5004818653_23cb10671c_bThe Selby Public Library serves the Sarasota community, offering programs and resources to all ages. The library works with Friends of the Selby Public Library (Friends) — a sister organization whose mission is to partner in developing services, providing programs, raising funds, and advocating for resources. Friends achieves this by raising funds through the Friends Bookstore and annual fundraisers.

Connected to the “special collections” department of the library is the Sarasota Music Archive — one of the leading reference collections in the field of music. The Archive contains several hundred thousand recordings, tapes, books, sheet music, and memorabilia. The collection varies from classical to opera, jazz to popular, folk to international music, and also includes video recordings of performances, musicals, and the like. Each year, recordings and music scores not needed for the collection are sold to the public.

Like many organizations in Sarasota, the Selby Public Library, Friends, and the Sarasota Music Archive depend greatly on a group of dedicated volunteers. Many of the volunteers for each of these branches can be found here at Plymouth Harbor.

As a former professional librarian, the first thing resident Charleen Sessions did when she moved to Sarasota 20 years ago was visit the Selby Public Library. After finding there was no book club, she offered to start one, and it was then that the library’s “Books and Coffee” program was born, eventually attracting often more than 100 people. Still in practice today, this free, monthly program invites various guest speakers to review thought-provoking literary works. Charleen spent more than 12 years researching and recruiting speakers for the program before mentoring someone to take it over. She also served many years on the Friends Board of Directors.

Residents John Goodman, Joy McIntyre, and Chris and Margo Light have each dedicated much of their time to the Sarasota Music Archive. Chris and Margo have been involved with the organization for 25 years — with Chris being one of the longest serving members. Together, the two have helped with data entry, stocking the shelves, and converting materials. Margo is a current Board member and Chris a former Board member.

John Goodman serves as the current President of the Sarasota Music Archive and has been a volunteer since he moved to Sarasota in 2002. He has also served as a member of the board and as a program coordinator. Today, in addition to his responsibilities as president, he leads a popular weekly music series that alternates between concerts and educational lectures. Joy McIntyre became involved with the Archive shortly after John — the two were colleagues at Boston University and moved to the Sarasota area at the same time. Joy currently serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors, and has also been involved in other aspects of the organization, including compiling the newsletter, giving lectures, and more. “The library offers many original materials, in a time where a lot of research is done online,” Joy says. “The Sarasota Music Archive is so important because it’s helping to preserve the history of music.”

If you are interested in volunteering or learning more about the Sarasota Music Archive or Friends of the Selby Public Library, visit www.sarasotamusicarchive.org and  www.selbylibraryfriends.org/.

 

rev-sparrow-and-rudy-3rev-sparrow-phoebe-and-bill-vernon-4This year, on October 5, 2016, Plymouth Harbor held its first-ever Blessing of the Assistance Animals. Lead by Chaplain Sparrow, the event drew several residents and assistance dogs who call Plymouth Harbor home.

For the last 10 years, Chaplain Sparrow has performed this service annually, in which he has blessed a variety of assistance animals — from dogs to cats, fish to birds, goats to horses, and even reptiles. According to Chaplain Sparrow, this service is performed each year on October 4th as a way of celebrating the Patron Saint of Animals, Saint Francis of Assisi. In remembrance of St. Francis’ love for all creatures, animals are led to churches for a special ceremony, or “blessing of the animals.” Millions of animals are blessed each year in these ceremonies that touch the hearts of those in attendance.

“This is an opportunity for us to give a blessing to those who mean so much to us,” he says. “It’s a time to be thankful and to show our gratitude.”

Chaplain Sparrow plans to continue the tradition, and hopes to draw more residents and assistance animals with each service. While attendance is difficult for some who have assistance cats, he hopes to invite those individuals to bring a photo of their loved one next year. This year’s service was held only one day after St. Francis’ celebration, and Chaplain Sparrow intends to continue to have the ceremony take place as close as possible next year.

Resident Bill Vernon, who brought his assistance dog, Phoebe, to the ceremony said, “I thought it was a great idea, and Chaplain Sparrow did a great job.” He later joked, “Phoebe has benefited very much from it, and is now much more well-behaved.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

picture19Originally from Mexico, Manny Flores came to the United States in 1991, at the age of 13. He has been an employee with Plymouth Harbor for more than 12 years now. Initially starting as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Manny became a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) one month after joining the nursing team in the Smith Care Center (SCC).

Last year, Manny found an unexpected interest in massage therapy after his wife was experiencing back pain. She tried several different treatments to help ease the pain, but massage therapy was the only one that provided her relief. For this reason, it piqued a curiosity in Manny. “Massage therapy was like a new world for me,” he says. “As a nurse, it showed me a new way of looking at how to help people.”

