By: Becky Pazkowski

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan first proclaimed November 15 to be National Philanthropy Day.  Since then, communities across the country and in Canada have come together on or about this date to celebrate the donors, volunteers, leaders, and others engaged in philanthropy.  While philanthropy departments and foundations celebrate donors and volunteers on a daily basis, this day was set aside for a wider, grassroots effort for entire communities to recognize the huge impact gifts of time, talent, and treasure make every day of our lives.

In the spirit of philanthropy that is ever present here at Plymouth Harbor, let us take a few minutes this month, perhaps even on November 15th, to turn to our neighbor, friend, housekeeper, caregiver, pastor, family member, whomever you might consider important in your life, and say “thank you for being in my life.”  We all have gifts to give, and none of us could do it ourselves.

Below are over 1,213,000 things that the Plymouth Harbor Foundation is profoundly grateful for so far this year.  Thank you for all you do to make Plymouth Harbor the best it can possibly be!

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 BeckyP@PlymouthHarbor.org.

 

 

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.

 

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!

 Picture1BEA DAVIS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

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.

 

 

Picture3JANE T. SMILEY SCHOLARSHIPS

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.

 


EVELIN CORSEY SCHOLARSHIP

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.

 

 

Picture7

JEANNETTE GEHRIE MUSIC SCHOLARSHIP

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: Becky Pazkowski

Several people have approached me recently about making a charitable gift that produces income back to the donor, or a designee of the donor. There are several ways that this can be accomplished.  One such way is through a vehicle called a Charitable Gift Annuity, and I would like to offer some details about this type of gift below.

A Charitable Gift Annuity provides a variety of benefits for the donor, including:

  • Guaranteed fixed income based on your age at the time of the gift
  • Tax deduction if donor itemizes
  • Some of the income may be tax-free
  • 1 or 2 people can receive the income
  • There is no fee to establish the annuity

Other considerations:

  • There is a $1000 minimum to establish the annuity
  • The gift is irrevocable
  • We work with the United Church of Christ (UCC), United Church Funds
  • At least 50% of the beneficiary must be a UCC affiliated organization (Plymouth Harbor is)
  • Income you receive is based on your age, the highest rate is 9.0%
  • Your gift can be made with cash or securities
  • When the annuitant dies, the remaining principal passes to the beneficiaries

 Illustration below:

illustration

If you would like to know more about how to establish a Charitable Gift Annuity, or what rate you would receive, please feel free to contact me at beckyp@plymouthharbor.org. We can work up an illustration based on your age and other details.

 

Elsie Dreffein and her brother Charles moved into Plymouth Harbor on January 20, 1966. As one of our original residents, they staked their claim on the 22nd floor, where Elsie lived for more than 30 years. In 1996, she passed away at the age of 103 in the Smith Care Center. In 1974, Charles passed at the age of 91 in Wheaton, Illinois, as he apparently only spent his winters in Sarasota.

Elsie was a public school physical education teacher during her working life in Chicago. She never married or had any children, but some of her extended family still live in Sarasota today.  Her brother Henry was the only one to have children—five to be exact, some of whom migrated here. Dorothy (Deln) Dreffin (the spelling of the name changed at some point by “the boys”) was also a resident of Plymouth Harbor. She was married to Henry’s son, Bill Dreffin, who died before she moved here. Additionally, two of Elsie’s great nieces live in Sarasota today. One, Dezi, and her father Roger, have fond memories of Aunt Elsie, describing her as a woman with strong opinions and interest in the stock market.

We wanted to probe further and get more information about Elsie, so we called her niece Barbara Schwanke, who used to winter in Sarasota and now lives full time in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Barbara recalls, “Elsie was very Republican, with strong ideas, and she expected people to perform. She loved music, education, and hard work. She was a very generous person.” Barbara also tells us that Elsie was a pianist and played both German and American tunes for our residents throughout her 30 years here. She and her brother Charles shared a love for the symphony, which led her to become a member of the Florida West Coast Symphony and the Symphony Orchestra.

Elsie’s four older brothers loved the stock market and would gather together every Sunday night in Glen Ellyn to talk about it at length. Since Elsie was young, too young to be included in the conversation, she would sit in the background and listen to her brothers…and she would learn.

