April ushered in the return of several VMRC events that couldn’t be held in person during the pandemic. The “Great Return” brought back hugs, uncovered smiles and the joy of getting together.

This month, VMRC hosted residents, board members and various guests for the Foundation’s annual Leading Circle Brunch. Held on April 6, this event acknowledges the individuals and businesses that contribute to the quality of life at VMRC. Leaders share the impact of these contributions, which facilitate the following:

  • Staff development that enables individuals to deploy the latest in effective technology to support VMRC residents.
  • Program development that makes VMRC an intellectually stimulating place to be.
  • Compassion Care that makes it possible for residents to stay in the VMRC community after they’ve outlived their resources.

Special recognitions culminate in the announcement of VMRC’s Philanthropists of the Year. Hugh and Connie Westfall — partners in life and in giving — received this year’s recognition.

The Westfalls have a long history in philanthropy that includes support for the arts and various charitable organizations. They have enhanced all the communities in which they’ve lived through civic engagement. The couple’s engagement continues in the VMRC community. They are both Visionaries and Showalter Donors.

A mid-month event honoring VMRC’s volunteers celebrated two returns: The first in-person Volunteer Appreciation Banquet since the start of the pandemic and the return of Volunteer Services Manager Emily Shickel from maternity leave.

Both occasions were greeted with delight.

On Wednesday, April 19, event attendees learned of the many ways VMRC’s 300 volunteers donated their time.

  • They worked a total of 26,000 hours
  • They provided 2500 electric cart rides
  • Raised $140,000 through VMRC’s Main Street store
  • Provided $11,000 in employee assistance funding

This year’s program was also filled with song. Soprano Kaitlyn Townsend was accompanied by pianist Angie Clemens and performed a medley of beautiful and familiar tunes.

To the surprise of many, the VMRC Threshold Choir performed an impromptu song for attendees. One of the choir’s members—Donna Heatwole, received this year’s Claude Hess Distinguished Service Award along with her husband Roy Heatwole. The unplanned performance was a celebration of how Donna and her choirmates provide comfort through song for those who are dying. Roy provided many of those 2500 electric cart rides for residents.

Roy and Donna were shocked and humbled by the award acknowledgment.

Interim CEO J. David Yoder presented the Heatwoles with their award, offering them as proof that couples who volunteer together, stay together. The Heatwoles have been married for 50 years.

What’s ahead for the VMRC community?  More togetherness!

Visit our events page to learn of upcoming opportunities to visit VMRC’s campus.

View our image carousel below for scenes from April’s events.