” It is an honor to have a music legend living at Willow Valley Communities, but Joe simply says that for him and Cecelia, Willow Valley Communities has everything they want. “It’s a place you can be as busy or as relaxed as you choose. We’ve made many friends here and could not be happier.”

When the Jackson 5 learned it was the Tarsia’s daughter’s birthday, they sent their limo driver out to buy her a birthday cake which they all shared—of course, after the



Reaching Our Community


YOUNG LIVES through Music&Theater


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Dr. Rau, Superintendent of the School District of Lancaster and John G.Swanson, Chief Executive Officer, Willow Valley Living

Ross Fairweather, Willow Valley Communities resident and volunteer coordinator Willow Valley’s community outreach efforts often focus on children in the School District of Lancaster. Consider these troubling statistics: over 90% of the children in the School District of Lancaster live below the poverty line, and there is at least one homeless child in every Lancaster city school. Willow Valley Communities has created a number of initiatives that aim to help. Resident Ross Fairweather is the volunteer leader and coordinator of a Willow Valley Communities tutoring partnership for the School District of Lancaster. She organizes Willow Valley resident volunteers who provide academic and music tutoring to students in the school district. This partnership has made a huge difference in the children’s lives, as well as in the hearts of the Willow Valley Communities residents who serve them. “It’s so much more than tutoring,” says Ross. “So many students are facing adverse situations—homelessness, or a parent who is incarcerated, for example. There’s not enough classroom time for every student to learn everything.” Ross was recently acknowledged for her efforts as one of eight recipients of local television station WGAL’s and PSECU’s (Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union) prestigious “8 Who Care” Award. She was honored for her extraordinary commitment to the children of Carter & MacRae Elementary School in the School District of Lancaster.

programs to support the arts in Lancaster. MFE provides an instrument for every 4th or 5th grade student who is mentored by a Willow Valley Communities resident who plays the piano, clarinet, flute, trumpet, or violin. Willow Valley Communities first became involved with MFE through Keys to the City, one of MFE’s most visible annual programs. About fifteen brightly decorated pianos, sponsored by Willow Valley Communities and other area businesses, are placed throughout Lancaster from May to October. It’s a bright, visible commitment Willow Valley Communities has to MFE, the arts, and the city of Lancaster. Willow Valley Communities believes other forms of artistic expression are vital, which is why we have become a leading corporate sponsor of PRiMA Theatre of Lancaster. PRiMA provides in-school creative programs, hands-on technical experience, and professional behind-the-scenes and on-stage programs for children and youth. These experiences help build creative thinking skills, inspire academic performance, and give students important skills applicable to the job market. PRiMA also provides low- to no-cost tickets for students, guardians, and teachers to attend PRiMA productions and participate in master classes.

“It’s so much more than tutoring . . .”

Willow Valley Communities also understands the unique challenges some Lancaster high school seniors have when faced with college or trade school application fees, or when they must purchase clothing and supplies for a new job after high school graduation. In response, Willow Valley residents and team members recently held their first annual Cornhole for a Cause Tournament fundraiser, which raised $7,000 to help Lancaster high school seniors fund these expenses.

— Ross Fairweather, Willow Valley Communities resident and volunteer coordinator

Ross says the tutoring in music education that residents provide is especially beneficial, as it helps students in a variety of ways. Developing musical skills not only gives a child a joyful activity that will last a lifetime, but music has also been found to help children develop in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Willow Valley Communities agrees, and believes so much in the importance of music education that we have collaborated with Music for Everyone (MFE) to create a special music partnership for the School District of Lancaster. MFE is a non-profit organization in Lancaster providing millions in grants, scholarships, and direct

Willow Valley Communities residents believe strongly in engaging in and fostering a truly inspired life—a life filled with passion, excitement, and meaning. These meaningful pursuits in life—the ones where we help others in need— are those that affect us the most. They are also the experiences we remember the most and continue to touch us as we pursue a Life Lived Forward.



