Capture3654068Beginning in the fall of 2014 through the spring of 2015, several residents at Plymouth Harbor began to suggest that residents could benefit from an upgrade of Pilgrim Hall. Thus, recommendations began to surface, and a visioning and planning group was formed to help guide the process.

The group generated the following purpose statement to help guide the process:

  • Design an intimate, comfortable space to seat 100-120 people utilizing state-of-the-art technology, acoustics, and lighting to accommodate all residents, including those with hearing, mobility, and sight challenges. 

Planning ensued throughout the summer. An architect was engaged, an A/V and acoustics expert was consulted, and a recommended plan was produced to improve the sight, sound, and space in Pilgrim Hall.

At the beginning of the planning, the question was raised as to how we would fund the project. Available capital was scarce with the imminent groundbreaking of the Northwest Building, which will house a new and much-needed assisted living and memory care center. After considerable discussion, The Foundation Board recommended that a capital campaign effort be launched to raise the funds needed to upgrade Pilgrim Hall.  Thus, we began quiet discussions with potential donors who might have an interest.

On October 20, 2015, we were very pleased to present the recommendations to all residents of Plymouth Harbor. During the presentation, we shared the six requirements that were developed to help frame the rejuvenation of Pilgrim Hall:

  • Comfortable, theater-style fixed chairs with high stage visibility from any seat.
  • Professional stage and theater lighting to enhance sight and stage ambiance.
  • Acoustics and sound system that amplify and enhance sound, and accommodate patrons with hearing challenges.
  • Integrated video connection throughout Pilgrim Hall, with adaptations necessary for Club Room integration.
  • Ability to view and participate in virtual podcasts from around the world.
  • Expanded backstage accessibility, space, and storage.

Capture654061Also, on October 20, thanks to the work of the Foundation Board and some very generous donors, we were able to announce that over $477,000 had already been committed to this project, officially launching The Next Stage Capital Campaign to Rejuvenate Pilgrim Hall.  Included in this amount is a partnership contribution from Plymouth Harbor, Inc. The goal of the campaign is $1,000,000.

A donor recognition plan approved by the Foundation Board, designed as a Donor Playbill, will be permanently displayed on the exterior wall of Pilgrim Hall. Additionally, all donors to the campaign will be thanked in the printed version of the Grand Opening Playbill, and in the annual Impact Report.

A sample Donor Playbill is pictured right, showing the available naming opportunities (theater, stage, acoustical design, video technology, integrated audio system, and house and theatrical lighting) as well as personal recognition levels (producers, directors, stars, cast, patrons). We are extremely grateful for the gifts that we have already received, some of which have been reserved and are reflected in the Donor Playbill, including the stage, acoustical design, and video technology.

A Campaign Committee is currently being formed and will be announced soon. We very much welcome the opportunity to speak with anyone who might have an interest in supporting this campaign. If you would like more information, please contact Becky Pazkowski at 361-7398 or at



“Have I got a story for you!” This phrase is not only Susan Mauntel’s signature slogan, but also accurately reflects her life and career. Susan was born and raised in Philadelphia, but later moved to Boulder, Colorado, to attend the University of Colorado. She was an art major, journalism minor, and destined for show business.

After school, Susan continued west to California—modeling in TV commercials and print advertisements, first in San Francisco, then Los Angeles. From there, Susan’s next adventure was broadcasting – she hosted daily live TV shows in San Diego and San Francisco, interviewing prominent figures like Maya Angelou and Gerald Ford. Then, she co-anchored the news in Los Angeles. Later, she made her way to Aspen, where she made her living with a paintbrush, rendering fine art on furniture, and co-founded a resident theater company.

How did Susan make it in Los Angeles? And what did she learn along the way?

View her 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 resident Phil Starr, each Insights presentation is videotaped for viewing by employees unable to attend the live event.

Susan Mauntel was our final Insights presentation for 2015. The Insights program will pick back up in January 2016, so stay tuned for more!


