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Weaving together a close-knit community

Ashby Ponds celebrates its first five years

Created date

August 20th, 2013
Ashby Ponds' fifth anniversary

Ashby Ponds is truly a place that fulfills its motto, We share our gifts to create a community that celebrates life, says community member Alice Buck. The more things you are involved in at Ashby Ponds, the more people you meet. The staff is amazing. Life here is very special. During the week of September 9, Ashby Ponds will celebrate its five-year anniversary with celebrations in honor of this important milestone. Five years ago, when we opened the doors to our first two residence buildings and clubhouse, we were excited to bring the Erickson Living lifestyle to Loudoun County, says Executive Director David Gallagher. By providing a community rich with amenities, on-site health care, and maintenance-free living for residents, we knew that Ashby Ponds would become the standard of excellence in retirement living. John and Dottie Kraft, two of the community s first residents, were so pleased with Ashby Ponds that after their first two weeks at their new home, they wrote to Gallagher praising him and all the staff for their help. We were the first residents on the fourth floor of Hummingbird Square, says John. We were most surprised by the great help and friendliness of all the staff, and it was important to us to let David know.

Exceeding ' expectations

Although not a surprise, we ve been enormously pleased with the quality of life at Ashby Ponds, says Al Beyer, who moved to the community with his wife Marilynn in September 2009. The residents, staff, overall environment, friendliness, openness, activities, and energy suit our needs perfectly. As a result, we could not be more pleased with our decision to move to Ashby Ponds. Year after year, the community exceeded all of our high expectations, says Gallagher. Growing at a record pace, we added additional residence buildings that almost immediately sold out. Our success continues today with more than 730 residents calling Ashby Ponds home. But what strikes me and anyone who has visited Ashby Ponds the most is the engaging and energized people who make Ashby Ponds a true community, he adds. In five years, our residents have organized more than 100 clubs and activities; dazzled us by showcasing their talents in concerts, plays, and art galleries; and graciously volunteered their time and energy in our local community.

Reflection of themselves

It is this willingness to jump in and get involved that makes Ashby Ponds unique. All community members are encouraged to start any clubs or activities that suit their interests. Dottie and I are both activists [sic] and were very pleased with the support we received in starting programs here, says John. In the past five years, the Krafts started the community library, which they now run with fellow community member Lyn Knapp and 25 volunteers. They ve also started a book club, weekly happy hours, Wednesday coffee hour, a bridge club, a writing group, and organized the showing of Saturday movies. John was also one of the original members of the Resident Advisory Council, wrote its constitution, was its first chairman, and currently serves as secretary. With a busy social calendar that includes more than 20 activities, Dottie and John are excited to see what the next five years will bring. Like John, Al serves on the Resident Advisory Council and, as one of the 175 U.S. military veteran residents at Ashby Ponds, serves as chair of the Veterans Programs and Activities Committee. One of my greatest moments was the 2011 design, purchase, and installation of the veterans monument in front of the community s flagpoles, he says. The generosity of our veterans in collecting funds for this initiative was nothing short of overwhelming.

Time to celebrate

Recognizing that each and every resident at Ashby Ponds plays an important role in the community, the motto for the five-year anniversary celebration is Every person, every event weaves a thread into your tapestry of life. During the weeklong anniversary celebration, residents will be invited to place a stitch in a needlework piece that will bring the tapestry theme to life. The community will also create a memory tree. Residents will be asked to share their favorite memory over the last five years. It will be written down and hung on the tree. Parties and celebrations will abound, including the dedication of a bench outside Meadowlark Terrace, a founders breakfast, and an outdoor party with live music and an antique Good Humor ice cream truck. The festivities will culminate on September 16 (opening day) with a Main Street-themed party in the Cardinal Clubhouse, complete with a soda shop, old-fashioned deli, a pastry shop, and a wine and cheese shop. Residents will enjoy hand-passed hors d oeuvres and a champagne toast. Watching Ashby Ponds grow has been a treat, says Al. With growth comes additional activities stemming from new residents backgrounds and interests, as well as opportunities for expanded friendships. I am so happy to be a part of the Ashby Ponds family, and I am excited to see what the next five years will bring to the community, says David.