Jane Smiley (left) with Janet Zarro of Women's Resource Center

Generous, passionate, compassionate . . . three words that describe Jane Smiley and her feelings for Plymouth Harbor, our employees, and education. 

here is hardly an arts, human service or arts related not-for-profit organization in Sarasota, Florida that has not benefited from the wisdom and energy of Jane Smiley.  New College is grateful for her support.  The Women’s Resource Center of Sarasota County counted her as a board member for many years.  She has chaired the boards of the Sarasota County Arts Council and Art Center.

As a long-time Plymouth Harbor resident,  Mrs. Smiley has also given significant support to her current home as well. Recently she established, through an annual gift, the Jane T. Smiley Scholarship to benefit Plymouth Harbor employees.  The annual $2000 scholarship supports educational endeavors of current Plymouth Harbor employees who are seeking post-secondary degrees, certifications, or specialty training in any field.  Asked what inspired her to establish this scholarship, Mrs. Smiley said, “I have been so fortunate in my life, and it began with a good education.  Giving back is the right thing to do now.” 

Harry Hobson, Yaima Comas, Jane Smiley (l-r)

Yaima Comas is the first recipient of the Jane T. Smiley Scholarship.  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. 

“We are very grateful for Mrs. Smiley’s generosity and vision for advancing the dreams and ambitions of our employees,” said Harry Hobson.  “This is a perfect example of how passions and needs come together to benefit all.  Thank you, Mrs. Smiley, for your kind support.” 

Interesting research conducted at the Cleveland Clinic showed a 35% reduction in Parkinson’s symptoms by simply pedaling a bike quickly at 80-90 rpm’s.  Some people showed up to a 60% reduction in symptoms.

Movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, diabetes, stroke, fibromyalgia, spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy, obesity and cerebral palsy can all take their toll on your ability to stay active. The Theracycle motorized bike was created specifically to provide exercise for those with movement disorders.

The Theracycle assists the rider in passively moving both the upper and lower body through a full range of motion.  This is an ideal piece of equipment for residents who may have orthopedic and/or neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, or frailty, because it can help the rider maintain a pace that they may not be able to do on their own.

While Theracycles are more commonly seen in physical therapy or rehab settings, thanks to generous donations from several residents, we now have a Theracycle in Plymouth Harbor’s Wellness Center!  If you are interested in the Parkinson’s research or would like to discuss incorporating the Theracycle into your exercise program, please contact Chris (x377) or Amanda (x350) in the Wellness Center. 

 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. 

Music came so easily to Ted Rehl when he was a child that he almost took it for granted. Able to play nearly anything by ear at an early age on his family’s parlor piano, he was encouraged with lessons. His talent on the piano was a given, or so it would seem by the matter-of-fact way he describes his musical training. While Ted enjoyed it enough, there were always other things that captivated his interest and challenged his mind, such as math and more “logical” pursuits.

Nevertheless, the young boy from Galion, Ohio attended Oberlin College Conservatory of Music on a full scholarship. It was here on this quintessential Midwest liberal arts college campus that he met Fran, a gifted cellist from Seattle. They were soon married and Ted stayed on to earn his graduate degree in music at Oberlin. After one year in working in New York City, Ted joined the faculty at Washington State University, Pullman before finally settling at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Fran taught music for many years before deciding to take on the different challenges of real estate with a good bit of success. Meanwhile in addition to his faculty responsibilities, Ted was an active soloist, accompanist, and chamber music player; in the 60s he was member of a duo-piano team that had a New York manager and played programs all over the United States.

When offered an early retirement package after 34 years at Lawrence University, Ted took it. He played his last concert with conservatory colleagues in a final hurrah. Perhaps only he knew that this was the definitive end of a chapter when he closed the lid on the keyboard after that concert.

