Thank you to our many Bergdoll Society members who joined us in our Social Hall on Thursday, May 21, 2015 for an event to show our gratitude for your generosity to our Home and mission. It is because of you that the older adults of PPh are afforded the opportunity to achieve their highest possible quality of life. Thank you to all those who made this a special evening for our donors to receive the recognition they deserve.

Diane Nawn, PPh Vice President of Fund Development, established The Bergdoll Society in 2005 to recognize individuals who have given $500 or more in the previous calendar year and to also pay tribute to those who have consistently given to our Home for ten or more consecutive years. The Society is named for Elizabeth Bergdoll, who bequeathed our Home $15,000 in 1898 and was also a long-time supporter. This year we celebrated 23 new consistent donors who have given consecutively since the year 2005.

Anthony Manzo, PPh President and CEO, welcomed our Bergdoll guests. After his years of experience in the not-for-profit senior healthcare industry he has come to believe that PPh is truly a model for senior living – for many reasons – our loyal donors being a central component.

Anthony goes on to discuss the future of senior living and some reasons as to why the contributions made by those in our Bergdoll Society mean so much to the overall success of the Home. Some of those reasons are that the first wave of baby boomers are hitting retirement this year. The transition of the retirement of millions of baby boomers will put significant pressure on communities like PPh. Residents are now also making the decision to move in older and therefore need more healthcare services. Personal Care, although now providing care similar to skilled nursing, receives no government funding. These factors will all be a strain on this industry. In order to negate these hardships it is crucial to continue receiving donations – of any size – to help subsidize the cost of under-compensated care provided each year and afford our residents the opportunity to achieve their highest quality of life. It is critical that we take action by informing our legislators to insist that communities like PPh receive the necessary funding.

The guest speaker, Richard Soltan, Esq. – Vice Chairperson, BOD, expressed his sincere gratitude to our donors with saying, “Thank you. Thank you for the years of donating to this fabulous cause.”

Russell Koerwer – Chairperson, BOD, shared his greetings from the Board of Directors to our Bergdoll Society members. He proclaims that everyone loves the Home…for many reasons but  focuses in on the point that the care we are providing to the residents is in fact the central reason. This is what your donations help provide and allow PPh to continue to improve.

Recent donations have afforded PPh the opportunity to purchase over 200 new chairs with arm rests and better support in our social hall, where residents gather for entertainment on a frequent basis, to make capital improvements such as the bathroom renovations and maintaining an updated, well-run campus. Donations also go toward the Benevolent Care Fund – the fund that allows those who have diminished their resources through circumstances beyond their control to continue to stay in their home and receive the care they need and deserve.

Russ makes a point to the guests to take note of the numerous employees present at the dinner. He is appreciative of seeing how many of the people who work here really care…and that makes him and the board care also.

Russ’ family has been involved with the Home for generations. He is comforted to see the plaques with his family name inscribed on them when he walks around the community. It reminds him how large of a part PPh has played in his life.

He discusses our 125th anniversary and that one way we are celebrating this milestone is with a campaign to raise $125,000 to continue to further our mission. Anyone who gives $1,000 or more will have their name permanently etched on the “Wall of Honor” which will be within a historical timeline to be located in our main lobby and unveiled on November 17 of this year.  Russ’ hope is that years from now someone will walk through the lobby, see their family name, and feel the same connection as he does now.

The honoree for the evening was St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. Rev. Rodney Kopp accepted the award on behalf of St. Paul’s. A pastor at St. Paul’s and former Chairperson of the Board of Directors at PPh, Rod was a wonderful advisor and always kept a positive attitude. He is both a confidant and friend to many.

The formation of PPh was held at St. Paul’s 125 years ago and has since been strongly tied to one another. Numerous members of their congregation have been affiliated with PPh.        Rev. Kopp recognizes the fellow St. Paul’s members in attendance. He goes on to ask, “What does it mean to be a lifetime friend? For some, it is people you went to ‘grammar school’ with or grew up in the same neighborhood with. For lifelong friends, their paths do not just cross, they connect. A lifelong friend is knowing that person will always be there no matter what. St. Paul’s and PPh are lifelong friends. While St. Paul’s celebrates 145 years this year, they have witnessed hundreds of members who have held PPh in the highest regard. He states that it has always been about two organizations who have maintained a friendship. He concludes with a toast to many, many more years as lifelong friends.

Thank you St. Paul’s for being a loyal and generous lifelong friend.

The 2015 Bergdoll Society Dinner Photos