“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.

By: Lorna Hard

Love of water, boats, and sailing are at the center of Bruce Donaldson’s life and always have been. During his childhood in Detroit, he spent a lot of time with his grandparents at their home on the St. Clair River. His first experience of a boat was their row boat. As a very young child, he spent as much time as possible in that boat, trying to make it a sailboat by holding a beach umbrella up to catch the wind. He would go as far upstream as possible behind the umbrella and then close it and float back downstream to the house.

When he was eight he decided to build himself a proper sailboat. This was the first boat he designed, a catboat made from a four-foot by eight-foot piece of plywood and white pine boards. The mast and boom were bamboo and the sail was made from an old sheet. This greatly expanded the range of his sailing on the St. Clair River.

Bruce attended local schools and then enrolled at Olivet College in Michigan. After one year at Olivet, he moved to Florida and spent the next year racing sailing yachts in the waters around Florida and beyond to earn enough money to finance the rest of his college career. He then put himself through Florida State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Except for two years of service in the United States Army in the mid-1950s, Bruce’s entire career was in the boating industry. Through perseverance and a couple of lucky coincidences, he joined Chris Craft Corporation when they moved their headquarters to Fort Lauderdale. He continued with Chris Craft for more than thirty years, working in sales, plant management, the development of products, and corporate management, ending up as president of the company. Most of his career with Chris Craft was in Fort Lauderdale, but he also spent five years at the Chris Craft plant in Holland, Michigan. When the corporate headquarters moved to Sarasota, Bruce settled here. When Chris Craft was sold, Bruce joined Wellcraft Marine where he worked for nine years. He ended his career with Galati Marine, where he worked for eighteen years. The first few years in Sarasota, Bruce lived on Longboat Key and then moved to St. Armands Key where he lived for more than twenty years before moving to Plymouth Harbor at the end of March.

While he was living in Fort Lauderdale Bruce met and married his wife, Judy. When they married, Judy’s son, Tim, was eight years old. Bruce and Judy raised Tim together, and Bruce and Tim are very close. Even though Tim lives in Colorado, he came to Sarasota several times to help Bruce with his move to Plymouth Harbor, and they very much enjoy their time together. Sadly, Judy passed away in 2006.

Bruce considers himself extremely fortunate to have been able to make his living doing what he loves most. Especially, his corporate career entailed long hours working and not a lot of free time, but he enjoyed it all and Judy was very supportive. Bruce is glad to have moved to Plymouth Harbor, but when he moved into Apartment W-302 in March, something was missing. That apartment does not have a water view. So, he put himself on the waiting list for an apartment overlooking the Bay and began happily settling into life at Plymouth Harbor. By early May, Apartment W-315 across the West Garden on the water side became available. Bruce will be happily living there by the time this is published.

He considers Plymouth Harbor his “Last Port of Call” and, with that move he will be snugged down in the “perfect slip” with a lovely view of the water.

 

By: Isabel Pedersen

Aase Eriksen and Frederik Bredahl-Petersen’s names just begin to hint at the complexity of their lives.

Frederik was born in Denmark of an American mother. Growing up there, he started his long educational journey in Denmark, finishing with graduate degrees from Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He is an American citizen as well as a Danish one. Aase, too, has dual citizenships.

Aase (say Osa) was born in Denmark of a Norwegian family. After studying architecture in Denmark, she continued with her master’s degree and Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. Aase founded her own firm, designing many buildings in many countries. While serving as professor of architecture, shuttling between the University of Pennsylvania and Norway’s Trondheim University, she produced copious research. She did not really live on the airplane but it must have felt as if she did.

Frederik, an anthropologist and author, investigated other cultures, specializing in the North Atlantic Region. His professorship was at Temple University, blessedly, in Philadelphia, where the University of Pennsylvania is located.

These two have many stories to tell. Ask them. You will enjoy their tales.