The Seattle office team invited residents from Merrill Gardens at The University to show off their baseball skills at the company’s 2nd Annual Dunk Tank to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association. Team members paid for residents to dunk the executive team and we raised almost $500 on our lunch hour! Trust us, these residents have very good aim! And if they could not hit the mark they took matters into their own hands and gave the button a big whack. That meant gallons of really cold water raining down on the heads of the volunteers!
Our Seattle office team members liked dunking each other too.
The Seattle Office folks are very good sports and it was all worth it as we raised funds for a very worthy organization. But man, was that water cold!
Residents from The University with General Manager Michael after his dunking!
R.D. Merrill President Bill Pettit taking the dunking like a man!
Our Senior VP of Administration Morei Lingle really loved that cold water!
That was fun and by next year we will forget how cold the water was and do it all over again!
The team at our community in Lafayette, CA really knows how to throw a tea party! Residents and team members were dressed in their Sunday best to enjoy tea and scones and we just love seeing the ladies in those beautiful hats! Click the photos below to view the slide show from this oh-so-lovely event! Pinkies out ladies!!
Our hard hats and shovels are getting quite the work out these days as Merrill Gardens continues to grow in some exciting new locations. Construction is now underway on a new community in Burien, Washington that will open next summer.
(from left to right) Kerry Nicholson, Senior Managing Director, Legacy Partners; Bill Pettit, President, R.D. Merrill; Lucy Krakowiak, Burien Mayor; Dave Eskenazy, President, Merrill Gardens
Merrill Gardens at Burien will have 126 independent, assisted living and memory care apartments in the center of Burien Town Square. Merrill Gardens sister company, Pillar Properties, is developing 228 market-rate studio, one and two bedroom apartments at the site in partnership with Legacy Partners.
“This unique location provides for a true inter-generational living experience in a fantastic urban location with easy access to downtown Seattle. Its going to be a great place for people of all ages,” said Bill Pettit, Merrill Gardens president.
Merrill Gardens President Bill Pettit
The Merrill Gardens community (seen below) will also feature a small public park at the entrance and lots of amenities inside. There are lots of shops and restaurants within easy walking distance
Merrill Gardens at Burien rendering
Burien Mayor Lucy Krakowiak welcomed the projects to Burien, proclaiming that with the addition of both senior housing and market-rate apartments, the Burien Town Square is complete and will be a vibrant part of the city.
Watch here to see our video of the groundbreaking event.
Click here to read about the groundbreaking in the B-Town Blog.
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.
Our newest community welcomed residents with a grand opening party that featured spectacular food prepared by a team of chefs from other Merrill Gardens communities who flew in for the event.
The chefs came together to prepare a feast for the 200 guests who attended the grand opening and they did an amazing job.
The Groves, A Merrill Gardens community is located is Goodyear, Arizona and guests got to tour the beautiful new community and see the private apartments and spacious common areas and outdoor spaces.
The grand opening event featured entertainment and a ceremonial ribbon cutting with representative from Goodyear.
Guests raved about the beautiful new community that will be home to over 150 senior residents. The community offers independent living, assisted living and memory care along with Merrill Gardens signature Anytime Dining program. Residents can dine on their own schedule and enjoy nutritious meals in the community dining room from 7am to 7pm with no set meal hours.
The grand opening was attended by Merrill Gardens president David Eskenazy who praised the community team for their hard work in bringing the community to life.
For more information about The Groves, call 623-208-5655 or click here. Check out our video from the grand opening below!
When it comes to life’s big questions, it helps to ask those with experience. And our residents have lots of experience! That’s why we have been visiting our communities and interviewing them about the things that really matter in life for our video series entitled Words from the Wise.
In our latest video we asked residents to reflect on their long lives and share what they believe you can do to be truly happy. Their answers are straight from the heart as they provide advice we can use every day. Its so easy to get tangled up in our daily struggles but watch the video and hear from people who know what really matters.
“If you want to find happiness, I’ll tell you the way. Don’t live for tomorrow until you live for today,” says Ed Stokes who was born in 1920.
We think that Ed, who lives at our community in Lafayette, California is a very wise man. He also believes that if you give out love, you’re going to receive twice as much. He is so right. We love you Ed!
With a feisty attitude and a zest for living, 100 year old Luella Shell is a force of nature. She does not let a little thing like getting older get in her way, though she did give up water skiing when she turned 80. She still loves to dance in her high heels and wear her favorite flashy purple outfits. Luella is always the life of the party and her exceptional outlook earned her the title of Most Inspirational Senior 2014 as voted on by the readers of Seniorhomes.com.
Luella truly knows how to embrace life and that’s why we wanted to feature her in our video series. We are so lucky to have Luella living with us at our Santa Maria, CA community where she is a true inspiration to other residents and our team members. As you can see from the video, she knows how to have a good time and she reminds us all to Enjoy More. Heck, she seems to have more energy than many people half her age!
We know you will enjoy Luella’s story and we encourage you to share with someone you know who could use some Words from the Wise!