With its iconic architecture and exceptional performance lineup, the city-owned Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is known far-and-wide as Southwest Florida’s premier performing arts hall. In fact, in 2017 it was ranked the No. 1 Performing Arts Hall in North America in the 2000-seat category of “top spots” for the sixth time in Venues Today magazine.
 
The Van Wezel offers Broadway musicals, popular comedians, world-class symphony orchestras, top international performers, and classical, ethnic, and modern dance. With over 100 of these events per season, the Hall also hosts close to 50 events presented by the Sarasota Orchestra, Sarasota Ballet, the Sarasota Concert Association, and the Ringling Library Town Hall Lecture Series. In addition, what many may not realize is that the Van Wezel runs an educational program that brings over 30,000 of our youth (K–12) to the Hall for special performances, and sends visiting artists into our local schools and community. Through a partnership with the Sarasota County School Board and the John F. Kennedy Center Partners in Education program, teachers also have the ability to participate in development workshops, learning to teach through and about the arts.
 
Like so many organizations in the Sarasota community, the Van Wezel depends on volunteers to assist in offering the finest performing arts experience. Resident Don Fosselman was introduced to the Van Wezel by friends shortly after he moved here. Today, he has been volunteering as an usher for nearly 15 years. His love of the arts and the Hall’s variety of performances has kept him there.
 
In 1987, the Van Wezel Foundation was formed to support the overall mission of the Hall. Established as a charitable non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, the Foundation operates independently, but as a partner, of the city-owned and-operated Hall. Since then, the Foundation has directed millions of dollars in support of the Hall’s capital improvements, programs, and ongoing educational efforts, like the initiatives described above. Resident Karl Newkirk has been a member of the Van Wezel Foundation Board since 2007.

According to Karl, an important focus of the Foundation Board today is the Sarasota Bayfront 20:20 initiative first started by Michael Klauber, the restaurateur, some three years ago. This is an independent group working to plan the future of 42 acres of mostly open, city-owned Bayfront land. The vision is to support the creation of a long-term master plan for the Bayfront area that will establish a cultural and economic legacy for the region, while ensuring open, public access to the Bayfront.

There are over 50 community stakeholder organizations involved in Sarasota Bayfront 20:20, including Plymouth Harbor. In 2016, based upon the recommendation of Bayfront 20:20, the City Commissioners formed the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization, an independent, privately funded, 501(c)(4) organization with a nine-member board, whose objective is to ensure the delivery of a professionally-prepared master plan to the City. Representatives of the Van Wezel Foundation Board regularly attend the organization’s meetings, providing input as requested and advocating for the Hall’s needs, which include a vision of a brand new, state-of-the-art iconic facility replacing the nearly 50-year-old Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Karl stresses, however, that this does not mean the Hall’s beloved purple building would be torn down, but rather more likely repurposed. That said, decisions are yet to be made and planning is expected to continue over the next year.
 
“All of us are proud of, and value, Sarasota’s recognition as the arts and culture center of Southwest Florida. The Van Wezel is clearly the centerpiece for that Brand,” Karl says. “Fully developing the 42 acres for use by the community at-large is a once in a generation opportunity and I cannot stress how important this will be in maintaining Sarasota’s leadership and commitment to that Brand.”
 
To learn more about the Van Wezel, visit www.VanWezel.org/support/ or call 941-955-7676. You may also place a note in Karl’s mailbox (T-25A) and he will be glad to get in touch with you.

 

By: Jim Ahstrom

On New Year’s Day in 1968, right after the Koskis moved to Sarasota, they were on a boat in the Gulf. Beverly reported that, when they looked at downtown Sarasota, the tallest buildings they could see were the Palmer Bank and Sarasota Hospital. She has seen a few changes since then.

Beverly was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, lived in New Jersey, New York, and as a teenager moved to the Cleveland area when her father was transferred. She was educated at Ohio Wesleyan University, receiving her degree in education. She taught elementary school in South Euclid, Ohio. Beverly married Bob in 1956, following him while he served in the U.S. Army in Schweinfurt, Germany.