Mind, Body, Spirit

The Destination for


illow Valley Communities is an excellent choice for the serious, as well as the not-so-serious, athlete. World-class fitness and aquatics centers and exceptional team members are on hand to support an individual’s personal goals make us an ideal home. Enhancing the body through fitness is a true passion for Willow Valley Communities residents. Perhaps nothing demonstrates this better than our commitment to the National, State, and Local Senior Games. The Games, a 19-sport, biennial competition for men and women 50 and over, is the largest multi-sport event in the world for seniors. Each year, Willow Valley


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2017 Willow Valley Communities’ National Senior Games Team

the Serious

ATHLETE Communities sends a team of athletes to join others locally or from across the country to compete in many of the sports competitions. The team is trained and then escorted to the games by Willow Valley Communities’ fitness trainers. While they always return with many awards, more importantly, they return with many memorable experiences to share. Willow Valley National Senior Games medalists use tailored clinics to prepare for the games in a variety of sports. These intense clinics help resident athletes in their workouts and training, as well as in gaining sport conditioning for the Senior Games.



Ben Hawn

A triathlete staying fit for the increased quality of life it brings


n June 11, 2017, his 60th birthday, resident Ben Hawn completed the Triathlon at the National Senior Games in Alabama. This was Ben’s 89th triathlon. While many variations of the competition exist, a triathlon involves swimming, cycling, and running in immediate succession in any combination of distances. (Ben has also completed ten Ironman triathlons. An Ironman triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and a 26.2-mile run, raced in that order and without a break.) The Senior Games triathlon was held in Oak Mountain State Park in Birmingham, AL. It consisted of a 500-yard swim in a lake, a 12-mile bike race, and a 3.1-mile run. With a time of 1:10, Ben was pleased to finish fifth, saying “I feel like I raced to the limit of my fitness, and you can’t ask for more than that.” Ben says the two Willow Valley fitness trainers who accompanied him to the competition were a huge help. They helped him to prepare and transported all of his equipment. When Ben moved to Willow Valley Communities in 2015, one of his main priorities was to find a new routine to maintain his training regimen. “I spent many years as a member of Red Lerille’s Health Club in Lafayette, LA. It is a huge and fantastic place, generally regarded as the best health club between Houston and Atlanta. Leaving Red’s was one of the most concerning things about my move to Willow Valley.” However, Ben found that after just a few visits to Willow Valley’s Fitness Center, his concerns were alleviated, and he soon was on a first-name basis with the staff. Ben says at this point in his life, he’s as fit as he’s ever been. “I believe in staying fit for the sake of staying fit and for the increased quality of life it brings. The physical, mental, and even spiritual benefits are so significant.” On training regularly, Ben explains, “I do three to four rides, three to four swims, four to five runs, and a few strength-training sessions per week. It’s twelve to sixteen sessions per week total.”


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nother amazing example of someone living by our motto, Life Lived Forward, is Willow Valley Communities resident Dale Johnson. Dale rode a bike across the country for a cause and even took time to help others along the way. “Two of my life philosophies have been to ‘Never stop adding adventure to your life’ and ‘Always try to help others,’” he says. Dale completed a 3,100-mile bike trip across the United States riding from San Diego, CA, to St. Augustine, FL, to raise funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis (MS). There were twelve bike riders and four leaders on the trip that ran from September 8th through October 29th—a total of 53 days. Besides recruiting sponsors to raise money for MS, they also did service projects along the way for those afflicted by multiple sclerosis, such as home repairs and yard work, even after riding miles and miles in a day. Dale raised $7,500 and says, “So much of that was due to the generosity of many of my Willow Valley Communities neighbors. Since moving here, I have seen this wonderful, prevalent culture of charity and helping others.” Dale shared some interesting facts about his adventure: “I am 65 years old, and since the ride runs from September to October, we have mostly retired senior riders. We averaged 65 miles per day with some days as long as 95 miles.” “The first half was the most difficult…mountains as high as 8,000 feet to get over, temperatures as high as 107 degrees

