Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay is proud to present Black Orchids, an exhibition of photographs by Ellen Gottlieb Steele, in the Mezzanine Gallery, March 12 – April 22, 2013, with open reception Tuesday, March 12 at 4:30 – 6:00pm.

Ellen Gottlieb Steele has been a printmaker-photographer for many years. Her works hang in many private collections throughout the United States and Europe. In 2006, one of her photographs was chosen to be shown in the S. Dillon Ripley Center at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.  Steele has had two one-woman shows in New York and this is her second show in the Mezzanine Gallery at Plymouth Harbor.

All of the images in this show are photographic. None of them have been altered by any computer-generated process. Their abstract nature is a result of the actual printing process itself. Some of them have been enhanced with the application of watercolor. The photographs were taken in Sarasota at Selby Gardens in 2012.

Black Orchids, an exhibit of photographs by Ellen Gottlieb Steele – at the Mezzanine Gallery at Plymouth Harbor, March 12 – April 22, 2013. Open reception, Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 4:30-6:00pm.

Ms. Trotman, a two-time Employee of the Month honoree, (2001 and 2013), has been with Plymouth Harbor since January of 1998.  She was originally hired as a part-time server.  Her hard work and diligence have earned her three promotions, and she is currently a full-time Banquet Captain.

Tasha Trotman, March Employee of the MonthTasha has received many Shining Stars from residents throughout her tenure with Plymouth Harbor.  These Shining Stars express her consistency with superb performance and always providing exceptional customer service with a smile.  Her supervisors describe her as a dedicated, efficient employee who can step into any position in her department.  She has repeatedly received “Exceeds Standard” remarks on appraisals for her job knowledge, quality of work, efficiency, decision-making, relationships with people, responsiveness to her supervisor, and attendance.

Originally Tasha is from the US Virgin Islands.  Being the second youngest of 12 children, she has nine brothers and two sisters.  She received several awards for playing the drums in her high school band. Having earned enough credits at the end of her 10th grade year, Tasha was able to graduate early.  After high school, she became a teacher’s aide for junior high and high school students.  At age 14, Tasha also operated a summer day care center in her home.

In 1995, Tasha moved to Sarasota to live with her father and three siblings.  Criteria for high school graduation is higher in the states than in the Virgin Islands, therefore, she returned to high school, graduating from Booker High School in 1999.  She is the proud mother of three very busy children:  Shacori (12), Joe (7), and Taliyah (5).

Plymouth Harbor is proud to congratulate Tasha Trotman, as March 2013 Employee of the Month!

It’s not Broadway, Off or even Off-Off Broadway, but the Plymouth Harbor Players is on a streak of smash hits with this latest production,” The Bride on the 17th Floor.”  This is the fourth in the series of Don Wallace’s “..on the 17th Floor” adventures with residents at, ahem, ‘Puritan Cove,’ where there’s always a bit of humor, and this time, a who-done-it  with some suspense. Did the ending take you by surprise?

The Plymouth Harbor Players - The Bride on the 17th Floor

The Courtroom in "The Bride on the 17th Floor"

The charm of community theatre on any stage is the courage shown by amateurs in the spotlight. Some of the actors in “The Bride…” courthouse scene had to memorize 20 consecutive pages of script and lively dialogue.  That’s a tough assignment, even when you have the safety net of an off-stage prompter.

Those stars included Bill Brackett  as Lionel Willet, the defense attorney, and Arnold Freeman as Philip Bostwick, the accused gold-digger or mourning newlywed, take your pick.  The ornery Judge Stanley L. Bernstein got some extra laughs with Bobby Broderick’s characterization. Heather Shaw played the sharp prosecuting attorney, Leslie Giles.   Stage Manager Jeanne Nunn also provided advice to keep the courtroom scenes realistic.  Former stage manager Peggy Wallace had some fun this year as the ingénue, the lovely and well-to-do Virginia Brown who married Phil and then disappeared on their honeymoon cruise.

Over 25 residents were involved in making this production a success, many of them behind the scenes.  Naomi Wittenberg pulled things together as the producer and several volunteers created sets, managed props and assisted costume changes with limited space and resources.

