Wartburg kicked off its 150th anniversary with an event-filled Fall Festival on Saturday, October 11 from 10 AM to 4 PM on their beautiful 34-acre campus in Mt. Vernon. It featured musical recitals in Wartburg’s historical chapel from the Concordia Conservatory and the Mt. Vernon Mayor’s Choir. There was an abundance of children’s activities such as hourly magic shows, Didi the clown; and science demonstrations and games sponsored by The Future Society. Attendees could participate in a drum circle, see what local vendors were offering, and enjoy grilled food or Caribbean cuisine by one of the local restaurants serving food that day– all for the enjoyment of Wartburg residents, their families and the people of Mt. Vernon and surrounding Westchester communities. Nearly 300 people attended.
“This festival was held to honor our past, celebrate the present and build for the future,” said David Gentner, president and CEO of Wartburg. “It was a success beyond our expectations and we are extremely pleased with the positive feedback we received from those attending the festival.”
Those who joined in the Fall Festival fun could try their dance moves in the meadow with a Zumba demonstration or, if feeling lucky, there were raffle drawings for fabulous prizes donated by businesses throughout the county. And any child who participated in any one of the fun games provided had the chance to win sports equipment or one of five brand new bicycles, generously donated by Wartburg’s CEO, David Gentner.
Wartburg honored the past by hosting a new Fall Festival, slightly different from the ones held for over 100 years on their Mt. Vernon campus, although still community focused. “Wartburg is proud to bring together the local communities in celebration of Wartburg’s history and mission to provide comprehensive services to nurture body, mind and spirit. And there was certainly plenty of high spirits at our Fall Festival,” said Angela Ciminello, director of development at Wartburg.
In 1866, Wartburg began as the Wartburg Orphan Farm School and provided a safe haven for children until the late 1970’s. To honor these alumni, the festival included a special chapel service and reception for former Wartburg Orphan Farm School residents who embraced, reminisced and scanned old photos from times past…and some even found their younger versions among the array of pictures.
The day also included the unveiling of the newly-named Dale and Yvonne Gatz Conference Center, named after Wartburg’s 8th president and his wife, an active volunteer during their tenure. There was also a tree dedicated, named in honor of Wartburg’s most valued volunteers, the Board of Directors.
And there is even more planned for our next Fall Festival on Saturday, October 3, 2015!
Wartburg is an internationally-recognized, award-winning provider of comprehensive senior services, including independent living, assisted living, Alzheimer’s/dementia care, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, adult day services and hospice care. Its 34-acre campus in Mount Vernon serves seniors and their families in Westchester and the New York Metro area. Wartburg’s nursing home has been recognized by U. S. News & World Report as among the “Best Nursing Homes in New York State” for the third straight consecutive year, in 2013. Over the past few years, Wartburg has launched an ambitious building expansion program, including the Friedrichs Residence, providing affordable housing for seniors with 61 independent living apartments, and a rehabilitation and adult day services center of excellence both opened in 2013.
Wartburg’s Fall Festival