With a vested interest, Judy Hill was honored to be asked to join the Springmoor Board of Directors this fall. As a former member of the Endowment Committee, she is familiar with the community. More importantly, her vested interests live here. Barbara and Dick Volk, her parents, have been Springmoor residents for fifteen years. Judy and her family are here “all the time,” she says. They play games, eat dinner together and enjoy walks around the beautiful campus.
Judy describes Springmoor as a happy place to be. “There is so much fresh air, gorgeous grounds, lovely flowers and landscaping and lots of intellectual stimulation.” She laughs when she says she has to make an appointment with her parents to fit into their busy schedules. She says, “They are on the go all the time!” The two are season ticket holders to The Raleigh Little Theatre, the North Carolina Symphony and, until recently, the Durham Performing Arts Center. They play bridge several times a week on campus and with friends at their homes. Many at Springmoor know Dick for his jewelry making. He can often be found in the new Meraki Arts Center polishing his gemstones and designing and creating new bracelets, earrings and pendants.
Judy grew up working beside her dad in his soil science lab at North Carolina State University. She worked in the fields during the summer studying weed science. Her passion for math took her to UNC Chapel Hill as a college student. She continued to work through her college days as an assistant to her professors, grading and correcting calculus papers every night. At 8:00 each morning, she had to meet the professor with the corrected papers.
After college, she married and moved to the Washington, D.C. area. Filled with museums and tons of educational opportunities, she says this was the perfect place to raise their three sons. She loved being in the center of the world news. She volunteered with the Independent Women’s Forum, making connections across the United States. She was later asked by a friend in New York City to lead the Infant Care Project.
She coordinated the 9/11 Infant Care Project from her home in northern Virginia. Tasked with finding all of the expectant single mothers that lost a spouse during the tragedy, she made calls to over 480 companies that had offices in the World Trade Center. Without a spouse, the group realized that each family had lost a set of hands before their newborns arrived. Many families had other children to take care of as well. She helped hire night nurses and raise money for a baby shower for all of them. With generous donations, each of the 120 families received gifts worth $10,000. Her efforts to make life better for every individual are what drive her in her volunteer duties as well as in her business.
Judy and her husband have been very active in starting new Young Life programs in northern Virginia and North Carolina and new Fellows Programs in Charlotte and Raleigh. She has served on the boards of both. Her passion for the young students in her life also led her to be part of the team that created the North Carolina Study Center in Chapel Hill, a center that seeks to cultivate Christian life and thought at UNC. The center offers a comfortable place for students to study, enjoy a cup of coffee, have group meetings or participate in elective classes. It’s a warm and happy place, she says.
When Judy’s oldest son was attending medical school, he told her that he was discouraged from wearing his silk ties to the hospital. They found this to be an easy way to spread germs from one patient to the next. As a seamstress (and problem solver), she decided she would make him a washable cotton bow tie instead. Combining her interest in crops, especially those from North Carolina, with her business interests, this idea led to the birth of her own company. High Cotton was begun! Her three sons worked by her side to take the business from her small sewing machine to a successful national men’s apparel brand headquartered in Raleigh.
She still uses the knowledge she gained with from her dad as she searches for cotton suppliers and fabric vendors. She has tapped into the talent at North Carolina State University’s College of Design with a Paisley Pattern contest each year for their line of neckwear. All of their products are proudly made in the Carolinas. She loves knowing that she is helping someone do what they love to do – from growing cotton, manufacturing a quality men’s wear product, to assisting a wedding party with a fashionable ensemble for the big day. Her company keeps her active but she still continues to reach out to serve others. Continue reading →
Our Springmoor Board of Directors Series continues as we introduce Bill Baxley. He has followed his passions along his career path and now into his retirement as he continues to learn new skills with mentors and tools along the way.
His family thought he would follow in his father’s footsteps at their restaurant. He planned to attend North Carolina State University and study food science. Baxley’s Restaurant was a popular Raleigh establishment for many years. Starting downtown and then moving to Hillsborough Street, to be close to the Wolfpack crowd, it has served many delicious meals. The restaurant business is where he thought he would be after graduation. Bill was sure this would be his path until pharmacy peaked his interest.
Bill recently retired after a 48-year career with Kerr Drug. After his first year at UNC, he knew he needed a summer job, preferably in a pharmacy. With a call to Banks Kerr, he was put in touch with the East Gate Kerr Drug pharmacy. He stopped by the Raleigh store on Falls of the Neuse to fill out an application. Dressed to impress in his coat and tie, he was ready for his first interview. The manager only had one question, “When can you start?” He never filled out an application and, from that day on, he has never applied for a job!