As a result, Manny began a one-year course at the Sarasota School of Massage Therapy, attending night classes while working full-time. He graduated in December 2015  and is now working as a licensed massage therapist, in addition to his full-time job as an LPN in SCC. Manny offers complimentary chair massages in the Wellness Center each week, on alternating Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

“Massage therapy is a different approach that offers many benefits,” Manny says. “Working in the Wellness Center allows me to help different residents and get to know their stories.”

One of massage therapy’s obvious benefits is relaxation, but it offers so much more than that. Not only can it help by relaxing muscle aches and pains, but it can improve range of motion, flexibility, and circulation, and decrease stress and anxiety. 

In addition to his work at Plymouth Harbor, Manny operates his own massage therapy business, Healing Touch, offering in-home massage services. Outside of work, Manny enjoys soccer and working out. To learn more, stop by the Wellness Center on Tuesday mornings, or find Manny’s information in the Wellness Center’s Preferred Professionals Brochure.

 

By: Lorna Hard

john-bellantoni-and-edith-schwartz-4Edith Schwartz was born in Karlsruhe, Germany. In 1940 her family fled Germany, ending up in New York where her father established a medical practice. Edith earned her B.A. at Barnard, her M.A. at Columbia, and her Ph.D. at Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences. Her long and very distinguished career was in biotechnology. She began in academia teaching and doing research.

Among many distinctions, Edith was the first woman to become a tenured professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. She maintained her ties to academia while her career focus shifted to development of healthcare related technologies. She worked with several government agencies as well as in the private sector where she also successfully marketed new devices and technologies. In addition, Edith organized and directed symposia on topics in her field, including one in Tianjin, China. She has received several professional awards and honors, including the Kappa Delta Award of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

John Bellantoni was born and raised in New York City. He earned a B.A. from Fordham, an M.S. in Mathematics from New York University, and another M.S. in Engineering from Harvard. John began his career designing inertial navigation systems in industry. During the space race he joined NASA and headed the Sensor Technology Branch.

In 1970, John moved to the United States Department of Transportation where he led projects for the Coast Guard, the FAA, and other agencies. In 1988 he left government to consult on a satellite-based rescue system, which facilitates cooperation among more than fifty nations in locating seamen and aviators in distress. John says, “This is an outstanding application of international space technology for bettering the world.” During his career John received many awards, got several patents and published over a dozen papers.

The couple met and married in Boston in the late 1980’s, forming a family of seven children from their previous marriages. The family has now grown by eight grandchildren, living all over the United States and in Canada. After their marriage, Edith and John left academia and government and pursued careers in the private sector, centered in Washington D.C.  In 2005 they retired full time to their home on Bird Key. In August, they moved to Plymouth Harbor.

Edith has served on the Advisory Committee at Mote Marine Laboratory. Many years ago she attended a woodworking class and built a table that the couple used until recently. She is interested in pursuing woodworking as well as Scrabble and Mah Jongg, and she looks forward to participating in programs at the Wellness Center. John enjoys discussion groups on the subjects of physics, economics, science and futurism, and he attends two such groups in Sarasota.  He looks forward to meeting others at Plymouth Harbor with similar interests. John also loves riding his bicycle and is an avid sailor. He had a Gemini catamaran on Bird Key and would love to find people here who might like to join him in buying and sharing a sailboat.

Edith and John are happy with their move to Plymouth Harbor. They see life here as their “second retirement,” and are looking forward to settling in and becoming involved in the community.

 

 

picture2Making the jump from a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) to a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is a great accomplishment. It takes hard work and dedication, and is truly something to be proud of.

Over the years, several Plymouth Harbor employees, in both our Home Care and Smith Care Center departments, have made this transition while working here. We would like to recognize these individuals below, and have also included a few comments from these dedicated employees.

Smith Care Center

Danny Bushman, LPN 2016

Nancy Chan, LPN 2016

Many Flores, LPN 2004

Tara Mitchell, LPN 2010

Home Care 

Bridget Chapman, LPN 2009

Haley Coles, LPN 2015

“My love for helping people is what made me decide to go into nursing. Working at Plymouth Harbor has overall been a good experience, and I am thankful for the opportunity to grow.” —Haley Coles

“I decided to go into nursing because I feel that caring for others is especially rewarding. What I enjoy most about working here at Plymouth Harbor is making my residents smile.” —Danny Bushman

 

didyouknowPresident Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Philanthropy Day to be November 15, 1986.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of our country’s annual celebration of philanthropy. We are honored and feel privileged to take this day to extend our deepest and most sincere thanks to our board and committee members, donors, and volunteers for making the world a better place because of what they do.

Philanthropy, “the love of humankind,” is expressed in many different forms, from volunteerism, to community service, to charitable giving. Here at Plymouth Harbor, we witness the expression of philanthropy every day from our residents, families, board members, volunteers, and employees. In some ways, the simplest form of philanthropy, such as a kind greeting, a visit to a Smith Care Center resident, a high school student spending their Saturday morning showing a resident how to use their iPad, a charitable gift to a major project, or an offering of an educational scholarship. No matter the form of kindness, it is an expression of love for humankind.

