Picture11According to the 2016 Point-in-Time Census — an annual census of the homeless population required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — 497 homeless people were counted in Manatee County and 971 in Sarasota County. This represents an increase of nearly 23 percent from 2015.

Resurrection House, a faith-based day resource center for the homeless of Sarasota County, was created to help transition these at-risk individuals to a path of self-sufficiency. In its 26th year, Resurrection House has a small number of paid staff and does not accept funding from the city, county, state, or federal government. Founded by six local churches, the organization instead operates solely off donations and depends on its network of more than 180 volunteers to help serve its ever-increasing number of “clients.”

Open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., Resurrection House offers services that other organizations serving the homeless may not, including: locker storage, medical help, legal advice, clothing, clothes washing, transportation options, and counseling. They also offer shower and bathroom facilities, barber services, meals, and more. After completing an intake form, each new client immediately meets with a case manager to help kick-start the transition process.

At Plymouth Harbor, efforts to support Resurrection House come in many forms. Resident Bill Vernon has been a volunteer for nearly two years, ever since a friend at All Angels Episcopal Church suggested he get involved. Bill spends his Fridays from 8:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m. manning the shower facilities, where he keeps a list of which client is up next and rations supplies. “We only have four showers, but we could use 40,” Bill says. “All in all, Resurrection House helps people who are down on their luck — and there are loads of success stories.”

Resident Buzz VanArsdale has also volunteered at Resurrection House for several years. After noticing a volunteer advertisement in the newspaper, he decided to see what he could do to help. With a passion for bicycling, he was the perfect fit for the bicycle shop — where volunteers help refurbish used bicycles that are given to clients who land a full-time job. When asked why he enjoys his time there, Buzz says, “It’s important. This place meets a large need for a very big population in our community.” 

Resident Mike Kolker got involved with Resurrection House after a suggestion by Bill Vernon. He was there for over a year, trading off Friday volunteer days with Bill before he stopped due to physical challenges. However, he does plan to look into a more administrative position. “The organization is doing a very fine job, and it is obviously needed,” he says. “I would encourage others to consider the possibility of volunteering there.” 

In December 2015, Plymouth Harbor employees also launched “Holiday Helpers” through the OnBoard Employee Wellness Program, which collected donations for Resurrection House. A total of 10 boxes of clothing, blankets, toiletries, and over $300 in cash and gift cards was gathered. It was so successful that employees have begun a permanent collection bin, where donations can be made on a year-round basis.

To learn more about Resurrection House, you can visit http://www.resurrectionhousesarasota.org/.

 

IMG_3797Greg and Don Fosselman have an inseparable bond. Numbers five and six, respectively, of seven children, the two live next door to each other here at Plymouth Harbor. Of their seven siblings, they had only one sister — the oldest. While Greg and Don seem to be the closest of their siblings, they led two very different lives after leaving their hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, years ago.

After finishing high school, Greg attended the University of Iowa. As he always had a keen interest in newsprint growing up, it came as no surprise that he decided to study journalism. After graduation, however, he joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany from 1950 IMG_3802until 1952. While there, he handled logistics for field engineer units in Frankfurt, and later held an administrative position in Kaiserslautern. Soon after he returned to the United States, Greg was offered a position at United Press International (UPI), a leading newswire service. Greg was at UPI for over 15 years, serving as a newspaper and broadcast editor in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, and eventually Chicago. In 1968, he was offered a job at the Chicago Tribune as a headline writer and news editor, where he remained until he retired in 1989.

Don also joined the U.S. Army after he graduated from Iowa State Teachers College (now University of Northern Iowa). Like his older brother, he was stationed in Germany from 1953 until 1955. After Don returned to the United States, he accepted a teaching position in Montour, Iowa, for two years before he went on to attend Teacher’s College at Columbia University to earn his master’s degree. “I went to New York and never moved back,” Don says. He held teaching positions for several years in New York and Connecticut before he transitioned into a guidance counselor position, retiring in 1992. “I enjoyed my years as an educator,” he says. “But, as a guidance counselor, I felt that my day-to-day interactions were much more varied and meaningful.”

