On Tuesday, August 30, building services associates at United Methodist Communities at Pitman were awarded certificates of completion for the CARES training. For six months, associates participated in different training modules concentrating on the five CARES behaviors: Compassion, Accountability, Respect, Enthusiasm, and Service.
Ray Bates, building services director, made arrangements to celebrate the associates’ hard work and dedication to the program. The CARES training is designed to create a strong patient-focused foundation. “It’s the right thing to do,” explained Ray as he addressed residents and associates. “At our weekly huddles associates would share their CARES stories with the team,” said Ray. He then read a few of the stories to the audience.
In addition to the presentation, Ray invited “Carey the CARES Bear” to tour the building and greet the residents and associates.
It’s the little things our community does every day that makes for a better quality of life for our residents, visitors, and fellow associates.
Good Things Come in Small Packages
Pint sized Chef cooks up a few surprises.
Recently United Methodist Communities at Pitman (UMCP) welcomed a very special “guest executive chef” who proved that the old adage “good things come in small packages.” Nine year old Corrine Godlewski of Washington Township combined her love of volunteering and cooking into one awesome demonstration for residents, staff and guests.
“A few months back Corrine told her mom Cyndi that she wanted to volunteer at a local retirement community. Cyndi contacted me and learned that all volunteers under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a parent so she agreed to accompany Corrine to orientation and whenever she volunteers at our community,” said Sharon Yesner, Director of Volunteer Services.
“I am proud of her for how giving she is. We have always done “easy” charity such as donating canned goods or Toys for Tots but never this level of volunteering. Corrine wants to be a chef and welcomes every opportunity to learn about cooking,” said her mother Cyndi Godlewski.
Yesner added that the first big project Corrine volunteered for was the 13th Annual Classic Car Show and Picnic in June. “It was love at first sight. The residents and staff fell in love with Corrine’s enthusiastic zest of life and upbeat personality. One of her biggest fans was our Executive Chef, Rich Schleeter. He struck up a conversation with the active nine year old and found that in addition to loving sports and school – she had a real passion for cooking.
A few weeks later at the end of a busy day – Chef Rich learned he had unexpected guests who wanted to tour his kitchen. “Little did I know that my supervisor, Dining Services Director, Norm Engel, had set up the visit with Corrine and Cyndi but forgot to mention it to me,” laughed Schleeter. “When I stuck my head out of the office and saw who was touring…. I suddenly forgot how tired my feet were and we had an awesome visit.”
Corrine repaid Chef Rich’s hospitality a short time later by bringing him some of her home made guacamole dip and chips for him a few lucky co-workers to sample. Chef Rich was so impressed with the pint-sized chef that he and Norm Engel “cooked up an idea” to get her in to join him during his weekly cooking demonstration.
Without telling anyone not even Chef Rich, Norm Engel ordered Corrine her very own custom made chef’s jacket. After a few emails to work out logistics – a date was set for Corrine to come in and cook along-side Chef Rich.
“What can I say – the kid’s a natural and she didn’t even let an injured ankle slow her down. Her recipe for taco dip was a big hit and we accompanied it with some chicken quesadillas for a lunch with a South of the Border flavor. I don’t know who enjoyed watching Corrine cook more – me, her mom or the crowds gathered around the action station. I cannot thank her mom Cyndi, Sharon, as well as Norm for working behind the scenes to make her visit possible. The only questions I kept hearing was when is she coming back and what is she cooking next,” concluded Schleeter.
8th Annual Just Peachy Festival
United Methodist Communities at Pitman 8th Annual Just Peachy Festival was one sweet time for residents and community
Despite the warmer than usual August weather and the ever present threat of rain – UMC at Pitman was able to host its 8th Just Peachy Festival in the courtyard much to the delight of the 100 residents, guests and volunteers who took part in what has become the tastiest community relations event of the year.
A joint Community Life and Sales event, the Festival was a salute to one of South Jersey’s favorite summertime fruits – the peach. Summit City Orchards, Mood’s, Duffield’s and Rowand’s provided Jersey fresh peaches for the event. Not to be outdone Heritage Vineyards donated peach pies and breads while the Mantua Chick-Fil-A donated certificates for free cookies and ice cream cones.
Among the highlights of the evening included music from the duo, Nothin’ But Gina and a Little Bit of Steve, who had the residents up on their feet dancing to country classics from Willie Nelson, Barbara Mandrel and Brooks and Dunn among others. Residents, invited guests and associates also had an opportunity to sample nearly 20 home-made peach desserts, along with peach yogurt and peach tea as well as some freshly picked peaches to take home.
“We like to hold evening activities for residents and community members and this one was a lot of fun. I brainstormed with my colleagues to come up with an event that was sure to appeal to everyone’s tastes and I think is safe to say we all had a sweet time,” said Pam Mezis, Director of Sales.