As we think about the impact philanthropy has on the fabric of our community, even before the Foundation existed, let’s take a moment to reflect and be thankful for every one of us at Plymouth Harbor. For, in one way or another, we are all philanthropists.

Happy National Philanthropy Day to all of you!

 

 

 

By: Resident Elsa Price

img_1025In stoic beauty and stately elegance stands Plymouth Harbor, the tallest building in our fair city, her statuesque posture marking a landmark of distinction and excellence. This is home to many embraced as “family” with people from all walks of life! This is where 24 years ago my late husband Don and I found our lovely new home in the tower on the 23rd floor, where the horizon meets the sky in a breathtaking vista!

As a “long-term” resident may I reminisce a bit?     Perhaps it may seem as though you have moved into a “construction zone” with the noise of huge rumbling trucks,  the jarring staccato of  jackhammering from somewhere within, the tall cranes piercing the sky, and the daily rush of the many contractors as they sprint, charts in hand, up and down the floors. This, I note with great satisfaction, is commonly referred to as progress!

Believe me, it was not this way many years ago when a dreary, lifeless color coated the entire outside of the building, including all inside halls and doors of each and every floor! It was not unlike a hotel, when one could not distinguish his room from all the others! Today, with the changes in administration over time, and the inspiration, motivation, and originality of incoming new residents, each floor now boasts lively colors, inviting those who live behind these doors to step out and greet their neighbors with a smile!

Of course, all this did not just “happen,” but rather it took the courage and initiative of many people throughout the years. These “visionaries” believed that beneath the drab, stark outward appearance of our building, it was quite promising that with a team of very talented, resourceful, and innovative people, miracles could happen! Indeed, happen they did!

With careful planning to the future needs of our expanding population, our small, rather bleak dining room was transformed to a spacious, cheerful welcoming area with attractive furniture and lovely artwork on the walls.

Keeping in mind first impressions matter, our previous nondescript lobby became a maze of “staging forms,” extending out from the elevators to the front desk so that a new look could be created, and residents tread carefully for many days under the complex network of scaffolding to get to our dining room! Attractive new facings enhanced the elevator doors, nonslip tile was laid on the lobby floor, and our mailboxes and front desk were reconfigured for greater vision for those working behind the desk. This was not without myriad confusion and provided an unforgettable exercise in patience!

Pilgrim Hall, our “gathering place” for many functions, holds a multitude of memories years past when residents whose latent theatrical talents blossomed as they enjoyed performing “on stage.” These very amusing, hilarious plays written by some of our more creative residents, whose previous vocation had been in the landscape of playwriting,  somehow always managed to project a satire or caricature of a “happening” within our hallowed halls! I was even inspired to participate in several of these plays and found the experience challenging, gratifying, and a real test of one’s memory! It is reassuring to know that Pilgrim Hall, currently undergoing extensive renovation, will provide our residents a bright, comfortable area in which to once again enjoy a multitude of diverse activities and programs.

As we age, exercise and mobility becomes more important, and that very fact is admirably reflected in our state-of-the-art Wellness Center. Careful attention and thought were given to the safety and the needs of residents, and instructors and trainers were hired with excellent credentials who would maintain the highest standards required. The pleasing ambiance of our Wellness Center beckons those who wish to find strength, relaxation, and companionship.

In the near future, we will have the very best that life has to offer with the completion of our new, much anticipated, “Memory Care Residence,” housed within the Northwest Garden Building, with a dedicated focus on creating a loving, safe retreat for those who require that very special care. The living areas will be thoughtfully designed with cheerful colors providing a soothing atmosphere, and will provide hope, peace, and joy to all who enter there, that each may live life with serenity and dignity as they make their final journey.

It is with a grateful heart that I pause and reflect on nearly 24 years in my home in the Tower, living within a vibrant community of people, where I have made lasting friends, and where new companions are warmly welcomed.  For many years I have watched as “Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay” has evolved into the impressive structure we see today.

Maintaining this level of excellence will continue to be guided, advised, and directed by our capable administration and staff who prudently calculate and project our future needs with foresight and transparency, always keeping us well informed.

And so it is, the “saga” of the THEN, and NOW!

Your friend and neighbor,

Elsa Price, T-2301

 

capture1Three months, 9,000 miles, 10 states, and numerous cities across the U.S. — that’s how Susan Mauntel and longhaired dachshund Moki spent their summer. Her secret to keeping calm throughout her travels? “Knowing that God is in control, and using my iPhone GPS!”