Among her three children, her daughter Chris lives in Dallas. Her two sons, Bob and Tom, live in Sarasota, something most of us would consider a huge blessing. Sadly, she lost her husband about ten years ago and a brother earlier than that.

Beverly must be a woman with many talents, since she spent ten years helping her husband in founding Sun Hydraulics Corporation which has become a business with a worldwide market. She has been active in the community, supporting the Asolo Repertory Theatre, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, the Ringling Museum, and the Ringling College of Art and Design. She enjoys bridge, reading, and has played tennis and golf in the past.

Now that she is settled in her East Garden apartment, we look forward to meeting this longtime Sarasota resident.

 

Resident David Beliles discusses his childhood, living through the Depression, and building his own newspaper business, with the help of his wife, Ruth, into what we know today as The Observer Group.

View his June 2017 Insights presentation here:
 

 

Over the last year, you may have heard Plymouth Harbor reference the Community Education Program we plan to offer as a part of our new Memory Care Residence. It is our goal to offer education and training on dementia and brain decline to the greater Sarasota community, demystifying and normalizing the behaviors associated with dementia-related diseases. As we approach our Grand Opening date, we wanted to share with you some details on how we plan to implement this much-needed program.

Introductory Presentations
One-time presentations will be made to community groups, such as service organizations, Chambers of Commerce, civic groups, and faith-based organizations with basic information on the different types of dementia, community resources available, in-home care vs. residential care, and what to expect throughout the journey. These presentations will open the door to the possibility of a workshop series, residential care, or one-on one training for those who have an immediate or emerging need for further assistance.

Workshops
A series of small group workshops will be held in easy-to-access community locations, such as churches or community centers, with experts in the field of caregiving and providing support for the caregivers themselves. The topics will rotate, building on the skills needed to care for a person with brain decline: such as handling difficult behaviors, nutrition and cooking, emergency planning, and more.

One-on-One Training
Plymouth Harbor offers short-term rehabilitation in the Smith Care Center. Frequently, those short-term residents are experiencing brain decline and are discharged to their private homes at the end of the rehab under the care of a loved one. Many times this loved one is not equipped with the training or resources needed to confidently provide care. For this reason, we will offer education to the caregiver during the stay, or after the return home, so that a safe and successful return home is achieved.

Tailored to Audiences
Over time, the content of these presentations and workshops will be specifically tailored to address broad audience groups: families and caregivers, first responders, business and commerce, healthcare professionals, and service organizations. As an example, first responders will receive information on the behaviors of persons with brain decline and how to address their emergency needs. Retailers, such as restaurant owners, will receive training on how to identify and interact with persons with dementia so they can maintain quality customer service. Service organizations, like Rotary clubs, will receive training on how to continue meaningful volunteer opportunities for persons with dementia.

Expert Staff
A team of trained, community educators will be assembled to lead this effort. With partnerships from the local Alzheimer’s Association, Positive Approach® to Care, and our own certified trainers in Positive Approach® to Care, we will design a curriculum and market and deliver this program.

We look forward to making this program a reality in the coming months and to becoming a leading resource in the community.

 

“A true American fairytale”— that’s how Barbara “Bobi” Sanderson describes her life.

In the 1600s, both sides of Bobi’s family traveled from England to settle in the early North American colonies. Before that, her father’s side of the family relocated from France to England. In fact, after continually being referred to as the “French family,” they legally changed their last name to “French” (Bobi’s maiden name).

Bobi’s oldest-known relative was buried in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1691, and was recognized as the building project director for Harvard University. Years later, when the government began offering land grants to those willing to farm and improve land in the western region, her father’s side of the family loaded up their wagons and moved west.

On the other hand, Bobi largely knows her mother’s side of the family as river and canal engineers, who worked on canals ranging from Canada to the Chicago area. In the 1800s, they eventually settled in Ottawa, Illinois, where the Illinois River and the Fox River meet. Later, her father’s family was also drawn to this small town, becoming bankers, judges, and other central figures of the community.

Many years later, Bobi herself grew up in Ottawa, with her parents and one brother. With a population of roughly 15,000 people at the time, she was related to many members of
the community. “I thought everyone grew up this way, in a small town, where you knew most people,” Bobi remembers. “Everyone was part of the community – as a doctor, barber, grocer, or by helping set up civic organizations. It wasn’t thought of as ‘volunteering,’ but rather helping your neighbor.”