He began his career at Kerr Drug in Cameron Village as a stock clerk and continued his studies in Chapel Hill. He married his high school sweetheart, Sandra, in his third year at UNC. He laughed when he said the first time he met her he asked her to marry him. That was in the eleventh grade! It has now been 48 years and their family has grown to include two daughters and seven grandchildren. Bill and Sandra were both born and raised in Raleigh. Bill attended Hugh Morson Junior High School and then Enloe High School in its first year of operation.
After his college graduation, he continued his career with Kerr Drug as a pharmacist. After five years of filling prescriptions and watching the store evolve, he knew from his early days as a stock clerk, the rest of the store was as important to the success and growth of the company as the sales from behind the pharmacist’s counter. His passion for merchandising led him into a new career path once again. As Senior Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing for Kerr, he worked towards developing and enhancing the customer’s experience in store. The visual experience and technology available in today’s market continued to interest him as he grew the business.
When Kerr Drug/Walgreens was sold, Bill retired and now fills his time with a passion that started in shop class at Morson. And ‘fills his time’ is an understatement. His woodturning hobby has turned into a creative new full-time job. He bought a lathe for his woodworking shop at home. As in his career, he has taken a few classes and done his homework. While exploring a woodcraft gift shop in Blowing Rock with his wife, he asked the storeowner what her best seller was. He was looking for a signature piece of his own. He had made plenty of bowls and pencil holders and was ready to try something new. She pointed to a hummingbird house and said she couldn’t keep them in stock. Bill quickly realized he could design one of his own. After a recent trip to Ireland to meet with a wood turning expert, he came back with new tips for increasing production of his bird houses as well as a new arrangement for his workshop. He is a member of the Wood Turners Guild of North Carolina and sells his houses at the North Hills Market, Holly Days and other craft shows around the area. Of course, he does balance this time with his other volunteer business obligations, his Labradoodle, Paddles, and his family’s travels.
His mother lives at Springmoor and has for the past twenty years. Living in the same neighborhood, it’s easy for him to drop by most mornings to say hello and have a cup of coffee with her. Bill’s parents moved to Springmoor because of everything it had to offer. As with many in our community, knowing several families that were here combined with a wonderful list of amenities made it an easy decision for everyone. They all agree it has been the best move they ever made.
How Things Work
With his knowledge of how things work at Springmoor, from a family’s perspective, paired with a background in marketing and finance, Bill offers a perfect combination of guidance to the Board of Directors. He has served as a Director for the past three years. He says the multitude of career experiences and the congenial spirit of the board make it a personally rewarding opportunity. As with his pharmacy career and his woodturning hobby, he is very dedicated to improving and growing the community. We know that he will help make Springmoor a wonderful place to live for all of our residents. Continue reading →
FAMILY is a single word, with many different meanings. People have many ways of defining a family and what being a part of a family means to them. Families differ in terms of economic, cultural, social, and many other facets, but what every family has in common is that the people who call it a family are making clear that those people are important in some way to the person calling them his family. Michelle Blessing, lovetoknow
Springmoor has many networks of families, often reaching out to help one another. With big hearts and a generous spirit, they want no recognition. Like family, you don’t need to ask for help, they know. The extended family may be living next door or across the hall. They may be upstairs or in the house at the end of the cul-de-sac. Their good deeds do not go unnoticed.
At Springmoor, a new resident is often greeted with a plate full of “the best cheese wafers ever made. No one makes them like she does. They have a touch of red pepper in them. They are delicious!”
If you have a temporary stay in the Health Center, you may find this same generous neighbor bringing your newspaper to your room. No one asks her, she just appears each morning.
Did you find homemade pimento cheese in your refrigerator? When a neighbor has made a batch, its shared with friends with a note on their door: “Made more than I can eat, enjoy the pimento cheese in your frig.”
When a resident has recently returned to their apartment after an outpatient surgery, the neighbors line-up (along with the Springmoor staff) to bring meals from the dining room. One neighbor had told the out-of-town family that she would take over after they left. She quickly found that everyone on the hall wanted to take a day. She found herself being the coordinator instead of the provider.
There is group of neighbors that help sort and deliver the mail and another group that helps deliver books from the library to the Stewart Health Center. The volunteers are happy to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
Springmoor will schedule one of their drivers to take a resident to a doctor’s appointment. However, a friend insisted that she drive and stay with her neighbor for her cataract surgery. The two left at 5:00 am to arrive at Duke’s Eye Center in Durham. In a similar situation, another neighbor not only drove their neighbor for her scheduled chemo treatment but also stayed with her all day and brought dinner to her when they returned home.
After a recent hip replacement, one neighbor volunteered to walk their neighbor’s dog. Now the couple comes each morning for a stroll with their new furry friend. When needed, they have kept the dog for a long weekend while their neighbor goes to see his out-of-town family.