Ted didn’t touch another piano for 18 ½ years. There was no tragedy or drama involved. It wasn’t that he disliked the piano, he was just finished with that and wanted to do other things. He sold his piano, disposed of all of his music, and pursued his other hobbies.

In addition to bridge, puzzles, and volunteer work, Ted turned his curiosity and mathematical logic to the world of computers. It was never dull and he was never aware of any void left by the absence of the piano in his life.

When Fran and Ted moved to Plymouth Harbor, they enjoyed living in and being surrounded by a community rich in the performing arts and music. The intimate Pilgrim Hall struck them both as a perfect recital and chamber music venue.

In 2010 they spoke to Harry Hobson about their desire to provide a fine, recital-quality grand piano to be used by visiting artists in Pilgrim Hall performances. It started simply enough, searching listings of used pianos as well as talking to the regional Steinway dealers, they began to narrow their search. Each time a prospective instrument was presented to them, Ted declined to try it out himself. Listening to the dealer’s playing was enough to test the sound for them.

Until one day, it simply wasn’t enough. They scouted out a dealer who had a Steinway grand piano in a small showroom near Venice. There was something Ted heard that caught his attention. It touched his heart, in fact. No one was more surprised than his wife Fran when Ted agreed to try it out. He spent the next two hours playing, listening, and falling in love with a piano for the first time in his life.

This might sound odd, but Ted had just never met the right piano before. This little Steinway had an alluring sound and touch that inspired a new joy of expression. With the piano soon settled into its new home on the stage of Pilgrim Hall, Ted began to look forward to his time making music with it.

“At first I had no technique whatsoever,” says Ted, “and it was slow getting it back.” He practiced at least 3 hours a day for weeks, even months before he felt comfortable. Urged to set a date for the dedication of the piano with a recital, Ted practiced steadily. Not until about a week before the April 1, 2011 date did he feel confident that he could make it through the program without embarrassing himself.

He was a smash hit and each successive concert since (5 so far) is greeted with a full house and standing ovations. While making his fellow Plymouth Harbor residents happy with his performance, Fran realizes that he’s happier than he had been in years.

Ted just knows that his goal now is to keep practicing. It’s exhilarating to have his technique at the previous professional level, and, he believes, even better than before. His plan is to keep presenting programs that his friends enjoy. He takes requests and slips in some music that he’s always wanted to perform. Fran’s considerable musical judgment is called upon to make sure the programs have the right mix of music to be entertaining for all.

His last program, The Romantic Piano, was recorded. For a donation of any amount given to benefit the arts at Plymouth Harbor, a CD of the program is being given as a token of gratitude. (For more information, contact Becky Pazkowski,The Plymouth Harbor Foundation.)

Ted’s next concert, an all-Russian program, is scheduled for October 18 and will include Moussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition in its original form for solo piano. Stay tuned for more on that.

Spirit of Philanthropy

By Becky Pazkowski

I am happy to say that I have met with a total of 130 residents at Plymouth Harbor since last June (just about half of our total population).  Meeting all of you continues to be my favorite part of my job . . . learning about you, your family, your career, your travels, your hobbies and passions, and what led you to Plymouth Harbor. 

I always ask if I can update you on the Foundation, and you always say yes.  Comments that I frequently hear are, “I don’t have much money to give away.”  “I know you are looking for large gifts.”  “I have a big family.”  “The poor market has eaten away at my nest egg.”

My answer is always the same . . . not everyone can make a $1,000,000 gift, but every single gift is significant.  Gift giving is very personal, and should be self-fulfilling.  When you make a gift to a cause, you should feel a sense of satisfaction and warmth having given it. 