Who adds, “I am always so impressed by the creativity and enthusiasm of my co-workers and volunteer bakers. When we asked for peach desserts I thought we would get a lot of the same items but we didn’t get two of the same. Our residents and staff loved tasting all the cobblers, cakes, tarts, crisps, salsa and peach-inspired treats that were donated.”
New this year: were several guest judges including Benita Cooper founder of the Best Day program; Mary Ann Sullivan, CAVS Director, Volunteer and Guest Services Inspira Health Network; Michele Epifani Executive Director SJVolunteers.org; and Beth Daddario Director Volunteers, Retail, and Guest Services Inspira Medical Center Vineland who is also the President of NJAHVRP. “These ladies certainly had a difficult time picking the winning entries since everything was just so delicious,” added Mezis.
Meet UMC at Pitman’s new Executive Director, James P. Scalese
Members of the public are invited to come and meet United Methodist Communities at Pitman’s new Executive Director, James P. Scalese, at an open house reception planned for Friday, September 9 from 3 to 5 p.m.
Scalese, who took over leadership in July, brings over 25 years of experience in diverse settings within long term healthcare administration. In addition to certification as a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, two degrees add to his leadership skills: a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from the University of Scranton and a Master of Business Administration in Health Care Administration from Temple University.
“I am proud to be a part of an organization that is so clearly committed to providing the best care possible for its residents. I have only been here a short time yet I have been made to feel so welcome by staff and residents alike. I am looking forward to meeting community members and local business leaders and sharing some of the exciting changes that are in store for United Methodist Communities at Pitman,” said Scalese, a resident of Haddonfield.
Scalese’s broad administrative experience includes positions as a corporate compliance officer, emergency preparedness director and corporate liaison for state licensing agencies. He has demonstrated skill in specialty program development, negotiation of payer contracts, regulatory compliance and credentialing. Prior to joining UMC, Mr. Scalese was a development and operations consultant at Wilson Avenue, LLC, in Bristol, Pennsylvania.
The reception is scheduled for Friday, September 9 from 3 to 5 pm. Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to Pam or Alice by calling 856-589-7800 by Tuesday, September 6. United Methodist Communities at Pitman is located at 535 North Oak Avenue in Pitman, NJ.
UMC at Pitman to host its 13th Annual Classic Car Show & Picnic
“Honk if you love cars.” The public is invited to attend United Methodist Communities at Pitman’s (formerly Pitman Manor) 13th Annual Classic Car Show and Picnic on Saturday, June 18, 2016 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The “stars” of this much anticipated community relations event will be the approximately 100 vintage automobiles from throughout the region that will be on display.
During the free event, visitors young and old will be able to enjoy the cars, musical entertainment, resident judging as well as an award ceremony at approximately 2:15 P.M. Hoagies, chips and beverages will be available for purchase to visitors and car owners. In addition, local favorite The Water Ice Station will be on hand to sell water ice, sodas and hot dogs.
New this year, Yvonne Giovannitti, owner of The Inn on Holly Bed and Breakfast, is a contestant on Dancing with the Gloucester County Stars. For the contest, she will be judged for two things: her dancing skills and the amount of money she raises for her charity – United Methodist Communities at Pitman’s Fellowship Fund. Proceeds from this year’s Classic Car Show and Picnic will benefit the Fellowship Fund. The car show will take place in the back parking lot of the community which is located at 535 North Oak Avenue in downtown Pitman. The show will take place rain or shine.
“Our goal once again in hosting the car show is to give our residents and their families an opportunity to spend time together. The car owners enjoy showing off their vehicles and nothing brings people together quicker than swapping car stories and memories. It is a wonderful to spend time with Dad or Granddad,” said United Methodist Communities at Pitman’s Sales Director, Pam Mezis.
For more information about the upcoming car show or to register a vehicle please visit our web site at www.UMCommunities.org or e-mail Pam Mezis at pmezis@UMComunities.org.
Support Yvonne’s Efforts
Yvonne Giovannitti, owner of The Inn on Holly Bed and Breakfast, is a contestant on Dancing with the Gloucester County Stars.
The Greater Woodbury Chamber of Commerce proudly presents the 11th anniversary of “Dancing With The Gloucester County Stars.”
Join us in celebrating years of helping local community dancers raising funds for local charities in Gloucester County!
For the contest, Yvonne will be judged for two things: her dancing skills and the amount of money she raises for her charity— the Fellowship Fund at United Methodist Communities at Pitman.
Garden Club celebrates Arbor Day by getting a jump on spring planting
Recently members of the United Methodist Communities at Pitman Garden Club celebrated Arbor Day by planting a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers.
Last year Assisted Living Social Worker, Lisa Kozlowski launched the Garden Club and quickly discovered there were many residents who used to be gardeners and still loved getting their hands in the dirt. She mentioned her idea to expand the Garden Club to Community Life Associate Jessica Hepner and well….things just grew from there. The pair discovered that the new executive chef Rich Scheeter in addition to knowing his way around the kitchen, was a green thumb as well.
