The Resident Advisory Council (RAC) is one of the most important and influential committees at Fox Run. The hard-working group serves as a liaison between community members and staff, helping to communicate residents' questions and feedback to management and relay important information back to their neighbors. Last fall, RAC held elections, and longtime resident Arnetta Whitehouse is one of the newly elected members.
"I got calls from three people who were looking for people to run for RAC wondering if I would be willing to put my hat in the ring," Arnetta says.
Arnetta did indeed throw her hat in the ring, but this is actually not her first time serving on the council. She completed a term from 2012 to 2015, and it was such a positive experience, she decided to run again.
"I enjoyed my first stint on RAC. I really felt the pulse of community, and I really loved it," she says of her previous term. "I ended up my last term as secretary, and usually nobody wants to be secretary, but I actually enjoyed it, so I will be secretary again this year."
Arnetta handles traditional secretarial duties, such as taking notes and producing meeting minutes. She is also responsible for uploading minutes to jump drives and to the cloud for the full RAC meetings as well as the meetings of the six standing committees.
In addition to those tasks, Arnetta will also help RAC accomplish some of its broader goals. The group plans to work with staff on a wellness program to establish connections with residents who may want help in that area. Another goal is to continue expanding and improving Fox Run's current recycling program. RAC is also working to make communication between residents and staff even easier and more effective.
"We want to make it easier for people to talk to RAC about anything," Arnetta says. "The process now for making a suggestion is a little complicated, so we're trying to streamline that."
While her work on RAC keeps her busy, Arnetta still finds time for several other activities she enjoys at Fox Run. For several years, she's been teaching a water workout class for fellow neighbors in the on-site fitness center.
"I really work them hard," she says. "My class is a combination of strength training and aerobics."
Arnetta is also the leader of the Fox Run Writers' Forum, a group she started on campus a few years ago. She has always had a passion for writing and she wanted to connect with other people who share that interest.
"I wanted a group where you can write about whatever you want and share it with other people, and if people have an eye on publishing [their work], they would have people to help with sentence structure and other editing," Arnetta explains. "So, this group grew out of those ideas."
The Writers' Forum meets once a month for members to share their writing, which runs the gamut from poetry to fiction to personal essays.
"The person who wrote the piece reads it, and we all have copies so we can see it too," Arnetta says. "It's nice because we can hear their inflections and get their meanings while they're reading aloud."
The Writers' Forum also shares its work with the broader Fox Run community. At the end of each quarter, Arnetta compiles everything the group has written, proofreads and formats it, and puts copies in binders that are stored in the community's common areas.
"They get quite a bit of use," Arnetta says. "People find them delightful to read while waiting for dinner because they're written by their friends and neighbors, and the pieces cover all aspects of life because everybody writes about different stuff."
Recently, Arnetta has become more involved with Fox Run's Treasure Chest, an on-site resale shop where residents can donate furniture, household items, clothing, jewelry, and other things they no longer want. The proceeds go to the Benevolent Care Fund, which is in place to provide assistance to community members who outlive their financial assets (Fox Run's Residence and Care Agreement has the full details).
"I totally believe in the mission," Arnetta says. "I also love being in the shop."
Arnetta is in charge of organizing jewelry donated to the Treasure Chest. She says quite a few beautiful pieces, including a lot of 24-carat gold, come through the shop. After she completes her current term on RAC, Arnetta says she will turn her attention to playing an even bigger role on the Treasure Chest committee.
"Every year, we donate somewhere between $30,000 to $50,000 to the Benevolent Care Fund just from our sales at the Treasure Chest. We also contribute to the Scholars' Fund and to the Staff Appreciation Fund," Arnetta says. "So, it's really like I am still involved in philanthropy, which is something I was involved with before I moved to Fox Run."