Sequins, pinstripes and pearls were the attire of choice when the Village at Heritage Point retirement community celebrated its 20th anniversary on Friday.
Local and national leaders were on hand to take part in the 1920s-themed celebration with residents and staff.
Deputy Mayor Rachel Fetty and State Senator Roman Prezioso spoke, as did representatives from Sens. Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin.
Friday’s ceremony was the culmination of a week of events that included a screening of “The Great Gatsby”, a fireworks show and a resident-produced theater show.
“Our residents put on a great show for us,” said executive director Wilma Sternthal. “They did a Reader’s Theater on Wednesday night, totally resident organized and driven. They came up with their own costumes and did Groucho Marx jokes and Abbott and Costello’s ‘Who’s on First?’”
The Village — as residents affectionately call it — took time to recognize their charter members with commemorative plaques. The five resident honored at the ceremony have all lived at The Village since its doors opened in 1999. Two staff members were also recognized for their 20-year commitment to the community.
One of the five charter members recognized on Friday was Billy Coffindaffer, a leading force for the creation of The Village back in the 1990s.
“There really wasn’t many places you could retire. They had some nursing homes and assisted care but no real retirement village. There was a vacancy there,” said Coffindaffer.
On Friday he said The Village had exceeded his expectations.
Staff members and residents alike attribute the success of The Village to the sense of community it nurtured over two decades.
“We have all developed family relationships between our residents and our staff,” Sternthal said. “Their families become our families. We’re here to support them in any way they need.”
“This is a very big family, but its family” said Billy Coffindaffer’s granddaughter, Shannon Ballard. “I spent a lot of time here as I was growing up. Everyone here treated me kind of as their own granddaughter. I think it’s a wonderful place.”
“We enjoy each other,” said Mary Jane Glasscock.
At 102 years old, she is the oldest resident at The Village. Glasscock also was recognized as a charter member.
“I didn’t think that I’d ever be here 20 years. I read, I do needlepoint. I don’t do too many other activities because I’ve already done them!” she said.
When asked for the secret to her longevity Glasscock said, “I think you have to be happy and you have to look on the bright side of things, that’s about it.”
She said living at The Village helped her keep a sunny disposition.
“This is a nice place, it’s a good place to be,” she said. “Age is a matter of the mind. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. That’s my thing.”