Plymouth Harbor Players on Stage

Congratulations to the cast & crew!

Anyone involved would quickly credit their success to the inspiring professionalism of the show’s writer and director, Don Wallace, who’s done a bit of this before.  He started working with soap operas on radio and television after WWII. Perhaps you saw his early directing on The Edge of Night,or the two shows that he helped create, All My Children and One Life to Live.

Don says writing the story is not so tough, but directing is exhausting!  There were three rehearsals a week since early January and auditions just before the holidays.

“Our amateur actors have something in common with all the professionals I’ve worked with,” says Don. “As soon as they get the script, they have changes to suggest!”  But seriously, he says it is very meaningful to work with the Plymouth Harbor Players.  Urging them to keep up the pace of action is more of an issue than acting skill or lines, but that’s not the reason this is important.  Both he and his wife Peggy were in agreement, the stimulation of acting keeps everyone young and it’s often a much needed escape from all other daily worries.

Does Don have something in mind for “something on the 17th Floor” for next year? “Perhaps,” laughs Don, “If we’re not on a cruise to Antarctica!”

The Cast

Barry Dobson, CEO – Harry Hobson
Samantha Tobin –  Ann Williams
Lionel H. Willett – Bill Brackett
Philip Bostwick – Arnold Freedman
Chiquita Mathews – Francie Jones
Virginia Brown – Peggy Wallace
Millicent Murgatroid – Anne Moore
Leslie (Les) Giles – Heather Shaw
Bailiff – Louis Schneider
Honeybunch – Carol Lawrence
Jury Foreman – George Spelvin

Kudos to everyone ‘behind the scenes’ as well!  Residents: Naomi Wittenberg, John DeJongh, Bruce Wallace, Peggy Wallace, Jeanne Nunn, Alida DeJongh, Robert Lawrence, Pauline Thoms, Bev Wright, Nancy Gross and Norma Schatz.  Staff:  Maryanne Shorin, Karen Smith, Hugh Kelly and Jeanne MacArthur.

Plymouth Harbor resident Ann Brackett has spent a lifetime believing in the unlimited potential of girls when given the opportunity to grow.  Not so long ago, she was attending the annual Boys & Girls Club Luncheon, one of the largest and most inspiring fundraising events of Sarasota’s very busy “season.” She found herself sitting next to Sue Stewart, who was there representing Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida. Before long, they were sharing their mutual love for the tradition of scouting.

Ann Brackett Donates her Girl Scout uniform

Ann Brackett donates her vintage Girl Scout uniform to the Girl Scouts.

You see, being a Girl Scout when she was a child was so important to Ann that she had kept her uniform, proudly decorated with numerous badges to mark her achievements, in a keepsake box all these years.  An idea sprang out of her chance meeting with Sue: why not donate that uniform, now considered a rare vintage treasure, to the local Girl Scout council?  It was an easy decision to make and before she knew it she was visiting with current Scouts and sharing stories with them while they gazed at the proper dress uniform so different from the simple vests the girls wear today.When Ann was a child, there was a local Girl Scout troop meeting regularly at her church, which was right next to her school in Newton, MA. This made it very convenient for Ann to get involved.  Being an only child, belonging to her Girl Scout troop gave Ann the social interaction she craved. She enjoyed the opportunity it gave her to work with and become friends with girls beyond her circle from school or her neighborhood.

“In Girl Scouts it doesn’t matter what color you are or how you look. You are part of a family and everyone respects you,” adds Ann. “This outstanding organization has made our nation a much better place. Girl Scouts present positive role models, endless possibilities, and a clear path to making dreams come true. The positive influence of Girl Scouts has lasted a lifetime for me.”

Girl Scout uniforms

Over time transformations of the Girl Scout uniform.

Ann was an enthusiastic scout and some of her fondest memories were of summer camp. Each merit badge earned built her confidence and inspired her increased involvement over the years.  She feels it was Girls Scouts that prepared her for an unexpected challenge later in her life when she was called upon to care for her aunt diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

“Girls are strong when they help other people. Girls need to feel a responsibility to care for others and experience the joy that goes along with it,” she comments.

