By Almeda Girod
Tom Packard moved to Park View a year ago after living in New York City for 60 years, where he worked as the senior vice president of Wells Fargo Bank. Tom was feeling a loss and a bit “sorry” for himself when he met Rev. Lou Woods, pastor of Village Protestant Chapel. Lou asked, “So what are you going to do about this?” Tom says that Young at Heart (Y.A.H.) “was born” from this conversation.
“I was committed to organize a group for newcomers that would promote friendships,” he added. The first group of newcomers met for a social in the home of Vance and Jeannie Hart and have continued meeting. Another gathering of new residents met recently in the home of Jane Cyphers.
“Young at Heart presented an opportunity to meet other people who were in the same boat as me,” said Victor Medina, who moved from nearby to Canterbury Court. “The event was just what the doctor ordered.
A few hours having dinner and socializing with new and friendly neighbors went far in alleviating the natural tension of moving into an unfamiliar environment.”
Alfred and Alberta Mehr, who moved to Meadowbrook Square from Suffern, NY after 12 years in Wilmington, DE commented, “This type of get together fosters a smooth, comfortable transition to the Riderwood community living.”
Don and Diane Crane lived near Columbia for 20 years prior to moving to Park View and added, “Most newbies have some life-changing stress before we even come to Riderwood and it starts a cascade of changes: downsizing, packing, moving. We appreciated Tom inviting us to an informal group.”
It is Tom’s hope that Y.A.H. will continue as “an ongoing friendship effort and be an intentional opportunity for new residents to hang out and eat together, creating a bridge between where we were and where we are now.”
Tom asks that if you have an interest in helping to keep this new program going, that you call him at 301-273-0891.