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The Red Robin Penthouse group

Ashby Ponds neighbors find unique ways to celebrate one another

Created date

March 21st, 2018
(From left) Ben FitzGerald, Nancy Oliphant, and John Oliphant prepare for the Red Robin penthouse’s Diamond Jubilee sixtieth happy hour celebration.

Red Robin penthouse’s Diamond Jubilee sixtieth happy hour celebration.

Recently, people who live on the fourth floor of Red Robin View, known as the “penthouse,” celebrated their sixtieth, floor-wide happy hour since the building opened in 2012. Amidst balloons, party signs, cocktails, and hot hors d’oeuvres, the residents toasted the fun times shared together over the past five
years.

“We are known as the party floor at Ashby Ponds,” says John Oliphant.

John and his wife Nancy organized the first penthouse happy hour. Since that time, the couple
has continued the happy hour tradition, creating a unique camaraderie among their neighbors.

In addition, they produce a monthly newsletter for the floor, schedule monthly dinners, and lead a bocce team made up of penthouse residents.

Circle of friendship

“As soon as we arrived at Ashby Ponds, we were eager to meet our fellowneighbors,” says John. “Nancy and I organized a floor social as a fun way to make introductions. Before the day was over, people were asking when we could do it again. Now, 60 happy hours later, we are still going strong.”

Like the Oliphants, Ben and Arlene FitzGerald, and David and Jeanne Ours were among the Red Robin penthouse’s pioneer residents.

“The bonds we’ve created as a result of these gatherings are wonderful,” says Ben. “We truly enjoy each other’s company. The happy hours are just one of the many ways we spend time together.”

“We’ve never missed a gathering,” says Jeanne. “The convenience of spending time with your neighbors, just steps from your front door, makes it impossible to find an excuse not to attend. And who would want to? We always have such a great time.”

The festive atmosphere on the penthouse floor is not limited to its first residents. Last July, Jim and Sandy Love moved to the famed fourth floor and quickly became members of the penthouse family.

“Right away we were told that we were moving onto the party floor,” says Jim. “We are both so happy to be here. We were fully welcomed immediately.”

More than a party

In addition to the monthly celebrations, John writes a monthly newsletter, The Turdus Migratorious Flyer, keeping his neighbors up to date on social events, vacation schedules, birthdays, and any illnesses.

“I cannot say enough about the efforts of John and Nancy,” says Cecelia Lazzaro. “Not only do they plan our times together, but they take care of us like family. Each of us knows that if we need anything, we can count on each other.”

Building on the sense of togetherness, one year after the happy hours began, members of the Red Robin penthouse decided to test their athleticism in the form of a bocce team.

“We are currently the only team in the Ashby Ponds Bocce League in which all players are from the same floor,” says John.

To foster team spirit, John had “Red Robin Penthouse” T-shirts made for all members of the team. Each participant wears their shirt with pride, often wearing it outside of the games to the happy hours and other community-wide functions.

Arriving at Ashby Ponds in the midst of bocce season, Jim, who had never before played bocce, joined the team.

“The enthusiasm is contagious,” Jim says. “I started playing shortly after moving in. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Spreading the love

Throughout the recent Diamond Jubilee sixtieth happy hour celebration, residents continually expressed their gratitude for each other and the dedicated efforts of the Oliphants.

They also conveyed their hope that, as the community grows and new residents move into the newly constructed homes at Birch Point and Cypress Ridge, other floors will follow their example.

“A group like ours would be most beneficial to new arrivals,” says Cecelia. “It provides an opportunity to get to know your neigh- bors, share concerns and resources, and to simply have fun. This sense of togetherness soon fosters a sense of home.”

“All of us feel very fortunate to live at Ashby Ponds,” says Nancy. “Having a wonderful group of neighbors that you enjoy spending time with and who you know will be there for you, without hesitation, is the icing on the cake.” 

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