“My theory is that you should go somewhere you’ve never been at least once a year,” Susan says. “Get out of your comfort zone, off a plane, and into your car.” Besides re-visiting places she used to live in Colorado and California, she targeted four cities along the way she had never explored before: Kansas City, Tulsa, Memphis and Savannah.

capture2Susan is no stranger to the drive from Florida to Colorado, having spent five winters in Naples. However, each time, she makes a point to “diversify” the road trip. Born on July 7th (7/7), Susan’s motivation this year was to spend her 77th birthday with dear friends in Colorado.  While planning her trip, Susan read that the Ringling Museum was making its way to Bentonville, Arkansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, for an exclusive art museum tour in the fall. “I thought to myself, if they can do it, I can do it,” she says. From there, she set to work planning her route.

Susan’s travels began on June 13th, with her first stop in a small town called Apalachicola, six hours away in Florida’s Panhandle. After a meal of the town’s famous oysters and getting a good night’s sleep, she moved on to her next destination, Bentonville, to take in the Crystal Bridges Museum of capture3American Art — a treasure trove of paintings, sculptures, and architectural wonders. Next, Kansas City to see the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, and visit with Plymouth Harbor residents, Phil and Barry Starr. Her wonderful hosts took her to both museums and introduced her to Winstead’s — a famous local diner where they courted in the 50s!
Following her self-guided art tour, Susan made her way to her former home, Aspen, Colorado, to spend a month in her cousins’ ski house. She spent time with friends at the Aspen Music Festival, the jazz festival, Shakespeare in the Park, and celebrated her birthday with “18 dynamic ladies I’ve
known since the 80s.” Then she was off to Denver to see more friends, and discovered the ART, a new, exciting hotel, steps from the Denver Art Museum.

Susan and Moki then headed to the West Coast by way of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Prescott, Arizona. After pit stops to see friends in both those towns, she set forth to her old stomping grounds in Southern California — San Diego and Los Angeles to be exact. “It was good to see the Pacific Ocean again,” she says with a smile.

capture4Many art museums, galleries, and plays later, Susan began the adventure home. She stopped in Aspen again, then Breckenridge for a week with her best friend from college. Tulsa, Oklahoma, came next to see her cousins. “I imagined Tulsa to be flat and dusty. To my surprise, I was met with rolling hills, big trees, and green grass,” she says. “It was beautiful, wonderful to be with family — and to see more art museums!”

Memphis, Tennessee, and Savannah, Georgia, rounded out her trip. In Memphis, she stayed at the renowned Peabody Hotel and witnessed the famous duck parade. She also visited Elvis’s Graceland, the legendary Sun Records (Million Dollar Quartet), and the National Civil Rights Museum. Savannah ended Susan’s travels with a quaint bed and breakfast and a dinner cruise featuring Southern Gospel singers.

On an inspirational note, Susan adds, “You don’t need three months to do a fun trip. Take a weekend, get in your car, and head to a place you’ve never been.” While Susan (and Moki) are unsure of their next destination, we’re sure it will be a good one.

 

Ann Burroughs has been an artist all her life – from oil painting to printmaking to working as a metal smith fusing gold, silver, brass, and copper. Her work with metal ranges from heavy casting to jewelry, some of which is created here in the Wood Shop. Born in Flint, Michigan, Ann attended Mount Vernon Seminary as a boarding student and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from both the University of Colorado and the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit. How did she develop such an interest in the arts?

View Ann’s October Insights presentation to find out:

Insights is a monthly connection where residents can share stories and insights about their lives, careers, and hobbies with Plymouth Harbor employees. A feature of Plymouth Harbor’s developing employee wellness program, OnBoardInsights is offered at noon on the fourth Friday of each month. Open to all employees, lunch is provided, supported by gifts to the Plymouth Harbor Foundation employee assistance fund. Thanks to Phil Starr, each Insights presentation is videotaped for viewing by employees unable to attend the live event.

 

chrysanthemums-1127502_1920-2Joan Runge was an amazing and entertaining woman, with a dry sense of humor and not a shy bone in her body. One never had to guess what was on Joan’s mind. She cared deeply for Plymouth Harbor, which became her home in 1999. In 2012, upon the formation of the Plymouth Harbor Foundation, Joan was the first person to notify us that Plymouth Harbor was a beneficiary in her trust. She was generous, having identified Plymouth Harbor as a 25 percent beneficiary. She later (in 2013) wished to make it known to us that her bequest was to be directed to the Assisted Living and Memory Care Residence. We arranged the paperwork so that her wishes would be carried out.

Joan passed away a year ago this month and we just received the first distribution from her trust, totaling $252,000, which has been applied as she wished. We anticipate a final distribution that will bring the total to roughly $340,000. Indeed, Joan Runge knew what she wanted, and wasn’t shy about making sure it happened. We are deeply grateful for Joan’s generosity and vision in assigning her estate to where it will make a huge impact for decades in the future. Thank you, Joan Runge.