Ann was unexpectedly reunited with her Girl Scout leader, Edna Hockridge, 40 years after her scouting days. She was with her aunt at the doctor’s office, when Mrs. Hockridge, also in the waiting room, recognized Ann’s laugh. It was one of those unexpected, sweet moments to reminisce with her Girl Scout leader all those years later. “I guess I never lost my unique laugh!” exclaimed Ann.

“The staff and current Girl Scouts were thrilled when Ann offered to donate her beautiful, pristine, vintage Girl Scout uniform to Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida. Her gift serves as a reminder to all our girl members and Girl Scout alumnae that Girl Scouting is a lifelong circle of friendship, with shared ideals.

Girl Scout Vest

This junior vest is the Girl Scouts' uniform today.

“The powerful values – courage, confidence and character – are as relevant today as they were in Ann’s day. The insignia, badges and achievements proudly displayed on Ann’s uniform show girls today that what they do matters, and that they can take action to make the world a better place,” shares Sue Stewart, CEO of Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida.

As a result of Ann’s recent connection with the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Plymouth Harbor is now partnering with a member of Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida who is interested in fulfilling her Gold Award by rebuilding the Butterfly Garden, a special feature of Plymouth Harbor’s beautiful campus grounds.

Ann’s story is not unique.  In fact, many of the women living at Plymouth Harbor were Girl Scouts. It seems as if everywhere you turn, you meet women excited to share their memories as a Girl Scout. Whether it’s a fond reflection of their time at camp, a friendship formed fifty years ago that is as strong today as it was then, or the recent memory of a college student whose passion was ignited as a Girl Scout – the stories are everywhere.

We recently received an email from Plymouth Harbor resident Lou Newman with the following note:

I would like to introduce you to “Hootie” and “Hooter”, the two new resident Great Horned Owls at Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay.  Although frequently heard, the owls are rarely visible because they have taken up residence high in the large Banyan tree at the northeast corner of the building. They likely have a nest in this tree; however, it is completely obscured by the dense foliage.  Is Hootie “pregnant? ”Only time will tell!”

Hooter & Hootie are resident Great Horned Owls at Plymouth Harbor.

Image by Lou Newman: Hooter & Hootie are resident Great Horned Owls at Plymouth Harbor

This little note accompanied by a stunning photograph that looks like he was in the tree with the owls is just another run of the mill day for Dr. Lou Newman, retired large animal veterinarian, now professional nature photographer.

Loy Newman with bear

Lou Newman photographing bears in the wild

Lou developed a curiosity about photographic techniques as a teenager, which evolved into a lifelong calling.Photography was a significant activity throughout his years as a rancher and veterinarian in Montana, and became of major importance when he left practice to become a veterinary college faculty member and pursue an advanced degree.  Photography was important in his roles as professor, pathologist, diagnostician, research clinician, and administrator.

During the 1990’s Lou prepared for a photographic “career in retirement” and the change to digital imaging.  Large animal medicine/surgery and wildlife studies had always been major interests and reinforced the progression to wildlife photography.  Lou’s passion is photographing the wildlife and birds of the Florida coast.

Of course, with Plymouth Harbor being situated on Coon Key in the midst of a natural bird habitat, Lou has become the photographic chronicler of many of nature’s dramas in our midst.  Here he alerts us to a potential nest of baby owls in our future and not too long ago, he played an even more active role in protecting our wild fowled young ones.

A Heroic Rescue for Stranded Chicks

In May 2012, Lou was on hand to rescue and document an entire Black Skimmer colony on Longboat Key that was threatened by Tropical Storm Debby. The storm had pushed coastal waters two to three feet above normal and large waves carried the water over the colony of over 400 birds with more than 100 active nest scrapes. The adult birds were all standing facing the wind in the lee of the buildings at the top of the beach; none were with the stranded chicks.