While Greg and Don lived states away from each other, their lives often overlapped. The two kept in touch as most siblings do and visited each other frequently. On occasion, even their professional lives overlapped, which is exemplified by the summer of 1958 when Don was working for a charity in New York City. The organization operated a barge called “The Floating Hospital,” which cruised around the New York Harbor, providing healthcare facilities and summer activities for underprivileged families.

The charity was in need of some publicity, so Don reached out to Greg, who was still at UPI at the time. Greg set to work on the story, sent it out over the wire, and it was picked up in no time by several media outlets in New York City. It received so much traction that the local outlets sent their reporters out to cover the story in person. Needless to say, the organization was quite impressed with Don Fosselman.

Don was the first to move to Sarasota. After retiring in Westchester County in New York, he spent his winters traveling to many different areas in Florida. A neighbor in New York owned a home on Longboat Key and ended up sharing the Longboat Observer with him. He answered an advertisement for a two-month Lido Key rental and the rest was history when he moved here in 2000. In 2011, he moved into Plymouth Harbor.

In contrast, Greg spent his winters on the West Coast, namely in California and Arizona, but a visit to Don convinced him to move to Plymouth Harbor in 2013. Today, the two are located on the fourteenth floor, with only a short walk down the hallway between them.

At Plymouth Harbor, the brothers enjoy dining together and exercising in the Wellness Center. Greg attends the Sit Fit class every Monday and Wednesday, while Don participates in Tap class on Wednesdays. Outside of Plymouth Harbor, Don spends his time volunteering as an usher at various venues around Sarasota. The Van Wezel, Sarasota Opera House, Historic Asolo Theater, Asolo Repertory Theatre, and the Players Theater are among the many places you might find him.

In addition to his appreciation for theater, Don has a passion for traveling. “I’ve been to almost every place I ever dreamed of going. I’ve never left Earth though,” he jokes. “Maybe if I were younger.” This year, Don went on a tour of the American National Parks, and in a few short weeks he’ll be on a Danube River Cruise through Europe. When Greg was asked about traveling, he laughed and said, “I’ve never been much of a traveler — I let Don do it for me.”

While the Fosselman brothers certainly have a  mix of fascinating interests, you’ll be sure to find these two enjoying dinner together almost every night in the Plymouth Harbor restaurant.

 

MotepicMote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium (Mote) is not only an icon of Sarasota, but also a world-class marine research institution. An independent, not-for-profit organization committed to the conservation and sustainable use of our oceans, Mote brings the local community together, educating and reminding us of the vital importance of protecting our local marine habitat and beyond.

Plymouth Harbor residents have always been strong supporters of Mote — committing years of service and acting as volunteers, board members, and patrons. Resident Ted Rehl and his late wife, Fran, were volunteers for almost two decades, where he served as “head volunteer cashier,” responsible for filling all volunteer slots each week. Similar to the Rehls, many residents, including Larry Coffey, BJ Peters, Gerda Maceikonis, Molly Moffatt, Hank Gieseler, and many more, spent numerous years at Mote as loyal and devoted volunteers.

Resident Nancy Lyon is currently a 19-year volunteer of the organization. “My late husband, Bob, and I got involved when we were new to Sarasota,” she says. “He always liked fish, and we thought it would be a nice way to meet people.” It has turned into so much more for Nancy, who volunteers at Mote every Wednesday. Over the years, she has helped take care of mammals, assisted researchers, and helped guests in the gift shop.

Today, Nancy sells admission tickets. Her favorite part of volunteering there? Giving back to the sea and to the community. “What I always find so interesting is that a lot of people don’t realize that Mote is only 25 percent aquarium — the other 75 percent is devoted to science,” she says.

Resident Bobi Sanderson has volunteered as an aquarium guide at Mote for 22 years. Now volunteering on an as-needed basis, she works about three hours per week. Bobi was always passionate about ecology and marine life, so getting involved with Mote was a given. When asked what she enjoys most about her volunteer work, she almost immediately responded with “education.” She went on to say that she respects the staff, who consistently keep volunteers informed while collaborating with other laboratories and working on new discoveries. “You can’t help but be enthusiastic when you’re working there,” Bobi says. “You’re not only teaching, but you’re learning.”

