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Living the dream

Ashby Ponds celebrates ten years

Created date

October 19th, 2018
Over the past ten years, Ashby Ponds has cultivated caring friendships amongst residents and staff, diverse interests and activities, and has grown into a true community where people share their gifts to celebrate life.

Over the past ten years, Ashby Ponds has cultivated caring friendships amongst residents and staff, diverse interests and activities, and has grown into a true community where people share their gifts to celebrate life.

Each day for ten years, community members at Ashby Ponds have fulfilled the Erickson Living community’s motto, “We share our gifts to create a community that celebrates life.” 

Recently, residents and staff celebrated the community’s ten-year anniversary with a full week of festivities.

“Ten years ago, when we opened the doors to our first two apartment buildings and clubhouse, we were excited to bring the Erickson Living lifestyle to Loudoun County, Va.,” says Executive Director Craig Karczmer. “By providing a community rich with amenities, on-site health care, and maintenance-free living, we knew that Ashby Ponds would become the standard of excellence in retirement living.”

“My husband Greg and I are very happy that, ten years ago, we chose Ashby Ponds for our home, says Joanne Harney. “We are grateful every day. We’ve made so many dear new friends who feel as we do. We live like we’re on a cruise ship. We’ve helped to start or participate in many new clubs and projects that fill our days with companionship and the satisfaction of being able to give back. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy living a good life.”

Exceeding expectations

“We moved here after exploring all of the retirement communities in Northern Virginia—four of our five children live in the area—and found Ashby Ponds to be the best value for price paid,” says Pat Lund, who moved with her husband Dana nine years ago. “Living here has exceeded our expectations.”

Even as a newer member of the community, C. Carole Richard, who moved to Ashby Ponds last summer, agrees.

“As a former gerontologist, I knew that Ashby Ponds offered the best of everything to retirees who want to live independently,” she says. “But living at Ashby Ponds has far exceeded all and any expectations I had. The residents are friends, the staff remind me of my own six children, and the high school servers are adopted grandchildren.”

Karczmer credits the people who live at Ashby Ponds for creating a caring community.

“What strikes me, and anyone who has visited Ashby Ponds, is the engaging and energized people who make Ashby Ponds a true community,” he says. “Over the last decade, our residents have organized more than 150 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.”

Time to celebrate

To honor the ten years of community life, festivities commenced with live musical performances from some of the campus’s favorite entertainers including Ann Todaro, Tony Greenfield, and Norma and Morrie Kelsey.

The next day, the community members themselves showed off their many talents at the eighth annual staff and resident talent show.

“The variety of talents at Ashby Ponds is remarkable,” says Tamara Webb. “I’m so happy to live in a community where these gifts are shared and appreciated.”

To ensure that each and every community member enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate, the celebration continued at Ashby Ponds’ continuing care community with an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party.

“Everyone was encouraged to wear fancy hats while enjoying an afternoon of music and tea,” says Mary Terry. “Even the staff got involved, dressing up in costumes from Alice in Wonderland.”

The ten-year anniversary week culminated with a festive gala. Dressed in semiformal attire, guests enjoyed music from the Loudoun Jazz Ensemble while celebrating with dancing and dining.

The week of celebrating concluded with the dedication of Ashby Ponds’ new all-faith chapel, Farmwell Hall.

“There is a saying that has taken on a new meaning for us since we arrived at Ashby Ponds,” says Mary Alice Babka, who moved to the Erickson Living community four years ago with her husband Frank. “It says, ‘When I think about my life and my blessings, great and small, I know the things that matter most aren’t really things at all.’”

“Our new lifestyle at Ashby Ponds has allowed us to develop maturity for a greater self-understanding and made it possible to use our gifts of personality and character to be of help to our new neighbors and friends,” says Frank. “It doesn’t take long living here to realize that our later years in life are truly a gift to us.”