“Rich loves to grow fresh vegetables and herbs and use them in the meals he prepares at
home and thought our residents who love gardening could grow some here on the grounds of United Methodist Communities at Pitman. Rick pitched in and helped us get the plants, soil, pots and fertilizer,” said Kozlowski, who added, “We really could not have expanded our club and its activities without the assistance of Neil Haley, our Assistant Director of Building Services, who built us two raised flower beds for our residents that are wheelchair accessible.”
The Garden Club which currently has about 10 active members meets every other Friday to work on a wide variety of horticultural projects and plan how they are going to use the fruits of their labors. “We are so glad that we are able to provide hands-on gardening activities for the residents and look forward to expanding the scope of the projects we will work on throughout the spring and summer months,” concluded Kozlowski.
The Borough of Pitman to Celebrate Poems on Parade during the Month of April
Chances are if you visit the town of Pitman during the month of April you will see poems written by school children, residents and community members on display in many of the windows of participating businesses, inside the McCowan Library and at United Methodist Communities at Pitman. This month-long celebration, the brainchild of Irene Donnelly and Lynne Nelson, is known around town as Pitman Poems on Parade (PPonP).
Donnelly and Nelson, both Pitman residents (and co-workers at Pitman Middle School) came up with the idea after reading a magazine article in 2014 about Poem City (Montpelier, VT). “We thought that we could take this idea of displaying original poetry in store windows and apply it to small town Pitman. April was the natural choice since it is National Poetry Month,” said the two organizers.
Back again this year will be Tux the Penguin, the official PPonP mascot, who along with high school students dressed as penguins, will parade down Broadway on Friday, April 22 (weather permitting) from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. to generate interest and awareness of the poems.
New in 2016: an open house reception at McCowan Library on Friday, April 22 between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. All PPonP poets, their friends, family and community members are invited to attend. The modern day writers will recite their poems for interested guests while actors dressed as well-known poets of yesteryear will interact with attendees. No reservation is required and everyone is welcome to attend. The PPonP Penguins wills be popping into the reception as well that evening. In addition, visitors are encouraged to stop by Pitman Manor from April 5th to April 30 to read the more than a dozen poems written by Borough residents that will be on display.
“We plan to continue this event annually, adding events and giving Pitman residents and the community at large an opportunity to enjoy poetry,” said Donnelly and Nelson who add, “Additional information can be found on our web site pitmanpoemsonparade.weebly.com or our Facebook page.”
Rowan University Staff and Students Treat Pitman Manor
Recently a baker’s dozen of graduate students and professional staff from the Rowan University Recreation Center in Glassboro made the holidays cheerier for Pitman Manor residents by hosting some very lively BINGO games.
The volunteers, who dressed in festive holiday attire, brought their own supplies, sound system, prizes, and music and played for well over an hour.
In addition to the traditional games of X’s, L’s, T’s and fill the board, the volunteers played a musical variation where participants had to listen to snippets of popular or traditional Christmas songs, identify them and mark the appropriate square on the card.
“We are grateful to the Rowan University volunteers for taking time out of their busy schedules to help spread some holiday cheer. Many of our residents enjoy the challenge, competitiveness and camaraderie of the game and welcome the opportunity to play it as often as they can. And of course….they loved the singing, prizes and the kindness the volunteers showed them as well,” said Sharon Yesner, Pitman Manor’s volunteer coordinator who worked with Tina Pinocci of Rowan University to organize this year’s event.
Pitman Manor residents Rosanne Liscovitz and Agnes Reilly added, “We really had a great time with the Rowan volunteers. In between the games, they engaged us in conversation, telling us about their education, training and job responsibilities. We also liked the fact that at the end of the games they entertained us with choral selections and a ukulele serenade. It was a wonderful way to spend the morning and we hope they might consider coming back soon.”
Pitman Manor Cook Tim Spencer Receives the Sodexo CARES Quarterly Award
James Clancy, the Executive Director of Pitman Manor recently announced that lead cook, Tim Spencer was selected to receive the Sodexo CARES quarterly award. According to Mike MacGuigan, Operations Manager at Pitman Manor who nominated Spencer, “Tim greets every resident with a smile and knows each by name. Over the years he has learned their likes, dislikes, favorite menu items and those they never want to see again. Tim truly listens and uses their suggestions to improve not only himself but the entire team. The residents are happy to see him and the feeling is mutual because Tim is happy to be here.”
Norm Engel, General Manager adds, “Pitman Manor is fortunate to have someone like Tim who exemplifies the qualities described in the CARES program. Tim has Compassion for everyone he meets. He is not only Accountable for his actions but looks for ways to improve those of others. Tim Respects the residents, team members and community, displays his Enthusiasm daily and takes much pride in his work. Finally, Tim’s Service is unmatched by anyone. Tim is synonymous with Pitman Manor, after all he trained Mike MacGuigan when he was 16 and just starting his career.”