Mount Vernon, N.Y. (January 19, 2017) – Throughout 2016, Wartburg sponsored several initiatives, informative programs and fun events to highlight its historic 150th anniversary.
Founded as The Wartburg Orphans’ Farm School in 1866 just after the Civil War to provide a safe haven for children in need, Wartburg ended its services to children in 1979 due to changes in foster care. At the time, Wartburg fully transitioned into providing a continuum of care for seniors and their families, including residents and others in the surrounding community.
“Successful organizations never waiver from their mission and values. This is Wartburg. We are proud of who we are, and proud of what we do. We made the most of this anniversary year and now we will move on to new challenges, always thankful for the opportunity to serve,” said David Gentner, Wartburg President & CEO.
150 Years of Caring for Our Residents
This year, Wartburg renovated its Meadowview Assisted Living facility, upgrading its lobby/gathering area and installed a keyless entry system for resident rooms. Staff and residents also celebrated the newly renovated Marie Barletta Café, named in the memory of a former resident who remembered Wartburg in her estate plans.
150 Years of Caring for the Community
Wartburg hosted a Quarterly Speakers Series including two educational community events with a panel of experts on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia discussing early warning signs, challenges to caregivers, the benefits of arts-based therapies and advances in research and current clinical trials. Wartburg also hosted a book reading with award-winning NY1 reporter, Cheryl Wills. Wills authored “Die Free: A Heroic Family History,” which chronicles the story of her escaped enslaved ancestor who fought for his freedom in the Union Army during the Civil War.
Wartburg’s flagship annual fundraising event, the Jazz in June gala, featured keynote speakers B. Smith, lifestyle maven, restaurateur and author, and her husband and co-author Dan Gasby. The couple discussed their book, Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s, which details their journey after Smith was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Wartburg also held several fun and festive outdoor events at its beautiful 34-acre campus. People from the surrounding communities joined Wartburg’s residents and staff to enjoy the historic Fall Festival, which featured entertainment, children’s games, shopping and The Wartburg Orphans’ Farm School alumni homecoming reunion.
Wartburg also welcomed the return of its Classic Car Show, which included a trophy for Best Sounding Car, judged by visually impaired registrants of its Adult Day Care program.
“We could really tell a lot about a car by listening to how it starts up. We knew the bigger, older cars by listening to their powerful engine sound. It was great to feel that our opinions mattered, even though we couldn’t see the cars,” said Gwendolyn Lee, Adult Day Services registrant and one of the “Best Sounding” judges.
Aerial view of the main Wartburg campus.
150 Years of History
Wartburg also collected and cataloged historical artifacts from its extensive history, including digitizing a circa 1938 16mm film reel that featured a 40-plus minute documentary of The Wartburg Orphans’ Farm School. It is available to view on Wartburg’s YouTube channel (wartburgny) and www.creativeagingstories.com.
Throughout its anniversary year, Wartburg launched initiatives that chronicled and preserved its history for future generations. CreativeAgingStories.com, a dynamic website, allows users to learn more about The Wartburg Orphans’ Farm School through photos, videos and oral histories of those who once called the farm school home. In addition, visitors can see Wartburg’s award-winning Creative Aging & Lifelong Learning documentary on PBS’s Visionaries series and view various Creative Aging programs in action.
Wartburg also unveiled a self-guided Walking Tour, inviting residents and visitors to learn more about Wartburg’s impressive history of caring over the past 150 years. Installed around its expansive campus, these panels detail milestones in Wartburg’s long history.
Taking its story into the community, Wartburg hosted a historic photo display at the Mount Vernon Public Library, which highlighted Wartburg’s important milestones from its founding in 1866 through today. This display culminated with an event held in partnership with the Mount Vernon Armory Craft and Quilting Club.
Paying homage to Wartburg’s roots, last Spring, senior staff and patrons visited the namesake Wartburg Castle, overlooking the town of Eisenach, Germany, where Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German.
150 Years of Nurturing Body, Mind and Spirit
Wartburg held its culminating anniversary event, A Celebration of Praise and Thanksgiving, on November 5 in their historic Chapel built in 1902, which welcomed their inter-faith partners in celebration of 150 years of providing spiritual care to the community.
“This has been an incredibly exciting year-from preserving our history to looking forward to the next 150 years of innovation and quality care our community has come to rely on. Thank you to all those who supported us throughout the years and during our anniversary. We could not provide the programs and services to our residents, rehabilitation and home care patients and Adult Day Care registrants without them,” said Angela Ciminello, Wartburg’s Vice President of Development and Marketing.
Wartburg now looks toward the next century by continuing to provide innovative rehabilitative care, provide modern housing and to conceptualize a campus expansion to extend their services to those who need it, when they need it.
Wartburg, located in Westchester County, N.Y., offers integrated, comprehensive senior residential and healthcare services for all stages of life. From independent, assisted living and award-winning nursing home care to inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation, home care and adult day care services, Wartburg’s continuing care approach has earned them a trusted reputation. Wartburg’s award-winning, internationally recognized Council for Creative Aging & Lifelong Learning program lets residents and community members express themselves through art, song, theater, poetry and oral histories. The Creative Aging & Lifelong Learning initiative promotes increased emotional health and social engagement for seniors through a wide range of arts-based programs led by professional teaching artists trained to develop the creative capacity of older adult learners.
Wartburg Website Homepage: www.wartburg.org
Wartburg Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/thewartburg
Wartburg Twitter Page: www.twitter.com/thewartburg
YouTube Page: www.youtube.com/wartburgny
Creative Aging Stories and Historical Archives: www.creativeagingstories.com