21116554478Back in June, we asked you to complete a survey rating your current level of satisfaction on a wide variety of topics here at Plymouth Harbor. In order to ensure the best possible results, the Plymouth Harbor Board of Trustees contracted with Holleran, a highly reputable independent research firm, to conduct the survey. In September, Plymouth Harbor received an extensive report of the results and held a resident meeting to present the findings. Below is a summary of the results and survey responses.

Holleran uses a national benchmark when analyzing survey results. The benchmark is comprised of 71,000 cases from 302 independent living communities, 11,000 cases from 250 assisted living communities, and 12,300 cases from 230 skilled nursing communities. Data collection from our survey lasted from June 5July 6. Seventy-four percent of independent living residents completed the survey, along with 87.5 percent in the Callahan Center, and 73.5 percent in the Smith Care Center.

Overall, independent living residents indicated administration, dining, and daily living, such as competency and courtesy of staff and quality of services, as strengths of Plymouth Harbor. The Callahan Center also identified administration as a strong point, along with quality of care, confidence, and responsiveness. In the Smith Care Center, strengths were indicated in areas of accessibility of the Director of Nursing, quality of care, friendliness and courtesy of staff, and most importantly, preservation of dignity.

Of course, we recognize that within each segment there are areas of opportunity for Plymouth Harbor. The very purpose of this survey is to help us identify areas where we can better serve you, and we vow to take a closer look at these areas. In particular, such opportunities include further explanation and clarity of contract, fulfillment of expectations, and effective management of changes and growth.

That said, we are excited to share that Plymouth Harbor was awarded two Holleran Highest Honors this year! Holleran Highest Honors recognizes areas that score significantly above the Holleran Benchmark. Plymouth Harbor received the award in two categories, including:

  1. Overall Plymouth Harbor for Daily Living and Dining Services
  2. Smith Care Center for Overall Satisfaction

Overall, we hope that you are satisfied with the services here at Plymouth Harbor. If you would like to view a full report of the survey results, two copies are now available in the Plymouth Harbor Library.

By: Becky Pazkowski

Personalized Music Therapy Program

The Smith Care Center has begun a new pilot program, the Personalized Music Therapy Program, which includes the use of iPods and personalized music playlists as an enjoyable therapeutic activity. The purpose of the program is to calm behaviors frequently associated with the need for antipsychotics, thus creating an alternative to the use of medication. The initial target population includes residents who are experiencing behavior and personality changes frequently associated with dementia, such as agitation and restlessness. The pilot program has been funded through gifts to the Foundation from Wendy and Jim Underwood and Laura and Joe Devore.

Leadership Development Grant Program 

We are thrilled to announce a new program: The Harry and Nancy Hobson Leadership Development Grant Program. The purpose of the grant program is to develop the leaders of tomorrow by equipping them with the training they need today, specifically in the field of aging services. Harry and Nancy’s vision is to help blossoming leaders here at Plymouth Harbor receive the coaching, training, and skills they need to become leaders of the future. The Hobsons have provided initial seed funding for the program. For more information, please contact Becky Pazkowski in the Foundation Office or Harry Hobson directly.


The year 1983 marked the beginning of many renovations for Plymouth Harbor. It began with Pilgrim Hall, which underwent minor renovations for a period of about six weeks. The project was made possible through generous gifts of the residents and included a new stage, carpet, chairs, and a new cooling and heating system.

In the year 1984, the Residents Long-Range Planning Committee was established. That same year, as an important part of corporate due diligence, the committee and the Board of Trustees began working on a longer-term plan for Plymouth Harbor. Out of these meetings arose an ambitious expansion and improvement program that Plymouth Harbor would complete in the coming years. Soon after Plymouth Harbor celebrated paying off the $4 million mortgage it took out in 1965, the building projects — both large and small — began.





By: Jim Ahstrom

George Robinson was born in 1926 in Natick, Massachusetts, a town known for the manufacturing of shoes and baseballs. George finished high school in Natick in 1944. That summer, he was a lifeguard in Hyannis Port, and taught Ted Kennedy in his lifeguard class.