After high school, Bobi wanted to experience other parts of the world. She left Ottawa to attend Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts; however, after World War II began, she transferred to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, to be closer to family.

During her time at Northwestern, Bobi went on a blind date with a lawyer by the name of Edward “Sandy” Sanderson. After a few months, the two were engaged, and were married by the end of Bobi’s junior year in college. They settled in Sandy’s hometown of Evanston and had two children together, a daughter and son. Today, they have blessed Bobi with four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

In 1972, after the children were grown and Sandy retired, the couple visited with friends on Siesta Key. They fell in love with the area and, before leaving, put an offer on a piece of land on Longboat Key. They used it as a vacation home for two years before they relocated to Sarasota full-time. Coincidentally, it turned out that a number of people they had known in the Chicago area had moved to Sarasota as well. “It was like having our own little Chicago community right here,” she laughs.

In 1992, Sandy passed away, and at the urging of her children, Bobi decided it was time to get back to traveling. They signed her up for a trip around the world on the Holland-America Rotterdam cruise ship. It left in January of 1993 and didn’t return until April, 103 days later.

“That trip changed my life,” Bobi says. “I realized I had a lot of living left to do.” While Sarasota remained her permanent residence, she made a point to continue her travels.

Later, in 1999, Bobi was introduced to Dr. Jim Griffith. They “met” over the telephone and, ironically, the two had both signed up to live at Plymouth Harbor before meeting. They remain together to this day, enjoying art, music, and traveling. In July, the two are setting off on a three-week cruise to Norway.

Throughout her life, Bobi has always been involved in the community in one way or another. In Evanston, she served as a tutor for local grade schools, worked with the YMCA, the garden club, local government, and much more.

In Sarasota, Bobi boasts a 23-year volunteer career with Mote Aquarium. Junior League of Sarasota, the Sarasota Garden Club, and the Longboat Key Chapel Board of Governors have also benefited from her service. When it comes to Plymouth Harbor, Bobi says she couldn’t be happier. “Moving in here was one of the best decisions we ever made,” she says. “There are so many fascinating people. It’s like living on a cruise ship, but you always have your friends with you.”

 

Thousands of boys and girls have walked through the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County (BGCSC) since they first opened in 1970. The mission of the BGCSC is to enable all young people, especially those who need it most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens.

With a goal of having all members on track to graduate high school with a plan for the future, the BGCSC provides after-school and summer programs for more than 5,000 children and youth, ages six to 18. Through its five Clubs – three in Sarasota, one in Venice, and one in North Port – the organization offers educational programming/classes, outdoor activities, art, culinary lessons, and more. In addition, “satellite Clubs” are offered in schools throughout the county, which are administered by teachers and available to children who are out of reach of their local Club. While there are several full- and part-time staff members, the BGCSC operates with the help of its many volunteers.

Resident Susan Mauntel has consistently worked with children in after-school programs, so when she relocated to Sarasota, the BGCSC seemed like the perfect fit. Today, Susan volunteers once a week as a tutor, helping grade school students with their homework. Resident Harriet Josenhanss began working with the organization in the late 1990s. She served as a member of the Foundation Board, and became a member of the “Heritage Club” after including the BGCSC in her estate plan. Today, Harriet serves as an as-needed volunteer, helping with mailings and bringing groups by – particularly from Plymouth Harbor – for outreach and tours of the campus. “It’s a great organization. I can’t say enough about it,” she says. “It’s an emotional experience when you enter the facility and see all the positive activities taking place.”

Lee DeLieto, Sr., a member of both the Plymouth Harbor, Inc. and the Plymouth Harbor Foundation Board of Trustees, began working with the BGCSC in 1996. A friend and BGCSC board member invited him to attend a Christmas event and, as Lee puts it, “That was it. I was hooked.” Since then, he has served as a board member, Chair, Secretary, and now Treasurer for the organization. “Working with these kids is one of my greatest pleasures in life,” he says. “There are so many stories of how the Boys & Girls Club changed, and in many cases, saved their lives.”