Picture1When Elsie died in 1996 she had set up the Elsie A. Dreffein Charitable Trust, funded presumably with the benefits of all of that listening she did in her younger years. She named several charities as the beneficiaries of the income from the trust, Plymouth Harbor being a 30 percent recipient. The income is distributed annually, and the trust has grown to over $5,500,000.

Generous is hardly sufficient to describe Elsie Dreffein. Over the last five years, we have received more than $409,000 in unrestricted funds from her trust, which has helped to support Resident Assistance, the Wellness Center, and more. This year alone, we received a check for $81,584. Her forward-thinking and astute investing will continue in perpetuity.

Did Elsie learn from her brothers? You bet she did. Today, she gives over and over and over again to Plymouth Harbor, continually showing her appreciation for all of the hard workers who lived up to her standards. Thank you, Elsie Dreffein, for reminding us every year what a difference one person can make in the lives of others.

JayPrice-192x220SARASOTA, July 27, 2015Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay, a not-for-profit continuing care community of distinction for older adults, welcomes the newest member of The Plymouth Harbor Foundation Board, Jay Price, as Member at Large Trustee. Jay is a First Vice President – Investments and Financial Advisor with the Juron Price Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC.

The Plymouth Harbor Foundation, an LLC of Plymouth Harbor, Inc., was established in 2012. Governed by a separate Board of Trustees, The Foundation was established to further ensure the appropriate stewardship of contributed funds, develop fundraising strategies that support the most positive aging experience possible, and provide funding for innovative programs and services in the surrounding community. The Board consists of the CEO and CFO of Plymouth Harbor, Inc.; at least three members of the corporate Plymouth Harbor, Inc. Board of Trustees; three Plymouth Harbor residents who do not sit on the corporate Board; and three at-large members, one of which is now Jay. Members serve a term of three years, and may elect to serve two consecutive terms.

As a member of The Plymouth Harbor Foundation Board, Jay is responsible for helping to guide the Board’s decisions in relation to both Plymouth Harbor and the greater Sarasota community. Jay has a close connection to Plymouth Harbor, as his parents moved into an apartment in the Plymouth Harbor tower 23 years ago. His father, Donald Price, has since passed, however, his mother, Elsa Price, remains an active member of the community today.

“It is a pleasure to welcome Jay Price to The Foundation Board. He has history with Plymouth Harbor as both of his parents have been residents. He comes to us with a strong financial background as well as a wonderful philanthropic interest,” says William (Bill) Johnston, Chair of The Plymouth Harbor Foundation Board.

Jay was born in Southport, Connecticut, and was raised in Manchester, and Stowe, Vermont. After finishing high school in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, he moved to Wichita, Kansas, to serve six years in the 8th Air Force Strategic Air Command. After his Air Force service and his education at Wichita State University, he joined Boeing Military Co. Aerospace Group, and worked on national defense projects.

In 1984, Jay moved to Sarasota, Florida, and spent 12 years traveling and managing worldwide, special access international defense projects for Fairchild Weston and its successors, Loral Aerospace – Lockheed Martin. He then served as Director, Corporate Accounts for an international telecommunications firm.

His previous board service includes chair of the St. Thomas More Finance Committee. Additionally, he and his wife, Leslie Juron, co-chaired the Girls Incorporated of Sarasota County Capital Campaign and were both awarded the Girls, Inc. Visionary Award.

To learn more about The Plymouth Harbor Foundation, click here. To learn more about Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay, click here.

About Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay                                                                                                                                                                                                    Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay, founded in 1966, operates as a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community (CCRC) for 300 residents and is centrally located on the Bay between Bird Key and St. Armands Circle with vistas of the Gulf, Bay, and the city of Sarasota. It offers customized independent living residences, home care, assisted living, and skilled nursing and rehabilitation therapy services in the Smith Care Center. The Plymouth Harbor Foundation was established in 2012 to further ensure the appropriate stewardship of contributed funds, develop fundraising strategies that support the most positive aging experience possible, and provide funding for innovative programs and services in the region. Please visit www.plymouthharbor.org or www.facebook.com/plymouthharbor for more information.

 

 

Please join us in extending a huge thank you to Bruce Crawford, Winnie Downes and Carl Denney, and Phil and Barry Starr, all whom recently made legacy gifts to The Plymouth Harbor Foundation. Two of the gifts were made through changing the beneficiaries on a life insurance policy to The Plymouth Harbor Foundation. The third was by naming The Plymouth Harbor Foundation in their will.  We welcome them all into The MacNeil Society, as a result.

