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Waveny LifeCare Network Announces Forever Generosity Campaign and Thanks Contributors

Waveny LifeCare Network Announces Forever Generosity Campaign and Thanks Contributors

Posted on November 21, 2018

Waveny LifeCare Network thanked supporters at a celebration of community generosity on Thursday, October 25th and announced an important new initiative.  Resident Bob Seelert, community-based business Bankwell, and Waveny’s food service partner Morrison Community Living were honored for their generous support and commitment to the organization, and special recognition was given to the late Louise Goodridge for a legacy gift.  The public phase of the Forever Generosity campaign for Waveny was launched to provide enduring financial support for the people and programs that make Waveny unique.

Tom Ferguson, Chairman of Waveny’s Board of Directors, acknowledged the generosity of their donors.  Together with Waveny’s staff and volunteers, they help Waveny continue to provide the highest quality of care.  “The tradition we know as Waveny was founded by members of the New Canaan community over 40 years ago and the organization still relies on donors for support,” Ferguson noted.  Waveny now serves 1,100 people each year across the non-profit continuum of care: from independent living at The Inn to assisted living at The Village, to skilled nursing and outpatient rehabilitation at the Care Center, with a full range of home-based services.   Ferguson announced that Waveny is expanding development efforts to bring in a broader range of supporters, deepen connections with the community, and ensure their financial stability through the “Forever Generosity” campaign.   Early efforts have resulted in raising approximately $4.2 million toward the goal of $5 million from 250 supporters.  In another look to the future, attendees at the event were introduced to Russell Barksdale, the incoming CEO, who will be joining Waveny in November.  A formal announcement will be made at that time.

Board member Tracey Hamill described her research into the history of Waveny, and thanked the New Canaan Historical Society for their help.  Tracey shared that Waveny is not just supported by the community of New Canaan, it was created by this community. Beginning in 1961, forward-thinking residents recognized the need to provide health services to local senior residents and the importance of doing so in a familiar setting rather than in a location far from home.  In an “incredible demonstration of town unity, over 750 residents came together to support the effort, making phone calls to friends, neighbors and acquaintances on behalf of Waveny, and engaged over 2,000 donors”, said Hamill. It is that very feeling of community and connectedness that Waveny celebrated as they launched the public phase of their first major campaign in nearly 20 years.

Cynthia Gorey, Vice President of Development at Waveny, introduced honoree Bob Seelert, a longtime supporter, and an early contributor to the Forever Generosity campaign.   Bob described moving to town before Waveny was built, and being invited to join the Waveny Board in 1998.  Seelert served on the Development Committee under Dick White’s leadership, to raise the money to construct The Village – a state of the art memory care residence, and recalled their success in raising $10 million – “a mark that stood for many years as the most successful fund-raising campaign in New Canaan history”.  Seelert characterized Waveny as “a sustainable organization, one that thrives in perpetuity, and continues to meet the needs of the community it serves”.  He noted that the Forever Generosity campaign ensures that Waveny survives and thrives into the next chapter of the organization’s lifecycle and is pleased to be a supporter.

Representatives from Bankwell and Morrison Community Living accepted appreciation for their longtime support of Waveny, and the legacy of Louise Goodridge was acknowledged in gratitude for her planned gift.  Robert Mallozzi III from Bankwell noted that “being recognized by a community pillar such as Waveny Life Care Network is a validation of all Bankwell holds dear - community, community service, customer care and making an impact on so many lives. To plant our flag adjacent to Waveny’s is a supreme compliment.”  Joe Viviano from Morrison expressed his company’s pride in partnering with a community leader in elder care.  Gorey conveyed that planned gifts make a difference now and in the future, enriching lives for generations to come, and noted that a conference room where Goodridge attended meetings as a volunteer has been renamed in her honor.

Closing remarks were offered by Board member Doug Gillespie, telling attendees that he was raised in New Canaan, left for college and returned 25 years later to raise his family.  Gillespie reflected that he chose to come back to New Canaan for many of the obvious reasons: schools, family, friends, and because New Canaan is a special place. Gillespie explained, “From the Christmas Eve Carol Sing to Elm Street to Waveny Park, there is nothing else quite like New Canaan. Anywhere.  Waveny Care is one of those things that makes New Canaan special and drew me back to Town. It was created by New Canaanites to support New Canaanites, and is still here for the town and its inhabitants.” He invited everyone to embrace Waveny, and get involved, saying that “this resource has always been here for us when we need it and will be here for future generations”.

Waveny LifeCare Network provides a nonprofit comprehensive continuum of healthcare to meet the needs of older adults. For more information, call 1-855-WAVENY-1, inquire online or visit their website: www.waveny.org

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