Resident Dr. Lou Newman, a retired veterinarian with a Ph.D. in Veterinary Pathology, has also worked with Mote since he moved to the area years ago. Because of his professional background, Dr. Newman’s role is different than your average volunteer. Over the years, he has participated in training programs in order to aid in the rescue of marine animals, and later he assisted in the rehabilitation of these animals. He has also assisted in the cataloging of microscopic specimens and consulted with researchers on several projects. Today, Dr. Newman is consulting with researchers on biomarkers (substances indicative of disease or infection) related to fertility in several species of animals and fish.

There is no doubt that Mote is an organization unlike any other, and our residents are extremely dedicated to their service. To learn more about Mote’s efforts, visit www.Mote.org.

 

new-york-city-828776_1920On June 30, 2016, Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay live-streamed its first-ever Broadway musical. Thanks to resident Arthur Ancowitz, M.D., She Loves Me – a romantic comedy with “a soaring score” – was presented onscreen in our newly upgraded Club Room through an online streaming service provided by BroadwayHD.

Dr. Ancowitz first saw the play live in New York City, where his great nephew, Nicholas Barasch, plays the part of Arpad in the show. Inspired by the performance, he wanted to share the experience with friends and family down in Florida. Suffice it to say that the 52 residents and friends of Plymouth Harbor who attended the event are certainly glad he did.

 

If you have passed by Pilgrim Hall recently, you may have noticed a little different look to the perimeter. Veiled with plastic partitions and a zippered door, the rejuvenation has begun!

You will see on the floorplan (below) that several new items have been added:

  1. On the north wall we have added a ramp for easy access for those with mobility challenges.
  2. The stage has been widened and deepened on both sides.
  3. Steps up to the stage have been added on both sides of the stage front.
  4. The backstage has been improved and storage has been increased.
  5. The sound booth has been moved to the back of the Hall, with portability and remote capabilities from anywhere in the room.
  6. Acoustical panels were added to all corners, the north and south walls, and the ceiling (which is not shown this in the floor plan).
  7. Both doors on the south corridor were widened for easier ingress and egress.
  8. A walled area at the west end of the Hall was designated for walker and other storage.
  9. A quick service area has been added to the northwest corner, adding symmetry and additional service area for the dining staff.
  10. The area between the walker storage and quick service area on the west (back) wall is a removable wall, intended for increased seating when needed. Capacity in the new hall is 100, increased to 130 when the wall is opened.

We are still hopeful for a December grand opening, when the complete new design will be  revealed! Stay tuned!

 

PHR_Floorplan

 

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County is a leading advocate for exceptional public education for all students in Sarasota County. The Foundation raises nearly $1 million each year, most of which is disbursed through grants in the amount of $500-$1,000 (and in some cases more) that allows elementary, middle, and high school teachers to offer programs that school budgets are unable to cover. Additionally, the Foundation offers individual scholarships to high school seniors.

Teachers in Sarasota County submit proposals for these grants, describing in detail what programs and projects the funds would support. From there, proposals are read by numerous people within the community, gathering input from a number of varied sources, and searching for the most unique, creative, and motivating ideas.

Resident Jerry Kaplan has been involved with the Education Foundation for nearly 20 years. Six of which he spent on the board, where he served alongside Jon F. Swift, a current member of the Plymouth Harbor, Inc. Board of Trustees. Susan Scott, former executive director of the Education Foundation, previously served on the Plymouth Harbor board as well.

Today, Jerry spends much of his time evaluating programs and grant proposals. Not only does he himself evaluate grant proposals, but he also asks fellow residents for input. “This is a great way to bring in the entire community,” Jerry says. “We take a lot of opinions on these proposals, and use them to help identify the best programs for our kids.”

In addition to grants, the Education Foundation financially supports the PALS School Volunteer Program, the annual science fair, and the Teacher of the Year program for each individual school and Sarasota County. Another unique program the Foundation supports is the collection and repair of used electronics. Banks, insurance companies, individuals, and even our very own residents of Plymouth Harbor have donated old or unused computers, which are then repaired and given to families in need, at no cost. With an educational system that continually relies on smart technology and internet-related studies, this is a huge gift for many families.

