Benchmark’s New Sturges Ridge of Fairfield Community Proves You Can Go Home Again

November 5, 2018

As a child, Grape played baseball at nearby Sturges Park and for Roger Ludlowe High School. It’s his fond memories of growing up in Fairfield and wanting to make it possible for families to stay connected to one another and what matters most in their lives that attracted him to build here. “Being able to do this here is something I’m really proud of,” said Grape. “My late mother loved this town and what it stood for and was very active in the community. To be able to give back in this way and help families stay connected in her memory is really something special.”

Sturges Ridge Executive Director Terry Hornikel lives in Fairfield and brings more than 40 years of senior living and health care experience to the community. A certified gerontologist, she began her career as a nurse’s aide. “Fairfield has embraced us with open arms, and we are thrilled to be providing something that is very much needed here,” said Hornikel. “Every day our goal is to foster deeply meaningful relationships with our residents and families and help our residents discover or remain connected to the things and people they are passionate about.”

Over 200 people attended the community’s recent grand opening, including First Selectman Mike Tetreau, Chamber President Beverly Balaz and many other local politicians, business owners and neighbors.

Sturges Ridge’s first resident, Cecily Zerega, christened the community with a ribbon cutting. Zerega has been a Fairfield resident for 67 years and was so excited when she learned three years ago that the community was coming, she mailed in a check for her deposit.

During the event, the community also announced donations to several local charities–Fairfield Meals on Wheels, Al’s Angels and Operation Hope. Football players from Fairfield Ludlowe High School arrived after practice to help with clean-up duty at the end of the evening.

Sturges Ridge of Fairfield is situated between The Carolton Chronic and Convalescent Hospital and Fairfield Ludlowe High School. It offers over 85,000 square feet of living space comprised of 68 assisted living apartments, 20 memory care suites and spacious common areas.

It offers several unique amenities, including concierge service, underground parking, a rooftop patio and apartments offering “luxury box” views of Fairfield Ludlowe High School football games and an art gallery featuring the work of local artists such as accomplished artist and resident, Elisa Khachian.

Founded in 1997 by Tom Grape, Benchmark operates 58 senior living communities offering independent living, assisted living, Alzheimer’s care and continuing care in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The organization this year was selected by Fortune magazine for its inaugural 2018 Best Workplaces for Aging Services list, taking the number 16 spot on the list of top 40 senior housing companies and ranking third among companies with more than 40 communities. Benchmark has been named to The Boston Globe Top Places to Work every year of the 11 years the list has been published. It also has been consistently recognized by Boston Business Journal, Hartford Courant and Hartford Journal as a top workplace and by the Boston Business Journal and Providence Business News as one of the healthiest employers.

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