Plenty of entertaining opportunities, from Halloween celebrations to live performances, add to vibrant lifestyle on campus.
Try telling Gil and Maureen Guim that Halloween is just for kids. The energetic, outgoing couple look forward to the costumes, cobwebs, goblins, and ghouls all year long, and their love of the holiday is infectious. Since 2013 the residents of Ann's Choice, a senior living community developed and managed by Erickson Living in Bucks County, PA, have hosted a three-night Halloween bash in their spacious apartment home. This year's celebration drew 110 revelers.
The party has become one of the community's most coveted invitations. With their guest list growing, the Guims rely on the Ann's Choice Catering team to help pull it off. Says Maureen, "They make it possible to entertain on a big scale, which is how we like it!"
According to Maureen, the party started small, with the neighbors on their floor getting together for holiday-themed snacks and drinks. "It was so much fun, we expanded it to two nights, Mischief Night and Halloween, the second year," she says. "So many people wanted to attend, we made it three nights. I know it's crazy, but we love doing it."
Maureen and Gil make most of the scary treats themselves. With Catering's help, they store the goodies in the community's commercial freezers and fridges. "We make 350 peanut butter eyeballs, cauliflower 'brains' with red salsa and guacamole, egg salad molded into a skeleton shape, pumpkin cheese balls, meatballs, and much more," she says. "It's a project Gil and I work on together, and we've been doing it so long, we have it down to a science."
Gil puts up all the decorations at Maureen's direction; she creates a PowerPoint montage of all the past parties and plays it on the couples' televisions. "People get such a kick out of seeing themselves in crazy costumes," he says.
By the end of the third night, Maureen admits she's ready to collapse. "Everyone says 'this is too much work,' but it creates so much enjoyment for our friends, it's well worth the effort," she says with a smile. "The help we receive from Ann's Choice is incredible. We couldn't do it without them."
Focus on the Fun
One of the advantages of entertaining at Ann's Choice is the abundance of support residents can receive. The Catering, Restaurant, and General Services teams offer a full menu of services, so residents can relax and enjoy their own parties.
Says Gil, "Catering does anything we ask. They set up chairs and send a server each night to help prepare and butler the food. The glasses stay filled, and the food keeps coming. The servers are the kids who work in the dining rooms, and they do a fantastic job."
On-site Catering Available for Special Celebrations
Halloween isn't the only time the Guims have used Ann's Choice Catering services. When Gil celebrated his birthday in 2017, Maureen turned to Catering to help her create a celebration for 130 guests.
She and Lisa Sicilia, Director of Catering, worked together to create an elegant, seated dinner with an open bar. The delicious menu featured salmon, short ribs, salad, an array of vegetable sides, and a birthday cake with ice cream. "People came up to us for months after the party to say how good the food was," says Maureen. "I couldn't have been more pleased with how it turned out. They were a dream to work with."
In addition to special occasions, Ann's Choice is an entertainment hub all year long. Live performances, concerts, lectures, movies, holiday parties, and club meetings are among the many well-attended offerings on the calendar.
Says Christa Segal, Senior Manager of Resident Services, "Our community is active and vibrant, and we provide countless events and venues for entertaining on a small or grand scale. The theater, private dining rooms, catering/banquet rooms, and chapel provide space for virtually any kind of gathering. And with everything conveniently located right on campus, residents can and do, take full advantage of everything we offer."
Catering's Lisa Sicilia agrees. "All of the support teams on campus work together to help residents entertain with ease. We can help plan an intimate dinner party for ten or a banquet for 200. Whatever they need, we're here to assist."
Ann's Choice is a not-for-profit organization, developed and managed by Erickson Living®. The community is governed by its own board of directors affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community.
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About Ann's Choice: Ann's Choice, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 103-acre campus in Warminster, Pennsylvania. The non-for-profit community of more than 1,900 residents and 1,000 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information about Ann's Choice can be found at AnnsChoiceCommunity.com.
Photo: Ann's Choice residents Gil and Maureen Guim host Halloween party each year on campus. Residents enjoy the ease of entertaining at the senior living community in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.