There is a neighbor who is often called upon to fix something – could be a lamp, could be a piece of furniture. Everyone knows he can fix just about anything and doesn’t mind being called upon to help. There is a neighbor that repairs jewelry and another one that repairs scooters. All three love to tinker with the mechanics of how things work. You never need to call twice. These men are always ready to help.
If you find a bag with a garden fresh tomato on your door, you know that one of Springmoor’s gardeners has stopped by. There is nothing better than a fresh homegrown tomato on a sandwich! Squash, zucchini, cucumbers and peppers are often left at a neighbor’s door too.
The zinnia’s found in the Administrative Offices are from a Springmoor gardener. These beautiful pink, orange and yellow flowers are artfully clipped and a fresh arrangement is put on the desk every week throughout the summer months.
You may run into a neighbor on a walk to the mailbox. If she has a tin filled with homemade cookies, know that she has been baking all afternoon and wanted to bring a smile to your face. We have a special resident that loves to bake late at night. If you are lucky enough to play bridge with her, have a birthday this month or be a neighbor, you will be the lucky recipient of a plated slice of cake or a piece of pie from her kitchen. If it’s your birthday, you may find the entire cake wrapped on one of her special plates and delivered to your door. Each week she rotates between baking pies or cakes and the flavors vary depending on the season. Last spring she delivered sixty-six hot cross buns to her friends and neighbors. Continue reading →
Looking for a part-time job in high school that works with school hours, study time, after-school sports and club meetings can be challenging. The Springmoor Dining Room schedule offers many of our neighborhood high school students the perfect place to work. Serving in one of our four dining areas during the weekday dinner hours or on the weekends makes for the ideal first job.
Madison was a sophomore at Leesville High School when she became an employee at Springmoor. She says the hours were perfect for her schedule. She came in before dinner and worked a few hours several nights a week in the South Village Dining Room. The residents made it a fun place to be. She got to know each of them, their families and their favorites on the menu.
High School Sweethearts
After her high school graduation, Madison continued to work at Springmoor and began taking classes at Wake Tech. Eric, her high school sweetheart, decided to follow in his mother, father, and stepfather’s footsteps and join the armed services. After boot camp and his stateside service, she and Eric were married. Shortly before his deployment to Afghanistan, they got the news that they were expecting a baby. Madison continued working in the Springmoor Dining Room and taking classes while Eric was away.
Emery, their little girl, arrived three weeks prior to Eric’s return to the states. Madison moved to Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville when he returned. She enrolled at Coastal Carolina Community College for her CNA certification. Still unsure of her career path, she knew it would either be in nursing or teaching. “Both jobs involve helping others and this is what I knew I wanted to do,” she said.
She credits her Labor and Delivery Nurse (LDN) with the reason she has chosen to pursue a career in nursing. “She was awesome and made me realize this is what I want to do for others.” Now a mother, a wife and a student, Madison continued to juggle many hours of hard work.
After his five-year service ended, Eric and Madison moved back to their hometown of Raleigh. When they returned, she began looking for a nursing position. Her mother mentioned Springmoor. “Don’t they have nurses on their staff?” she asked. Madison now has her LPN degree and is continuing her nursing education. Eric, a Marine Combat Videographer, is currently pursuing his degree in computer science.
“Full circle,” she said, “I waited on many of the residents in the dining room when I was in high school and now I am taking care of them again.” This time it’s as a nurse. She still juggles school, family and a career. While her husband is in physics and calculus classes in the morning, she is at home studying. Online courses make it easy to have a flexible schedule for her studies. Madison works the evening shift and alternating weekends at Springmoor. As a float nurse, she is assigned to different wings each evening. She loves this position she says, “I get to know everyone and their families.” Continue reading →
Springmoor is the proud recipient of the 2017 Employer of the Year Award from The Arc of the Triangle. Demi Tucker, Springmoor’s Dining Room Manager, recently accepted this exciting award on behalf of our community. She says not only do The Arc participants add value to our dining room with their dedication and hard work but their fellow employees and the residents greatly appreciate their tremendous enthusiasm.
The Arc, a national organization founded in the 1950s, was formed by a group of parents advocating for their children with intellectual and development disabilities. The grass roots organization now has over 700 state and local chapters. The local chapter, The Arc of the Triangle, serves Wake, Orange and Durham counties. Supporting over 500 children and adults, they offer a wide variety of programs including respite services, summer work programs, employment services and community guides. They also offer a wide range of classes and advocacy network services. Springmoor resident, Charlie Blanchard, served on the Arc’s Board of Directors for many years. He and his wife, Archie, continue to be huge supporters of this successful organization.
A student seeking employment may join the program during his or her high school years at age 17. The Arc continues to work with adults in this same program until they are 65. Each student is paired with a job coach that will help with training, job skills and future employment. The coach often accompanies the employee to their new job to help with on-the-job training. Tamela Haywood, The Arc’s Employment Specialist, told us that Springmoor has proven to be one of the best places for employment for her participants. The three employees, Sally, Angel and Jeremiah, love their jobs, their fellow employees and the residents.
