Steve Hiking 1He doesn’t say so, but one can easily imagine why the Sarasota born and bred Steve Matosky found the Appalachian Trail alluring when he first read an article about it long ago. Winding through 14 states along the crests and valleys of the Appalachian mountain range, the Appalachian Trail was a world away from the flat sands of Siesta Key.  The third oldest of nine children, Steve has six brothers and two sisters. Yet, he was the only one who dreamed of hiking the Trail.

The Appalachian Trail is one of the longest continuously marked footpaths in the world, measuring roughly 2,180 miles in length from the southern point at Springer Mountain, Georgia, to the Trail’s northern tip at Katahdin, Maine.

Known as the “A.T.,” it has been estimated that 2-3 million people visit the Trail every year and about 1,800–2,000 people attempt to “thru-hike”, meaning they try to hike the entire trail in one season.

Steve Hiking 2The majority of hikers on the trail are day hikers who only hike a couple sections in their lifetime.

Steve Hiking 5“I am a section hiker who does 1 or 2 sections on the AT a year,” says Steve. “I have hiked at least one section a year since 1992. The only year I missed hiking was 1995.” For an exact number, Steve has set out on the Appalachian Trail 27 different times in the past 23 years.  His goal is to hike the entire Appalachian Trail.

“My shortest hike was a 14 miler where I filled in a gap,” he adds. “My longest hike was in 2014. It was 137 miles long in Pennsylvania. I have hiked a little over 1700 miles of the Trail, and have just a little over 400 miles left to do.”

Steve started this quest with three years of hiking with the Riverview-Booker Junior ROTC units as a chaperone. During those three years of hiking with thirty high school boys and girls, they covered the segments from Springer Mountain, Georgia north to the entrance to the Smoky Mountains.  He and up to four other chaperones enjoyed the company of “an interesting mix” of young people.  We can guess they had their hands full!

For most of the other years of hiking Steve was accompanied by his buddies from the Sarasota Sheriff’s office where they all worked until retirement. Together with Rob Crane, Doug Glaser, Pete Berkery, Steve tells of being spooked by the occasional bear and almost stepping on a sizable rattlesnake…twice.

Steve Hiking 3Steve admits to the classic falling off stepping stones into the stream at least twice and hard hiking days when he doubted he could do it again the next day. But the most memorable experiences were short meetings with hikers he would never meet again who had their own stories of why they were on the Trail and the long talks with his friends.

Steve retired from the Sheriff’s Department after 33 years of service and joined the security team at Plymouth Harbor four years ago where he enjoys helping the residents.  He and his buddies still hike the Appalachian Trail. Steve only have four more segments to hike, approximately 452 miles, to have completed the entire A.T.

Steve Hiking 4Here is his list: Lehigh Gap, PA to Culvers Gap, NJ (66 miles), Lee, MA to VT 11/30 (48 miles), Rutland VT to Hanover, NH (98 miles), and Gorham, NH to midpoint of 100 Mile Wilderness in Maine on AT (240 miles).

Short on words, Steve admits that the unforgettable vistas, sunrises, and sunsets in the mountains are something that the majority of people will never experience. Even then, he says, that “feeling of the Trail” is different for everyone.

“As the guidebooks say, ‘hike your own hike,’ and that is what I have done!”


By Chris Valuck

reformerThe Wellness Center has a new piece of exercise equipment, The Pilates Reformer.   Located in the group fitness room, you cannot ignore its ominous presence.  It has been met with curiosity and hesitation by residents who have never seen a Reformer,  but greeted with a gush of excitement by residents that up until now had to go off campus to receive private instruction on the Reformer.  Now, not only can we offer an opportunity for residents to have their instructor come to them, but residents who participate in a group  Mat Pilates Class at the YMCA and HealthFit, can look forward to a similar class coming soon to the Wellness Center. The Mat Pilates Class consists of a series of floor exercises that were the precursor to the Reformer.  The Pilates Method has an interesting history that I thought I would share.

