Sometimes you just need to invent your own holiday and that’s exactly what we did to recognize the amazing team members at our communities. We wanted to find a way to let them know that we appreciate all they do and that’s when it came to us. How about Thinking of You Day? A day to recognize their efforts and to let them know that the support crew in the Seattle office is, well, thinking of them?
We quickly decided that the best way to show the teams at our communities that we are thinking of them was with something delicious. So we concocted a plan to surprise them with a special lunch delivery. With 27 communities in six states, we had some logistics to work through to make it happen. We brought our brightest minds together and figured out a way to get the chow to each of our communities.
Merrill Gardens at The University chowing down!
The surprise went well and we hope our team members felt the appreciation that came with the meal! Our teams are the heart and soul of our communities and we recognize their commitment every day. Thinking of You Day just made it official. And who knows, maybe this holiday will really catch on!
“There is no give up in my dad…in his mind, he’s still that Olympic athlete,” says Laura Gambucci of her 87 year old father.
Her dad is Andre Gambucci, a hockey player who took up the game when he was four years old. He played college hockey for Colorado College where he also played football, finishing fourth in scoring nationally in 1952 with 16 touchdowns.
That was the year he was named to the U.S. Olympic hockey team which won the silver medal. Andre says the team faced controversy when they were criticized for their rough style of play. Body checking was legal but it was not commonly used by the European teams and opponents and spectators did not like that style of play.
Still, traveling to Oslo, Norway and winning a silver medal was quite the accomplishment. Following the Olympics, Andre stayed with the game, becoming a referee for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. Laura says some of her fondest childhood memories are of traveling with her dad to hockey games.
Andre was also honored in 2010 when he was asked to be part of the Torch Run for the Salt Lake City Olympics.
Today, Andre lives at the Merrill Gardens community in Goodyear, Arizona and daughter Laura lives nearby. He loves sharing his Olympic experience with team members and other residents and we are thrilled to be able to tell his story.
You can watch the interview with Andre and Laura here.
A large crowd was on hand to help us officially kick off construction for our new community in Auburn, WA. On a beautiful spring afternoon officials from the City of Auburn and Merrill Gardens welcomed guests to the official groundbreaking for the independent living, assisted living and memory care community that will be open next summer.
Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus said the new community will bring true intergenerational living to downtown Auburn and praised the great cooperation from development partners Pillar Properties (Merrill Gardens sister company) and Teutsch Partners. Those two companies will oversee the construction of the community which is expected to last about 14 months.
Merrill Gardens President Dave Eskenazy said that while the building will be beautiful, the real magic will happen when team members are able to welcome residents to their new home.
Eskenazy led the crowd in the official dirt turning and with that the project is underway!
You can watch the video from the groundbreaking below.