Congratulations to our 2013 Plymouth Harbor Foundation Scholarship recipients!  These recipients represent dedicated and motivated employees at Plymouth Harbor and we are very proud to be able to assist them with their educational pursuits.  These scholarships are made possible through the generosity of our donors and are 100% funded through charitable donations. 

Jacqueline Barbieri—$2000 Nursing Education Scholarship
Jackie has been employed for five years by Plymouth Harbor as a full time LPN in Home Care.  She has been accepted into the RN program at State College of Florida this fall.  Her plans after graduation are to continue to advance in her career at Plymouth Harbor. 

Tara Mitchell—$2000 Nursing Education Scholarship
Tara joined the Plymouth Harbor staff over seven years ago as a certified nursing assistant.  She later became an LPN and currently serves as a charge nurse in the Smith CareCenter.  It’s a family affair for the Mitchells.  Tara’s mother, Yolanda, was a long-time beloved member of our housekeeping department.  Tara is currently enrolled at State College of Florida to earn her RN status to increase the care she can provide for others. 

Edwin Santiago—$1500 Bea Davis Memorial Scholarship
The Bea Davis Memorial Scholarship was established in honor of a cherished housekeeper who served the residents of Plymouth Harbor for 38 years.  This scholarship supports educational opportunities for housekeeping employees and their immediate family members.  It was recently awarded to Edwin Santiago, the son of Elizabeth Santiago, a five-year employee of Plymouth Harbor.  Edwin is enrolled and currently attending classes to become a physical therapy assistant. 

Cindy Taylor—$2000 Nursing Education Scholarship
Cindy is a full time LPN in Home Care and Independent Living.  A member of the Home Care staff for over 11 years, Cindy is pursuing her RN credential at State College of Florida and wishes to continue to provide excellent service to the residents of Plymouth Harbor. 

Nancy Thompson—$1500 General Education Scholarship
Nancy, a CNA, is a Lead Restorative Aide in the Smith Care Center.  Understanding the importance of proper diet, meal intakes, food consistency, and weight on the quality of life for our SCC residents, Nancy wishes to pursue her Certified Dietary Manager credential through the University of North Dakota Online and Distance Education program.  Nancy has been with Plymouth Harbor for 1 1/2 years.

Yaima Comas – $2000 Jane T. Smiley Scholarship
Yaima Comas is the first recipient of the Jane T. Smiley Scholarship established by a gift to the Plymouth Harbor Foundation from resident Jane Smiley to provide an annual scholarship to benefit Plymouth Harbor employees.  Yaima has been a member of the Home Care staff as a certified nursing assistant for nearly three years.  She is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Health Services Administration. 

 By Lee Yousri

When portraying an individual, it is fitting to place that person center stage.  This is most appropriate in the case of our new friend, George Salley, who joined the Plymouth Harbor community in December, 2012.

From South Carolina to New York to Florida; this represents his life’s journey, with a few of the usual detours.  Born into a farming family, he developed a closeness and love of the land which led to his first degree at Clemson University, a BS in Agronomy.  According to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, this is “a branch of agriculture dealing with field-crop rotation and soil management.”

After a Navy stint in the early fifties, which afforded him world-wide travel, he was inspired to go a step further in his chosen field by earning a degree in Landscape Architecture.  We enter a somewhat related field but now we’ve added people.  A landscape architect is concerned with “the arrangement of land for human use and enjoyment.”  Again I quote Mr. Webster.

George’s first job was with a firm in Fort Lauderdale working on the master plan for Longboat Key.  Following this he was recruited by another architectural firm which was planning the New York City World’s Fair of 1963.

His move to New York resulted in his residing all over Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights where he bought a near derelict brownstone in the Landmark Preservation area and converted it into four two-bedroom apartments.  His tenants were mostly young couples just out of college and newly married.  He very much enjoyed his role as landlord.

Of course, his professional life continued.  Among the many prestigious projects in which he participated were the Sculpture Gardens at the Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Paley Park, all in New York City; the Hirschhorn Museum on the National Mall in Washington D.C., and the Johnson Presidential Library in Texas. 

By this time he was living six months in New York, six months in Sarasota.  And he was pursuing his hobbies of gardening, travel, music, walking, and reading (the New York Times and the New Yorker are a “must”).

His last job was with the New York City Housing Authority.  While this dealt with lodging for the underprivileged, he also moonlighted in special projects for the wealthy, thus affirming his diverse talents. 

Art, history, theatre, branches of life both practical and artistic are all represented here.  Truly an admirable repertoire!  George deserves his place center stage.

We welcome him to Plymouth Harbor!

