In the News

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Corresponding through handwritten letters is something she has enjoyed doing for about 75 years. During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and Gov. Jay Inslee’s “stay home, stay healthy” mandate, seniors living in facilities such as Country Meadow Village are eager for social contact. Even if it’s only through a letter. That day at Country Meadow Village, the 83-year-old Schreifels was replying to a letter she received from a girl named Phoebe, who is a first grader in the Sedro-Woolley School District. “She wrote a beautiful letter," Schreifels said. “For someone in the first grade, she’s a fantastic writer.” Phoebe’s letter and Schreifels's response are part of the Country Meadow Village’s CoronaWriteUs Project, which was implemented by Program Director David Bricka. Bricka is constantly seeking out ways to keep the community’s residents active and engaged. His efforts have only increased during these trying times. “I love the idea of the kids sitting down and writing a letter, as it’s a lost art,” Bricka said. “Our residents will certainly appreciate the efforts of these kids. “There is nothing like receiving a handwritten note or letter from someone special.” So toward those ends, Bricka reached out to local schools in search of pen pals. The response has been fantastic. About 25 letters have arrived at Country Meadow Village, the majority by mail and the rest by email. All necessary safety precautions are strictly adhered to in regard to COVID-19. Bricka consulted with everyone from nurses to the U.S. Postal Service. “Safety is of course of the utmost importance,” Bricka said. “We had to figure out a way to keep everyone safe and to make it fun. There were definitely some logistics to figure out, but we got it to work.” Bricka quarantines the letters, then scans them and sends them to a color printer. Those copies are then given to residents involved in the project. Residents like Schreifels. “We got a flyer from David,” she said of how she got involved. “He’s always thinking about us. Especially now that we are all so confined.” Schreifels said she has a pair of pen pals. Not only Phoebe, but a freshman at Sedro-Woolley High School. “It gives me something to do,” she said. “I write a lot of letters. But it’s getting harder all the time because I’m left handed and I have arthritis in that thumb.” Schreifels said she just might have to buy a typewriter. “She (Phoebe) asked me all kinds of questions,” Schreifels said. “And she told me about herself. She wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. She even sent me a picture. She’s a cute little girl.” Bricka said the project has been a lot of fun. He can see that in the eyes of those taking part. “Maggie is just a great gal,” he said. “She is so much fun. And now I can see that she’s having fun. This is just great for everybody. “I am so happy with the response we’ve received because you just never know. But so many people have reached out. It has been great.”" ["post_title"]=> string(42) "Pen pal program connects seniors with kids" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(42) "pen-pal-program-connects-seniors-with-kids" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-03-30 16:22:05" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-03-30 16:22:05" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(44) "https://villageconcept.wpengine.com/?p=13128" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#3162 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(13116) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "2" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-03-26 19:34:36" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-03-26 19:34:36" ["post_content"]=> string(379) " We are so grateful for each one of our hardworking team members for their dedication to our seniors. We couldn't do this without you. Thank you for your sacrifices and commitment to our seniors. You are true heroes for them and for us." ["post_title"]=> string(81) "To our team members, a message from Village Concepts CEO and team during COVID-19" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(80) "to-our-team-members-a-message-from-village-concepts-ceo-and-team-during-covid-19" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-03-26 20:24:51" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-03-26 20:24:51" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(44) "https://villageconcept.wpengine.com/?p=13116" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#3623 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(13111) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "2" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-03-24 16:13:38" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-03-24 16:13:38" ["post_content"]=> string(3922) " " ["post_title"]=> string(78) "Woodland Village, a senior living facility in Chehalis, starts pen pal program" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(76) "woodland-village-a-senior-living-facility-in-chehalis-starts-pen-pal-program" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-03-24 16:13:38" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-03-24 16:13:38" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(44) "https://villageconcept.wpengine.com/?p=13111" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#3622 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(12956) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "2" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2019-12-30 20:44:36" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-12-30 20:44:36" ["post_content"]=> string(1394) "[caption id="attachment_12957" align="alignleft" width="400"] From left, David Bricka, Village Concepts program director, Miranda Wilson, Helping Hands Food Bank and Solution Center executive assistant, Nate Vandenburg, food bank volunteer and Village Concepts team member, and Sandra Jensen, Village Concepts executive director, pose for a photo.