We are delighted to share with you a new program of the Plymouth Harbor Foundation, made possible by the generous Gifts of Art that many of you have donated.

The Gifts of Art program will be launched this summer.  You have probably already seen the start of the Energy Center corridor, between the Mayflower Dining Room and the Smith Care Center, being transformed into an art gallery for your viewing pleasure.

Important to note about these art exhibits is that each piece of art was donated and will be identified with information about the art and the donor.

Each new exhibit will be one month long in duration.  During the final week of each exhibit month we will hold a silent auction for all residents, guests, and employees to bid on the art that they would like to purchase.  The winner of each art auction item will be announced at the end of the month.  Proceeds from the Gifts of Art auctions will benefit programs at Plymouth Harbor, to be named at the time the exhibit begins.

We hope you will enjoy viewing these works of art, and will feel inspired to participate in the silent auctions.  More information will follow, as we prepare for the first exhibit soon.

Art lovers . . . stay tuned!

This month marks the one year anniversary of the eTEAM.  If you don’t already know, the eTeam is comprised of volunteer youth who bring their patient smiles and tech savvy to Plymouth Harbor on Saturday mornings. Residents who feel they need some extra help or tutoring on new computers, smart phones, iPads or other devices that seem to confound even the most technologically oriented-adult of a certain age, schedule an appointment with the eSmart eTeam eTechnicians and solve a bundle of puzzles in one session.

We held our first eTeam clinic on June 8, 2013 and it has been a great success ever since.   Thank you to everyone who has asked the eTEAM for assistance – a fair number of our residents have participated.

Special accolades and showers of gratitude are due our wonderful eTEAM members:  Jared White, Paul Nicowski, Sarina Swalm, David Yaegers, and Marinna Okawa. A special word of good luck to David Yeagers who leaves us this summer to start his college studies at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Curious about what we’ve achieved?  Here are some interesting facts about the eTEAM usage, as of May 1, 2014:

Total Resident Visits: 335

Total Residents Served:110

Total Volunteer Hours:    218


On our recent tour, your Conservation Committee learned much about the Sarasota County Landfill in Nokomis, which is the final destination for Plymouth Harbor garbage. And here is the summary of our findings:

  • It is more than a “Dump.”  It is a multi-tasked, conservation-oriented operation.
  • Sarasota county owns 7,150 acres of which 550 are dedicated to compacting garbage.
  • Garbage is compacted in huge, earthen bowl-shaped areas.  They are gradually built up to a height of 120 feet.
  • Earth bolsters the angled side of the bowl as it rises.  It is then covered by dirt with a large motorized compactor.  Grass is planted on each 120 foot hill.  And then they have to mow the grass!
  • These landfill hills are the highest places in Sarasota County.
  • There is another center that recycles garden waste, prunings, fallen leaves, any plant life.  The number of plant-waste-filled plastic bags is nearly uncountable.  The plea from the landfill director is, “PLEASE DO NOT PUT PRUNINGS, ETC. IN PLASTIC BAGS!”  Each bag has to be split and emptied by an employee before the contents can go into the pile to be turned into mulch.  Then they have to get rid of those thousands of plastic bags.  (Anyone is welcome to help themselves to the mulch.  Just go to the landfill.)

Memorial Day is an important day in America, as it is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  We are very grateful for what these soldiers did for our country, and for what they have done to make life better for us.

This Memorial Day, let us also remember those close friends and family we have loved and lost over the years.  We see more loss in the senior living industry than some others, as those we serve are perhaps a bit closer to the winter of life than the spring.  However, what strikes me as one of the most rewarding aspects of the retirement industry is that we are able to spend these important years with our residents and community members—those years when we are done proving to the world who we want to be, but accept and find comfort with who we are.  Wisdom, confidence, generosity, and warmth are qualities that describe most of those age 70+ whom I know and have come to respect and enjoy immensely.

This Memorial Day, say a little prayer for your loved ones who graced our world and left, knowing that each of us leaves the world a little better than it was when we arrived.  The Plymouth Harbor Foundation is grateful for the many gifts over the past year made in memory of the friends and family listed below.