My husband and I give to several different causes, and probably the most fulfilling for me is what we give to the music series we helped to establish in Michigan.  It’s personal and it’s emotional, and it should be for you, too.  We have received gifts from many of you recently for various causes; three in particular that I have listed below.  Individual gifts toward these three items alone range from $5 to $500.  Adding them all together, more than 70 individuals made gifts that total over $6,200.David Houle at Plymouth Harbor

Support for the David Houle book “Entering the Shift Age” where $5.00 of each sale benefited the beginnings of a library in the Smith Care Center.  This amounted to $120 total and will go a long way toward the purchase of books and audio books for our nursing and rehab residents.

dance floor at Plymouth Harbor senior living community

Support for the purchase of a portable dance floor at Plymouth Harbor, which will be used  throughout the campus.  The total amount needed is approximately $6,700 and we have support for $5,575 so far.  Only $1,125 is needed until we can purchase the portable dance floor. 

Pianist at Plymouth Harbor senior community

Support for the CD made by Ted and Fran Rehl of Ted’s most recent concert “A Romantic Piano” which featured selections by Schubert, Liszt, Brahms, Grainger, Gershwin, and a group of pieces by Chopin.  The Rehl’s very generously offered this CD for a donation of any amount to benefit the improvement of the arts in Pilgrim Hall, including repair and maintenance of the Steinway piano that they donated.  As of this writing, $580 has been donated toward this cause. 

Now I ask that you consider the number of people that will be touched by the gifts in just these three examples. That would include every single resident now and into the future here at Plymouth Harbor. 

Think what would have happened if each of those 70 people decided not to donate because they thought their gift might be insignificant.  Well, we are very glad that didn’t happen.  We are grateful for every gift that is given, and we hope you will continue to feel the warmth that your gifts have generated.  Thank you for your continued support.

P.S.  If you are interested in support for the improvement of the arts or the portable dance floor, we welcome your gift of any amount.   

by Harry Hobson

We are very happy to announce our new legacy society at Plymouth Harbor, The MacNeil Society.  The MacNeil Society recognizes people who have thoughtfully included a gift to The Plymouth Harbor Foundation in their estate through a bequest, gift annuity agreement, trust arrangements, life insurance, or retirement plan.  When you name The Plymouth Harbor Foundation in your estate plans you have, in essence, declared to your family and friends that you truly believe in Plymouth Harbor’s mission and commit to the vision for its future.

Founder of Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay, Rev Dr. John Whitney MacNeil

The Reverend Dr. John Whitney MacNeil

It is only fitting that this esteemed legacy be named for the person in our history whose vision and persistence was his lasting statement of faith in Plymouth Harbor, The Reverend Dr. John Whitney MacNeil.  Through the astute vision of Dr. MacNeil, Plymouth Harbor was founded in 1966.  From the first organizational meeting in 1961 to welcoming the first resident in 1966, Dr. MacNeil was committed

committed to establishing a retirement community in Sarasota.  Today, our campus is filled with vibrant, active residents to whom we have promised to provide care as long as they are with us.

 Membership in The MacNeil Society

When you make a gift in any amount to The Plymouth Harbor Foundation from your will, trust, retirement plan, or other estate plan, you become a member of The MacNeil Society.

We ask that you inform us of your plans and complete a Declaration of Gift Intent, which is available through the Foundation Office. The Plymouth Harbor Foundation records your membership into The MacNeil Society, which means you will be recognized in the Honor Roll of Generosity as part of an exclusive group of people who share Dr. MacNeil’s commitment to Plymouth Harbor’s mission and vision.

If you would like more information about membership in The MacNeil Society, and the many ways you can make a planned gift benefitting the mission of Plymouth Harbor, contact Becky Pazkowski at The Plymouth Harbor Foundation at 941.361.7398 or via e-mail at beckyp@pharbor.org.

“What we do for ourselves dies with us.
What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
– Albert Pike

Supporting Employee Education by Becky Pazkowski

Building a strong sense of community and creating an outstanding older adult living community depends, in no small part, upon the quality of the work force. In the spirit of a deep culture of fellowship, and an equal emphasis on recruiting, hiring, retaining, and developing the best work force possible, Plymouth Harbor offers education assistance to its cherished employees. Educational assistance is funded through the Mildred and Bernard Doyle Trust, administered by Northern Trust, and through charitable gifts to the Employee Assistance Fund, administered by The Plymouth Harbor Foundation. It is our goal to continue to award these scholarships annually.