Joseph Pilates was born in 1883 in Germany.  Although growing up with athletic, health-centered parents (his Greek father was a gymnast and his mother a naturopath) he was a very sickly child, suffering from many illnesses.  With early poor health being the impetus, he devoted his life to the pursuit of a strong, healthy body through physical fitness.  He grew to become quite an athlete, participating in several sports such as gymnastics, skiing, and body-building.

Joseph Pilates, 1883-1967 At the age of 29, Pilates moved to England and earned a living as a boxer, circus performer, and self-defense trainer for police schools and Scotland Yard.  Nevertheless, he was interned during WWI with other German citizens and while confined he taught wrestling and self-defense to fellow inmates.  It was here that he began developing a fitness program with minimal equipment.  Basically, a series of floor exercises that evolved into a whole system of exercises that he called “Contrology.”  He trained his fellow inmates and even incorporated yoga into their routines.  It has been said that inmates who trained with Pilates survived the 1918 flu pandemic due to their good physical health.

After WWI. Pilates returned to Germany and collaborated with experts in dance and physical exercise.  When pressured to train members of the German army, he left his native country, and emigrated to the United States in 1925.  On the ship he met his future wife, Clara.  They opened a studio in New York City and directly taught their students into the 1960’s promoting “Contrology,” which is the use of the mind to focus and control core postural muscles that help keep the body balanced and provide support for the spine. Clara and Pilates developed a loyal following within the dance and performing arts community in New York.  Their devotees included George Balanchine and Martha Graham, who regularly sent their students to Pilates for training and rehabilitation.  After Pilates became known for training ballerinas for flexibility, strength, and stamina, society women flocked to his studio on 8th Ave.  To this day, around the world, dancers and people from all walks of life continue to practice Joseph Pilates’ methods to control the movement of their bodies by creating flow through the use of appropriate transitions, building strength and stamina.

Joseph Pilates has written several books, including Return to Life Through Contrology, and as an inventor has 26 patents cited.  The content of this article was taken from the following sources:,,                         -

rehab imageEvery day, in every part of America, there are individuals facing similar challenges transferring from medically supervised rehabilitation care in a skilled nursing facility back to their “normal” routine at home.

Doctors suggest walking, swimming, low-impact exercise, and even returning to the gym, to regain strength and balance. However, doctors are not trained in exercise physiology and cannot offer the practical advice needed for each individual’s recovery. For this reason, they prefer to send their patients to a supervised rehab facility. Too often, if there is no means of structured support to continue their recovery through exercise once rehab is over, people settle back into a more sedentary lifestyle, resulting in a less than optimal recovery.

Sarah Ross, Physical Therapist, PT, DPT, GCS, CEEAA, a certified expert on exercise for aging adults, works with many of our patients in the Smith Care Center (SCC) during supervised rehabilitation. Sarah says the ideal outcome is for every individual to safely mainstream into an exercise program suited to their body and condition. “Ongoing exercise provides the maintenance program for a happier, more active lifestyle which everyone deserves,” she adds.

“At Plymouth Harbor, our goal is to provide a continuum of care and communication to help residents safely transfer from supervised rehabilitation to ongoing use of the exercise equipment in our Wellness Center,” says Chris Valuck, M.S., ASCM-CES, CWWS Certified, Director of Wellness.

The Wellness Program at Plymouth Harbor, led by Chris Valuck, communicates routinely with SCC Rehab Services, led by Clinical Manager Gina Kanyha.  When a resident in rehab expresses an interest in actively pursuing their recovery by using the facilities in the Wellness Center, a connection is made with Chris Valuck to confer on individual rehab needs and requirements.

While the Wellness Center staff do not provide one-on-one physical training, they are on hand to monitor and attend to resident needs in the strength-training area.  They have found the communication with SCC Rehab Services goes both ways. “It is not uncommon for a resident to share their concern about an observed pain or decreased mobility,” shares Chris. “I can then refer them to Sarah or the other physical therapists in the Smith Care Center where they can receive out-patient rehab services.”

“I like to bring patients over to the Wellness Center before we release them so that I can encourage their use of the Wellness Center and provide an initial orientation to the equipment best suited to their rehab and medical issues,” says Sarah.