to endure. When we rode through the desert, we faced five days of rain. The physical challenges are huge, but we have a wonderful group of seniors who have fun, help each other out, encourage each other, and work very hard for the cause they are riding for.” The ride used back roads, of which Dale says, “It was a great way to see America. We met so many people in small towns very interested in what we were doing. Also, there was such kindness shown by small-town America. Since this was a fundraiser, we lived a simple life with few hotels. We usually tent camped or stayed in churches. I really embrace that simple life: ride your bike, eat as much as you want, and still lose weight.” “The best thing about a trip like this is the adventure,” Dale concludes. He and his wife Christine hope to keep that spirit of adventure alive as long as possible. “You just can’t get these experiences on a bus tour,” he says. However, Dale has one last thought now that the trip is over: “Now that I have returned, I do enjoy the wonderful amenities of Willow Valley Communities,” he quipped.

Dale Johnson A cyclist seeking adventure and ways to help others



The Willow Way of Life


What our pets mean in our lives, plus a new dog park gets a loving dedication

We Love

Willow Valley Communities residents love their pets. Though there have been many studies showing how owning a pet can be beneficial to physical and emotional health, if you are a pet owner, you probably don’t need the research to tell you this. Have you ever noticed how you simply feel better when you’re close with your pet? Spending time with a dog, cat, or other favorite animal can have a positive impact on your mood as well as on your physical health. Pets can be calming stress-fighters. Pets are part of your family, and they’re part of your life. Pets continue to be part of life at Willow Valley Communities as our pet population grows. Residents have dogs, cats, birds, and other pets; they’re all loved and welcomed at Willow Valley Communities. Henry and Carol Mauermeyer moved to Willow Valley in 2015 with their already senior cats. Initially, they moved 14

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from a large Victorian home in New Jersey to an apartment in Manor and then relocated to a larger apartment in North. They were pleased that the new space had a large tree outside the balcony where their cats enjoy hours of birdwatching. Throughout the entire moving process, Carol says she spent as much time considering her cats’ happiness as that of her and her husband. When Al and Claire Lunde moved to Willow Valley 12 years ago, they had decided to not have any pets. In the past, they had bred and showed cats and knew the work and care the animals require. Besides, Claire had not yet retired from her career as a nurse anesthetist, and Al was still working as a professor and chair of the music department at Cairn University. They knew that they would be too busy to give proper care to a cat or dog.

Still, the Lundes missed having a pet. “Just to have some other companion, to keep us company,” Al explains. The Lundes considered what their schedules would be able to accommodate and what their level of commitment was for a pet. Soon Tequila, a parakeet, came to live with them at Willow Valley Communities. Al remembered how Tequila would sit on his shoulder and how he could say “pretty bird,” “I love you,” and for some odd reason, “Newt Gingrich,” something he probably picked up from television. Tequila passed away a few years ago and the Lundes now have another parakeet named Topsy. Al says having a pet is all about companionship and having a parakeet also fits well into the Lundes’ travel schedule “You can leave a bird alone with food for a few days; if we are gone longer, there are a number of kind people here who will take care of him. We all trade off caring for each other’s pets.”



Dogs at play with their owners at the Manor Campus Dog Park

Where the Pooches Run Free Willow Valley’s first dog park was constructed on the Manor Campus in 2015, and a second one was constructed on the Lakes Campus in 2017. (See next page for the story on the dedication.) There is a growing community of dogs who regularly enjoy the parks with their owners. Resident Ellie Young, whose dog’s name is Buster, a Lhasapoo, said the park is very popular with residents. “It seems everyone moving in lately has a dog,” she observes. Ellie also noted with a laugh that she knows the dogs’ names before those of the residents. “I know Rudy’s dad, but I don’t know his name.” Rudy’s “dad” is Dr. Stanley Saul. Rudy is a cocker spaniel therapy dog specially trained and certified to visit patients in hospitals and residents in supportive living. After working at the hospital, Rudy likes to unwind by visiting with friends, sitting in the shade, going for a run, and occasionally chasing after a ball at the park. “It’s really a plus for us,” says Stanley. “It’s great for the dogs. They just love to run. It’s also been great to see the interaction of the pet parents and the relationships that have formed as people get to know one another.” Joel Schock, Willow Valley Communities Manager of Grounds, says his team visited other parks to get ideas for space and amenities. Willow Valley’s dog parks are a little over an acre in size and surrounded by a 4-foot fence. They include a double-gated entry to avoid any dogs getting away from their owners while off leash, a shade structure with benches for dog parents, and a waste receptacle with bags so owners can clean up after their pets. The Manor Campus also has a watering station and several shade trees where furry friends can take a break from their playtime.