Doyle Scholarship

Through the generosity of the Doyle’s, former Plymouth Harbor residents, the Doyle Scholarships provide educational assistance to a worthy and needy employee or high school senior child of an employee seeking to increase their skills or to obtain a higher education. Up to two scholarships are awarded annually.

FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS

We are very happy to announce that this year, through past generous donations, several new scholarships will be available for employees, and in some cases their immediate family members, through The Plymouth Harbor Foundation. Applicants must be employed for at least 12 months by Plymouth Harbor. The following describes the new scholarship offerings.

Bea Davis Memorial Scholarship

Supports educational opportunities for housekeeping employees and their immediate family members. One $1,500 scholarship will be awarded annually.

General Education Scholarship

Supports educational endeavors of current Plymouth Harbor employees who are seeking post-secondary degrees, certifications, or specialty training in any field. One $1,500 scholarship will be awarded annually.

Nursing Education Scholarship

Supports educational endeavors in pursuit of post-secondary degrees in nursing from an accredited college or university. Up to five $2,000 scholarships will be awarded annually.

We are grateful to the donors whose gifts to the Employee Assistance Fund have made possible these scholarships currently and in the past. Continued offering of these opportunities annually depends upon charitable support.

The Plymouth Harbor Foundation was established in 2012 to further ensure the appropriate stewardship of contributed funds, develop and implement fundraising strategies that support the most positive aging experience possible for residents of Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay. It also provides funding for innovative programs and services for seniors in the region.

We are so pleased to be able to announce the inaugural members of our Plymouth Harbor Foundation Board of Trustees, who met for the first time on January 16th where they elected officers.  As you may be aware, our bylaws call for a Foundation Board that consists of 3 Plymouth Harbor Trustees, 3 resident members, 3 community-at-large members, and the President and Sr. Vice President of Finance for Plymouth Harbor.  We are proud to present our Foundation Board, as follows.  Please join us in thanking our generous Trustees for their dedicated time and attention to this worthy and very important cause.

 Bill JohnstonBill Johnston, Chair, Plymouth Harbor, Inc. Trustee

William Johnston is Past President and COO of the New York Stock Exchange. William received his BS degree in Commerce from Washington & Lee University. He became a member of the NYSE in 1964 and a Director in 1992 and has served on numerous committees. He was Senior VP and Director of Mitchum Jones & Templeton. William also founded Agora Securities, and then merged it into LaBranche & Co. where he was Senior Managing Partner. He is currently a Director at Hollins University and Chairman of the Audit Committee and Co-chair of Development. William has served on numerous committees and advisory boards of universities; and taught at numerous colleges and universities across the country. He and his wife Elizabeth have two children and two grandchildren.

 Tom HopkinsTom Hopkins, Plymouth Harbor, Inc. Trustee

Thomas Hopkins is a shareholder and former President of the Icard-Merrill law firm and has practiced with the firm since 1977. Tom practices all areas of real estate law and has been designated by the Florida Bar as a Board Certified Real Estate Attorney. He also has extensive experience counseling clients in all aspects of estate planning. His professional affiliations and positions have included serving as President of the Sarasota County Bar Association and the Bar Association Legal Aid Society, Inc. Tom also has served as President and board member of the Sarasota County Civic League and President of the Ivy League Club. A graduate with an A.B. from Dartmouth College, Tom also earned an M.S. from the University of Southern California and his law degree from the University of Florida. Tom and his wife Wendy have three children and one grandchild.

