High Rollers at Riderwood as Bocce Courts Open

August 14, 2013

SILVER SPRING, MD---Riderwood resident Dr. George Galasso proves that good things can happen when history repeats itself.
Ten years ago, Dr. Galasso, as a member of the Rockville Senior Center in Montgomery County, initiated a campaign for the construction of bocce courts at the facility.  Played around the world, bocce is a ball sport that developed into its present form in Italy.
"Bocce is a low-impact sport for older adults.  It's easily played and encourages socialization," stated Dr. Galasso.  "I thought it would be fun."
His mission successful, the activity remains popular there.
So when he moved into the Erickson Living retirement community in 2012, Dr. Galasso set a similar course.  "I gauged interest among residents, developed an RFP and worked with management to create a plan," described Dr. Galasso.  "I'm proud to say we made it happen."
The ribbon-cutting for the twin-set of outdoor bocce courts, complete with equipment, occurred on August 12th.  The courts are 60' x 12' and composed of Har-Tru, the same surface as many tennis courts.  Over seventy-five residents and employees of Riderwood joined Dr. Galasso for the occasion.
Vin Spar and his wife Phyllis attended the event.  Mr. Spar grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York where the sport became a rite of passage for young adults.  Fifty years later, he still keeps a bocce set in his car.
Amazingly, the Riderwood event marked the first time he had ever thrown a pallino on a court.  "We played on sand, rocks and grass.  Wherever we could find a game, we'd play it.  It's all about friendships, and I'm glad that Riderwood made the investment in these courts," described Mr. Spar.
Initially, residents are registering to play Tuesdays through Fridays to learn the game.  Eventually, Dr. Galasso envisions the formation of leagues and even tournaments with other communities in the area.
Following his remarks, Dr. Galasso invited residents to try out the courts.  Many stood patiently in line to give the bocce balls a roll.  "It is a great start to a new tradition at Riderwood," he observed. 

About Riderwood:  Riderwood is one of sixteen continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living.  Located in Silver Spring, Maryland, the scenic 120-acre campus is home to more than 2,500 residents.  Riderwood is the ideal greater Washington, D.C. retirement destination offering a true sense of community, convenience beyond compare and a sensible financial structure.