[/caption] A check for $2,300 was hand delivered to Miranda Wilson, executive assistant of the Helping Hands Food Bank and Solution Center at the Village Concepts Country Meadow Village Christmas party. Over the year, staff and residents of the retirement community raised money through the summer barbecue, Holiday Bazaar and Buffet and through proceeds from Kathy's Kloset, a consignment shop for the residents and staff. In addition to the monetary donation, the retirement community has been collecting donation items for the food bank through a basket in the lobby that generates about 500 pounds of donations each year. "With this donation we will be able to purchase healthy, nutritious food that will feed hundreds of people," Wilson said. "We are so grateful for your generosity." In the past 10 years, Village Concepts has donated over $24,000 to nonprofit organizations in the area." ["post_title"]=> string(37) "Local retirement community gives back" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(37) "local-retirement-community-gives-back" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-12-30 21:39:01" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-12-30 21:39:01" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(44) "https://villageconcept.wpengine.com/?p=12956" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [4]=> object(WP_Post)#3621 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(12941) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "2" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2019-12-18 17:26:54" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-12-18 17:26:54" ["post_content"]=> string(1032) " At first blush, from afar, the people posing in Village Concept of Issaquah’s 2020 calendar look like famed movie characters, from Top Gun to Star Wars to Wayne’s World. Lean in a little closer, though, and you’ll realize Wayne and Garth don’t look quite like they used to. The hilarity and popularity of Village Concept’s themed calendar is back for a second year, featuring some of the senior residents, who live at the Spiritwood at Pine Lake community, and their families dressed as popular TV and film characters. The $35 calendar raises money in support of the Alzheimer’s Association. Mugs, ornaments, and reusable tote bags also will be available. To purchase the calendar, contact Jennifer Angell at jennifera@villageconcepts.com or by calling 425.313.9100. " ["post_title"]=> string(46) "Issaquah’s Star-Studded Calendar for a Cause" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(43) "issaquahs-star-studded-calendar-for-a-cause" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-12-18 17:26:54" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-12-18 17:26:54" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(44) "https://villageconcept.wpengine.com/?p=12941" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [5]=> object(WP_Post)#3615 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(12881) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "2" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2019-12-09 17:48:16" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-12-09 17:48:16" ["post_content"]=> string(2474) "[caption id="attachment_12882" align="aligncenter" width="780"] IT TAKES A VILLAGE: Steve Brown, president of Village Concepts, left, with his son, Stuart, the company’s chief executive officer. Image Credit: Hayley Young[/caption]
Village Concepts Location: Auburn Village Concepts owns and operates some 20 housing and assisted-living facilities across the Puget Sound region and Central Washington that serve more than 1,300 seniors, with a top-flight nursing staff at the core of its care model. The company was launched in 1975 by Bill Brown and is now led by the second and third generations of the Brown family — with Bill’s son, Steve, serving as president and Steve’s son, Stuart, serving as chief executive officer. Along the way, the company has remained true to its commitment to quality resident care while also keeping up with the times by incorporating new training, education and care programs. It also stays in tune with the needs of its residents through programs like Project Bucket List. The program allows seniors to fulfill lifelong dreams — making it possible for Dorothy Roth, who played in a World War II-era women’s baseball league, to throw out the first pitch at a Seattle Mariners game, for example.
The company promotes open communications and input from all family members, holding true to its credo of “creating a village that feels like family.” Family members are encouraged to work for the company, but they must still apply and qualify for positions. The Brown family’s business philosophy appears to be paying dividends. Village Concepts recorded a 14.4% increase in annual revenue between 2016 and 2018, to $40.8 million, and hired 60 new employees last year — and currently employs around 375. “Creating supportive environments that foster continuous learning is a central value in the Brown family and is what Village Concepts strives to achieve,” the company says.
