By Becky Pazkowski

Dennis and Priscilla Heindel Donor Advised Fund

For the past several years, Plymouth Harbor has been the fortunate recipient of a gift from the Dennis and Priscilla Heindel Advised Fund, administered by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.  This year they directed their gift to the Smith Care Center.

Some of you may remember the Heindels, who moved into Plymouth Harbor in 1997.  Mr. Heindel passed away in 2006, and Mrs. Heindel moved to Albuquerque in 2011, to be closer to her children.  We have been in touch with Priscilla’s daughter, Kathy, who tells us that her mother is doing pretty well in an assisted living residence in Albuquerque.  We are very grateful and send thanks to Mrs. Heindel and her family for their continued support of life here at Plymouth Harbor.

Ted and Fran Rehl CD Offering

Many thanks to Ted and Fran Rehl for offering a CD of Ted’s March 28, 2014 concert entitled Piano a la Carte.  The Rehls have made the CD available for a donation of any amount to the Plymouth Harbor Foundation to support Improvement of the Arts.  The concert includes selections from Liszt, Schubert, Brahms, Chopin, Scarlatti, Ravel, and Bartók.

In this second year of offering Foundation Forums, we have aligned the content of the Forums with the initiatives of the Foundation to bring you educational, intellectually stimulating subject matter.  This year we are delighted to offer a New College of Florida faculty series, two of which you heard in January and March, the third and final being at the end of this month, presented by Gordon Bauer, Ph.D., professor of psychology, entitled “The Sensory World of the Manatee.”

We will also offer a series on brain health and dementia.   Alan Grindal, M.D., a neurologist in Sarasota, will talk about the clinical aspects of dementia and brain health.  Teepa Snow, a nationally-known dementia expert who trains and consults for healthcare professionals and families, will present on particular behaviors and the best care-giving techniques for persons with dementia.  We hope to offer a third Forum to complete that series on the research that is being done  on diagnosing dementia-related illnesses and the best treatments.

Finally, we hope to bring you a series that speaks to our roots in Sarasota, the life-changing impact that philanthropy has had on our mission, and how the love of giving has shaped the lives of Sarasota philanthropists over the decades.

We are excited about our 2014 Forums and we hope you will be, too.

And for our next Forum, we hope to see you there !

The Sensory World of the Manatee

Gordon Bauer, Ph.D.
Peg Scripps Buzzelli
Professor of Psychology
New College of Florida

Wednesday, April 30 at 4 pm
Pilgrim Hall

Professor Bauer will present the findings of recent investigations into the sensory world of the manatee, which reveal a unique constellation of attributes important to the development of effective conservation recommendations.

 “Moving to Plymouth Harbor was a gift my parents gave to me.  Serving on the Foundation Board is my gift back to them.”  –

Cade Sibley
Trustee, Plymouth Harbor Foundation Board of Trustees

For nearly two decades Cade Sibley has been visiting Plymouth Harbor, where her father Jack Denison has lived since 1996.  Teasley, Cade’s mom and Jack’s late wife, lived here with Jack until she passed away in 2006.

A resident of Longboat Key, Cade moved here in 2010 with her husband, Whit from Denver, Colorado.  For nearly 30 years in Denver, she designed and implemented advanced estate, business-transfer, and investment-planning strategies for affluent business owners, executives, and those with inherited wealth.

Cade was a longtime member of several of Lincoln Financial Group’s most prestigious honors societies, and served as Vice Chair of the Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center Board for The Denver Foundation, and on the Denver Arthritis Foundation Board.  Cade and her husband are both members of the Bird Key Yacht Club where they are serving on several committees and are active with the club’s cruising fleet.



“Having spent much of my life here with my parents and other relatives, Plymouth Harbor is near and dear to my heart.  Someday, we will call it home, too.”  – Bill Johnston, Chair,   Plymouth Harbor Foundation Board of Trustees


Well regarded in financial circles throughout the country, Bill was the President and COO of the New York Stock Exchange from 1996 to 2001.  In addition, he has a long and distinguished career on Wall Street with several well-known firms, and is a graduate of Washington and Lee University.  Bill is the consummate Board member who shares his time and talent with many organizations in addition to Plymouth Harbor, including locally DeSoto National Park, Boys & Girls Club of Manatee Foundation, and New College of Florida.  His advisory board service is too numerous to mention in this article, but suffice it to say that he is in demand and gives generously of his time.  Prior to Bill’s involvement with the Foundation Board, he served six years as a Plymouth Harbor Trustee.  He was first introduced to Plymouth Harbor by five relatives who preceded him, including his parents, two aunts, and an uncle.  Bill and his wife, Betsy, are Bradenton residents who also spend part of their time in the northeast.