Sally has been at Springmoor for twenty-nine years. Her smile will brighten anyone’s day! She is a dedicated employee that works in the North Village Dining Room as a line server. She also sings in The Arc’s choir that performs regularly for churches, civic groups and community events. Demi describes her as “very reliable, always on time and extremely detailed.” The dining room staff recently joined in a celebration for her 60th birthday.
Angel, a 2017 high school graduate, came to Springmoor this past February. Starting as a very shy and quiet young lady, she has blossomed into a wonderful employee before everyone’s eyes. All of the residents will tell you they have seen a remarkable change as she became more experienced with the staff and her duties. She speaks both Korean and English. She too is very detail-oriented. Serving in the dining room, she fills orders from the drink stand as well as the dessert bar. She recently brought flowers to Demi from the Arc’s Petals with a Purpose program.
Jeremiah, Springmoor’s newest Arc employee, lights up the room with his huge smile and willingness to help. His mother tells us he sings with delight on the days that he is scheduled to work. Having a purpose and feeling productive brings him great joy! On the day that he received his first paycheck, Tamela said, “he sent me a photo on his phone.” He recently met Springmoor’s Executive Director, Brandon Hair. He called afterwards to tell her “he had met the big man.” He is often seen giving high fives and fist bumps to his fellow employees when he arrives in the kitchen. As a dishwasher, he has found a special niche that suits his skills and his desire to help. He couldn’t be happier that he has found such a welcoming community that needs him. Continue reading →
This week, Bill Marley, one of Springmoor’s newest residents shares his journey to Springmoor – his new home and his new extended family.
Many thoughts come to mind as Frances and I reflect on our journey to Springmoor. This journey actually began in quiet conversation one evening a few years ago as we discussed the notion of downsizing. Many “empty-nesters” tend to do this after growing weary of rattling around in a big house, climbing stairs to the second floor, and constantly attending the responsibilities of property ownership.
We were very independent, but had a few developing health issues. This led us to consider moving to one of the fine retirement communities in Raleigh. We are blessed to have our two sons and their families living in the Raleigh area. They would gladly provide all the assistance needed as we grew older. However, Frances and I wanted to spare them of that responsibility and the effect caring for us would have on their lives.
Being Raleigh residents, we were well acquainted with Springmoor. Many friends were living here and Frances had performed for the delightful Springmoor Residents many times as a member of the Cardinal Singers.
A Springmoor Marketing Counselor became our guide along this journey. It was an easy decision to choose Springmoor as our future home. We both had a comforting feeling of relief the afternoon we sat with her and signed papers placing us on the wait list for residency. Just having our names on that list gave us an immediate sense of belonging to this community.
After moving here four months ago, the feeling of belonging has grown stronger. Everyone has welcomed us into the Springmoor Family with open arms. We enjoy seeing old friends more often now and meet new friends almost daily. Frances has benefited tremendously from the expert physical therapy sessions at the Stewart Health Center. I enjoy being a cashier at Springmoor’s Little Corner Store one morning a month. Becoming more involved in activities and volunteering our services as much as possible is something we are looking forward to in the months ahead.
I want to express the thought that “comfort” and “relief” are defining words in our lives since becoming Springmoor Residents. This is particularly true for me. Frances uses a walker and depends on me to be her “legs” and perform more than the usual “chores” expected of husbands around the house. Her safety and well-being are first and foremost. When living in our Raleigh home, I carried on my shoulders the responsibility of being first responder by calling 911 and then doing all I could awaiting the arrival of help. The weight of that responsibility has been significantly lightened now that we are Springmoor Residents.
Before Springmoor, I was always uneasy leaving Frances alone at home when I had to make an occasional day-trip out of town. I made certain she had everything needed close at hand, including medicine, a charged cell phone, and list of emergency numbers. I scheduled my trips when one or both of our sons would be in Raleigh and could come to help, if needed. I then called throughout the day to make certain she was all right. I was always uneasy there would be a certain delay in getting help to her if she had any trouble.
Now I am “comforted” and “relieved” in knowing that if Frances needs help while I am away, she can dial zero, pull the security cord, or press the pendant and help will be at our door in a brief minute. On a recent 12-hour round trip to Bryson City in the far western mountains, I knew Frances was safe in our Springmoor home. I was much more at ease driving in the heavy I-40 traffic without an urgent feeling I needed to get back home as soon as possible. That night, as I turned off Sawmill at the end of the trip, the double driveways at the lighted Springmoor entrance were like two outstretched arms welcoming me home again. I knew Frances was awaiting my return, safely inside the community. Continue reading →