None of the original 1971 “pioneers” is still with us, but less than four years later Margo Hinman moved in on February 17, 1975. Margo is still going strong and, on her 95th birthday in 2010, she and friends from Medford Leas celebrated by attending a Phillies baseball game. (More photos of Margo’s birthday party.)
By the time Margo came in 1975, there had already been some major changes around Medford Leas. The Community Building opened in 1972, the John Estaugh Building in 1973. Work was proceeding on the Elizabeth Haddon Pavilion, which opened later in 1975, and the John Woolman Building would open in 1976.
Over the next 35 years, the Barton Arboretum, Rushmore, Bridlington, and the Lumberton campus would be established, Woolman Commons would come and go, and internal changes would take place. Through it all, there has been the sense of community that is so well illustrated by the two-way street of caring interaction between residents and staff. And it is that sense of community that will be the focus of events throughout 2011 in observance of this birthday.
For example, Medford Leas reflects Friends’ appreciation for simplicity in its décor and building design. There are no elaborately decorated interiors or ostentatious structures. The facility is functional, friendly, and attractive with beautiful natural landscaping.
Although fewer than a third of Medford Leas residents are members of the Religious Society of Friends, the influence of Quaker values on life at Medford Leas makes residents of all beliefs welcome here.
The two-way street of caring interaction between residents and staff is the best illustration of the values of equality and community. For example, the incomes from the residents’ Workshop, Thrift Shop, and Gift Shop help to provide employee scholarships and to express residents’ appreciation of staff. The Staff Holiday Show and other programs exemplify the give and take on a grand scale, communicating a concern for individuals.