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The story behind the smiles

Highland Springs residents take part in photo shoot for marketing campaign

Created date

April 23rd, 2013

When Terry Jerden read an issue of the Erickson Living Tribune in a doctor s office two years ago, she called the sales office at Highland Springs and requested more information about the North Dallas community. I was beginning to think about a possible move to a retirement community, and everything I read about Highland Springs sounded good, particularly the security features and spacious floor plans, says Terry. What she didn t realize as she thumbed through the brochures was that the images portrayed real residents. I thought the people in the brochures were professional models, says Terry, who moved to Highland Springs in July 2012. It wasn t until the sales team asked me to be in a photo shoot that I realized Erickson Living uses real residents in their advertising material. We can t think of anyone better to portray the Erickson Living lifestyle than our residents, says Jennifer O Reilly, sales director at Highland Springs. They offer an authentic glimpse into life at the community. Terry was photographed at Highland Springs last November, along with 12 of her neighbors during a two-day photo shoot. The camera crew took my picture in my apartment, says Terry. I converted the master bedroom into a sewing studio, and that s where I spend a great deal of time.

Beyond a thousand words

The images from that photo shoot have already begun to appear on marketing materials. But if a picture is worth a thousand words, the stories behind the images could fill a novel. Life at Highland Springs is phenomenal even better than I anticipated, says Terry. I have two sons, one in California and one in Beijing, China. My son in California called me every other night after I moved here to check on me. He s stopped calling so often because he realizes I m happy and safe. Terry sings in the Highland Springs chorus and serves as co-chair of the dining services committee. She s also taken advantage of the many off-campus field trips. Barbara Blachly [activities coordinator] calls me the traveling lady, says Terry. I ve been on every trip she has planned. If there s a bus leaving for somewhere, I m on it.

First modeling job

Terry isn t the only model with an inspiring story. Gerald and Mary Jo Duerksen both worked with computers over the span of their careers. You won t find professional model on either of their resumes. But when the sales team at Highland Springs approached the couple about participating in the photo shoot, Gerald and Mary Jo were happy to oblige. We thought it would be fun, says Mary Jo. Gerald was photographed first by the horseshoes pit, then we were both photographed walking by the lake. The couple had to carve out time from an already full calendar to participate in the photo shoot. Gerald plays horseshoes, swims, and does Wii Bowling. Mary Jo takes several fitness classes at Highland Springs, including Pilates, Zumba, and chair yoga. They are both German folk dancers and travel to Oktoberfest celebrations across Texas and Oklahoma each fall. But when the couple saw their image on a marketing brochure for the first time, they realized the hours in front of a camera were well spent. It was exciting, says Mary Jo. We d never done anything like that before.