Willie Least Tern feeding its chick

Willie Least Tern feeding its chick

In his own words, “My initial reaction was to hope the adult birds would seek out their chicks. When this did not occur I returned to my vehicle to call beach monitors and bird rehabilitators for advice. When I returned to the beach half of the chicks had disappeared. Chicks were being buried by wind driven sand; and Laughing Gulls, and even a few Royal Terns, were gorging on stranded chicks. I saw only four chicks that somehow made it up the beach to the adult birds (and I hope were reunited with their parents). There were perhaps 50 chicks remaining at this point.”

“The stress of the day-long storm, flooding, relentless wind gusting to 40mph, biting wind-driven sand and opportunistic raiding gulls took a toll as I watched. It made no sense to stand by and watch remaining chicks perish this way. With help from others who arrived, it made sense to try to rescue the surviving chicks. We were able to find and pick up 32 live chicks. Gail Straight from Wildlife, Inc. on Anna Maria Island came to help and took the chicks to her wildlife education and rehabilitation center.”

Willie Least Tern with a Ghost Crab

Willie Least Tern with a Ghost Crab

Not surprisingly, Lou is active with the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program and has volunteered as a veterinary pathologist at Mote Marine Laboratory, as a veterinary surgeon at the former Pelican Man Bird Sanctuary, and as an Emergency Veterinary Medical Officer in Great Britain during the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak.

Lou is an active member of the North American Nature Photography Association, National Association of Photoshop Professionals, Dimage, Digital Photo Artists, Sarasota Audubon Society, and Sarasota Bay Estuary Program Citizens Advisory Committee.  His work is held in several private collections and is on permanent display at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Pines of Sarasota, SMH Institute for Advanced Medicine, Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, and Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay’s Smith Care Center.  He frequently participates in regional art gallery and photography exhibits. We’re proud he shares this wealth of photography with Plymouth Harbor on a regular basis.

Congratulations to Corey Schmitz for being chosen as the Plymouth Harbor “Employee of the Month” for February 2013.

Corey came to Plymouth Harbor as a part time Dietary Aide in November 2010 and was promoted to full time Relief Supervisor in February 2011.  Looking for new challenges, he accepted a full time server position in the Mayflower Dining Room in January 2012.

Corey Schmitz, Employee of the Month for February 2013Throughout his career at Plymouth Harbor, his supervisors have described Corey as an asset.  He is known as a great worker and team player, and has the determination to take on any task.  Corey has received “Exceeds Standard” remarks on his Quality of Work, Attendance, Personal Conduct, Efficiency, Attitude, and Responsiveness to Supervision.

Corey’s nominators wrote,  “He is so full of energy, takes charge, knows what to do.  You never have to ask him to do something and if you do, it gets taken care of quickly.  Corey has wonderful rapport with the residents and nothing is too much to ask of him.  He is pleasant and accommodating at all times.  Corey is a pleasure to have around and deserves to be recognized.”

Corey was born in Daytona Beach and graduated from Lincoln High School in Tallahassee.  He moved to the Sarasota area in 2007, and took a job with Sarasota Memorial Hospital where he worked as a Dietary Aide for 2 years.  He later took a position as a Sales Clerk at Sarasota Restaurant Equipment.  He and his wife Sarah married in 2011.

We appreciate all of Corey’s hard work and dedication and are honored to recognize Corey Schmitz as the Plymouth Harbor “Employee of the Month” for February 2013.

Tributes take charitable giving a step further, by making a gift in someone’s name, either in memory or in honor of an individual or group, or in celebration of an occasion, such as an anniversary, birthday, or event.  The Plymouth Harbor Foundation is delighted and grateful to accept these gifts.

On January 16, 2013 the Smith Care Center Staff was presented with a tribute gift that came from a past rehabilitation patient in their honor.  Mary Ann and Ted Simon said they were inspired to make the gift because, in their words, the support given by the staff during Mrs. Simon’s short-term stay was amazing, professional, and delivered with a human approach that was different and unique from their past experiences with other facilities.  The gift was a complete surprise and very generous.  Please join us in extending our heartfelt gratitude to the Simons for their support of our services.  The Therapy Room was lined with staff from all over the Smith Care Center to accept the gift.

“This gift underscores the excellence of our team!  It is clear that our committed staff find personal satisfaction in the physical, emotional, and spiritual successes of those we serve,” says Joe Devore, Vice President of Health Services at Plymouth Harbor.

