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At the beginning of a New Year, we often reflect on what we have accomplished over the past year, contemplate our achievements and challenges and make new resolutions on how to improve ourselves. Our Masonic Villages are no different. We rate our success based on satisfaction surveys, which this year yielded extremely high results from our residents and families, and on the many letters of appreciation shared by members of our Family of Freemasonry and their loved ones.

Here is a sampling of the commendations that motivate us to rise up and work together to do even better:

To the Masonic Village at Warminster from Jane Schondelmeyer, daughter of Hannah Overholt:

"Mother was truly happy and content at your home, and I was most relieved to know she was loved, respected and well cared for by an incredible group of people. Every request or need was addressed with a smile, cooperation and kind words. You should know you provide a remarkable service, dedicated, professional staff in lovely surroundings... They were part of my life by becoming Mother's extended family. May God bless your organization with all the wonderful people as I have had the privilege to know at Warminster. Their work is difficult, but accomplished with a smile and humor, devotion and tenderness to all those they care for, and a blessing to the families of those who reside at the Masonic Village."

To the Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill from Steven and Fredda Savett, son and daughter-in-law of Lee Savett:

"On behalf of our family, we would like to express our appreciation to your Nursing staff for the wonderful, loving care they gave to my mother, Lee Savett, for the last five days of her life... As soon as she was brought to your facility, the high level of care swung into action. My wife has a lot of experience working in a nursing home environment, and the professionalism of all the people at the Masonic [Village] that she came into contact with... was most apparent.... From day one, we were treated like family, and it really meant, and still means, a lot to us. We intend to spread the word about the fine care your facility provides its residents."

To the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown from Carol A. Barnes, daughter of Bro. Charles and Eleanor Koltz:

"I want you to know how proud you should be of your staff. Everyone with whom we have dealt has been caring, patient and interested in their care. Best of all, from the very beginning all of your staff has been dedicated to mom and dad maintaining their dignity... We can never thank you or your staff enough for everything that has been done for my mother and father. My husband and I are on the waiting list to come to Masonic Village in a few years and know we made the correct decision. Bless you all as you continue to provide professional, caring and top-notch employees and facilities for your residents."

To the Masonic Village at Sewickley from Gary E. Hare, son of Kenneth E. Hare:

"We are ever so grateful to all of you... The entire nursing staff will be held close to us in our highest esteem for the comfort that was given to dad and our family. Your tender love and thoughtfulness through our recent loss became a tower of strength to lean on. When shadows fell across our lives and dimmed the sunshine's glow, in many ways you helped us bear our grief, and onward go."

So what are our New Year's resolutions for 2005? Well, our goals, as in all years past, are based upon input, direction and support from Pennsylvania Masons, members of the Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star and their families. We hope to see more individuals moving into their new homes in Sewickley and Elizabethtown. We will consider plans to upgrade and possibly expand the Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill and make excellent use of the new facilities at our Warminster location. But most importantly, we look forward to earning many, many more letters sharing kind words of encouragement and thanks, as well as comments on how we can improve and grow. After all, we are YOUR Masonic Villages.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve this Mission of Love through the benevolence of our Masonic family.

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