Many people pursue new passions when they move to Wind Crest—like painting, acting, or TV production—but many others call on life experiences to continue their life's work or return to something they haven't had time for in years.
Kay Tabor falls into the latter category. Her 22 years of experience as an Air Force officer's wife prepared her for leading and organizing the Treasure Chest at her new community when she and her husband Dale moved to Wind Crest three years ago from Golden, Colo.
The resale shop collects items community members no longer need or want. Proceeds benefit Wind Crest's Scholars' Fund, the Benevolent Care Fund, staff appreciation fund, and the woodworkers club.
According to Kay, it's a perfect fit.
"It's extremely positive because my philosophy in this stage of life is 'I want to give back,' and therefore, this is so rewarding because we help so many people," Kay says.
She explains that most people moving to the Erickson Living-managed community in Highlands Ranch, where she and Dale live, bring too much stuff. Wind Crest's maintenance-free lifestyle makes it easier to live lightly. The Treasure Chest is a welcome solution, as it provides a convenient way for those people to continue downsizing once they've moved in, and it's truly a treasure trove of unique finds.
"Because most of the people have traveled, we get very unique things from all over the world. We get a lot of everyday things, cookware, knickknacks. We do get nice things, collectibles, a lot of things that people have decided that they don't want anymore," Kay says.
Staff frequent the shop for great deals on household items, furniture, and décor. "They can buy very nice things for their families and homes at a very good price. It's rewarding to be able to give back," Kay adds.
It takes a village
Though Kay puts in a fair amount of volunteer hours, she's not alone.
"I set up the [Treasure Chest] committees like the Officers' Wives Clubs. I took that format and applied it. It has worked really well," she says.
She formed seven committees of about 80 volunteers—estate sale, special activities, silent auction, sales, pricing and sorting, runners, and holiday boutique. Not all 80 volunteers work all the time because some of the Treasure Chest's events, like the annual Holiday Bazaar, are only once a year.
"As in any organization, you've got probably 30 key workers who you can call on to do anything," says Kay, adding that she has no problem finding volunteers.
"Because the Treasure Chest has such a positive impact on the community, people want to volunteer. Also, our volunteers are happy, fun people, so everybody thinks it's a great place to work," she says.
'Just go with it'
When she's not managing the Treasure Chest, Kay and Dale enjoy traveling and gardening on the large patio outside their Walton-style apartment home in The High Line Overlook building at Wind Crest.
Over the summer, they spent almost three weeks in Africa, and in April, they'll explore China for 25 days.
"Living here makes traveling really easy because you just lock your door and leave. You don't have to worry about snow blowing in your driveway," Dale says, recalling that once, while they were traveling, their former house was hit by lightning and caught fire. "Here, you don't have to worry about anything."
With that in mind, they both say that moving to Wind Crest was an easy decision, guided by their financial advisor.
"It was fate. We had our yearly financial meeting with our financial advisor. She said, 'You have a 5,500-square-foot home; you're isolated in the foothills. How would you feel if one of you became the caregiver of the other one?' We looked at each other and said, 'no!' She suggested Wind Crest because she has a lot of clients here."
While they had built their "forever home" in the foothills of Golden and had never considered a retirement community, they visited Wind Crest and were so impressed that they joined the community's priority list by making a fully refundable $1,000 deposit.
They hadn't intended on moving for a few years, but when they saw their apartment, they knew it was their next home. They bumped up their plans and moved within three weeks of their first visit.
"I love it here," says Dale. "It's the right place for us. We feel so fortunate."
"Dale and I were on the same page, so we never had any conflict. I considered it like an Air Force move—you don't know what's ahead of you, but you just go with it and believe it's going to be the best yet. Attitude is very important," Kay says, adding, "People need to move here before they need to move here—while you're still healthy and can get involved."
Wind Crest has plenty of opportunities to stay active and engaged—over 100 clubs and interest groups ranging from musical groups to art classes, writing groups to fitness classes.