Five months later, in December 1944, he joined the Navy, graduating from gunnery school in August 1945. He says that “the Japanese capitulated because they had heard that he joined the Navy.” His tour was spent patrolling the East Coast of the U.S. and playing baseball with Navy teams, being discharged in July 1946.

The GI Bill enabled him to enroll in Boston University where he majored in Marketing. He had done some selling in junior high school where he had gone door to door selling ties hand painted by his sister.

In the winter of 1947–1948, he hitchhiked to Cape Cod to interview for a job selling and delivering milk during the summer. No answer until May 1948, when, surprise, he received a phone call telling him he had the job. Then, for five summers, he sold milk on Cape Cod, often working from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Since it was all commission work, he made quite a bit of money.

Back in Boston that fall, he noted that New England Telephone was hiring. He began his 36-year career with the telephone company in marketing, but soon moved to a more lucrative position in the Billing Department. The last ten years were spent in the Labor Relations Department, before retiring in 1988. From then until this year, he lived in Palm-Aire.

1951 was a big year. George graduated from Boston University, in the same class as his sister. And he got married, fathering four boys in five years and a girl seven years later. His five children have given him three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. George’s first marriage ended in divorce after 20 years and he lost his second wife to illness after 30 years. He met Ginny McIntyre five years ago and moved in with her on August 14, 2015.

George enjoys traveling and has visited Africa, South America, Antarctica, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, and Norway, plus several river cruises in Europe. Interested in sports, he ushered for the Chicago White Sox while they trained here. George was captain of the Over-70s Longwood tennis team. He ran three marathons and still enjoys running, estimating his annual distance at 1,000 miles. He tries to walk 20 miles a week, works out three times a week, and plays golf that often also. For a special birthday celebration, he went skydiving with his son and granddaughter. They jumped at 14,000 feet and had a freefall of 11,000 feet.



Over the past few issues of Harbor Light, The Continuum has featured an article that portrays a fictitious scenario of a family’s journey through our full Continuum process at Plymouth Harbor. The series is designed to provide a closer, more detailed look at our continuing care philosophy. This marks the final article in the series.


After mom talked it through with our family and the staff, she began working with Home Care to provide in-home health services. At that point in time, mom knew that she needed an extra hand, but like many of us would, she wanted to remain in the comfort of her own home. She still took good care of herself, but was becoming a bit forgetful and needed more help getting around. It was for these reasons that she ultimately decided to work with Home Care, rather than transition into assisted living.

Together with Home Care nurses, she developed a plan that aligned with her goals. They began coming up to the apartment to help out, and were extremely caring and personable with her. They helped mom with everyday tasks – getting from here to there, both within the apartment and Plymouth Harbor, taking medication, preparing meals, and more. In addition, they provided all of us with peace of mind, just knowing that a helping hand was there if needed.

Three years went by, and mom continued to work with Home Care. Over the years, our family grew to know the nurses extremely well. We appreciated all that they did for mom (and us) and how they always kept us informed of her goings-on. Even with the extra help, mom remained her spirited, energetic self. She kept up her social life, and always loved having our families over to her beautiful apartment.

At the end of that third year, mom (now age 90) began to slow down. She began needing more and more help, and was losing her memory at an increasing rate. She often wandered and forgot where she was, and we were all beginning to worry more about the chance of her falling. So, mom, along with the nurses, decided it was again time to discuss her options. We sat down together once more and talked about what the next step might be. After some discussion, mom decided that she was ready to move into the Smith Care Center (SCC), which offered more medical assistance and personalized care.

Shortly thereafter, Home Care contacted SCC, and began making arrangements for mom to move in. After some time, mom was able to get a single room, and in the meantime, we worked with Residential Services to ensure we had ample time to move her belongings out of her Tower apartment. They helped us to downsize, and we were then able to bring her favorite possessions into Smith Care, making her room homey and comfortable.

It didn’t take long for mom and our families to get acquainted with the new staff in SCC. Everyone was extremely patient and kind, and they made sure mom continued to have an interactive schedule. She participated in resident meetings, monthly art therapy, and birthday “bashes,” and even got her hair and nails done each week in the salon.