The Cadillac Women

Do you know what Marjorie Boulware and Dorothy Johnston have in common besides being long-time Plymouth Harbor residents?  They both recently donated their Cadillacs to Plymouth Harbor Foundation!  Lyall Smith, Director of Security & Guest Services, commented, “Because of these generous donations, we are able to retire our older Cadillacs that were approaching the 100,000 mile mark.  The donated cars each have about half that many miles and have now been entered into service.  We are very grateful.”  Please extend a warm thanks to our Cadillac women for their generosity!

Evelin Corsey Estate

Evelin Corsey, who passed away in 2013, left Plymouth Harbor Foundation in her estate plans.  In February, we received a bequest of $45,000, to be distributed to several programs, including the Employee Assistance Fund and the Library.  While Evelin had no children of her own, she was very close to her goddaughter Lesley Fera, who has helped us to establish the Evelin Corsey Scholarship with a portion of the gift.  We are extremely grateful for this generous and thoughtful gift, and will keep you informed of the impact this gift has over the next few months.

Honoring Danielle Menzies

Thank you to Tom Towler and Nancy Lyon, who made a gift in honor of Danielle Menzies, Dining Services Operations Manager, on the occasion of her completing the Miami Lifetime Marathon on February 2, 2014.  The gift will benefit the Employee Assistance Fund.

Congratulations, Danielle!

L-R Phil Delaney, Priscilla Doulton, Mary Allyn, Harry Hobson

Priscilla Doulton could see that her family was enjoying the old pool table that had come with the house they had just moved into in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts, outside of Boston.  The cue sticks,  however, were just not in good shape.  So off she went to a store in a nearby town that was having a sale.  “Sure we have pool cue sticks,” they had answered when she called ahead to ask.  What they failed to mention was that they also had a rare gem on hand with which she would soon fall in love.

The large antique pool table that caught her eye when she walked in was made of oak with diamond-shaped inlays of ivory all along the top border.  The shopkeeper told her it was from the 1880’s and she could see that it had real presence.  It was beautiful, Priscilla thought, and just the right gift for her husband.

It was perfect for them, but the “pool table” room in the house was not.  This grand pool table was simply too large.  Undaunted, Priscilla and her husband simply added a room onto the back of the house to accommodate the new table.  There was nothing more than the pool table and necessary accoutrements in the room they designed with three glass walls overlooking a wooded backyard and distant stream.

It sounds idyllic, but Priscilla says she doesn’t think her daughters noticed the view at all.  Bettina andKara grew up having a lot of fun in the pool room.  As budding young women, they delighted in the attention from the boys, whether they said it was interest in the pool table or not.

The pool table held a lifetime of memories and moved down with the Doultons when they retired to Sarasota.  Recently, Priscilla moved to a smaller home in downtown Sarasota and wondered what to do with this lovely antique.

Phil Delaney making the first break.

Her friend, Phil Delaney, Managing Director & President at Northern Trust, thought that it deserved a home where many more would enjoy games of pool for years to come.  If she were to give the antique to an organization, where might it receive a fitting reception and welcome home?  When the idea struck Phil, Priscilla agreed, Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay!

Now, this lovely table has a home of its own again, the cozy alcove in the newly renovated Club Room.  Accompanied only by two handsome spectator chairs for the watchful players and a cabinet for the cue sticks, the table built by J.E. Came & Company Billiard Makers of Boston now holds court at Plymouth Harbor, welcoming all players.

Harry Hobson, President and CEO of Plymouth Harbor, greeted both Priscilla and Phil, along with  several Plymouth Harbor resident leaders and Trustees for the official christening of the pool table in its new home.  Phil was given the honor of making the first break.

Mary Allyn, President of the Residents Association, and Bill Johnston, Chair of the Plymouth Harbor Foundation, proudly acknowledged this remarkable gift and thanked Priscilla for her generosity.

“This gift is an amazing example of how our community comes together for the good of the whole,” commented Harry Hobson.  “We cannot thank Priscilla Doulton and Phil Delaney enough.”

The table is clearly following the Eastlake design style popular in American furniture making from 1870 to 1890 during the later years of the Victorian era.  The Eastlake furniture style as envisioned by its namesake, Charles Lock Eastlake, came about in response to his dislike of the over-the-top Rococo Revival and Renaissance Revival styles popular during the Victorian era.  In contrast with other  Victorian styles of furniture produced in America featuring classical motifs, Eastlake furniture is more geometric and incorporates modest curves.

Ornamental carving seen on these pieces is lightly incised rather than deeply carved.  Wood grains were often emphasized, with oak and cherry frequently used in Eastlake pieces.  The next time you visit the Club Room, take a moment to examine the oak grain in the veneer panels and the carved medallion details on the sides.  We can appreciate the elegantly turned legs and the diamond ivory inlays.