Dr. Stanley Saul and Rudy

At Willow Valley Communities, pets, as well as residents, are living by our motto, Life Lived Forward. Carol Mauermeyer probably speaks for all the pet parents on our campuses when she says, “We just want to make sure our little fur balls and feathered friends are happy.” Willow Valley has always been supportive of pet ownership, and there are about 100 dogs living at the communities—a population that has grown steadily over the years. Willow Valley Communities residents are permitted to own up to three dogs, with some weight and breed restrictions.


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Lonnie and Red Stein look on as the memorial is dedicated on the Lakes Campus

Honoring a Much-Loved Resident Dog Siberian Husky Balti Remembered in Special Ceremony

Balti, 2000-2015

Willow Valley Communities dedicated the Lakes dog park to the memory of a much-loved resident dog in a special ceremony at the park’s opening. The Balti Dog Park is named for a beautiful Siberian husky owned by Willow Valley Communities residents, Red and Lonnie Stein, who became a symbol of the love Willow Valley Communities residents have for their pets. Balti was named after Balto, the famous Siberian husky sled dog who, in 1925, led his team transporting diphtheria serum to children in Nome, Alaska, through hazardous winter conditions. Alaska’s annual Iditarod Race is run each year to commemorate this heroic journey. Through her many walks on campus, everyone got to know and love Balti with her friendly personality, her luxurious white and gray coat, and her stunning clear blue eyes. Balti lived at Willow Valley Communities for 10 years and passed away at the age of 15 in 2015. This beautiful memorial will allow her to live on in the hearts of pet owners and guests for many years to come.



Innovation and Growth

CHAUTAUQUA H Grand Gathering Venue

A place of unity, great food, and fun events


illow Valley Communities is rich with amenities, conveniences, and venues to satisfy virtually every pursuit of our residents, their families, and friends. Classes, dances, musical entertainment, lectures, athletic events, as well as places to relax and rejuvenate, can be found throughout our campuses. We also feature eleven culinary venues to provide residents and their guests almost limitless choices in which to dine. And now Willow Valley Communities is excited about the opening of Chautauqua Hall, a new grand event venue on the Manor Campus. Chautauqua Hall is a one of-a-kind performance and entertainment location featuring a stage as well as a professional lighting and sound entertainment package to host a wide variety of events such as dances, dinners, lectures,


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meetings, and much more. “Chautauqua” is a Native American Iroquois name which loosely means ‘to bring together’ or ‘to tie together.’ This was meaningful for Willow Valley Communities in naming the building because Chautauqua Hall is meant to be a place where people gather and come together for events, learning, growth, companionship, and enjoyment. The name was suggested by a resident in a contest held for the naming of the new building. Inspiration for the name was also taken from Chautauqua, NY, and the well-known Chautauqua Institution, which is a summer resort destination featuring classes, lectures, and performances in everything from historical topics to the visual/musical arts. This is a great model for Chautauqua Hall: a wonderful location to host events of all types at Willow Valley Communities.



There are two levels at Chautauqua Hall. The upper level is a 9,500-sf gathering place for 325 guests and consists of a spacious area that can be used for dancing, seating, or dining, a full commercial kitchen with bar and grill, a performance stage with accompanying professional audio/ lighting equipment package, green room, and an outdoor patio. Glass overhead doors create a pleasant connection to the outdoors with stunning views of the pond and beautiful water feature below. The outdoor patio features a grill and kitchen serving station for hosting outdoor events, and a large modern, custom fireplace. Chautauqua Hall’s most striking features, the wood timber-frame structure with exposed interior timber wood beams, wood columns, and wood roof decking, give the space a warm, rustic, and welcoming feeling throughout.