Mom remained in the Smith Care Center for two more years before she passed. We will never forget the many wonderful experiences she had there, and how Plymouth Harbor was there for her at every stage. We are forever thankful that mom chose to live at Plymouth Harbor — it was one of the greatest gifts she could have given us those 16 years ago when she moved in.



By: Becky Pazkowski

Congratulations to the 2015 Plymouth Harbor Foundation scholarship recipients! Thanks to the generosity of over 70 donors, we were able to award eight scholarships for a total of $14,000 this year!


Bea Davis was a beloved, longtime (38 years) employee of Plymouth Harbor who passed away in 2013. She was a housekeeper in the Smith Care Center when she died. This scholarship was established in her memory and is available to housekeeping staff or their children.

Recipient: Carol Bello –
$1500 Bea Davis Memorial Scholarship

Carol is the daughter of Martha Chavez, a member of the housekeeping team at Plymouth Harbor since 2013. Carol is a sophomore at Florida State University working on a degree in Social Work and Political Science. She is interested in joining the Peace Corps, and is very involved in volunteer activities at FSU, such as Relay For Life and Ronald McDonald House. She is also an intern at the State Capitol.




Jane T. Smiley has resided at Plymouth Harbor since 2004. From a family that encouraged academics, she graduated from Smith College with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She went into the business world and worked her way up from the training squad at Macy’s to assistant buyer at The New Yorker, and finally to Vice President at Burdines.  Well-educated, well-travelled, and a consummate philanthropist, Mrs. Smiley made two scholarships available this year to employees of Plymouth Harbor or their children.

Recipient: Nancy Chan – $2000 Jane T. Smiley Scholarship
Nancy Chan is a Certified Nurse Assistant working toward her LPN certification at Manatee Technical College. She has been with Plymouth Harbor for over 10 years, has been a CNA for over 17 years, and is now ready to take her career to the next level.  She feels that her years of experience as a CNA, and the understanding she has for others in need, will help her to become a wonderful nurse one day.

Recipient: Tricia Roman – $2000 Jane T. Smiley Scholarship

Tricia Roman has been part of the Plymouth Harbor housekeeping staff for two years.  She is very dedicated and motivated, and is working toward her Medical Administrative Assistant certification from Ultimate Medical Academy. She says that she has a heart to help people, especially the elderly.



Picture5Evelin Corsey resided at Plymouth Harbor from 1995 until her death in 2013, at age 98. Her life was filled with show business and the arts, but her most noted contribution to the business world was her career in real estate. She was known as the “broker to the world” and had the distinction of becoming the first woman CEO in Manhattan real estate. When Evelin passed away, she left a bequest to Plymouth Harbor in her estate. With a portion of that bequest, the Evelin Corsey Scholarship was established to benefit the employees of Plymouth Harbor.

Recipient: Luis Santiago –
$1000 Evelin Corsey Scholarship

Luis has worked as a houseman in Dining Services for over 3 years. He is working toward an Associate in Science degree as a Radiology Technician at State College of Florida.  He was inspired to pursue this field when he had his own sonogram and was completely fascinated by the technology.





Jeannette Gehrie lived at Plymouth Harbor with her husband Charles from 2012 until her passing in October of 2014.  She was wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and musician.  Before her death, Jeannette and Charles established and endowed a music scholarship to be offered annually, in perpetuity, to Plymouth Harbor employees or their immediate family members who wish to study music.

Recipient: Paul Pazkowski – $1500 Jeannette Gehrie Music Scholarship Paul Pazkowski has been a Plymouth Harbor employee for nearly three years, most recently as an eTech; he plays guitar in the Mayflower Café twice a month. Paul is taking guitar lessons in order to expand his song selection to include more pieces from the eras of our residents.


We are extremely grateful to the 70+ donors whose gifts have made additional scholarships possible for our employees and their families. 

Recipient: Lekeya Butler – $2000 General Education Scholarship

Lekeya Butler is a CNA working in our Home Care department. She is a student at State College of Florida in the LPN program. Lekeya has ambitious plans for herself, as she would eventually like to earn her Nurse Practitioner degree where she would apply her skills in the field of women’s health.