That spirit of caring is also the driving force behind philanthropy at Plymouth Harbor. Over the decades, members of our resident population, their families, employees, and philanthropists in the broader community have voluntarily donated more than $12,000,000 to perpetuate the Plymouth Harbor mission.  We celebrate contributions of time, talent, and financial resources, believing that service to and support of other people is a worthy lifelong value.

“When one takes the time to show their appreciation for the care our staff provides through a charitable gift, it is the ultimate compliment.  We are very grateful for the gift and the recognition that Mr. and Mrs. Simon have given to our staff,” adds Becky Pazkowski, Vice President of Philanthropy at Plymouth Harbor.

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.

 

Congress Approves 2-year Retroactive IRA Charitable Rollover Extension

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 has been approved by Congress and it includes a two-year retroactive extension of the IRA Charitable Rollover provision that lapsed on December 31, 2011. Specifically, the new law:

  • retroactively reinstates the Rollover from 2012 and allows any otherwise eligible gifts made after December 31, 2012 and before February 1, 2013 to be treated as a 2012 donation.
  • specifies that any portion of a distribution from an IRA to a taxpayer made after November 30, 2012 and before January 1, 2013 may be treated as a qualified charitable distribution for purposes of the IRA Charitable Rollover, and
  •  reinstates the IRA Charitable Rollover for all of 2013 and will now expire at the end of this year, on December 31, 2013.

What is an IRA Charitable Rollover?

The law uses the term “qualified charitable distribution” to describe an IRA charitable rollover. A qualified charitable distribution is money that individuals who are 70-1/2 or older may direct from their traditional IRA to eligible charitable organizations. The provision has a cap of $100,000 for charitable distributions from individual IRAs each year. Individuals may exclude the amount distributed directly to an eligible charity from their gross income.

In other words, if you wish to make a charitable contribution to The Plymouth Harbor Foundation, and/or another favorite charity, you may rollover up to $100,000 directly from your IRA to the charity and you won’t have to claim the amount you rollover as income.

Want to know more about this and other 2013 tax law changes?

Please Join Us: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 — 3:00 p.m. in the Card Room.

TOPIC: IRA Charitable Rollover Extension and 2013 Tax Law Changes

Presented by: Carla Plush Smith, CPA and Plymouth Harbor Foundation Trustee

Becky Pazkowski, Vice President of Philanthropy

Foundation Forum: Hosted by The Plymouth Harbor Foundation, Bill Johnston, Chair

Please call Sandy Taylor at ext 511 for more information and to register.

 

Margaret is originally from Montego Bay, Jamaica. She moved to the United States in 1999 and has lived in Employee of the Month for December 2012the Sarasota area since 2003. Her mother, brother, and sister live in the area as well.

Margaret graduated from the Continental Academy in Coral Gables, FL in 2002 and received her LPN license from Manatee Technical Institute in 2007. Previously working at Bradenton Health Care, and Riviera Palms as an LPN, Margaret came to Plymouth Harbor in October of 2009 as a full time, morning nurse.

Margaret has received “exceeds standards” remarks on her most recent appraisal in her Job Knowledge, Efficiency, and Attitude. Her supervisor describes her as very competent and proficient. She is quiet and goes about her work with a smile.

Notes from her nomination forms read:

Margaret deserves to be Employee of the Month because of her dedication to Plymouth Harbor. She is a wonderful, caring, compassionate nurse. Margaret comes to the rescue when needed to fill in for call-offs or in the 3-11 shift. Margaret is very cheerful and always has a positive attitude, she never complains.

On a personal note, Margaret is mom to son Damarian (9) who plays basketball and keeps her very busy. She enjoys evenings out with friends when not busy with her son.

It is our privilege to recognize Margaret today as the “Employee of the Month” for December 2012. As a tangible expression of our appreciation, you will have sole use of the Employee of the Month reserved parking space during the entire month of December. You will also receive $100 in cash and eight hours of PTO. This honor will also be noted in an upcoming issue of the resident publication, The Harbor Light.