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Residents Look Forward to a New Year of Worry-Free Living

Jill Dutton
December 28, 2023
Maris Grove resident

Since moving to Maris Grove, the Erickson Senior Living community in the Brandywine Valley of Pennsylvania, when it first opened in 2006, Antoinette Kaufman has led a busy, philanthropic social life. 

When she's not organizing Penn State Alumni Club meetings or directing the Maris Grove Fellowship Choir she founded, she volunteers for multiple fundraisers across campus.

"I credit the community for my active lifestyle," she says. 

With maintenance-free apartment homes that create more time for pursuing hobbies and interests, it's no wonder why residents like Antoinette are going to be booked and busy in the new year!

In 2009, Antoinette felt called to start the Maris Grove Fellowship Choir, which garnered a positive response right away. 

"I was surprised when 36 people showed up for the first meeting," she recalls. 

Now, in addition to a concert each October, the choir performs the story of Christmas every Christmas Eve. Members take the stage in costumes that are hand-sewn by their neighbors and friends. 

"I also run a 'country market' that brings local produce to the community, but my proudest endeavor, though, is the work I do for Souper Sundays," she notes. "Each August, one of Maris Grove's talented chefs prepares a soup that volunteers package up for sale."

Proceeds from both endeavors raise funds for the Resident Care Fund, which assists eligible residents who, through no fault of their own, outlive their resources. 

"The first year we held Souper Sundays, we made $700 for the Resident Care Fund. Since then, including the funds from the country market, we've donated $56,632.25," she says, with pride.

Supportive community

Antoinette, known for her heart of gold by her neighbors, always feels supported by the community she loves to give back to. 

"It's so wonderful to be here," Antoinette says. "When my husband John passed away in 2021, I had so many friends here who supported me. On the second anniversary of John's passing, a friend reserved a large portion of the Millstone Restaurant and planned a dinner for our group of close friends so I wouldn't be alone." 

While Antoinette's engaging, worry-free lifestyle certainly contributes to her satisfaction at Maris Grove, she points to the tight-knit community around her as the reason why she's so optimistic about 2024. "Being here, having an established group of friends and this community, makes all the difference to me," she says. 

Fun and flexibility 

Like Antoinette, Linda Spinelli has been making the most of her maintenance-free lifestyle since she moved to Maris Grove in July 2022. 

Instead of dealing with ice or snow this winter, Linda has tried a variety of fitness classes. 

"I like to do yoga and Zumba twice a week, and another class I like--called cardio drumming--is also available twice each week," Linda says. "I love it all, but I can't do everything. Still, I try!"

In addition to participating in monthly book club and movie club meetings, Linda particularly enjoys gathering with the Italian American club. 

"I'm not even Italian! My husband Frank is," she says, with a laugh. "We always have a great time. It's all about the food. There's usually an activity, such as a movie, entertainment, or presentation, then there's a banquet room where we drink wine and taste some food."

Linda and Frank are both excited to embrace 2024, looking forward to more fun and flexibility in their schedules--that they didn't have before moving to Maris Grove.

"I didn't realize before moving here how much fun it would be to not have to cook anymore!" she says. "The food at all the restaurants is good and the Dining Services staff is open to suggestions. I cook sometimes, but I've found that it's nice, not having to plan, shop for, and clean up meals."

Linda adds, "Best of all, we have formed so many new friendships here during the past year."

More on the horizon

Sales Director Ryan Doherty notes that he's looking forward to the renovations coming to Brinton Clubhouse in 2024.

"Evolving to meet residents' needs is a key priority," he says. "Residents are excited for the new fitness equipment, game room, and dining venues." 

Like Maris Grove, Erickson Senior Living's vision for 2024 is about growth and opportunity. 

"Erickson Senior Living is dedicated to helping people live better lives," adds Doherty. "By establishing communities filled with activities, clubs, and amenities, more retirees will have everything they need to enjoy an active lifestyle, financial value, and improved health and well-being."

To learn more about the benefits of moving to a maintenance-free community, request more information today.