The Education Foundation operates solely off donations from members of the community and relies on special events to raise these funds. One such event, the Evening of Excellence, is an innovative art program and an established Sarasota social event, combining an elegant dinner with an auction showcasing the talents of high school artists. The event raises over $300,000 each year, benefiting more than 40,000 students through the work of the Education Foundation.

To learn more about the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, visit the following website: www.sarasotacountyschools.net/educationfoundation/

 

Capture+53Over the years, research has shown that people are not only living longer, but embracing new and varied activities as they age. It’s a no-brainer that proper nutrition, physical activity, and regular check ups go hand-in-hand with healthy aging. Now, however, there is a new outlet that is important to consider: art.

Participating in artistic endeavors can have a positive effect on health by keeping the mind busy and creating a sense of purpose. While many of us don’t consider ourselves to be “creative,” it has been shown that these benefits are obtained even when individuals are not necessarily creatively inclined.

Gene Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., the Director of the Center for Aging, Health & Humanities at George Washington University, was the first researcher to conduct a national longitudinal study on quality of life, which found that the arts do in fact have a positive effect on health and illness as we age. Such benefits include:

Helping individuals relax                                                                                                                 Offering sensory stimulation

Providing a sense of control                                                                                                          Fostering a stronger sense of identity

Reducing depression and anxiety                                                                                              Increasing self-esteem

Assisting in socialization                                                                                                                 Nurturing spirituality

Encouraging playfulness and sense of humor                                                                    Reducing boredom and isolation

Improving cognition

With a vibrant community like Sarasota as its backdrop, the arts have been incorporated into Plymouth Harbor’s culture since its inception. This tradition has continued over the years, from featured resident artists to local art exhibits and resident outings. In recent years, an increased emphasis has been placed on arts and creativity, in part due to our whole-person wellness approach.

Permanent work stations are available in the Wellness Center Art Studio for resident artists, and open stations are available for art classes that are offered throughout the year. Artists like Beverley Vernon, Sallie Luebbe, Fran Nikolich, Weta Cannon, and Harriet Eisner spend time in their creative workspace each week, designing, sketching, painting, and more.

Picture1Also found in the Wellness Center is a display space where resident artists are featured. This month, you can find handmade quilts (pictured right) by
Cynda Grenfell.

Outside of the Wellness Center, Resident Services works closely with the Art Committee to schedule regular classes, programs, and exhibit outings. Recent outings include the Chihuly Art Exhibit, several exhibits at the Ringling Museum, and the M.C. Escher Exhibit at the Dali Museum.

Arts and creativity are also integrated into the daily lives of our residents in the Smith Care Center (SCC). According to Judy Sarnowski, SCC Activity Director, this is done in a number of ways. Once each month, an art therapist, Amy Kaiser, works with residents using a technique known as MnemeTherapy™ — one-on-one, whole-brain therapy that uses everyday pleasurable experiences, such as painting, in a unique combination to stimulate sustained attentive focus.

Additionally, regular arts and crafts classes are incorporated in SCC by both the SCC Activity Team and resident artist Beverly Vernon, who volunteers her time monthly, and is often accompanied by fellow resident Ann Williams. These classes not only provide a calming outlet, but also an opportunity for small group socialization.

There are no doubt countless other art advocates roaming the halls of Plymouth Harbor, but one group in particular that keeps art at the forefront of our minds is the Plymouth Harbor Art Council. This resident-led council plans and manages the Mezzanine Art Gallery — recruiting local and resident artists and helping to set up exhibits.

Whether realized or not, art is ingrained in the everyday lives of residents here at Plymouth Harbor, from structured classes in the Wellness Center to simply passing through the Mezzanine Art Gallery, and the benefits can be seen firsthand.

 

Capture95Plymouth Harbor is pleased to welcome the new 2016-2017Residents Association Executive Council. 

Tom Elliott was selected as President and is joined by Wendy Underwood, Vice President; Sallie Luebbe, Secretary; Aubie Coran, Treasurer; and Past President Terry Aldrich.

