Seven years of good works: Splendido residents age well by giving - The Explorer: Aging Well

Seven years of good works: Splendido residents age well by giving

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Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 4:00 am

Seven years ago today, on October 23, 2006, Splendido first opened its doors. As the first true continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Tucson, it filled a need then—and continues to fill many different needs in the area, with the help of the more than 400 community-minded staff and residents who work and live at Splendido.  

Splendido’s mission is to enhance the lives of older adults by creating Ways to Age Well(SM)—which includes everything from a 10,000-square-foot fitness center and spa to multiple restaurants that serve up diverse cuisines and dining styles. But part of aging well is giving to others, and Splendido staff and residents have taken it upon themselves to contribute to the community in many ways.

Seven Years of Good Causes

Splendido residents—all age 55 or better—have taken it upon themselves to find ways to help local organizations and individuals. For example, they have organized multiple donation drives for Tucson’s VA Hospital, collecting thousands of household items and personal care items to help veterans. Residents also wrote nearly 300 personal letters to wounded soldiers in that hospital. Their efforts were so successful that they turned to gathering donations for the Primavera Foundation of Tucson. They put out the word within Splendido that they needed essential items for homeless families, and have collected thousands of personal care items for this nonprofit organization.

Others have participated in the popular Gestures of Joy program. This group of approximately 20 residents puts on 25 free performances a year, entertaining at hospitals, churches, nursing homes, and schools. The group puts on a seated show that combines music, sign language, and a little dancing and air guitar. “While we have had standing ovations for Gestures of Joy, we feel like we get back more than we give,” says Jan Rogers, a founding member of the group. “We give our time and energy, and it is mentally and physically stimulating; but more than that, we have formed a bond of friendship.”

The residents at Splendido who so generously donate their time and talent are invested in helping others in Oro Valley and beyond. In fact, they have inspired the staff and leadership at Splendido to help out neighbors in Oro Valley. “Some of our biggest assets are our beautiful location, exceptional amenity areas, and well-trained staff, so we try to share those by inviting various community groups to hold their meetings or events here,” says Splendido’s Experience Director Tom Rios. “We regularly lend out space and staff to special events such as the Oro Valley Community Foundation award’s breakfast and a reunion of Pi Phi sorority sisters from the University of Arizona. And we’ll soon be hosting Tohono Chul’s annual volunteer brunch.”

Splendido also finds unique ways to support good causes in the area. Earlier this year, Splendido chefs cooked 15 gallons of chicken tortilla soup, which was donated to the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser for the Interfaith Community Services (ICS) Food Bank. And this December, Splendido will partner with ICS again to help with their annual golf tournament.

In just seven years, Splendido has become an integral part of Oro Valley and the surrounding area. With the generosity and enthusiasm of the residents, a similar spirit among Splendido staff and leadership, this CCRC will be filling local needs and making the area a better place for many years to come.

Splendido is a joint venture of Mather LifeWays, a non-denominational, not-for-profit organization headquartered in Evanston, Ill., that creates Ways to Age Well(SM) for older adults, and the Plaza Companies, an Arizona-based leader in senior living communities and health care facilities. To learn more about Splendido, call 878-2612 or visit www.splendidotucson.com.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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