Bill Seiberling recently enjoyed a game of pool with Harry on the ‘new’ table.  “I played a lot of pool in college and thoroughly enjoyed the game, but I haven’t played much since then,” said Bill.  “I was very touched that Harry remembered pool as one of my favorite college pastimes and challenged me to a game.  I had the biggest smile on my face!” he exclaimed.

And so ends the story of how a Sarasota community connection led to a generous contribution by a newfound friend that will lead to Plymouth Harbor residents and friends connecting with one another for many years to come. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

By Becky Pazkowski

I recently attended the Positive Aging Conference hosted by the Institute for the Ages here in Sarasota.  One of the sessions was entitled “Give It Forward” and the description talked about legacy giving.  Being in the business I am, I figured that I was going to learn something new about making financial gifts from your estate plans.  However, what the talk was really about was legacy giving in the sense of intangibles.  It really inspired me to think about the legacy gifts people have made to me, and how the most meaningful gifts we receive are given unintentionally by the donor.

We were to think about a legacy gift we have been left with and how it impacted our life.  Mine was from my mom, who died in 2010, at the age of 73.  She gave me some of the greatest gifts ever, without even knowing she did . . . how to be a good listener and a good mom.  Both of these two gifts have had a profound impact on my life.

The speakers left us with the three universal deathbed questions that I would like to share with you.  I know, it sounds depressing, but it wasn’t.  If we can find it within ourselves to think about these three things while we are busy living our lives, would we perhaps live a more purposeful life?  I leave you with these things to think about:

♦             Have I given and received love?

♦             Have I lived my life, rather than someone else’s?

♦             Have I left the world a better place than I found it?

The view from the northeast residence on the 25th floor of the Plymouth Harbor tower is not so bad, particularly on a sunny winter day with boating activity far below on Sarasota Bay.  That spectacular panorama catching nearly every angle of cityscape, gulf side sunsets and the moon rising over the bay, is the reason Joe and Nancy Berkely chose their new home at Plymouth Harbor in 2003.

We talked with Joe recently on one of those sunny days, taking a leisurely stroll back through the lucky turns of events that brought him together with Nancy, his wife of 69 years.  It was only a year ago that she passed after a long illness during which she remained in their beautiful tower residence.

Smiling with the memory, he remarked on her unfailing beauty and spirit.  “She always lit up the room wherever she went,” says Joe who first met his lifelong sweetheart in Dodge City during the war.  She was a student at the University of Kansas.  He was the daring young pilot, driving a red convertible no less!

They were introduced by the daughter of the Lieutenant Governor during a mixer between the B-26 pilots training at the Dodge City base and sorority girls from the University of Kansas in Lawrence.  That high-placed connection came in handy when a special call to his superiors granted him a rare leave to attend the football game when Nancy was crowned homecoming queen.

Their courtship was a charmed one marked by lucky opportunities during the uncertain times of war.  When they married, Joe, who had grown up in Chicago, decided to put down his roots in Nancy’s hometown and Dodge City is where they built their life together.

Nancy and Joe Berkely

Joe bought a little weekly newspaper that he steadily built into the High Plains Journal, significant news source for the agricultural community throughout the Midwest.  He learned about farming and ranch interests from the ground up with the help of many in the close knit social circles of Dodge City and beyond.  With a good mind for promotions and building support for the paper, Joe was actively involved in agricultural innovations to solve problems such as weeds and drought.  While one experiment seeding clouds blew rain well off the mark, a targeted spray on wheat fields from a helicopter proved to be a reliable and more cost effective method to eliminate weeds and improve yield.

That entrepreneurial mind of Joe’s never stopped though the years of raising their daughter Nan Berkely Griffin, who now lives in Myakka City, not far away.  As the years passed, he and Nancy enjoyed more time at their winter home on Longboat Key where they kept a boat at the dock ready for time on the water whenever they wished.

When they no longer wanted to spend their energy maintaining a house themselves, it was a natural transition to move to a new home at Plymouth Harbor.  They simply brought their boat over and moved into the penthouse that Nancy had designed for them herself.  It featured a spacious kitchen, two bathrooms, gracious living, dining and work spaces and that view . . . ah, that view!

Once they moved in, not long after the graceful John Ringling Bridge was completed, Joe and Nancy became active members of the Plymouth Harbor community; Joe served on resident committees and Nancy simply loved the many people who lived here.

No longer serving on resident committees, Joe continues to keep active with fitness classes and the encouragement of our Wellness team.  He still goes to work in his home office, maintaining communication with those now running the daily operations of the High Plains Journal which remains a  leading voice for its community despite the digital revolution that rocked the newspaper industry.