Additionally, Plymouth Harbor Foundation Board member Lee Bryon spent years as a fundraiser for Community Youth Development (CYD) before the agency merged its youth leadership and service programs with the BGCSC in August 2016 – specifically STAR Leadership Training and SRQVolunteen. She has helped raise money for the organization’s teen programming and annual Leadership Breakfast – an event that Plymouth Harbor is proud to participate in each year.

Many lives have benefitted from the hard work and dedication of the BGCSC. To learn more, visit bgcsarasota.com or call 941-366-3911.

 

By: Addie Hurst

“Younger than springtime, is she!” Well, not really — only in comparison to most of us residents in Plymouth Harbor. Barbara had to wait until she was old enough to be a resident here! And, by the way, Barbara is not related to Nora Kerr, just a coincidence of names.

But Barbara is not a stranger to Harry Hobson. She met him when he was CEO of Westminster Canterbury in Irvington, Virginia. Don’t be surprised if you hear them greet each other with Native American names of local rivers, tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay in Coastal Virginia.

Barbara is a proud “East” Tennessean. Growing up in the foothills of the Great Smokies, it was natural that she earned her undergraduate degree from Maryville College, following in the footsteps of her maternal grandmother (1913), her parents in the 40s, and her brother in ‘67. After moving to Atlanta, she worked as a tumor biologist at Emory Clinic and earned her Master of Public Health from Emory University.

That degree landed Barbara in Richmond, Virginia, working in a division of state government. She eventually found her way to the Piankatank River and a career as a financial advisor. Starting with Legg Mason, an East Coast regional firm, she tired of the corporate takeovers and formed a partnership with like-minded advisors who took their practice independent via Raymond James out of Tampa. Along the way, Barbara earned the designation of Certified Financial Planner, specializing in estate and inter-generational planning.

Upon retirement, she migrated to Lido Key, where her parents had owned a timeshare since 1980. Her patience on the waiting list landed her a dream apartment with southwest exposure. Civically, Barbara has always been involved in her local community. She served her alma mater, Maryville College, as a board member for several years after her graduation. In Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia, she used her water safety certification to teach hundreds of students how to swim. In Virginia, she volunteered and served as a board member with the Gloucester-Mathews Human Society and as treasurer of the Mathews Community Foundation.

You may have met Barbara’s companion, a Silver Dapple Miniature Dachshund named Fiona. They share a whimsical apartment, which is home to the artwork of local Chesapeake Bay artists — a must see!

What does Barbara like to do for fun? Think water — swimming, kayaking, shelling, fishing, and scuba diving. Ask her about her diving experiences in the Galapagos Islands. Or her numerous forays to the British Isles, most recently a return visit to the Orkney Islands, off Scotland’s northern coast.

But now she feels right at home at Plymouth Harbor even though she only moved in on April 7th. She is sure to be an asset to the 19th Colony, to Plymouth Harbor, and to the Sarasota community at large. Please introduce yourself and make her feel welcome!

 

By: Becky Pazkowski

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Doyle Scholarships: Teah Stebbins and Caleb Genot. Each student has received a scholarship totaling $10,000, which is an increase in the Doyle award this year.

Teah Stebbins
Teah is a high school senior attending Sarasota High School, while also enrolled in the nursing program at Suncoast Technical College. Her goal is to continue her education at Suncoast to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and continue to earn Registered Nurse status, and later a bachelor’s in nursing. She began at Plymouth Harbor as a Dietary Aide early in her high school experience, and has since become a Certified Nurse Assistant in the Smith Care Center. Needless to say, Teah is highly motivated, focused, and ambitious in her career path.
 
 
Caleb Genot
Caleb is a senior at Riverview High School in the International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, and Honors programs. His goal is to study biology at Nova Southeastern University, followed by osteopathic medicine, specializing in neuro-immune medicine. He is very interested in working on more effective treatments or cures for diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Fatigue Disease, and disorders that result in dementia. Caleb has been with Plymouth Harbor as a Valet for over a year. In his school and volunteer life, Caleb is involved in fundraising, teen court, competitive soccer, and is a camp counselor.

