Meadow Ridge Residents Raise More Than $170,000 to Help Associates

By Jim Nelson | May 10, 2024

It’s always nice to share good news about and from senior communities around the country. Frankly, good news comes my way much more frequently than I can keep up with, which is a sentence that put a smile on my face as I typed it.

Thanks to several bake sales and yard sales, some ingenuity, a little resourcefulness, some good ol’ fashioned elbow grease, selling donated furniture and other items, and a fundraising golf tournament, residents and team members of Meadow Ridge — a CCRC in Redding, Connecticut — have raised over $210,000 to support the people who work there. More than 80 percent of those funds, a healthy $170,000-plus in donations, were brought in by the resident-led Meadow Ridge Scholarship Fund during their 2024 campaign.

This year’s campaign, spearheaded by resident Dick Farrell, is the most successful to date for the Meadow Ridge Scholarship Fund, which was launched in 2005 by a pair of residents. The idea is to help with education costs for associates who have worked at least 400 hours in the past year or for the children of an associate who has worked at Meadow Ridge for at least a year. This year, 36 people applied for a scholarship, including many of the associates who get to know the Meadow Ridge residents on a personal level.

“Some are servers in the dining room and they’re generally early in college, night school students or seniors in high school,” says Scholarship Committee Chairman Dick Swank, a Meadow Ridge resident. “Our residents get to know these people and we all feel good about helping the people who are here to help us.”

Meanwhile, the associates of Meadow Ridge raised $40,115 in 2023 for the Benchmark One Company Fund, which was the most of any of the 65 communities managed by Benchmark Senior Living. The One Company Fund exists to help team members with grants for unexpected or emergency expenses.

Associates even made automatic deductions out of their paychecks. “People really see the value in it, a way to give back,” says Meadow Ridge Human Resources Manager Orquidia Rodriguez who, along with Environmental Services Manager Cristina Cardenas, drove the employees’ efforts to help raise funds. “It’s something easy for them to do right here at work for each other.”

Residents and associates each going above and beyond to help the Meadow Ridge team members — that’s good news that I’m happy to share.


Jim Nelson

Jim Nelson is the Editor at Senior Living News, an online trade publication featuring curated news and exclusive feature stories on changes, trends, and thought leaders in the senior living industry. He has been a writer and editor for 30+ years, including several years as an editor and managing editor. Jim covers the senior living sector for SeniorLivingNews.com, distributes its e-newsletter, and moderates panel discussions for the company’s HEALTHTAC events.

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