Elizabeth and James Murphy joined the Plymouth Harbor community in March, 2013.

By Isabel Pedersen

A college graduation does not seem an obvious place for a middle-aged man to meet the love of his life but that is what happened when Jim Murphy first saw “Elizabeth.”  Her son and his daughter were graduating from Miami University in Ohio.  The night before graduation, all families celebrated and exchanged introductions.  The lasting one was the relationship that began that night.

The odds of their meeting any other way seem slim.  Lee grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota.  After graduating from Centenary College in New Jersey, she returned to St. Paul where she raised three sons, became a Junior League member, but was busiest as the owner and buyer of a specialty store.  For 15 years, she traveled on buying trips to England, Ireland, Iceland, and in America.

Meanwhile, Jim grew up in Darien, Connecticut.  His father’s printing business near Philadelphia was sold when his father died quite young.  Jim stayed in the area to attend West Chester University, graduating in 1951.  While attending the University of Pennsylvania, he taught Journalism while going to night school. 

After graduation, Jim was selected into the Naval V-5 program which sent him to Georgia Tech.  His life work has been the interconnected world of mortgage banking, real estate development, and construction.  From laborer to president, Jim enjoyed and profited from exposure on local, state, and national levels while living in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida.  His lifelong commitment to charitable causes has involved working with the poor, which he continues to do to this day.

When Lee arrived in Florida, her northern roots and family ties to a nature center and an arboretum brought a new sense of appreciation for Mother Nature.  She spent 16 years in Founders Garden Club.  It was fitting that the Murphys were married at Spanish Point in Osprey.  They resided at The Oaks where Jim continued his custom home building business.After 20 years, the Murphys moved to Kenaya in the Burns Court District before coming to Plymouth Harbor. 

Together these two have 13 grandchildren.  It is not surprising that they have been mentoring young people in Sarasota County schools for years in the Take Stock in Children program. Please welcome this interesting couple to Plymouth Harbor. 

Henry and Janet Jacobs

It’s never too late for love!  New residents Henry and Janet Jacobs proved it when they were married onFebruary 11, 2013, in Plymouth Harbor’s MacNeil Chapel.

The newlyweds first became acquainted 35 years ago when they were both members of the ‘Swedish Walking Club’ in Maryland.  Janet lived in Timonium and Henry resided in nearby Towson.

Years passed and their lives converged again about 25 years later.  According to Janet, “things got a little more serious” between them during the past couple years.  They decided to marry and Henry made all of the arrangements in just seven days.  He said, “There was never any question as to where we’d have the wedding; the chapel is beautiful!”

Twenty-six guests joined the happy couple — friends and family from Michigan as well as several cities throughout Florida.  Henry’s 18-month old great-great niece, Reese Rose, served as flower girl.  The ceremony was followed by a dinner in the private dining room.


Congratulations to Patricia Martinez for being nominated by her peers and winning the “Employee of the Month” Award for January 2013.Patricia Martinez, Employee of the Month for January 2013

Patricia is originally from Cali, Colombia.  She moved to the Sarasota area in 2001. Patricia previously worked at The Springs and Bay Village in the housekeeping department.

In February of 2011 Patricia came to work at Plymouth Harbor as a full time Environmental Aide in the SCC.

Patricia received exceed standard remarks on her most recent appraisal in Job Knowledge, Quality of Work, Efficiency, Attitude, Relationship with People, Responsiveness to Supervisor, and Personal Conduct.  Her supervisor describes her as a very kind and conscientious worker, an asset to the Plymouth Harbor staff.

Her nomination form reads,  “Patricia is kind and considerate, friendly and helpful.  She always greets everyone with a smile and offers help and support to the residents.  She has an exceptionally positive attitude.  Patricia is very supportive of the Plymouth Harbor vision.”

In her spare time Patricia enjoys riding her bike and spoiling her cat, “Shadow.”  But what she enjoys the most are visits from her sons, Felipe and Pablo, who are engineers and work out of town.

It is our privilege to recognize Patricia as the “Employee of the Month” for January 2013.  As a tangible expression of our appreciation, she was given sole use of the Employee of the Month reserved parking space during the entire month of January.  She also received $100 in cash and eight hours of PTO.