One resident shared, “In rehab, I liked the security of knowing that someone (a physical therapist) was there to push me to do things that I didn’t realize I was even capable of doing.  Things (exercises) I would not have dreamed of trying.”  She went on to say that she was encouraged and challenged throughout the process and considered it a great opportunity to learn and continue her exercise program in the Wellness Center once her physical therapy ended.  Her ‘transition’ experience from Rehab Services to the Wellness Center?  “It all just fits together!” she exclaimed.

That’s what it is all about: one smooth transition of care with the goal of optimal health for all residents.

By Celia Catlett

ApfelbachDr. Apfelbach (or Len, as he prefers to be called) is a man of wide interests: from photography, genealogy and local history to world travel and from cooking and gardening to reading about politics and current events. He also enjoys all the arts that Sarasota offers.

He was born and grew up in Chicago but spent summers in Fish Creek, WI, in a seasonal home that has been in the family since his grandfather’s time. It is located on the shore of Green Bay, a part of Lake Michigan. Len lives there four months each summer, and the family still gathers there. During our interview, he pointed out several lovely paintings of the scenery that surrounds it.

He has worked with the Wisconsin Historical Society and Fish Creek to record photographic and family history, and to video local history. Len attended Harvard where he majored in history, took all the art courses he could squeeze in and still managed to meet his premed requirements. He returned to Chicago for a medical degree and his residency in urology at Northwestern University.

During his residency, he married Claire Fleischmann, a Wellesley graduate and a talented pianist. In 1962, they moved to Janesville, WI, where Len practiced at Mercy Hospital until his retirement. He became Chief of Surgery and Chief of Staff and wrote the bylaws for the hospital. He also served as president of the Rock County Surgical and Medical Societies. The Apfelbachs’ fifty-year marriage produced three sons and a daughter and seven grandchildren.

In 1993, Len and Claire moved to Sarasota and bought a condominium at Lawrence Point, where he served as president of the condo association for three years. He lost Claire eight years ago. Len then moved to South Lakeshore Drive in Sarasota, a block north of the Field Club entrance and when that home was for sale, he chose Plymouth Harbor as the ideal place to live.

It was a privilege to talk with someone with such a lively mind and range of enthusiasms. Do yourself a favor; meet him and welcome him to Plymouth Harbor.

By Becky Pazkowski

“I got it, we had to help each other. We had to work together to get the power on and for things to be made right. We had to give to our neighborhood and to people who were in worse shape than we were. Then our faith and hope returned.” 

The above quote, from a woman named Veronica who survived Hurricane Katrina, is taken from the book Inspired Philanthropy written by Tracy Gary.  But, in reality, it could be from someone from the northern states last winter, when the coldest arctic blasts and mounds of snow paralyzed the residents for weeks.  Or, it could be from a Florida resident during 2004 Hurricane Charley.  It could be from someone who witnessed the horror of September 11, 2001.  It could be from a survivor of any of the devastating tsunamis that have affected the world.

The point is that when needs arise, we pull together as a human race, and we get through it.  We get through it by helping one another, and as a result of our united efforts, we know that tomorrow will be better.  As Veronica states above:  then our faith and hope returns.

I am repeatedly impressed and ever so grateful to the hundreds of donors who have contributed to the Plymouth Harbor Foundation, and who continue to renew our faith and hope that we together are stronger than any one of us alone.  It is my pleasure to report the ongoing generosity that funds our programs and services, continuing to make life good, better, and best at Plymouth Harbor. We look forward to sharing our full Impact Report for 2014 with you next month!

 Number of donors who give each year

Important to the success of any philanthropy program are loyal donors who return year after year.  Below is a graph showing numbers of those who gave in both years 2012 and 2013, and an increasing number who gave in 2013 and again in 2014.  Thank you for your loyalty!

Number of donors Cost to Raise









Gifts by Source (Percent of Total Dollars By Source)


Gifts by Fund (Total Dollars By Fund)



valentines-day-hearts-3There is something special about Valentine’s Day.  Think of “hearts” as a conservation issue.  Your heart, that is.  Insofar as you are able, exercise your heart. Walk to St. Armands Circle.  It is about one-half mile.

  • It is good for you.
  • You will not have to look for a parking space.
  • You will have saved some gas and put no nasty exhaust into the air.

