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Right at home

Enthusiastic reception awaits new residents at Highland Springs

Created date

September 25th, 2012

The Hillcrest Clubhouse at Highland Springs buzzed with the sounds of friendship on a recent Friday afternoon. A casual observer might have caught the following snippets of conversation: I live just down the hall from you. Do you enjoy horseshoes? Golf? Woodworking? Would you like to visit our book club? Sit and stitch club? The new resident reception, which takes place once a quarter, gives existing residents the chance to welcome friends who have moved to Highland Springs within the past three months. It also gives new residents the opportunity to introduce themselves and share where they are from. People are at the heart of this community, says Community Resource Coordinator Barbara Blachly, who organizes the event. That s what these receptions are all about people making connections with other people.

Shared interests

Pete and Marie Higa were among Highland Springs first residents when the community opened in September 2006. For the past six years, Marie has attended every new resident reception, hoping to meet someone from her hometown of Bloomfield, N.J. At the reception in July, Marie could hardly believe her ears when Bernard and Lois De Roo introduced themselves and said they hailed from Bloomfield. I just can t believe it, Marie says. For six years, I ve been hoping to meet someone else from Bloomfield, and now here they are. As Marie and Lois chatted, they uncovered many shared connections. I m from the same neighborhood where her daughter worked, says Marie.

Invitations come rolling in

Marie invited the De Roos to join the New York/New Jersey natives club, only to find out they had already received an invitation from residents Walter and Mary Zulch, whom they met in Highland Springs Cotton Belt Caf . When we first met Walter and Mary, they mentioned they once knew another De Roo, a pastor they met when they lived in Florida, says Lois. As it turns out, the other De Roo was Bernard s brother. When Walter and Mary mentioned there was a New York/New Jersey natives club at Highland Springs, Bernard and Lois expressed an interest in joining. Don t worry, I ve already got your names on the list, was Walter s reply. That s how it is at Highland Springs, says Blachly. Residents are very warm and welcoming. There s a place for everyone.

Warm welcome

Ken and Joyce Kleinert, from Tulsa, Okla., first visited Highland Springs in 2008. They came again in 2010. And again in 2012. We couldn t stop thinking about Highland Springs, says Joyce. When construction began on the new continuing care neighborhood, we decided it was time to move. The Kleinerts also felt like Highland Springs was a good value. The fact that the entrance deposit is refundable appealed to us, says Ken. We were welcomed from the very beginning, says Joyce. The people here are so friendly. Every time we come down for dinner, we meet someone new. In fact, the couple felt at home long before the reception. Joyce humored Blachly by wearing the new resident nametag. I think we re supposed to wear these nametags until we don t feel new anymore, says Joyce. I m taking mine off on Monday.