Penn Township, Pleasant View partner for community day

By on June 10, 2015

Although dark clouds rolled over Pleasant View Retirement Community several times on Saturday, the mainly clear and warm weather was perfect for an outdoor celebration. The seventh annual Penn Township/Pleasant View Retirement Community Community Day celebration was a joint effort between Penn Township and the retirement community.

The event was jam-packed with family friendly activities including a dunk tank, children’s games, bounce house, miniature horse-drawn cart rides for children, the antics of strolling entertainers Cissy and The Man and a presentation by Jesse Rothacker of Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary. Community groups, including Penn Township and Manheim Regional Emergency Management, had booths. Residents could take a peek inside a fire truck or ambulance. Northwest EMS was on-hand with its child identification program. Pet supply donations were also collected for the Humane League of Lancaster County. And there was plenty of food to choose from including a bake sale and chicken barbecue.

Pleasant View Retirement Community’s activities director Josephine Martin tries to dunk Jesus O’Fray

Pleasant View Retirement Community’s activities director Josephine Martin tries to dunk Jesus O’Fray

“Our focus is family fun, and it’s one of the biggest events that we host on our campus. Community Day is a chance to show the community what we do at Pleasant View,” said Caitlin Wilcox, Community Day co-chair and Pleasant View residential living coordinator. “It’s all about community for both the residents of our retirement community and the larger Penn Township and Manheim community.”

She added that having the event on Pleasant View’s campus also promotes inter-generational activities and allows retirement community residents that have mobility issues and opportunity to participate in the event. About 30 residents from the retirement community helped staff the event.

Having Community Day on Pleasant View’s campus promotes inter-generational activities. About 30 residents from the retirement community helped staff the event.

Having Community Day on Pleasant View’s campus promotes inter-generational activities. About 30 residents from the retirement community helped staff the event.

“The event provides an informal opportunity for us and residents to interact with and celebrate the positive contributions of our community organizations, including those of its local government,” said Dave Kratzer, Penn Township manager. “We greatly appreciate the opportunity to be involved and thank Pleasant View Retirement Community for its efforts in planning and hosting this important community event.”

Normally held in early- to mid-May this year’s event was part of Pleasant View’s year-long 60th anniversary celebration, and as befitting any birthday or anniversary, a cake cutting was part of the festivities. Pleasant View director of community advancement Jean Bednarski explained that June 6 is significant in Pleasant View’s history because on that date in 1955, the retirement community opened its doors to the first resident.

“We were fortunate that this year June 6 was a Saturday. A lot of people visit our campus on Community Day, and it was neat to be able to share a part of our history with the larger community,” Bednarski said.

In addition to an anniversary cake, Community Day participants could also view a special 60th anniversary exhibit in the lobby of Town Square. It features photo collages and memorabilia. An oral history project is also part of the retirement community’s celebration, and a videographer was onhand to capture any stories and memories of Pleasant View that Community Day participants wanted to share.

Stephanie Rada (right) shows her son, Gregory (on the bouncy horse with her) and daughter, Alexandra (left) how to enjoy a race. (Photos by Rochelle Shenk)

Stephanie Rada (right) shows her son, Gregory (on the bouncy horse with her) and daughter, Alexandra (left) how to enjoy a race. (Photos by Rochelle Shenk)

“There are so many people in the Manheim area who have connections of some kind to Pleasant View. Some people may have helped in construction projects or worked here in the early days, and we’d like to hear their stories. Some people may also have had a connection to our founders — they were dedicated women of faith who had a vision of serving their community,” Bednarski stressed.

She and Wilcox agreed that co-hosting Community Day is one of many ways that the retirement community continues to serve its community.

Correspondent Rochelle Shenk welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com.

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