Individuals who have thoughtfully included a gift to the Plymouth Harbor Foundation through their estate are part The MacNeil Society. Their gift has been named through a will, gift annuity agreement, trust agreement, life insurance policy, or retirement plan. Currently, there are 19 members of The MacNeil Society, whose consolidated gifts total over $1.4 million. We are extremely grateful for your future gifts to sustain the zest that continues to define the culture of Plymouth Harbor.

 

There are many forms of philanthropy, but giving of yourself and your talents falls into a special category. If you have ever visited the eTEAM on a Saturday morning, you’ve no doubt met many of the Sarasota area high school students who volunteer here, and make up the eTEAM. These wonderfully talented students assist residents with electronics, such as cell phones, computers, tablets, printers, and various other devices. Currently, we have a team of seven students: Matthew Jacobs, Brandon Kennedy, Tyler Lundy, Paul Nicowski, Natasha Nieckoski, Jared White, and Stephen Yaegers. Each of these students is generous and skilled, and we are ever so grateful for their time. The student with the longest tenure as an eTEAM member is Jared White. He was our first student member, and he has just celebrated two years with us, giving over 130 hours of his time to the eTEAM. This fall, he will be going into his senior year at Suncoast Polytechnical High School. But, do not fret…he is not going away. He’ll be with us until he graduates, we hope. Please enjoy reading a recent conversation I had with Jared.

You recently received a special certification. Can you tell us more about that?
The certifications I recently received are known as the CompTIA A+ and Network+, which are certifications designed to show my skill set in the computer and network technician field, respectively. In addition to the competitiveness of the certifications, they also weight with them an equivalent of 6 months on the job training, of which I credit to the multitude of experiences I achieved through working with the residents living at Plymouth Harbor.

You have been attending Suncoast Polytechnical High School. What attracted you there?
From the beginning of Polytech—the nickname many have coined for Suncoast Polytechnical High School as a result of its length—the idea surrounding the school was to equip students with the tools they need to either go on to be bountiful additions to our community in Sarasota in terms of the workforce or to go onto college equipped with the tools they need to succeed in the modern setting of university life. This initially attracted my sister, Megan White, who attended the school the second year it opened as a member of the class of 2016. Along with the school’s A rating and priority seating at SCTI (now known as STC) my family has always been comfortable with the fact that I had choices when graduating from high school, a choice many don’t have when they graduate.

What has your focus in high school been to this point?
Up to this point, my goal has always been consistently the same, though it has changed from working as a technician in the Sarasota area to attending a university to study computer science, as I still plan to do once I graduate from SPHS. With this degree plan, I plan to move on to working as either a database or network engineer.

Have you enjoyed being an eTEAM member?
Volunteering at Plymouth Harbor has been a great joy, as I have not only been able to expand my customer service and social skills, but also my technical experience with practical problems that I will undoubtedly encounter in the entry-level workforce. I would like to personally thank everyone at Plymouth Harbor for the experiences I’ve had, and hope that my service from here forward will continue to be as meaningful to you as it is to me.

Since 1999, more than 25 scholarships have been awarded through The Mildred and Bernard Doyle Charitable Trust to Plymouth Harbor employees and their children. A result of the deep admiration the Doyles developed for Plymouth Harbor employees during their residency, the trust was established as a means to provide ongoing educational assistance to “a worthy and needy child of an employee of Plymouth Harbor” or “a worthy and needy employee seeking to increase their skills or to obtain a higher education.” Each year, a scholarship committee at Northern Trust Bank, including former Plymouth Harbor executive director Jack Smith, selects two recipients of the $5,000 scholarship. This year, Tara Mitchell and Louise Franca received the prestigious recognition.

Tara Mitchell joined the Smith Care Center as a certified nursing assistant in 2006. With the help of the Doyle Scholarship, Tara plans to complete her associate degree in nursing at the StateCollege of Florida. Once completed, Tara will enroll in the LPN to RN transition program at St. Petersburg College.

scholarships imageLouise Franca is the daughter of Marcos Franca, who has worked as a landscaper at Plymouth Harbor for over seven years. A senior at Manatee High School, Louise has been a Dual Enrollment student at the State College of Florida since her junior year. After graduation, Louise plans to pursue a degree in fashion marketing, first at Tallahassee Community College for her associate degree, then transferring to Florida State University to earn her bachelor’s degree.

Congratulations, Tara and Louise!