Tribune Print Share Text

Putting the unity in community

People who live at Ashby Ponds take their fundraising seriously

Created date

February 16th, 2018
Ashby Ponds celebrated its Benevolent Care Fund campaign with a solar eclipse viewing party.

Ashby Ponds celebrated its Benevolent Care Fund campaign with a solar eclipse viewing party.


A tremendous sense of responsibility lies at the core of the Erickson Living mission: “We share our gifts to create communities that celebrate life.” 

Taking this mission to heart, community members at Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Living community in Ashburn, Va., raised $225,000 last year in support of the Ashby Ponds Bevevolent Care Fund and the Ashby Ponds Scholars’ Fund.

The Ashby Ponds philanthropy committee sits at the heart of each fund. This dedicated group of resident volunteers work diligently throughout the year planning giving campaigns and educating neighbors on the importance of their efforts. 

“My life philosophy is to pay it forward,” says community member Pat Lund, who has worked with the philanthropy committee since its inception ten years ago. “Our essence and our purpose is to support the Ashby Ponds culture of giving and gratitude.”

“Our biggest goal in 2018 is education,” says Elisabeth Longworth, director of philanthropy. “Ashby Ponds is currently in a period of growth. We have two new buildings opening this year. As we welcome new neighbors, we have an obligation to keep them informed on the important ways we rely and depend on one another.”

Taking care of one another

As one of Ashby Pond’s biggest philanthropic efforts, the Benevolent Care Fund (BCF) provides support to community members who experience a genuine and unforeseen change in their financial resources. The money donated to the fund and Ashby Pond’s home for life commitment provide options for residents to protect their future. 

“Supporting the BCF has been a passion of mine since I was an employee,” says former Ashby Ponds sales manager Lyn Lubic, who now lives at the community and volunteers as the philanthropy committee chair. 

“The BCF sets Erickson Living communities apart from other continuing care retirement communities,” she says. “No other community has a program like this.”

One of the committee’s largest tasks is educating fellow community members on the importance of the BCF. To achieve this goal, the committee printed an informational brochure and interviewed donors for a series of videos detailing their personal reasons for giving.

“We can be careful and save our money wisely, but no one knows what the future holds,” says committee member Beverly Swain. “How many years will that savings cover our expenses should a serious health problem occur? It’s a serious question to consider and is at the heart of why it is so important to give. I am committed to helping my neighbors see how important this mission is to our entire community.” 

With grateful hearts

To kick off last year’s successful BCF campaign, the committee sponsored a “thank you” celebration for the community. This “Grand Night of Singing” featured vocalist Caroline Grace Williams, granddaughter of residents John and Elizabeth Hedley.

“It was one of the best-attended events held at the Great Oak Theater,” says Pat. 

At the conclusion of the campaign, the committee once again thanked their generous neighbors with a reception, coinciding with the solar eclipse on August 21. Guests enjoyed watching a live feed of the celestial wonder and listening to live music from Loudoun Jazz. 

“We feel it is important to give back to our neighbors,” says Lyn. “As a result, last September we added to our mission with the creation of an educational subcommittee to develop a year-round educational program in support of our residents.”

To date, the subcommittee sponsored community lectures on fraud prevention and hospice. Plans for additional communitywide education are under way for 2018.

Helping the next generation 

The philanthropy committee also works diligently to support the high school students working at Ashby Ponds by awarding college scholarships. 

Since 2010, the Ashby Ponds Scholars’ Fund has raised more than $465,000 in support of more than 100 student employees. The $5,000 scholarships are paid directly to the college or trade school of the student’s choice.

“The Scholars’ Fund is so important because it demonstrates the pride we have in our young people,” says Pat. “These students are so kind to all of us, it would be difficult not to participate in the program.”

Culture of care

Dedicating their time and financial resources to those in need, the mission-driven, big-hearted members of the Ashby Ponds community inspire all those around them.

“I am extremely impressed by the hard work and dedication of the committee members,” says Lyn. 

“We all think of ourselves as one big Ashby Ponds family,” says Longworth. “And because of that we work to help each other in any way we can. Our volunteers do not act out of a sense of duty but out of a sense of love.”