 

By: Chris Cooper, Wellness Director

Many residents enjoy outdoor activity year-round. Whether it’s walking to the circle or over the bridge, strolling the campus or playing bocce, exercising safely and using precautions while in the Florida sun is crucial. Overexposure to the sun and heat put everyone at risk for hyperthermia, but according to the National Institutes of Health, it is particularly dangerous for an older population.

Hyperthermia is an abnormally high body temperature and includes all of the following:

-Heat Syncope — a sudden dizziness during activity in hot weather. Note: If you take a beta-blocker heart medication, you are even more likely to feel faint.
-Heat Cramps — a painful tightening of muscles in your stomach, arms, or legs. The body temperature and pulse usually stay normal during heat cramps; your skin may feel moist and cool.
-Heat Edema — a swelling in your ankles and feet when you get hot.
-Heat Exhaustion — a warning that your body can no longer keep itself cool. You might feel thirsty, dizzy, weak, uncoordinated, and nauseated. You may sweat a lot. Your body temperature may stay normal, but your skin may feel cold and clammy. Some people with heat exhaustion have a rapid pulse. Untreated, heat exhaustion can progress to life-threatening heat stroke.
-Heat Stroke — an EMERGENCY requiring medical help immediately. Signs of heat stroke include: fainting or becoming unconscious; behavior change – confusion, agitation, staggering, being grouchy; body temperature over 104°F (40°C); Dry, flushed skin and a strong, rapid pulse or a slow, weak pulse; not sweating (even if it is hot outside).

According to the National Institute on Aging, most people who die from hyperthermia are over 50 years old. Health problems that put this population at greater risk include:

-Heart or blood vessel problems
-Poorly working sweat glands or changes in your skin caused by normal aging
-Heart, lung, or kidney disease, and any illness that makes you feel weak or results in a fever
-Conditions treated by drugs, such as diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers, and some heart and high blood pressure medicines. They may make it harder for your body to cool itself.
-Prescription drugs; ask your doctor if any may make you more likely to become overheated
-Being very overweight or underweight
-Drinking alcoholic beverages

Reduce your risk! If you prefer the outdoors for exercise, consider ways to reduce your risk for a heat-related illness. Check the weather before you go out — not only current air temperature, but also humidity and UV ray levels are easily obtainable on your cell phone or on the web. Make sure you are hydrated before you go out; stay hydrated by carrying a water bottle with you. Keep yourself cool in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing, and do not forget a hat. Do not exercise, garden, or even lie by the pool during the hottest time of day (10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.). Your best location when it really heats up? The Wellness Center! Temperature-controlled to 72 degrees year-round, and you can’t beat the view.

Source: Calvin, Kim. “Advice for older people on staying safe in hot weather.” National Institute on Aging. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 11 July 2016. Web. 16 May 2017.

 

Since 1990, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has celebrated National Nurses Week from May 6th through May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightingale – the founder of modern nursing. This annual event recognizes and celebrates the hard work and dedication exhibited each and every day by nurses across the country.

Additionally, National Nursing Home Week is celebrated annually, beginning May 14th and ending May 20th. Established by the American Health Care Association in 1967, and always beginning on Mother’s Day, National Nursing Home Week provides an opportunity for residents and their loved ones, staff, volunteers, and surrounding communities to recognize the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for seniors. This year, Plymouth Harbor celebrated both annual events during the week of May 15th through May 19th.

Our campus-wide celebration honored our Home Care, Assisted Living, and Skilled Nursing staff, offering a small event each day, including: “Sundae” Monday, OJ and bagels on Tuesday, Staff Bingo on Wednesday, Taco and Potato Bar on Thursday, and the Blessing of the Hands on Friday.

Held in the Smith Care Center, the Blessing of the Hands offers a simple blessing to our caretakers through a cleansing with myrrh water. Aides, nurses, housekeepers, dining staff, residents, and administration alike are invited to attend, where we acknowledge the role each plays in caring for our residents. The following is said to each participant during the ceremony, “May the work of your hands bring comfort, dignity, and mercy to all the people your hands touch.”

We are truly thankful for the work of our healthcare team and for all those who care for our residents here at Plymouth Harbor.