Remembering with Gratitude
Zach Abuza
Barbara Argenti
Katherine Barbera
William Beckert
Gil Bosse
Gloria (Glo) Broderick
Sally Brown
Sheldon W. Brown
LuVerne Conway
Wendy Gremban
Lydia & Marco Hecht
Frank Heider
Gordon Jones
Ranier Josenhanss
Donald Kerr
Harley Koets
Jenny Lassen
Gena Magoon
Robert McNulty
Robert Merrill
Hope Mitchell
Betty Monroe
Jeanne Nunn
George Peters
Walter Schachtel
Dan Siesel
Tena Underwood
Tom Vandervalk
Elton & Penny Yasuna

 The Reverend Dr. John Whitney MacNeil

One special person we can all remember and be thankful for on Memorial Day is the Reverend Dr. John Whitney MacNeil, who would have celebrated his 103rd birthday on the 29th of this month.  Indeed, the Reverend Dr. MacNeil left this world a good deal better as a result of his visionary leadership.  The founder of Plymouth Harbor, the Reverend Dr. MacNeil and his small group of rainmakers set out in the early 1960s to build a retirement community of distinction, and in 1966 Plymouth Harbor opened its doors.  He was also the driving force behind New College.  As a man who some said would never reach the peak of his ambitions, he truly made a tremendous impact on Sarasota during his tenure here.  The Reverend Dr. MacNeil died in 1979, at the young age of 68.

“I am happy to serve on the Plymouth Harbor Foundation Board, as what we do is important to life at Plymouth Harbor.”

Bruce Crawford, Trustee
The Plymouth Harbor Foundation

Bruce is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Tuck School.  He has lived in Sarasota for 24 years, twenty of them at The Meadows, prior to moving to Plymouth Harbor.  While living at The Meadows, he served on the Board of its country club.  He has been involved with the Dartmouth and Ivy League clubs in Sarasota, where he served as president and program chair for each.  Bruce is a member of the Sahib Shrine.  He spent his career as vice president of sales and marketing for an insurance company.  His summers are spent in New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee.


The Conservation Committee at Plymouth Harbor, a team of eco-conscious residents, provides another useful report in the May Harbor Light newsletter.  This time, we have a report on how to safely dispose of a variety of common household items.

The question is, how do I dispose of…?

Unused Medicine?

Take them (prescription, aspirin, anything) to the nurses in the Callahan Center on the CC floor of the Tower.  They are already disposing of meds and will be happy to add yours to the mix.  And, please, no flushing of meds.  That just sends drugs into the water supply.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs? 

Because they have a bit of mercury in them, they need special handling.  Take them to Audrey in the Maintenance Office (ext #567) on the north ground floor corridor.  She knows where they should go.  If one should break, do not try to clean it up yourself.  Again, call Audrey.  The Maintenance staff knows what to do.  For old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, no special treatment is needed.  Just toss into the wastebasket.

Used batteries?

There are two kinds of batteries.  One kind should be taken to Audrey (or given to your housekeeper who will deliver it to Audrey for you.)  The batteries that need this treatment are hearing aid batteries and the bigger special varieties.  Any battery with a letter designation (AAA, AA, C, D etc.) can safely be thrown in the wastebasket.

Used cartridges of ink from your computer?

Who knew these could be recycled?  Once again, take them to Audrey.  If you wish to take them to Staples or some such store yourself, there may be some form of credit available to you.




The “off-peak” hours for electricity in May when power is half-priced:

9 o’clock at night until noon the next day


Thank you to everyone who generously supported the CD offering from Ted and Fran Rehl from his latest concert, Piano à la Carte.  In total over the last three concert CD offerings, we received support of over $3800.  This made it possible to move ahead on the replacement of the hammers on the Steinway.  By the time you read this, the work will be close to completion.

Tracy Lamb removing the old ‘hammers’ and preparing for their replacements



Photo Below: The old (darker) hammers are on the left and the new (lighter) hammers on the right

If you are not familiar with Ted Rehl and the story of the Plymouth Harbor concert grand piano, CLICK HERE for the story.

