Gig Harbor moms get a long distance surprise

Mothers at the Sound Vista Village Assisted Living in Gig Harbor got an early Mother’s Day gift. They were surprised with a virtual visit from their loved ones via Skype. Employees at the assisted living secretly contacted the children for the special surprise.

Many of the mothers have not seen their loved ones in a long time and some have never used Skype before.

Maria Scott and her husband Henry were not expecting to see their children for Mother’s Day. Their son and daughter-in-law are in southern France right now, visiting their eldest daughter.

Maria and Henry were all smiles when they were surprised with the face to face visit for Mother’s Day.

“This is just wonderful! What a wonderful surprise!”

Sound Vista Village surprised several mothers with the sweet Skype surprise this week.

Village Concepts launches “Northwest Grown” Program

Northwest Grown, a dining and lifestyle program emphasizing locally sourced products, will be one of Village Concepts focuses beginning this year.

As Washington’s first Assisted Living company, established in 1975, Village Concepts is the essence of “locally grown.”  Beginning summer 2015, Village Concepts will be increasing local partnering, programming and menu selections to reflect their Washington roots while supporting its rich history and culture.

As a Washington grown company, Village Concepts is committed to supporting local businesses, farmers, fishermen, and the culture of the great Northwest. Chief Operating Officer Stuart Brown, who keeps honeybees as a hobby, developed the program as a way to connect with local partners to offer residents fresh, local food and support local growers.

“The areas where our communities are located have so much to offer in terms of agriculture and local products. I look forward to expanding the way we share these products with our residents and staff,” says Brown.

Look for Northwest Grown features in Village Concepts’ upcoming newsletters, program calendars and menus.

Village Concepts is committed to improving the senior living industry at all 15 of its senior living communities, serving more than 1,400 residents throughout Puget Sound, the Olympic Peninsula and Central Washington. A third generation, family-owned business, Village Concepts is at the forefront of the industry with programs and facilities to offer the best care, including on-site physical and occupational therapists, individualized care programs designed for each resident and certified and licensed staff on-site 24 hours a day.

Charlotte Sheeter’s 100th birthday is celebrated in big way by visitors

Charlotte Sheeter, right, lights up as elementary school children from Oak Harbor Christian School sing to her on her 100th birthday Monday at Harbor Tower Village in Oak Harbor. Sheeter, who’s from Dayton, Ohio, said she’s found it to be a good practice in life to try to be kind and fair to everyone.— Image Credit: Photos By Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Charlotte Sheeter, right, lights up as elementary school children from Oak Harbor Christian School sing to her on her 100th birthday Monday at Harbor Tower Village in Oak Harbor. Sheeter, who’s from Dayton, Ohio, said she’s found it to be a good practice in life to try to be kind and fair to everyone.— Image Credit: Photos By Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Charlotte Sheeter chuckled about all of the commotion over her birthday.
She sat in a chair inside an Oak Harbor senior living facility and was handed a special birthday hat to put on.

About 50 elementary school children began filing into the dining center as Sheeter and several other residents watched and waited.

“Am I the only one who lives to be 100 years old?” Sheeter joked.

Oak Harbor’s latest centenarian celebrated her birthday in grand style Monday at Harbor Tower Village.

Students from kindergarten through fifth grade from Oak Harbor Christian School visited Sheeter to offer handmade gifts and five songs, including a birthday tribute.

It was the second such occasion for Sheeter, who was sung to by the Oak Harbor High School choir two days earlier before she spent the evening with about 75 friends and family at a Chinese restaurant.

“She’s a very sweet lady,” said Helen Stimple, 95, a retired primary school educator who also resides at Harbor Tower Village.

“She’s a wholesome person. We’re very fortunate to have her.”

Oak Harbor Christian School became aware of Sheeter’s impending birthday over the Christmas holidays when children visited to sing to residents at the senior living facility.

They returned in hopes to bring happiness to Sheeter and other seniors as part of sharing their faith and got a history lesson as well.


Some students became intrigued about Sheeter’s place in a historic dateline they’d been studying about U.S. history, what sort of clothes she wore growing up and the type of toys she played with as a child.

MaryBeth Eelkema, who teaches second- and third-graders at Oak Harbor Christian School, revisited many of these questions with Sheeter after the students finished singing.

“My mother made most of our clothes,” said Sheeter, who was born May 4, 1915, in a small town outside Dayton, Ohio. “She was a seamstress.”

Sheeter shared childhood memories about playing with dolls and jacks and jumping rope. She and her sisters used to dress up their family dog named Rags and push him around in a cart “like a baby.”

Sheeter’s family used oil lamps for lighting instead of electricity. She was in eighth grade before she purchased her first store-bought item.

Students were interested if she had any memories of stories her parents might’ve told her about the sinking of the Titanic, which happened three years before she was born, but she couldn’t recall any.

When she spoke about any secrets to longevity, she frequently referred to her parents and a family that she said supported her decisions to help her stay happy and healthy.

“My parents were good to me. That’s all I know,” she said. “My husband was good and my kids behaved.”

Most answers came with a large smile.

Asked to share any wisdom she has acquired all these years, Sheeter said she’s found it to be a good practice to be kind and fair to everyone.

Fittingly, Oak Harbor Christian School students practiced that advice by their presence and singing voices.

“It was just surprising,” said Sheeter, who clapped along on occasion. “And I don’t think I’m worthy of all this. It’s been fun.”

“It brought tears to my eyes,” said Kathy Miller, a kindergarten and first grade teacher. “That was pretty amazing. You don’t get to go to a 100th birthday celebration. That’s the first one I had ever gone to.”

Hazel Welliver, executive director at Harbor Tower Village, said she’s experienced three residents reaching 100 years old in her eight years at the senior living facility and a fourth who fell only a few months short.

However, turning 100 doesn’t always equate to feeling that way.

“It just feels like I’m 50,” Sheeter said.

“It’s wonderful,” said Kay Meadors, 84, who’s also a resident. “The Lord’s been good to her.”

Meadors said the children’s visit was very uplifting. After singing, students greeted and spent time visiting other seniors who watched from their chairs.

“I look forward to it,” Meadors said. “I just love them so much.”