Friday, November 23 at 3pm in Pilgrim Hall

David and Jenny Heitler-Klevans of TWO OF A KIND

David and Jenny Heitler-Klevans of TWO OF A KIND

TWO OF A KIND delights audiences of all ages with their music, good humor, and audience participation. David and Jenny Heitler-Klevans of TWO OF A KIND love bringing people together and building community through music. Their beautiful harmonies accompanied by David’s powerful, rhythmic guitar playing and Jenny’s multi-ethnic percussion instruments create magic on stage.
An award-winning husband-wife duo, TWO OF A KIND presents concerts for families and children of all ages, including songs, puppets, movement, and stories – all with an emphasis on interaction and participation. Themes of songs and stories range from reading and books, friendship and animals, to social issues such as the environment, conflict resolution, and diversity. TWO OF A KIND helps audiences of all ages feel that they can create music and that they can make a difference in the world.
“Our songs are written out of great respect for children – their experiences, their sophistication and their desire to explore big issues. Our goal is to provide quality music that speaks to children and adults, and helps them to become people who make a positive contribution to the world – and to have fun at the same time!”

By Becky Pazkowski, Vice President of Philanthropy

Last weekend, I was walking across the John Ringling Bridge on my morning walk when I noticed a women – of more years than I – walking along slowly, holding on to the railing. She wore a cotton house dress and carried a water bottle around her waist and a tote over her shoulder. Lots of people walk and run that bridge, as you are aware, but, this was the first time I had seen a women of this many years taking the journey.

Plymouth Harbor next to Ringling bridge in Sarasota

Many Sarasotans walk the bridge for fitness and peace of mind.woman – of more years than I- walking along slowly, holding on to the railing. She wore a cotton house dress and carried a water bottle around her waist and a tote over her shoulder. Lost of people walk and run that bridge, as you are aware, but, this was the first time I had seen a woman of this many years making the journey.

When I reached her I said hello and asked how she was doing. She was fine, she said. I asked if she made this walk often. No, this was the first time. I commented that it was a tough walk. She said it wasn’t tough, just long. She assured me that she was going to go slow, and was hoping there would be a bench at the other end where she could sit and rest while waiting for the #4 bus. Satisfied that she was safe, I moved on.

What happened next was wonderful. A young man (when I say young I mean in his 40s) was jogging behind me. When he reached me, he asked me if the woman was okay. I told him what she told me. He said his car was on the other side, and if she needed a ride he would be happy to give it to her. Why was this wonderful? This young man saw something out of the ordinary, and he stopped to see if there was anything he could do. He was probably busy, deep in thought, and could have passed by without another thought. But he didn’t.

After a few more steps, I stopped and looked back. The young man had waited for the woman and was talking with her. I waited a little longer until she caught up with me again, and asked if she was sure I couldn’t walk with her. She said she was a nurse, 90 years old, going to be fine, and very grateful for our concern. Then she said, “I am going to write to my daughters and let them know I found a couple more.” I didn’t ask what she’d found, but I assume she meant friends.

When I reached Bird Key Park, I looked back until I saw her making her way down to the Park. She had indeed made the journey, and I was glad to see that she had done it without our help, but certainly with a few caring hearts embracing her journey. It made my heart a little lighter that day, just letting her know that I cared.

That is what life is like here at Plymouth Harbor….caring hearts embracing each others’ journey. Many gentle acts of kindness happen every day at Plymouth Harbor, and we don’t always hear about them. We wouldn’t be surprised to know they happen, but it warms our hearts to know when it does.

Just last week, I learned of an employee who was on a family medical leave, and had reached the end of her own “paid time off” and would not be paid for the rest of her leave time. As is the case with most of us, that would have been devastating financially. Quietly, other staff member and management rallied around her and donated their own “paid off time” so that she would continue to receive a paycheck. She was touched and very grateful. But those who were able to help her felt even better than she did!

Another employee’s child was in need of a surgery, which would be covered through health insurance. However, the surgery had to take place across the state, entailing travel and lodging costs, something they were not planning on or prepared to pay for. The Plymouth Harbor Employee Assistance Fund, funded through donations, was able to cover those costs for the family.

Employees at Plymouth Harbor, organized under the caring leadership of Bert Adams (who you all know, I’m sure) have formed a group called Plymouth Harbor Volunteers Who Care. This group regularly gathers together to help All Faiths Food Bank distribute donated food to the needy. The group also has adopted John Ringling Boulevard in an effort to Keep Sarasota Beautiful, helped build Habitat for Humanity homes for our Sarasota neighbors, and came to the aid of those in Arcadia who needed relief during hurricane Charlie. When I spoke with Bert, her face lit up when she started talking about everything the PH Volunteers Who Care had done.

Together, we are a community of caring hearts, embracing the journey of others, performing gentle acts of kindness along the way. Stay alert, observe, and let me know of other gentle acts that you encounter. They are happening all around us, because it is how we behave here at Plymouth Harbor. I am proud to be among you.