Lee ByronLee Byron, Plymouth Harbor, Inc. Trustee

Lee Byron is a long-time resident of Sarasota, a successful real estate agent with Michael Saunders, a former elected school board member, and very involved in the community. She presently serves as chair of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Suncoast Foundation board, the Teen Court Board, the Human Services Advisory Committee (to the County Commission), and on the Government Affairs Committee for the Sarasota Association of Realtors. Lee is a graduate of Smith College with a Masters in Government from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and is presently working on a second Masters in Pastoral Ministry from the Rice School of the Diocese of Venice. She and her late husband, Tom, have three children and two grandchildren.

Tom Towler, Resident of Plymouth Harbor

Tom graduated from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and joined Mobil Oil Company for several years. He subsequently chaired the grocery non-food company for the Kroger Company, Top Value Trading Stamp Company, TV Travel and served as an officer of the Baldwin United Financial Services Company in Cincinnati.  He arranged the purchase of the S&H Green Steamp Company, taking them private from the NYSE public listing.  Tom retired, moved to Siesta Key in 1984 with is late wife Sue, and then spent 10 years working as a property assessor with Goodnow Associates.  He has a passion for volunteering, which included Board positions with Sarasota Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation Board, New College Foundation Board, Field Club, and Bay Plaza boards.  He spent 16 years in Surgery Transport and SMH and was the chair of Siesta Key Utility Authority.  He moved to Plymouth Harbor in October 2009.  He has four children and has encouraged each of them to be active volunteers.

 Carla Plush Smith, Plymouth Harbor, Inc. Secretary

Carla Smith is a Florida CPA. She has an extensive background in estate and personal financial planning in her 25+/year career as a CPA. A Sarasota native (which is unique), Carla is a graduate of Leadership Sarasota and has served as an officer and director on numerous community boards. She is a graduate of  University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, and a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from the University of South Florida. She and her husband Peter are members of the Sarasota Field Club, and enjoy boating, water skiing, and traveling.

 Cade Sibley, Plymouth Harbor, Inc. Trustee

Cade Sibley is a recent resident of Longboat Key, moving here in 2010 with her husband, Whit from Denver, Colorado, where she for nearly 30 years designed and implemented advanced estate, business-transfer and investment-planning strategies for affluent business owners, highly compensated executives and those with inherited wealth.    Her clients realized significant reductions in estate, capital gains and gift taxes, preservation of family businesses for subsequent generations, and maximization of existing wealth through comprehensive investment planning. Cade was a longtime member of several of Lincoln Financial Group’s most prestigious honors societies. Cade served her Denver community as Vice Chairman of the Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center board, as a member of the Professional Advisor’s Board for The Denver Foundation and a board member of the Denver Arthritis Foundation Board. She is familiar with Plymouth Harbor, where her mother and father have both been residents for more than 15 years. Cade and her husband are both new members of Bird Key Yacht Club where they are serving on several committees and are active with the club’s cruising fleet.

 Garry JacksonGarry Jackson, Plymouth Harbor, Inc. Treasurer

Mr. Garry Jackson is the Senior Vice President and CFO of Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay Continuing Care Retirement Community. He has worked at Plymouth Harbor since March of 1997.   Prior to his career in healthcare, Garry worked in New York City where he was the Controller & Director of Financial Planning at New York Law School for nine years, and at the investment-banking firm of Rothschild, Inc. as the Assistant Vice President of Finance & Administration for six years.  He holds a Masters Degree in Business Management from Southern California University, Santa Ana, CA.

 Harry HobsonHarry Hobson, Plymouth Harbor, Inc. Vice-Chair

Harry Hobson, President and CEO of Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay, has a career that has included work in both Hospital and Retirement Community Administration. Prior to his arrival at Plymouth Harbor in 2004, he was the President and CEO of Westminster-Canterbury Retirement Community of Irvington, Virginia; and, First Community Village of Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Hobson received Masters Degrees in both Business Management and Healthcare Administration from Central Michigan University; and, completed gerontological studies at George Washington University. He holds nursing home administrator
licenses in Florida and Ohio.