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The large professional kitchen at Chautauqua Hall features indoor and outdoor serving areas, raw bar, grilling station, wine and beer on tap, ice cream bar, and a professional meat smoker, all of which allow for amazing new food options created by Willow Valley Communities award-winning Culinary Team that pair perfectly with the live events at the venue. The lower level includes offices, a break room, locker rooms, and large storage rooms for Willow Valley Communities team members and some resident clubs. In its first open season at Willow Valley Communities, Chautauqua Hall hosted a wide variety of events and has already lived up to the vision set forth for this unique space. It has proven to be a place that nurtures mind, body, and spirit by bringing people together in unity and friendship for great food and fun.




The Pearl of


he U.S. and Cuba have had a tenuous past. Sanctions were ratcheted up on Cuba in 1960 and 1961; U.S. President John F. Kennedy made the embargo official in 1962. Diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba broke off in 1961. Not long after, President Kennedy prohibited travel to Cuba and made financial and commercial transactions with Cubans illegal for U.S. citizens. Recently, the travel restrictions to Cuba have been greatly relaxed, making it easier for Americans to visit than it has been since the early 1960’s. Willow Valley Communities residents jumped on the opportunity to travel to this newly opened region. Not ones to lounge by the beach or pool, Willow Valley residents wanted to see, explore, and experience as much of this colorful, mysterious country as they could.


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the Antilles

Willow Valley Residents Travel to Cuba

All photos taken by Willow Valley Resident Nick Kaebnick

As a resident of Willow Valley Communities, it couldn’t be easier to travel to Cuba and other far-off lands. Residents simply lock the doors to their residences and travel worryfree. There’s no yard maintenance to plan for, no housesitting that needs to be arranged. Residents can pursue their travel passions, pack their bags, and go. Along with their escort, Travel Coordinator Sue Albright, six Willow Valley Communities couples—Keith and Debbie Mink, Nick and Sara Kaebnick, Don and Sharron Nelson, Robert and Susan

Highfield, William and Carolyn Loue, and John and Doris Lyons—did just that as they enjoyed this trip of a lifetime. During their two weeks in Cuba, the group enjoyed a wide variety of experiences with their own guide escorting them to many different sites and facilitating their immersion into the Cuban culture. They were treated to several private dance and musical performances where they were special and elite guests, watching live, private demonstrations by local artists. WillowValleyCommunities.org


The group also learned about the history of Cuba and its future through several educational presentations they attended and through many events at which Willow Valley residents socialized with locals at the towns they visited. They even had a chance to play dominoes, a Cuban national pastime, with those they met. Of course, the schedule included ample free time for residents to explore on their own. The Willow Valley group started their trip by flying from Miami to Camagüey, Cuba. Camagüey is the city of tinajónes, the famous red pots found outside homes and symbols of the city. Camagüey is home to one of Cuba’s most vibrant artistic cultural scenes. There, the group

got to explore local galleries and studios by bici-taxi (the Cuban version of rickshaws). They were also treated to a private rehearsal at En Dedans Dance Company, visited a remarkable leather sculptor, and even tried their hand at making their own tinajóne at a pottery studio. Also in Camagüey, the Willow Valley Communities residents visited an actual working ranch and met authentic Cuban cowboys. Carolyn Loue commented how special it was when two of the cowboys on horseback held an American flag and a Cuban flag as they led their bus to the ranch. “The Cuban people are warm and wonderful,” she says. Next was the town of Remedios. Founded in 1513, its colonial core is the Plaza Marti, where the late 18th century church Iglesia de San Juan Bautista is located. Here, the