The Executive Council also includes three Executive Associates who serve as liaisons to colony directors, committees, and residents as a whole. These members are: Carolyn Albrecht, colonies; Addie Hurst, committees; and Norma Schatz, residents.

In addition to serving on the Executive Council, the President, Vice President, and Past President of the Residents Association serve as full voting members on the Plymouth Harbor, Inc. Board of Trustees.

As with previous leadership, this year’s Executive Council brings with them a wealth of knowledge and professional experience. President Tom Elliott is the former President/CEO of Applied Science Associates (ASA) – a multi-faceted organization involving behavioral science, ergonomics, personnel management, software development, printing, and training for both government and industrial organizations. Vice President Wendy Underwood previously worked for C&P Telephone, which later became Bell Atlantic and now Verizon. While there, she held positions in various capacities, including finance, accounting, auditing, and marketing.

Sallie Luebbe is a Registered Nurse, educator, and experienced real estate agent. Addie Hurst is also an experienced educator. Aubie Coran is a research scientist, author, professor, and inventor. Terry Aldrich held two very different careers — one as a psychotherapist, and the other as a business owner focused on the import and export of antiques and furniture. Carolyn Albrecht worked in the personnel department at Merrill Lynch, and later had a career in public relations. Norma Schatz is a longtime advocate for children’s issues, having served on the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee and founding the Collaboration for Connecticut’s Children.

We are thrilled to welcome this new slate of officers and look forward to yet another successful year here at Plymouth Harbor.

 

It is no secret that the media landscape is continually changing. At Plymouth Harbor, however, the high number of residents who held top-level careers in the media industry seems to have remained constant over the years.

Today, we are lucky to have so many of these talented individuals among us. From experts in the newspaper business to printing to broadcast, we’ve got our bases covered when it comes to news. Residents Walt Mattson, David Beliles, and Greg Fosselman are distinguished journalists; Joe Berkely is an experienced publisher; Beverly Vernon is a renowned food columnist; Susan Mauntel and Arnold Freedman are celebrated news anchors and talented storytellers; Allis Edelman is a skilled photojournalist and printer, and her husband, Erwin, is an accomplished printer and editorial production manager.

From a young age, Walt Mattson showed a keen interest in the newspaper business. He was as a printer’s devil, delivered papers, worked at a commercial printing plant, operated a linotype machine, and was an advertising manager. In 1960, Walt got his big break when he joined the New York Times as assistant production manager. His persistence and dedication paid off in 1979 when he was named president of the New York Times Company. Today, Walt continues to keep the media top of mind, as evidenced by his recent presentation at Plymouth Harbor alongside Diane McFarlin, former publisher of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Joe Berkely arrived in the newspaper business seemingly by accident. A former pilot and pre-med graduate, Joe married the daughter of a daily newspaper manager. In 1945, he purchased the Dodge City Journal, a struggling weekly newspaper, and transformed it into the High Plains Journal – now a significant news source for the Midwest agricultural community. As founding publisher, Joe raised the circulation from 132 paid to 50,000 paid by the time he retired. In April 2016, he was inducted into the Kansas Press Association Hall of Fame. You can view his acceptance speech in the video below.

Similar to Joe Berkely, Beverly Vernon wound up in the newspaper business by chance. She was an excellent cook, always preparing gourmet meals for her family and friends, so in 1979, her husband encouraged her to apply for a “test kitchen cook” opening at the Chicago Tribune. To no surprise, she landed the job. After food styling, testing, and developing recipes for over a year, the paper asked Beverly to head up her very own weekly column. She ran this column, which was later syndicated, until she left in 1989. From there, she went on to work for Kraft, testing recipes and working on both print and TV advertisements for the company.

Susan Mauntel’s signature phrase? “Have I got a story for you!” — a phrase that accurately reflects her life and career. Susan was an art major, journalism minor, and destined for show business. After modeling in several TV commercials and print advertisements, she went on to host daily live TV shows in San Diego and San Francisco, where she interviewed prominent figures like Maya Angelou and Gerald Ford. Later, Susan co-anchored news in Los Angeles, and today she continues her professional career with her popular story reads.