When asked about the key to his success, or that of anyone who wants to be successful, Joe’s answer was, “Luck would be a big one!  I was lucky to pick the right girl.”  He’s quick to point to the luck of meeting his wife Nancy and the luck of meeting the right people who supported his first business efforts.  But he adds quickly, “A good work ethic and intelligence.”

Reflecting on what drove his success, Joe also credits his father for instilling a sense of high personal and moral standards.  Although his father wanted Joe to follow him into the medical profession, and he even studied medicine for a brief period, it was not meant to be.  Studying at the University of Chicago, Central YMCA College, Notre Dame and finally earning his bachelor’s degree at the University of Valparaiso, Joe had a wealth of experiences before he ended up in the Army Air Corps.  There officer training instilled further expectations of leadership as “an officer and a gentlemen”.

Joe took care of newspaper employees, paying everyone equally for their work regardless of gender.  To this day the longevity of staff service is one of the strengths that have carried the business through difficult economic times.  He’s proud that three times the union came in trying to organize the workers and each time the High Plains Journal employees resisted.

While Joe is still connected with the High Plains Journal, whose publisher calls on him at least twice a week, Joe makes time to enjoy his waterfront lifestyle.  It’s more than that panoramic view.  He still has a boat at the Plymouth Harbor dock.  It’s a “Ford class” fishing boat, 32 feet, with twin inboard motors.  At least once a month, Joe and a few fellow fisherman from Plymouth Harbor take her out for a day of fishing in the gulf.  Now, that’s a zest for life!

By Becky Pazkowski

The Plymouth Harbor Foundation board members are remarkable people with a wealth of knowledge. We’ll introduce you to each of them this year.

“This is a wonderful place and I am so impressed with the attitude and cooperation of staff, residents and boards. The residents are wonderful . . . I love talking with them.”

– Lee Byron, Real Estate Agent, Michael Saunders



Lee Byron is a Smith College graduate and has been a resident of Sarasota for 34 years. In addition to having been a Plymouth Harbor, Inc. trustee for 6 years, ending her second term in 2013, she is one of the charter trustees of the Plymouth Harbor Foundation Board.

Among her volunteer activities in the community is her involvement with the Human Services Advisory Committee (HSAC), which advises the County Commission and makes grants to non-profit human services organizations. While her volunteer efforts are many, she is most passionate about children and prevention, because she feels that with a small financial investment, we can accomplish so much (10+ fold) for our citizens and the future of our community.

A seasoned real estate professional in Sarasota, Lee offers the following on the market: “Our market is stable and slowly increasing in value, which I like better than a boom market. The islands and West of the Trail are particularly enticing to buyers, with lower inventory and rising prices. However, we have not fully recovered from the 50% drop invalue from 2006.”

By Becky Pazkowski

We are delighted to share with you some of the highlights of Plymouth Harbor Foundation’s calendar year 2013 (as of 12/20/2013).  Below you will find charts that will give you a pictorial view of the year, but please allow me to mention some of the highlights in narrative form.  We are thankful at how generous you have all been this year, and how you have joined us in support of your favorite projects and passions.

Participation is an important factor in any giving program.  As of this writing, we received 345 gifts from 185 donors, of whom 67% are residents, rehab patients, or former residents; 14% staff; and 19% community, board members, vendors, or family.  185 donors is a 55% increase over last year.  Well done, donors!  Also, last year we had 60 new donors, and this year we have 99—all of whom we hope are enjoying the warm, deep feelings that generosity evokes.

We are extremely grateful to have inducted 7 new members into the MacNeil Society, as they have named Plymouth Harbor Foundation in their estate plans.  These deferred gifts are estimated at over $895,000.  This amount, added to the amount of deferred giving identified last year, totals over $1.1 million.  Thank you so much for trusting us with your ultimate gift!


The total dollar amount of current gifts this year is less than we received in 2012, but we were very fortunate to have received two large gifts in 2012 that together totaled over $500,000.   Among the many benefits—because there are too many to name here–this year’s generous giving has helped:


  •                 award 6 new scholarships to deserving employees
  •                 provide $5000 in emergency aide to employees
  •                 support residents who have outlived their resources
  •                 launch a renovation of our Wellness Center
  •                 bring frequent dances and musical events to PH
  •                 beautify our grounds; improve stewardship of our bay
  •                 keep our libraries relevant and well-functioning
  •                 improve the quality of life for our residents

Your love of fellow humankind is most impressive, and we are so very grateful.  Together, we can continue to bring new, improve existing, and plan for future programs and projects at Plymouth Harbor, thereby staying true to our mission of supporting positive aging.  We are on the cutting edge of retirement living, and we plan to keep it that way!  Many thanks for your support.