Moving into a single-family residence can be daunting, and moving into a new home within an entire community, like Plymouth Harbor, even more so!  Where do I pick up my mail?  Who can I ask to hang that mirror?  What do I do with all of these moving boxes?  These questions and many, many more will soon be answered with the New Resident Orientation Program.

‘Welcoming Committee’ co-chairs, B.J. Peters and Nancy Lyon, have been working closely with Tena Wilson, VP of Support Services, to develop a program designed to make each new resident’s transition to their new home as pleasant and stress-free as possible.

Contact for a new resident will begin as early as the day they sign their contract when they’ll be introduced to a ‘resident mentor’ who will familiarize them with their new colony.  Subsequent introductions to additional mentors will include invitations to participate in four separate resident-guided tours; The Grounds, The Ground Floor, The Lobby Level, and The Mezzanine.  A final staff-guided Staff & Services tour will take them through the various service departments where they will meet staff members available to assist them throughout their residency at Plymouth Harbor.  New residents can participate in as many or as few tours as they’d like.

New residents will also receive a personalized ‘Orientation Guide to Residency at Plymouth Harbor’ for future use as a handy reference.  Throughout this process you can count on members of the Welcoming Committee extending invitations to dine in Plymouth Harbor venues as well!

April is a gorgeous month in Florida—and it is an easy time to enjoy our balmy breezes.  If your apartment faces east or north it may be possible to use no artificial heating or cooling for a month, maybe more.  We remember the tricks from when we paid our own electricity bills.  Use the windows, doors and blinds to modulate the temperature.

If you turn the thermostat to OFF, you usually will be comfortable, unless we have another Arctic Vector (gulp).  Should you become uncomfortable, use the darned air conditioner.

If you are among the unlucky ones on the south or west, and have only views of the gulf and birds and dolphins, keeping the increasingly warm rays out involves more effort.  Maybe you can use less artificial air once the sun moves past your windows.  You may be able to enjoy those balmy breezes by opening the windows late at night or early in the morning.

FANS.  Something new conservation committee members taught us is that fans can forestall the need for more expensive air conditioning for an hour or two.  And some of our slower members did not realize that turning the fan on our thermostats to ON from AUTO will have the same chilling effect.  And, we need not remind you, a chilling effect on Plymouth Harbor’s electrical bills.  Never mind how much oil/natural gas/coal is saved.

A couple of cautions.  Be sure that the air is turned off when you open the windows.  Be sure the hall door is closed.

TIME FOR OUR SEMI-ANNUAL REMINDER:  On April 1, the “peak hours” for Florida Power & Light’s rate CHANGES.  From April to November, “peak rates” are in effect from noon until 9:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  At all other times, electricity costs half as much.


The Cadillac Women

Do you know what Marjorie Boulware and Dorothy Johnston have in common besides being long-time Plymouth Harbor residents?  They both recently donated their Cadillacs to Plymouth Harbor Foundation!  Lyall Smith, Director of Security & Guest Services, commented, “Because of these generous donations, we are able to retire our older Cadillacs that were approaching the 100,000 mile mark.  The donated cars each have about half that many miles and have now been entered into service.  We are very grateful.”  Please extend a warm thanks to our Cadillac women for their generosity!

Evelin Corsey Estate

Evelin Corsey, who passed away in 2013, left Plymouth Harbor Foundation in her estate plans.  In February, we received a bequest of $45,000, to be distributed to several programs, including the Employee Assistance Fund and the Library.  While Evelin had no children of her own, she was very close to her goddaughter Lesley Fera, who has helped us to establish the Evelin Corsey Scholarship with a portion of the gift.  We are extremely grateful for this generous and thoughtful gift, and will keep you informed of the impact this gift has over the next few months.

Honoring Danielle Menzies

Thank you to Tom Towler and Nancy Lyon, who made a gift in honor of Danielle Menzies, Dining Services Operations Manager, on the occasion of her completing the Miami Lifetime Marathon on February 2, 2014.  The gift will benefit the Employee Assistance Fund.

Congratulations, Danielle!