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Presbyterian senior living community’s talented residents featured on national news

Four sisters play before a large audience, including NBC

by Cindy Ray, Senior Communication Specialist for Presbyterian Homes & Services | Special to Presbyterian News Service

Orchard Path resident Vicki Hall plays for a large audience along with her sisters, Jan Goris, Val Duininck and Carol Hall. (Photo courtesy of Presbyterian Homes & Services)

APPLE VALLEY, Minnesota — It was standing room only in mid-November at Orchard Path, a Presbyterian Homes & Services senior living community located in Apple Valley, Minnesota. On that fall afternoon, the community gathered to hear a piano concert entitled “Four Ladies in their Eighties.” The concert was performed by Orchard Path resident Vicki Hall and her sisters Jan Goris, Val Duininck and Carol Hall.

“It was a record crowd,” said Jennifer Ackland, the music therapist at Orchard Path who organized the event. She reached out to Boyd Huppert, a local news reporter whose popular feature series, “Land of 10,000 Stories,” has won national news awards. Boyd accepted the invitation to interview Vicki and her sisters and video the concert.

A record crowd turned out to hear the four sisters play. (Photo courtesy of Presbyterian Homes & Services)

Their audience grew exponentially when Boyd’s story was picked up by NBC Nightly News and aired on New Year’s Day. Along with the news program’s nationwide audience, the story posted on Facebook has to date received about 10,000 views.

Watch their remarkable story.

“We’re so proud of Vicki and her sisters,” said Ahna Lloyd, PHS’ Life Enrichment Services Director, “and how Orchard Path promotes wellness in all its dimensions, including vocational and spiritual wellness.”

Presbyterian Homes & Services was founded in 1955 by Presbyterian leaders in what was then the Synod of St. Paul, Minnesota. The organization has since maintained a strong covenant relationship with the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. Its mission, “To honor God by enriching the lives and touching the hearts of older adults,” imbues all its senior living communities and older adult services.

Consistent with Presbyterian mission and values, PHS firmly believes that wellness extends far beyond just fitness. PHS communities promote a philosophy of engagement, purposeful living, and meaning in everyday life. Vocational wellness follows the principle of encouraging older adults to recognize their own unique talents and skillsets. engage in meaningful activities that are consistent with their own strengths and interests and contribute to the well-being of the entire community.

“God has given them a talent,” said PHS’ Ahna Lloyd, “and they are using it to their full ability.” (Photo courtesy of Presbyterian Homes & Services)

“We define Purposeful Living as ‘to foster a positive aging experience that promotes living well with purpose,’” said Lloyd. “It is abundantly clear that music is a strong bond among these sisters, as well as with the entire community. Music touches the spirit and awakens emotions long forgotten. In this way, the concert contributed to the spiritual wellness of everyone who attended,” she said.

The concert was also attended by the sisters’ extended family members — three generations playing or listening to a legacy of music that began when the sisters’ mother bought the family’s first piano, and continues through the talents of their mothers, grandmothers and great aunts. Lloyd said, “How beautiful is this gift that these sisters share so freely with everyone. God has given them a talent and they are using it to their full ability.”

About Presbyterian Homes & Services

Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Presbyterian Homes & Services is a nonprofit, faith-based organization providing a broad array of high-quality housing choices and care and service options for older adults. More than 7,100 employees serve about 26,000 older adults through 60 PHS-affiliated senior living communities in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin, and through Optage® home and community services.

Presbyterian Homes & Services was established in 1955 by the Synod of St. Paul, which opened the first Presbyterian Home in the Twin Cities area to provide supporting housing and services for retiring missionaries, pastors and their spouses. PHS continues to share a covenant relationship with the Synod of Lakes and Prairies and understands itself to be in Christian ministry alongside local PC(USA) congregations, dedicated to promoting independence, purposeful living, and overall well-being for those they serve. Today, PHS is one of the largest nonprofit providers of senior housing and services in the nation. For more information, visit PresHomes.org or find Presbyterian Homes & Services on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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