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The Legacy Club

‘Neighbors helping neighbors’ at heart of new Highland Springs initiative

Created date

May 8th, 2018
The Legacy Club at Highland Springs was established by residents to support the Resident Care Fund.

The Legacy Club at Highland Springs was established by residents to support the Resident Care Fund. Over a three-week period, the initiative garnered over $1 million, reinforcing Highland Springs’ culture of neighbors helping neighbors.

Like most great endeavors, the Legacy Club at Highland Springs sprouted from a single thought.

“How could we, as residents, fortify the Resident Care Fund?” says Sam Davidson, who’s lived at the North Dallas community with his wife, Sally, since 2008. “That was the question that set everything in motion.”

As an Erickson Living community, Highland Springs maintains a Resident Care Fund to assist eligible residents who, despite careful planning, outlive their resources. No one has ever been asked to leave the community due to a genuine inability to pay. (The Residence and Care Agreement has complete details.)

The fund is supported by Erickson Living’s corporate partners, staff, and residents. It ensures residents have a home for life, even in the face of unanticipated financial situations.

“All of us came to Highland Springs with the expectation of a home for life,” says Sam. “The Resident Care Fund supports that commitment, and it reinforces our community’s culture of neighbors helping neighbors.”

‘Equitable, convenient, and nonburdensome’

Sam’s idea—giving residents the option to donate a percentage of their entrance deposit to the Resident Care Fund—was born out of several considerations.

“The concept needed to be equitable, convenient, and non-burdensome,” says Sam, a past president of the community’s Resident Advisory Council. “It shouldn’t interfere with residents’ present monetary needs, and it had to be fair, acknowledging that not everyone is in the same financial position. The plan also had to be simple to execute, not requiring any formal adjustments to wills or estate documents.”

Sam first presented the concept of the Legacy Club to Highland Springs’ Executive Director Matt Neville, then to other past presidents of Resident Advisory Council.

“I wanted to get their feedback, to see if they thought this was a feasible plan,” says Sam. “Once they gave their blessing, we worked with the current Resident Advisory Council to identify floor captains in each building who could take the idea to their neighbors.”

Sam partnered with staff members to lay the foundation for the Legacy Club. Resident Services Coordinator Billie Byrd assembled a booklet to distribute to residents, which explained the program. Sam worked with the finance department at Highland Springs to put together a one-page pledge form for residents choosing to participate.

In all, more than 70 Highland Springs residents and staff members joined the effort to bring the Legacy Club to fruition.

“The project gained momentum over the course of several months,” says Sam. “It was exciting to be part of something that grew and grew, like a snowball.”

Successful campaign

At its core, the Legacy Club gives residents a channel to donate to the Resident Care Fund at the time the entrance deposit is refunded. Residents who choose to participate may donate as little as 1% of their refund or as much as they’d like to the fund.

“We ran the Legacy Club campaign over a three-week period in September 2017, and had over a million dollars pledged to the Resident Care Fund during that time,” says Sam.

To celebrate the successful launch of the Legacy Club, participating residents were invited to a special dinner at Chisholm’s Restaurant. Donors’ names will also be etched on the Legacy Tree, an art installation in the newly opened clubhouse, Magnolia Place.

Since the initial drive, pledges have jumped to $1.4 million, with over 49% of apartments participating.

“This idea started out in left field, and it worked,” says Sam. “But it’s more than just another club; this is a tangible expression of neighbors caring for their neighbors.”

Helping neighbors for years to come

In recognition of Sam’s tireless dedication to the project, Erickson Living’s Chief Operating Officer Debra Doyle sent a congratulatory letter.

“Throughout the years, we have seen numerous examples of how the Resident Care Fund has allowed residents who have experienced unforeseen financial burdens to remain at our communities,” wrote Doyle. “For years to come, the aptly named Legacy Club will reflect the heartfelt caring that residents have for one another, truly neighbors helping neighbors.”