" ["post_title"]=> string(62) "2019 Family Business Awards, Large Companies: Village Concepts" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(60) "2019-family-business-awards-large-companies-village-concepts" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-12-09 17:48:16" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-12-09 17:48:16" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(44) "https://villageconcept.wpengine.com/?p=12881" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [6]=> object(WP_Post)#3616 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(12812) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "2" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2019-12-02 16:39:49" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-12-02 16:39:49" ["post_content"]=> string(4076) "It’s been almost 400 years now since the Mayflower first arrived in Massachusetts, and the lives of those first pilgrims can feel so removed from us now. More than a dozen generations have come to pass, and with that, countless cultural and technological advancements. But for those sitting down for Thanksgiving to enjoy a much-anticipated feast, it’s possible you have a connection to the first settlers who braved the voyage to America.
[caption id="attachment_60264" align="alignleft" width="294"]Issaquah Bill and Phil Cushman / The Cushman family[/caption]

Issaquah resident Bill Cushman, who currently lives at Spiritwood at Pine Lake’s Village Concepts retirement center, and his brother, Phil, can tie their lineage 13 generations back to the man who gave the first documented sermon in America. Their ancestor, Robert Cushman, was a business agent for the Plymouth colony, essentially serving as a financial liaison between investors who funded the trip to the New World and the first settlers. Cushman had intended on traveling with the Mayflower in 1620, but when the crew discovered the smaller ship was leaky, Cushman was forced to stay an additional year in England. He instead arrived at the colony in late 1621, according to the Cushman family, who have retold the story of life with the help of historical texts. Once he arrived, he realized how dire the conditions were. Many of the pilgrims died on the voyage, and many more perished during the first winter. Cushman was only in America for a short time, but he delivered an impactful sermon entitled, The Sin and Danger of Self-Love, that’s been preserved through history and is thought to have lifted the spirits of the first settlers, encouraging them to dash their selfishness and work together. Near the end of his lengthy sermon, he said: “Lay away all thought of former things and forget them, and think upon the things that are; look not gapingly one upon other, pleading your goodness, your birth, your life you lived, your means you had and might have had; here you are by God’s providence under difficulties; be thankful to God, it is no worse, and take it in good part that which is, and lift not up yourself because of former privileges…” It’s believed that prior to his departure back to England, the group enjoyed a feast known as the Harvest Celebration, an English tradition that prefaced Thanksgiving. Unfortunately for Cushman, he never returned to America. He died in England in 1625, likely from disease. His sermon was printed in England in 1622 and was reprinted in Boston in 1724. According to a biographical sketch penned in 1846 by John Davis, late judge of the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, Cushman “was one of the most distinguished characters among that collection of worthies, who quitted England on account of their religious difficulties…” Cushman continues to be celebrated for his work with religious freedom. Cushman’s son eventually sailed to New England and, subsequently, some of the Cushmans built a life in modern Issaquah. Sometimes the world feels so big, but we’re often reminded of how small it can be. Cushman’s sermon and biography can be found here." 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It’s an experience provided by the nonprofit Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation based in Nevada. The group operates several fully restored World War II-era biplanes. Thanks to sponsors and donations, it's able to provide these flights, free of charge to seniors and military veterans all across the country. Flying time normally lasts no more than 10 to 15 minutes, but for these lucky passengers, including Navy veteran, Bill Barber (a resident at Village Concepts of Burien), every second was priceless. “I like flying I wish I can do more. It's the finances that stop you from doing it,” said Barber. The particular biplane, Barber and other veterans flew in today was built in 1944 and served as an army training plane before being converted into a crop duster. Its engine and the outer fabrics have since been fully restored. The pilots and crews involved in this program are all volunteers. Pilot Clint Cawley works full time for a commercial airline. “I grew up flying Stearman similar to this one so it's a lot of fun to give back to veterans, especially seniors. You know it's a really neat experience,” said Cawley. Since it launched in 2011, Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation has flown nearly 4-thousand flights