On Friday, Rittenhouse Village at Valparaiso celebrated its 10th anniversary of offering a community and home to seniors from Valpo and around the Region. Rittenhouse residents, family members, and staff enjoyed live music, hors d'oeuvres, as well as a wine and cheese bar as they commemorated a decade of history.
The senior living community hosts various events and excursions every month, but this one was just a bit formal. Partygoers dressed their best as they mingled with friends and family as they sampled the menu prepared by Rittenhouse's expert dining team. The tables were all decorated with pictures taken during the many trips, events, and parties organized over the last decade.
“It’s ten years of caring and ten years of loving,” said Kelli Krusinger, Memory Care Director for Rittenhouse Village at Valparaiso. “I always say I can’t believe I have a job where I get to come to work every day and play. I get to talk to the residents and do activities with them and it’s so great.”
Vera Weeks moved into Rittenhouse in December of 2009, just a few months after it first opened its doors. She hops on the bus just about every time there is a new event, and is a regular at all of the parties. One of her favorite trips was a beachside community picnic.
“Those trips mean a lot, I get to see things I’ve never seen before,” Weeks said. “I really like it here, I made a lot of close friends over the years. Plus, I never have to do anything, no clothes to wash, no dishes to wash, it’s perfect.”
Karen Anderson, Rittenhouse at Valparaiso’s Recreation and Events Coordinator, is in charge of putting together events like that beach trip and the anniversary. For her, the night’s celebration was a representation of everything Rittenhouse is about.
“This shows everyone that we’re not going anywhere,” Anderson said. “It’s all about family rapport, because that’s what we represent – family.”
Much of that philosophy comes from their Executive Director, Debby Atsas, who has led the community for most of the past decade.
“We’re blessed to have a great community and a great executive director,” Krusinger said. “It really starts with her. Her saying is ‘always find a way to say yes,’ and that’s what we do every day.”
During a break in the anniversary festivities, the Rittenhouse team honor Astas and her years of service with a bouquet.
“My passion is serving the senior population and their families,” Astas said. “It’s an honor to get to come here every day and do what I love. I appreciate everyone coming and helping us celebrate these 10 years.”
To learn more about Rittenhouse Village at Valparaiso, visit them at www.rittenhousevillages.com/senior-living/in/valparaiso/rittenhouse-village-at-valparaiso/.