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Willow Valley residents toured the church while marveling at its unique artwork. They also toured the workshop where carrozas (parade floats) are made for the town’s Las Parrandas (street festivals) held on Christmas Eve. Remedios was the favorite part of John and Doris Lyons’ trip because of the interaction they had with the townspeople. “We had Salsa dance lessons from a local dancer/instructor, met members of the Drivers’ Bar, and got to ride around town in their restored cars,” Doris remembers. She adds, “We hope that as tourism increases in Cuba, they can keep the charm we found in the village of Remedios.” Just outside Remedios is the coastal town of Caibarién, where the group enjoyed touring its fishing fleet, walking its

Above: Willow Valley Communities residents and team members pose for a group photo with their guide in the village of Remedios.

and have a simple lifestyle.” She also describes Cuba as a lively country where the arts are very much a part of their culture. An added bonus for Sue was watching how Willow Valley residents got to know each other and become closer on the trip. Resident Debbie Mink commented that she loved learning about Cuba’s history, experiencing the culture, and watching live performances of a wide variety of native music. She said the people of Cuba were extremely welcoming. “The trip,” she says with a smile, “was fabulous, just fabulous.”

sandy beaches, and feasting on fresh crabs during their stop there. In Havana, the capital of Cuba, the group had a historical walking tour of Habana Vieja (Old Havana), lovingly restored to its historical splendor, and visited Sloppy Joe’s, the legendary hangout of Ernest Hemingway, Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, and Nat King Cole. Of course, a trip to Cuba would not be complete without a visit to a tobacco factory to watch local artisans roll cigars by hand. Residents visited the Tabacuba tobacco factory in Camajuaní, near Caibarién, and watched some of the workers demonstrate their precise craft mastery up close. Sue Albright, Willow Valley Communities Travel Coordinator, says, “The people of Cuba were very friendly



Feed the Soul

Taking Another Chance at T

om and Janet laugh about it now: both their families were filled with loving concern as they told them to be “wary” of their new relationship. It was too serious, and it was just happening too fast, their families claimed. But, before long, both Tom and Janet would be using the word, “wary” a lot. Except they would be using it as their new married name: Mr. and Mrs. Whary. Tom Whary was born in Shamokin, PA, and received his teaching degree in English from Millersville University. He returned to his hometown and enjoyed a long career at Shamokin High School teaching English. As an only child, he felt a strong responsibility to care for his mother, who had raised him on her own. Tom also took care of his great aunt, who lived alone in town. Both women had large homes with large yards, and Tom took care of everything while living in his mother’s home. Tom was also busy teaching, working with the high school’s drama club, and grading unending piles of English papers that left him with virtually no time to pursue serious romantic relationships. The years flew by, and Tom retired. He learned about Willow Valley Communities through the Millersville Alumni Association; in 2004, he moved into the Spring Run community. “I moved in the week it opened,” he remembers. Tom may have retired from his paid job at that time, but he certainly did not retire from his caring nature. Soon after moving to Willow Valley, he became a caregiver for an ill cousin and helped raise her young daughter, who soon came to view Tom as a father figure.


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Janet and Tom Whary in the gardens outside their Spring Run residence



Janet is from York, PA, and moved to Willow Gables in January 2009. A former nurse, she was divorced with three children, two stepchildren, and, over the years, 27 foster children. Janet quickly made friends at Willow Valley and enjoyed her social life. One November evening in 2010, a group invited her out to dinner, where she was seated next to Tom. The two quickly “clicked” as they discovered they had a lot in common. Janet enjoyed hearing about Tom’s long teaching career and was able to share stories about the many teachers in her own family. The two shared a love of children; Tom loved hearing about Janet’s children and especially about all those foster children. Although Tom had never had his own children, his many years of teaching classes of students gave him plenty to talk about with Janet.