Recipient: Vernicia Crenshaw – $2000 General Education Scholarship

Vernicia (Nici) Crenshaw is the daughter of Michelle Jackson, a member of our housekeeping team for over 8 years, with a total of 29 years with Plymouth Harbor. Nici herself is a member of Dining Services. She is studying to become a Radiology Ultrasound Technician at Keiser University. One of her instructors commented that she is one of the most gifted of her contemporaries.

Recipient: Sabrina Galvan Cortez – $2000 General Education Scholarship

Sabrina Cortez is a CNA in the Home Care department. She has been a CNA for 11 years, and is studying to earn her Occupational Therapy Assistant certification at State College of Florida. Sabrina has 6 children and manages to work full-time and attend school.


By: Addie Hurst

Constance, “Connie,” and Haviland moved into Plymouth Harbor on July 22, and are fairly well-acclimated and happy with their new abode. They have lots of friends in Sarasota, having lived here since 2010, and have several friends who will be moving in shortly.

Connie was born in Kensington, Maryland, and eventually graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BA in psychology. Her first job was with Arthur D. Little, a prominent consulting firm. Then, in 1966, she moved to The Hague and joined the Insurance Company of North America, where she eventually became Director of Planning for the European region. She moved with them to Brussels for the next 16 years.

After the death of her father, she moved to Ocean Pines, Maryland, near Ocean City, where she and her partner formed a company providing financial services and managing condominiums. Next, she became CFO of Ocean Petroleum and while there, founded the Eastern Shore Performing Arts Society and co-founded the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra. Retiring in 2000, she served on the Reader’s Advisory Committee of the Sarasota Herald Tribune and on the board of the Sarasota Concert Association and SILL (Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning).

Haviland was born and raised in Fort Valley, Georgia. She graduated from Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, with a BA in history and Spanish. After a brief stint teaching junior high school, she became Director of Christian Education in Savannah. Then she attended Emory University in Atlanta and received an MS in Christian Education.

For the next 14 years, she was Director of Christian Education for the Peachtree Road United Methodist Church. Next, she became a recruiter of students for the nursing program at Emory. After that, she was an executive for the YWCA of Atlanta, followed by Assistant General Secretary of the General Board of Discipleship of the Methodist Church in Nashville, and then General Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society in Washington, DC. Last was a stint at the American Bible Society in New York.

We welcome these accomplished ladies to Plymouth Harbor!



At age 90, Arthur Ancowitz is still dancing…tap dancing, that is. While Dr. Ancowitz has many talents, hobbies, and interests, his passion for tap dancing is one thing he prides himself on the most. However, unlike his passion for medicine, Arthur didn’t always have an interest in tap dancing.

“Five years ago, I saw a YouTube video of Bob Hope and Jimmy Cagney tap dancing,” he says. “I thought to myself if they can do it, I’d like to try.” So he began taking lessons at the local YMCA. He liked it so much that he went on to work with instructor Mike McManus at the Friendship Center, and he’s been taking classes ever since. “I’d say I tap dance at least once a week,” he says matter-of-factly.

Not only does Arthur dance once a week (or more), he was also instrumental in getting tap dancing classes started here at Plymouth Harbor. Along with Wellness Director Chris Valuck, Arthur helped to develop the class with his Friendship Center instructor. Today, the class has at least five resident “regulars.”

It’s not surprising that Arthur is still tap dancing. From a young age, he placed a heavy emphasis on remaining active and healthy, and had a keen interest in practicing medicine. “My grandfather wanted me to be a good doctor. The best I could be, and I was,” Arthur says.

A New Yorker “through and through,” Arthur is one of three children, born and raised in New York City. After Arthur graduated high school, he decided that he wanted a small-school experience and chose to attend Bethany College in Bethany, West Virginia. After one year there, Pearl Harbor occurred. As a result, he joined the Navy as an apprentice seaman. He worked his way up to Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class, and in 1944, the Navy sent him to medical school at New York University College of Medicine.

