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The best neighbors

Community living, Maris Grove-style

Created date

March 26th, 2013

When Sandy Baron first visited Maris Grove, she fell in love with it. But I thought I was too young, she says. Then she talked with a resident who was exactly her age, and that made me rethink. She also discovered the Delaware County community wouldn t nickel-and-dime her for every amenity. So many things, like lawn care, snow removal, even home maintenance and appliance repair were included. Those were exactly the things Sandy had been paying other people to do. And it was getting harder to find people to do the work, she says.

Love at first sight

So Sandy joined the community s priority list. That gave her the right of first refusal on an available apartment home based on her priority list date. When she was shown the Georgian-style home she lives in today, she reserved it immediately. She couldn t resist the one-bedroom floor plan with its extra powder room, eat-in kitchen, and den that was as large as a second bedroom and boasted two walk-in closets. Sandy had been using just three of the seven rooms in her house in Havertown, so she knew the Georgian would meet her needs. I was even able to bring my roll top desk, which I didn t expect, she says. But Suzy checked my floor plan and said, Oh yes, this will fit in your den. The services of Suzanne (Suzy) McAllister, Maris Grove s personal moving consultant, are complimentary to priority list members. McAllister s assistance was invaluable in helping Sandy downsize after 58 years in her childhood home.

A neighborly community

Last year, Sandy fractured her ankle, spent four months in a cast, and needed a scooter to get around. Her dog Kali is afraid of the scooter, so Sandy didn t know how she would walk her dog. However, 15 people volunteered to walk Kali every day, three times a day, she says. Some of them I didn t even know, and none of them had dogs. One couple enjoyed the strolls so much that they still walk Kali every night. And the scooter? It now lives in one of Sandy s walk-in closets. Sandy plays billiards, bocce, and shuffleboard at Maris Grove. She s also an avid photographer. While old family photos fill a wall of her den, she displays her own photos and artwork throughout her home. She s even turned her powder room into a floral photo gallery. One of her photos hangs in Executive Director Maureen Heckler s office. Another, taken on a Mediterranean cruise with Maris Grove s travel group, was exhibited last year in a juried show in Havertown. Her commitments extend beyond personal interests, however. She s president of Maris Grove s Jewish community and co-chairs Maris Grove s silent auction that benefits the community charity fund. With Kali, who s a certified therapy dog, she volunteers at a local hospital and in Maris Grove s continuing care neighborhood. My father, my family, we all volunteered, Sandy says. I ve always felt it s important to give back.