Palm Beach Gardens, Fl. – American actor Danny Kaye once remarked, "Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can." Since moving to Devonshire at PGA National, a senior living community owned and managed by Erickson Living in Palm Beach Gardens, FL., in 2018, Shirley Alley and Nancy DeSantis are having the time of their lives throwing around all the paint they can.
Both Alley and DeSantis find that their ability to both entertain family and friends, as well as to attend a wide variety of social gatherings is far greater than it was before their moves.
"We've discovered that entertaining has never been easier or more greatly enjoyed since moving to Devonshire," says DeSantis.
Each month, DeSantis invites a group of friends to her apartment home for a monthly "Sip and Snacks" gathering. As her best friend, Alley is always on-hand to help with the details.
"I send out invitations and welcome friends to enjoy a small happy hour before enjoying dinner together," she says. "It's something we all enjoy."
DeSantis also enjoys hosting family members in her new Devonshire home, something she did prior to her move.
"This summer my nephew, his wife, and their two children came for a visit," she says. "It was my great nephew's 13th birthday while they were here. I love that I was able to give him a very special celebration. We enjoyed a delicious birthday dinner at the Cavendish, [one of Devonshire's five on-site restaurants]. The wait staff surprised him with a birthday cake and we all sang Happy Birthday. It was such a special day. He later told me, 'Teta Nancy, when I get older I want to live at Devonshire too."
In addition to hosting parties, the two women receive almost weekly invitations to a variety of events planned and hosted by their neighbors.
"Many of the larger, personal gatherings are held in the Stratford [Devonshire's performing arts theater]," says Shirley. "We both recently attended a beautifully catered birthday party in the Stratford. One of the things that makes living at Devonshire so special is that every holiday, birthday, anniversary, and everything in between is given special attention. No small detail is overlooked. Our community loves to spend time together."
Devonshire community members are also encouraged to gather in the popular lounge for impromptu celebrations as well as to enjoy regularly scheduled entertainment.
"The lounge is the premier gathering spot," says Nancy. "It is a very social place to meet up with friends. Happy hours are held nightly as well as a variety of musical performances, including the monthly jazz concert. And whether you are part of a couple, or single like the two of us, it is a very welcoming place."
With the holiday season quickly approaching, special care is taken to honor and celebrate traditions through community-wide decorations and special menus crafted by the skilled dining services team.
"The holidays are a special time at our community," says Executive Chef Joe Marinelli. "Our dining services team begins creating menus months in advance. Our goal is to honor traditions while also treating our community members to something extra special."
In advance of the festivities, each community member receives a special calendar detailing each of the holiday offerings, including breakfast with Santa and Christmas tree and Menorah lighting ceremonies, providing ample time to invite family and friends to join in on the celebrations.
"Family and friends are welcome, and encouraged, to join us for all of our holiday gatherings," says Marty Bores, Devonshire's manager of resident services.
Soon, Devonshire community members will enjoy the penultimate celebration – the highly anticipated New Year's Eve party.
"It's a huge, wonderful event," says DeSantis. "Guests fill up the lounge, the Stratford, and even spill out onto the patio overlooking the pool. We enjoy live music, decadent food and wine, and most importantly time with our friends. It's the perfect way to close out the year – while welcoming in a new one."
"When it comes to entertainment, there is truly something for everyone," says Alley. "There's no excuse to be bored. In fact, there are not enough hours in the day to enjoy everything there is to do here."
"We celebrate every day," says DeSantis. "The opportunities to enjoy time with neighbors, many who become like family, and the many forms of entertainment available to us, is remarkable."
Photo Caption: Long-time friends, Nancy DeSantis (L) and Shirley Alley enjoy the many entertainment options available to them as members of the Devonshire community.
About Devonshire at PGA National: Devonshire at PGA National, is one of 20 continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living® and is situated on a scenic 28-acre campus on the grounds of prestigious PGA National. The community is located in Palm Beach County and is home to more than 350 community members. Additional information about Devonshire can be found at DevonshirePGA.com.