Erwin Edelman got his start as a copy boy at Time magazine. From there, he climbed his way up the ranks to the editorial staff, assisting in layout, color, and the selection of photos. Eventually, Erwin went on to manage editorial production operations for Time Canada in Montreal. Before that, however, he met Allis — who played a unique role at the magazine, as a “picture researcher.”  According to Erwin, it was “love at first sight.” Before her position at Time, Allis had previously worked alongside famed photographer Edward Steichen, former director of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

After their time in Montreal and a brief return to New York, Allis and Erwin moved to Cornwall, Connecticut. They saw a unique opportunity and need for a printer, and as such, they opened their own printing business, Rainbow Press, which they operated until the late 1990s.

Like Walt Mattson, resident Greg Fosselman had a fascination for newsprint at a young age. He graduated with a degree in journalism and worked for United Press International as a newspaper editor, a broadcast editor, and later a national broadcast news editor. Eventually, he went on to work for the Chicago Tribune, where he stayed for 21 years as a headline writer and news editor.

Arnold Freedman got into the media business after his second year of college and never left. He landed a job at a radio station and spent the next 45 years with the same company. After serving as a news reporter for both radio and TV, Arnold was featured as a TV news anchor, all the while assisting with the station’s promotion and marketing, and eventually serving as the station’s general manager. A major highlight of his career? Covering the 1952 Eisenhower campaign all the way through to his inauguration in 1953.

David Beliles also gravitated to the newspaper business early in life, taking after his father who was a newspaper circulation executive in the 1940s and 1950s. Born in Louisville, he was a reporter, editor, and publisher for several Midwest papers. David later worked for Stauffer Communications, a privately-held media corporation, as vice president of operations. His next big venture came in 1995 when he and his wife teamed up with their son-in-law, daughter, and a small group of investors to purchase the Longboat Observer. Today, David serves as Chair of the Observer Media Group, which operates nine newspapers, six websites, and has over 100 employees.

Whether we are searching for insight into the newspaper business, or experienced knowledge in the broadcast or printing industry, one thing is for certain — we are in good company here at Plymouth Harbor.

 

When it comes to Plymouth Harbor residents, it is no secret that they give generously of their time. This year, when we asked residents to share with us their volunteer efforts, there was one organization in particular that kept showing up — the Sarasota Concert Association.

The Sarasota Concert Association (SCA) is a local organization that is run by a volunteer Board of Directors and recruits talented artists from across the country to come and perform in Sarasota. For over 72 years, the mission of SCA has been to bring to the greater Sarasota community the finest classical music at the lowest price possible, offering both subscriptions and single ticket options.

A number of our residents work with SCA, pouring their hearts and souls into planning events, developing an ongoing list of subscribers, and, of course, recruiting new artists. New resident Joy McIntyre is the current President of SCA, and in 2015 alone, she contributed more than 600 hours of service. Joy has been involved with SCA for more than 10 years now, and she describes the organization’s role as “bringing Carnegie Hall to Sarasota.”

SCA hosts at least five concerts per year, which are usually held at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Next year, the group is looking forward to producing six events. In addition to its traditional concerts, the Association also promotes the appreciation of varied musical arts by sponsoring local classical, jazz, and folk artists through its free community outreach program, which are usually held in the Symphony Center.

“I got involved with the Sarasota Concert Association to become a part of something that is larger than myself,” Joy says. “And I think it is characteristic of people in Sarasota to use their professional skills to help better our community.”

Joy herself is a former professional opera singer and professor at Boston University. Christopher Light, SCA board member and program book editor, developed an interest in music when he learned to use the computer to perform electronic music, producing four albums. John Goodman, SCA secretary and former president, is a musician, composer, and former professor. John Markham, SCA assistant treasurer, is a former manager for big-name publishing companies with a keen interest in music. Combined, these residents devoted over 930 hours to SCA in 2015, and will no doubt beat that number in the coming year. To learn more about the Sarasota Concert Association, you can visit: http://www.scasarasota.org/.