Tom and Janet on their wedding day, June 11, 2011

Tom enjoyed his dinner with Janet so much he decided to ask her to see the Christmas Show at American Music Theater. He left a message on her answering machine, but Janet was not interested and tried to say she was busy. But Tom persisted, offering her other dates that would suit her schedule. Janet was trapped and relented. Afterwards she thought, “I guess this was a date.” Janet couldn’t deny how well she and Tom got along and how much she enjoyed being with him. More dates, dinners, and shows followed throughout the holidays and soon the two were a couple. “It just felt right,” they said. Tom says, “Janet is such a caring, exceptional person. She’s so easy to talk to, to be with. I’m so comfortable with her. We are best friends.” Tom added that due to an ongoing, recent health issue, he has seen even more of Janet’s selflessness as she has been


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caring for him both physically and emotionally. Though neither one of them had any intention to marry, after six months, Tom proposed. It was Easter Sunday. “I always felt that a couple should know each other for at least a year before deciding to get married. But with Janet, I felt that I had known her for six months, and she had known me for six months, and I just added that together and got a year!” He joked, “One night I just woke up and thought…I’ve just never met anyone like Janet and decided I had to ask her.” The two married on June 11, 2011, at Willow Valley’s Cultural Center and were able to plan their wedding for 200 guests in six weeks. Tom remembers he had relatives travel from California, Texas, and Arizona to meet the woman who had finally stolen his heart. “They just couldn’t believe it,” he said. The two moved in together to a new 2,100 square foot apartment at Spring Run—about double the size of Tom’s original residence. He quips that they needed an apartment double the size in order to accommodate all of Janet’s clothes. They enjoy walks around Willow Valley Communities, dinners out, movies, shows, and classes. They have 13 grandchildren and like watching their sporting events. They also visit with some of Janet’s now-grown foster children and travel with family. Tom is still interested in drama and participates in the Spring Run Follies; Janet loves watching him on stage. Janet admits she enjoys being pampered by Tom. “After all the years of caring for so many children, it’s nice to be taken care of!” Tom and Janet’s beautiful story of love later in life—and at a time when one least expects it—is inspiring and romantic. And, while it was surprisingly a first love for Tom, it was taking another chance at love for Janet. Looking back, she would say it was well worth taking the chance.

Love Everlasting Not long after our interview with Tom and Janet, Tom unexpectedly and fairly suddenly succumbed to his illness and passed away. Janet, though shocked, takes great comfort from the many residents at Willow Valley Communities who have surrounded her with care and concern by visiting, calling, and inviting her out for a meal or just to talk. Janet is also amazed at the number of stories shared with her, some from people she doesn’t even know, about Tom’s gentle acts of kindness towards them. People share how he invited new residents to sit with him, talk, and answered questions patiently. Small acts, yet they made a huge, lasting impact on the residents he touched, and Janet loves hearing about them. “That was just Tom’s way,” she says. Tom was also a major part of The Spring Run Follies, a resident-produced variety show that has taken place every May and December for the past 12 years. He was famous for his comedy routines as well as his dramatic monologues. Follies committee member Jack Reardon recalls one of his performances of Edgar Allen Poe which was truly awe-inspiring. Tom was memorialized at two sold-out shows at the December 2017 Follies. “We couldn’t do another Follies without mentioning Tom,” Follies emcee Ken Stitzer says. “In my opinion, Tom was the best actor in all of Willow Valley Communities.” Tom will be greatly missed, but Janet is thankful for the time they shared in their home at Willow Valley Communities and grateful that they took another chance at love.



Life Lived Forward

600 Willow Valley Square Lancaster, PA 17602

The VUE Rooftop Terrace See article on page 2

The Willow Valley Way For more than 30 years, Willow Valley Communities has been dedicated to helping people pursue exceptional lives. Our mission is simple: to inspire each person to embrace the possibilities of a Life Lived Forward. We are committed to innovative programming, operational excellence, and prudent financial practices.

Our communities provide the security of Lifecare, which includes short- and long-term care should you need it later—with no change to your monthly service fee due to the increased level of care. And we are grateful to have been affirmed for our efforts. The National Association of Home Builders Best

of 50+ Housing Awards recognized Willow Valley for Best Lifestyle, Best Dining, and Best Fitness and Wellness Program. We have consistently received an “A” rating from Fitch Ratings, affirming our proven financial stability. Our most important recognition, though, comes from the people who live here.

Phone 866.642.7330 | www.WillowValleyCommunities.org | www.LifeLivedForward.org | info@willowvalley.org

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Willow - Spring 2018  

Willow - Spring 2018