in 49 states. For more information on Ageless Aviation, click here." ["post_title"]=> string(57) "Veterans get to fly on free flights aboard WW II biplanes" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(57) "veterans-get-to-fly-on-free-flights-aboard-ww-ii-biplanes" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-08-15 08:47:59" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-08-15 15:47:59" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(44) "https://villageconcept.wpengine.com/?p=10728" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [8]=> object(WP_Post)#3627 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(10702) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "2" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2019-07-25 09:05:16" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-07-25 16:05:16" ["post_content"]=> string(1526) "[video width="1280" height="720" mp4="https://villageconcepts.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/KCPQ_07-25-2019_TeddyBear_MillRidge.mp4" poster="https://villageconcepts.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/teddy-bear-picnic.jpg"][/video]   A local senior community is buzzing about a barbecue to raise money for teddy bears. Many police departments have programs providing officers with stuffed animals to give to kids caught up in high-stress police response situations, and Village Concepts of Milton decided to support the effort, with a Teddy Bear Picnic. Executive Director Jennifer Dennis says the project is especially near to her heart because both of her parents were police officers. “Growing up I heard stories of my parents responding to calls where a kid might be a little uneasy; so the bears have helped to ease that in different departments.” Thursday will be Village Concepts’ very first Teddy Bear Picnic, but Dennis says it likely will not be the last. “So far community members are very excited; they’re so glad to be able to come in and have a nice lunch and raise funds for this cause. I’ve had a few tears in conversations – people are grateful that we’re doing it –  and a lot of smiles.” Everyone is invited to stop by Village Concepts of Milton - Mill Ridge Village at 607 28th Ave from 4:00-7:00 Thursday for a burger or a hot dog.  Tickets are $10 each, and all of the money raised will help buy teddy bears for Milton police officers to carry with them." 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Corresponding through handwritten letters is something she has enjoyed doing for about 75 years. During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and Gov. Jay Inslee’s “stay home, stay healthy” mandate, seniors living in facilities such as Country Meadow Village are eager for social contact. Even if it’s only through a letter. That day at Country Meadow Village, the 83-year-old Schreifels was replying to a letter she received from a girl named Phoebe, who is a first grader in the Sedro-Woolley School District. “She wrote a beautiful letter," Schreifels said. “For someone in the first grade, she’s a fantastic writer.” Phoebe’s letter and Schreifels's response are part of the Country Meadow Village’s CoronaWriteUs Project, which was implemented by Program Director David Bricka. Bricka is constantly seeking out ways to keep the community’s residents active and engaged. His efforts have only increased during these trying times. “I love the idea of the kids sitting down and writing a letter, as it’s a lost art,” Bricka said. “Our residents will certainly appreciate the efforts of these kids. “There is nothing like receiving a handwritten note or letter from someone special.” So toward those ends, Bricka reached out to local schools in search of pen pals. The response has been fantastic. About 25 letters have arrived at Country Meadow Village, the majority by mail and the rest by email. All necessary safety precautions are strictly adhered to in regard to COVID-19. Bricka consulted with everyone from nurses to the U.S. Postal Service. “Safety is of course of the utmost importance,” Bricka said. “We had to figure out a way to keep everyone safe and to make it fun. There were definitely some logistics to figure out, but we got it to work.” Bricka quarantines the letters, then scans them and sends them to a color printer. Those copies are then given to residents involved in the project. Residents like Schreifels. “We got a flyer from David,” she said of how she got involved. “He’s always thinking about us. Especially now that we are all so confined.” Schreifels said she has a pair of pen pals. Not only Phoebe, but a freshman at Sedro-Woolley High School. “It gives me something to do,” she said. “I write a lot of letters. But it’s getting harder all the time because I’m left handed and I have arthritis in that thumb.” Schreifels said she just might have to buy a typewriter. “She (Phoebe) asked me all kinds of questions,” Schreifels said. “And she told me about herself. She wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. She even sent me a picture. She’s a cute little girl.” Bricka said the project has been a lot of fun. He can see that in the eyes of those taking part. “Maggie is just a great gal,” he said. “She is so much fun. And now I can see that she’s having fun. 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