After graduation in 1948, Arthur went on to complete his fellowship, internship, and residency. After that, he was called back to service, this time by the Army, to serve in the Korean War. He was assigned duties in the Pentagon as an internist, and one of his responsibilities was to accompany VIPs assigned by the President on numerous air flights across the world.

Among these VIPs was General Omar N. Bradley – one of the United States’ most distinguished and respected generals. “I got to know him very well,” Arthur recalls. “He treated me like a son.” In fact, the General and his wife, Mary, hosted the wedding for Arthur and his wife, Marjorie. It was at the Pierre Hotel in New York City for 200 guests. Though they later divorced, Arthur and Marjorie had three beautiful children – a son, Richard, whose full name is Richard Bradley Ancowitz, and two daughters, Nancy and MJ.

After his service in the Army, Arthur returned to the Veteran’s Administration where he served as the Section Chief in Internal Medicine at the Bronx VA Hospital. Following his time there, Arthur went into private practice in New York. But to this day, he articulates a strong respect and admiration for the military. “I identify very strongly with those heroes,” he says, referring to the men he treated throughout his service. “And I hold in high regard those men and women who choose the military as a career.”

Arthur experienced a loss during those years in private practice when his father suffered a stroke. However, out of this unfortunate situation came some good. “I felt that the treatment he received was inadequate. That motivated me to study stroke and improve its treatment,” he remembers. In 1967, Arthur founded the Stroke Foundation – an organization that he still runs to this day.
Extremely motivated and passionate, Arthur has written several books on stroke prevention, and with the help of the Stroke Foundation, he is helping to fund research for the University of Florida, the New York University College of Medicine Department of Geriatrics, and Sarasota Memorial Hospital. In November, the Stroke Foundation will present an award to a young internist who wishes to pursue a fellowship in Gerontology. For more information on stroke and stroke prevention, he encourages others to take advantage of the informative and helpful articles that can be found on the Stroke Foundation’s website:

After 40 years in private practice, Arthur retired and “migrated to Florida.” In 1980, he purchased a condo on Longboat Key and continued to remain active. He says he chose the area because, after he came down for a 6-mile race many years before, he was impressed by the surroundings, water, palm trees, and, of course, the weather. In 2014, he moved into Plymouth Harbor.

DSCN0692When asked about his hobbies, Arthur again circles back to tap dancing. But he also adds that he’s an advocate for line dancing, applauding Plymouth Harbor for offering both of these “wonderful aerobic exercises” to its residents. In addition to dancing, Arthur was once big into tennis, running, and biking. He completed 11 New York Marathons, and has “biked all over the world” with his now partner of 15 years, Ina Schnell, listing Timbuktu and Mongolia as two of their destinations. Arthur lights up when talking about Ina, who will move into Plymouth Harbor after the sale of her home. “She is a remarkable woman. She is knowledgeable in many subjects. Her charity is selective. It benefits many deserving organizations,” he says.

In addition to exercise, Arthur is also a strong advocate of low-fat and vegetarian diets, and applauds Chef René for “offering a diverse menu which avoids ‘institutional’ meals.” For fun, Arthur has a love of poetry. He is the author of a 2014 rhyming poetry book entitled “The Bard in Me,” available in the Plymouth Harbor Library. When it comes to being a published author, Arthur’s children followed in his footsteps. His son Richard, an attorney, has published several books on legal matters, and his daughter, Nancy, published a book entitled “Self-Promotion for Introverts®.”

Arthur enjoys the theater, the atmosphere here at Plymouth Harbor, and his six grandchildren – Allison, Valerie, Jonathan, Pamela, Joseph, and Benny. “They have been raised to be contributors to our society and a source of pride to our family,” he says of his family.

Arthur Ancowitz is a clinician, professor, lecturer, author, researcher, and scientist. But most importantly, Arthur is a smart, caring, and kind-hearted individual who still has so much to share with the world. “Before the final curtain descends, as it does for all, I intend to remain active, to help others, and to continue to have fun,” he ends with a smile.