Fort Wash­ing­ton Es­tates cel­e­brates 40th an­niver­sary

The Ambler Gazette - - SPORTSROUNDUP - By Eric Devlin

Fort Wash­ing­ton Es­tates cel­e­brated its 40th an­niver­sary Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. with a cer­e­mony inside the con­tin­u­ing care re­tire­ment community.

In at­ten­dance for the event were state Sen. Ste­wart Green­leaf, R-12, and wach Sham­berg, cam­paign man­ager for state Rep. Todd Stephens, R-151, speak­ing on his be­half, who each pre­sented ci­ta­tions cel­e­brat­ing the an­niver­sary.

Ac­cord­ing to Marvin Mash­ner, pres­i­dent and CEO of ACTS Re­tire­men­tLife Com­mu­ni­ties, the fa­cil­ity opened in 1972 un­der the orig­i­nal name Open Door Es­tate. As a part of the ACTS Re­tire­ment-Life Com­mu­ni­ties, it’s a place for se­niors 62 and above that com­bines res­i­den­tial apart­ment liv­ing with long-term care ser­vices, in­clud­ing as­sisted liv­ing and skilled care res­i­dences.

The fa­cil­ity was founded on the ba­sis of pro­vid­ing a bet­ter life for the ag­ing pop­u­la­tion.

“It’s been a bless­ing both to our area and to the na­tion. I go to al­most all of your fa­cil­i­ties on a reg­u­lar ba­sis dur­ing the year as well as some other fa­cil­i­ties and it’s very hard to com­pare or to match what is pro­vided here in this fa­cil­ity,” Green­leaf said.

Sham­berg joked that while the fa­cil­ity was cel­e­brat­ing its 40th an­niver­sary, he hadn’t even cel­e­brated his 25th birthday.

“An or­ga­ni­za­tion thrives be­cause ev­ery part of that or­ga­ni­za­tion works to­gether and pulls its own weight,” Sham­berg said. “I look at a place like Fort Wash­ing­ton EVWDWHV DQG , GH­fiQLWHOy VHH that here. … I think a big con­grat­u­la­tions goes to each and ev­ery one of you.”

The cer­e­mony be­gan with a wel­come from Elmer Hei­land, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Fort Wash­ing­ton Es­tates, be­fore an open­ing prayer by the Rev. Dr. Al­fred Muli and a brief his­tory of the fa­cil­ity by Mash­ner. Af­ter­ward, din­ner was held for the res­i­dents and guests in cel­e­bra­tion of the event.

“We are proud to be the fiRVW $&76 FRPPuQLWy, DQG we are proud of our Fort,” said Ca­role wacharias, pres­i­dent of the res­i­dents as­so­ci­a­tion. “Liv­ing here is like hav­ing a large ex­tended fam­ily and lots of prepa­ra­tions have been made for tonight and we’re ex­cited, so as they used to say in my early years, in the ’60s, ‘Let’s party.’”

Shirley Howles, who has been a res­i­dent at Fort Wash­ing­ton Es­tates for a year, said it was a big de­ci­sion to move to the community af­ter work- ing 29 years teach­ing preschool. She said she was torn be­tween re­tire­ment com­mu­ni­ties in Rochester and Syra­cuse, but the res­i­dents and staff made her feel wel­come from the mo­ment she stepped through the door­way. She said the community is a nice, won­der­ful place. She said her friends al­ways point out how ev­ery­thing al­ways feels new and nice.

Res­i­dent Harry Broad­bent said while he’s only been at Fort Wash­ing­ton Es­tates for 14 months he’s glad he made the move.

Broad­bent be­gan to get choked up as he said “this is the clos­est thing to heaven on Earth. The love shown by res­i­dents and staff, it makes me emo­tional.”

Gazette staff pho­tos by BOB RAINES

Cel­e­brat­ing Fort Wash­ing­ton Es­tates’ 40th an­niver­sary are, front from left, res­i­dents An­nlouise Deven­ney, Carol Zacharias, pres­i­dent of the res­i­dents as­so­ci­a­tion, Harry Broad­bent, Shirley Howles and Ge­orge Sau­r­man; rear from left, Jeff Kaighn, ACTS re­gional vice pres­i­dent, Elmer Hei­land, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Fort Wash­ing­ton Es­tates, Marvin Mash­ner, ACTS pres­i­dent and CEO, and state Sen. Ste­wart Green­leaf, R-12.

Zach Sham­berg, cen­ter, from the of­fice of state Rep. Todd Stephens, R-151, presents a House res­o­lu­tion to Fort Wash­ing­ton Es­tates on its 40th an­niver­sary. Ac­cept­ing is Carol Zacharias, pres­i­dent of the res­i­dents as­so­ci­a­tion, and Marvin Mash­ner, ACTS pres­i­dent and CEO.

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