Stairs are a way to get up and down.  Remember?  If you are going up and down a flight or two, use the stairs.  And do use the railings.  (That is, if you are able to climb stairs.)

Not everyone in the tower wants to climb 24 flights for exercise but, in February, the stairs are a warmer place to exercise than the great outdoors.  Elevators use electricity.  If the power should go off again (heaven forbid), it is nice to know that someone can use the stairs to get help.

And “flowers,” a conservation issue?  You can prevent plants and dead cut flowers from taking up space in the landfill by getting them to the huge dumpster in the northeast corner of our parking lot, near the Yacht Club.  If you can remember to keep pots and plastic out of the dumpster, you can take your plant stuff there.  Or you can call Jeanne at Ext 489 and she will cause them to disappear miraculously from outside your door.


Electricity costs twice as much from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Please use washing machines on weekends or in the middle of the day.

By Lee Yousri

ManleyIn the 50s and 60s, the profession of advertising was a magnet for many bright young men – the MBAs clustering on Wall Street came later.  And so we have Bill Manley joining the advertising force in 1959 and remaining there, from New York City to Memphis, TN, for the rest of his work life.

And what an interesting career it turned out to be – diverse and multi-layered.  He was account executive for many products with different companies and in countless venues.  Not all of his work took place behind a desk.  Take Coppertone:  in his twelve-year association with that product, he had to travel to different beaches for TV commercial shoots, such as the Hamptons near New York City, Hawaii, Catalina Island, St. Thomas, and quite a few more.

The range of products he worked on was huge.  To name a sampling:  from over-the-counter medicines to toiletries and cosmetics, from household to industrial products, from foot care treatments to liquor.  To me, a couple of the most interesting products were Grand Marnier Liqueur and Absolut Vodka.  One made in France and the other in Sweden – both delicious.  Absolut held second place to Stolichnaya as the leading vodka import until the Russians boycotted our Olympics, then Absolut became the leader.

Getting away from the “fun” part, Bill had to prepare budgets and set communication strategy for the copy and art teams, then get the client’s approval of the finished product, whether it was print, radio, or television.

Bill is the middle son among three brothers:  the older chose a career in Insurance, the younger one in Finance.  All embracing business, although father and grandfather were both doctors.  They all lived on the East Coast (New York and New Jersey) lunched together and saw each other frequently.  The two brothers married.  One had four children, the other two.  Bill would often entertain them weekends in New York and thinks he saw more of them there than if he’d had children of his own.

Bill loves to travel.  Being in Memphis – in the center of the U.S – he launched out on expeditions to all fifty states and has visited seven continents.  Coupled with this is a love of theater, which he indulges with gusto.

When it came to retirement, Bill sought a cosmopolitan resort-college town, and the final contenders were Santa Barbara, CA, and Sarasota, FL.  Fortunately, he selected Sarasota and has been here for twenty-four years.  We are lucky that now he has chosen Plymouth Harbor as his home.  Welcome, Bill!

Welcome, Bill!


Sarah Pappas-portrait_4x5Sarah H. Pappas, EdD
Vice Chair, Board of Trustees


“I am pleased to serve on the Plymouth Harbor Board because it is the premier CCRC in the Sarasota area and I respect its “non-profit” status. The Board has a practice of having three residents serve, and since my husband George and I hope to live there in the future, I think that practice is very wise and results in transparency and a quality institution.”


Dr. Sarah H. Pappas is President of the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation and past president of Manatee Community College (now State College of Florida). She received her Master’s degree in social science education from University of South Florida and a Doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Nova Southeastern University. Her career has spanned 40 years in higher education at three community colleges and UCF. Married to artist George Pappas, they have two children and two grandchildren. Dr. Pappas is active in the community and has a long record of service in leadership capacities including, but not limited to Community Alliance of Sarasota; Sarasota and Manatee EDCs; Board of Directors for Greater Sarasota and Manatee County Chambers of Commerce; Florida Women’s Alliance; Chair, United Way Board of Directors, Manatee Co.; President, Florida Community College Activities Association. She has also been the recipient of many awards and honors within the communities she has served.