By Becky Pazkowski

We are very thankful for unrestricted gifts to the Foundation General Fund, as we are able to use these gifts for special needs as they arise. Below are several items that have been supported through unrestricted gifts to the Foundation.

Thank you, Donors!



A New Cadillac We received a very generous gift toward the purchase of an additional pre-owned sedan at the end of 2014. This gift accounted for two-thirds of the total cost of that sedan and we were able to add the additional funds needed for the purchase from our General Fund. The final result is a certified, pre-owned 2013 Cadillac XTS, with less than 13,000 miles! This addition now brings our fleet of sedans to three, allowing Transportation to expand services for our residents. The next time you schedule a ride in one of Plymouth Harbor’s three Cadillacs, say a special thanks to our donors for making that possible.

Cindy Malkin           Cindy Malkin, Secretary

“When we moved to Sarasota, over forty years ago, we visited and had dinner with a former professor of mine from Skidmore College. She had moved to Plymouth Harbor from New York State. We were very impressed then and know it is even better today. It is an honor to serve on the Board of Trustees with engaged community leaders and residents. Our future is exciting and I will work hard to ensure another forty and more years of excellence.”

Cindy Malkin is a psychiatric nurse who has been active in the community for many years. Her involvement has been mainly with human services. She has been Board Chair of the Consortium for Children and Youth, The Human Services Planning Association, and The Florida Center for Child and Family Development. She was President of the Junior League of Sarasota and recently Board Chair of the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation. She is currently on the Board of the Woman’s Resource Center. Cindy is originally from Connecticut. She received a BS and RN from Skidmore College and a Master’s Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. A Sarasota resident since 1974, she has two sons and six grandsons. She and her husband Dr. Rick Malkin summer in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, where they enjoy tennis, golf, and the myriad of cultural activities the area offers.

William MurtaghIn a biography posted online by on the University of Maryland Archives, William J. Murtagh is called “one of the world’s leading historic preservationists” who “played a pivotal role in the establishment and evolution of the field of historic preservation for more than fifty years.”  If you ask Plymouth Harbor resident Bill Murtagh, he says simply he was in the right place at the right time.

Obviously, the International Commission on Monuments and Sites takes his contributions more seriously. At their 18th General Assembly in Florence, Italy this past November, Bill Murtagh was honored by his international colleagues as a tribute to his significant contributions to their mission of conservation, protection, and enhancement of monuments, building complexes and sites.

Born in Philadelphia surrounded by historic buildings, it’s hard to imagine young Bill not being influenced by them, but that was not initially a career motivation. He studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania where the study of modernism and the Bauhaus movement predominated.

It was a summer job that he took with Charles Peterson, an administrator with the National Parks Service, which began to turn him in a new direction. During the Depression, Peterson had created a program called the Historic American Building Survey which provided jobs for unemployed architects. Bill’s first job was working on efforts that soon resulted in the Independence National Historic Park.

Bills work and studies were interrupted by a year-long convalescence after he sustained serious injuries in a car accident. With an undergraduate degree in architecture and enough time at a drafting table to know he didn’t want to spend a lifetime chained to it, he turned his attention to art. Continuing his studies of the next decade he completed an M.A. in Art History, and a Ph.D. in architectural history.

He also took a year to study in Bonn and Freiburg thanks to one of the first rounds of Fulbright Scholarships in 1954. His year in Europe gave him many opportunities to marvel and study the history constructed around him.

Looking at his resume, it is clear that each job he took propelled him further into the heart of the blossoming historic preservation movement.  His first job at the National Historic Trust came when it consisted of only a staff of five and just 200 members. Bill was instrumental in elevating the profile of the National Trust and helping shape the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. By 1967, Bill was the first keeper of the National Register of Historic Places.

“The buck stopped with me,” says Bill explaining that he demanded that every application had to prove the historical and cultural significance of the structure under review.

Throughout his career and particularly after he left the National Register, Bill was a educator and writer.  He was the Director of the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia University, taught at University of Florida, University of Maryland, and the University of Hawaii. Upon his retirement he wrote Keeping Time, a universally admired comprehensive examination of the development of the historic preservation movement.

“Oh, I have met some marvelous people along the way,” Bill says with a smile. His stories are sprinkled with names like Adenauer, Dupont, and Goodrich, and tales of mansions with full staffs of valets, footmen, and butlers (all the rage now in these Downton Abbey days.)

How on earth did Bill Murtagh land in Plymouth Harbor?  In fact it had something to do with B.F. Goodrich’s granddaughter, an attorney, and a lecture. The attorney for the Goodrich family had retired to Plymouth Harbor and invited Bill to stop here for a lecture on his way to Cuba.  The invitation, and its acceptance, came two or three years running and Bill came to enjoy the company of many residents, the lovely surroundings, and the food.  In an aside Bill adds that in those days, over eleven years ago, the food was not as spectacular as it is today!

For many years he has spent his summers in beautiful Penobscot, Maine and enjoys the spectacular winters in Sarasota.  Never ceasing to educate and lecture on the topics he loves so much, Bill is generous with his time and seemingly unceasing energy. If you missed his recent lecture about Glenbeigh Castle in Ireland, just ask him. You’ll love the stories.

By Helen Kelly

weissOn a sunny Saturday afternoon, I had the pleasure of interviewing the recently moved in couple, William (Bill) and Josephine (Jo) Weiss. Following a warm greeting at the door of their apartment, I was awed at the expansive view, a reaction Jo said she always gets from her recent visitors. Prior to their move to Plymouth Harbor, Bill and Jo lived at Marina Tower for the past ten years, following a lifetime of about twenty-five relocations.

After growing up in small Pennsylvania towns, Bill in Big Run and Jo in Lock Haven, their paths crossed while attending Penn State. He was majoring in engineering and she in mathematics. He enjoyed telling me how he glimpsed her across a crowded room at a fraternity party, where there were seven men for every woman, but missed the opportunity to be introduced. After locating her phone number, he called and suggested getting together. And so began a relationship at Penn State that continued on after graduation and was celebrated by their marriage in 1951, a marriage that has continued for the past sixtyfour years.

Three weeks after graduation, Bill was commissioned a First Lieutenant in the United States Air Force as a Ground and Communications Officer. He served during the Korean War from 1951-1954 in Wiesbaden, Germany, returning to civilian life in 1954. Bill began his career with The Bell Systems in western Pennsylvania, ultimately becoming Vice President of Bell Pennsylvania. Following Bell’s separation from AT&T, he became Chairman of the company, covering five Midwestern states, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, and supervising over 100,000 employees. His meteoric career was responsible for the family’s frequent moves.

When questioned regarding the effect, if any, on their three children, Bill and Jo responded with great pride, detailing the careers of their children. David is a successful builder in Raleigh, NC. Steve is in sales, a career involving frequent travel to the Far East. Susan has been a dedicated teacher in Lancaster, PA, and retired recently. They proudly showed photos of their five grandchildren. While Bill was working up to sixteen hours each day, Jo was busy raising the children, ensuring their education and capably managing the relocation of the entire family approximately twentyfive times. It was a pleasure getting to know these two new residents. They are a friendly and engaging couple that is a welcome addition to our community.

Welcome, Bill and Jo!

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)