Headline News about Retirement Living

Read the continuing story of an exciting community.

SearStone and Transitions LifeCare Announce Inaugural Ageless Hero Award Winners

April 01, 2015

Cary, N.C., April 1, 2015 – Earlier this year the SearStone continuing care retirement community partnered with Transitions LifeCare (founded as Hospice of Wake County) to create a new awards program honoring individuals and organizations that provide exemplary service, support and opportunities to Wake County seniors. A specially convened Selection Committee has reviewed all nominations and selected the winners for the 2015 Ageless Hero Awards.

Ageless Hero Student of the Year: Greg Seymour

Seymour performed with his band at local senior communities across the area. He also started a club at Green Hope High School for others to learn and perform songs. His love of music and seniors is credited to his grandparents.

Ageless Hero Business of the Year: Guiding Lights

The Guiding Lights Caregiver Support Center has been designed solely with caregivers in mind. The organization’s goal is to have the very best resources and means of support for all local family and professional caregivers, so they can diminish the fear, doubt and overwhelming stress that accompany this very important aspect of family life.

Ageless Hero Person of the Year: Mary Toland

Toland has volunteered more than 100 hours at the Raleigh Campus of Transitions LifeCare since January 2014. Additionally, she has volunteered countless hours in the community recruiting other volunteers, fundraising, and spreading awareness of what hospice does for patients.

Ageless Hero of the Year (55+): Howard Manning, DORCAS Ministries

Following his retirement from a successful corporate career, Manning took a position with Christian Community In Action (dba Dorcas Ministries) and was later appointed executive director in 2006. Since then, he has led the nonprofit to continued growth in serving its mission of providing crisis relief to area residents who seek stability and self-sufficiency.

Ageless Hero Lifetime Achievement Award: David Cottengim

Cottengim was nominated for his extensive commitment to area seniors over the past 30 years. He was instrumental in the development of many senior services that exist today due to his leadership at Resources for Seniors. He was also instrumental in the founding of the GOLD Coalition, Growing Older, and Living with Dignity.

Fan Favorite Award: Helen Merentino

The Selection Committee added this award to honor the entrant with the most nominations: 12. Merentino volunteers at the Cary Senior Center teaching multiple line dancing classes that are all free of charge. She has also organized a group of performers for the Wake County Senior Games, the State Fair, and nursing home performances.

The Selection Committee was comprised of the following individuals: Rabbi Lucy Dinner, Temple Beth Or; Melissa Zeph, the Justice Theater Project; Douglas Richmond, board member with the Center for Volunteer Caregiving; Ed Yerha, Town of Cary council member; John Thoma, Transitions LifeCare; Erin Nortonen, SAS aging and eldercare program manager; Steven Hardesty, NewBridge Bank; and Kathleen Brennan, board member with Wake County Senior Games.

The Ageless Hero Awards will be presented at a special charity banquet on April 16 from 6-9 p.m. at SearStone’s Winston Clubhouse, located at 17001 SearStone Drive in Cary. Tickets are $85 each for this limited-seating event, with proceeds benefitting the Center for Volunteer Caregiving. To purchase tickets, please call 919-234-0339, RSVP online at http://www.searstone.com/events-cary-north-carolina or email dderosa@searstone.com.

For more information about SearStone, visit www.searstone.com​. Visit SearStone’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SearStoneRetirementCommunity. For information on Transitions LifeCare, visit www.transitionslifecare.org.

SearStone Resident Fred DeJarnette Receives Award from NASA

March 18, 2015

Cary, N.C., March 17, 2015 – Fred DeJarnette, a SearStone resident and semi-retired professor at N.C. State University, has received a Commendation of Excellence Award from NASA for his great leadership and excellence in aeronautics and space exploration. Although the award was announced in January, U.S. Rep. David Price paid a special visit to SearStone on March 12 to officially recognize DeJarnette.

After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Georgia Tech in the 1950s, followed by a stint in the army, DeJarnette earned his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in 1965 and worked as a civil service employee at NASA. He later joined the faculty at N.C. State’s Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, where he has taught for 45 years. 

Among his many accomplishments at the university, and while serving as a consultant to NASA, are working on the technology that was used for the Mars Exploration Rover Project, and doing the re-entry calculations for the space shuttle’s heat shield as it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere. He has also prepared many students for careers at NASA. 

“It’s an honor to have Representative Price come by to congratulate me on this award,” said DeJarnette. “I’ve worked closely with him to lobby Congress for more funding for the space program, and I know he is a great advocate for technology and space advancements.” 

Fred DeJarnette’s work has led him around the world with his wife of 61 years, Nadene, but he is now happily settled in at SearStone. The couple has two daughters (one in Raleigh and one in Wilmington), two grandkids and one great-granddaughter.  

“The residents and staff of SearStone are extremely proud of Fred for receiving this award,” said Executive Director Chris Romick. “He and Nadene exemplify the accomplished and active seniors that make our community such a great place to live.”

SearStone Donates More than $300,000 to Local Charities

February 12, 2015

Cary, N.C., Feb. 12, 2015 – As part of its arrangement as a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community, SearStone contributes to local charities that benefit Wake County seniors in lieu of paying taxes. As written in its charter, SearStone is to use five percent of its gross revenue for community benefit. 

In 2014, the community donated more than $300,000 to nine local charities: 

The Carying Place

The Center for Volunteer Caregiving

Habitat for Humanity of Wake County

Meals on Wheels of Wake County

Resources for Seniors

Transitions LifeCare (formerly Hospice of Wake County)

Triangle Family Services

VOANS Senior CommUnity Care of North Carolina

Women’s Center of Wake County

In 2011, SearStone entered into an agreement with Lutheran Services Carolinas to obtain guidance on philanthropy, governance and operations. The two organizations formed the SearStone/Lutheran Services Carolinas Community Benefit Committee, which is responsible for vetting local 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations that benefit seniors, especially indigent seniors, and making quarterly disbursements from the community benefit fund.

The Committee is presently comprised of SearStone resident Dave Wolf, SearStone Board President Stan Brading, LSC President Ted W. Goins, Jr., Grace Lutheran Church Pastor The Rev. Michael Fry, and North Carolina State Bar Executive Director and Secretary Tom Lunsford.

“One of our core philosophies at SearStone is to honor senior citizens and the people and organizations that serve them,” said Chris Romick, executive director. “We hope that these quarterly donations will help improve the lives of area seniors, and we’ve asked all recipients to provide a final report showing us how the money was spent.”

For more information about SearStone, visit www.searstone.com​. Visit SearStone’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SearStoneRetirementCommunity.

About SearStone

SearStone is a continuing care retirement community located at the southeast corner of High House Road and Davis Drive in Cary. The community is not-for-profit and offers several different home styles for independent residents 62 years and older. SearStone gives residents exclusive access to long-term-care services such as home health care, assisted living and nursing care. SearStone has been mentioned in numerous national publications such as The New York Times, and is currently accepting deposits for limited remaining membership. For more information, visit www.searstone.com, call 1-866-843-7534 or attend one of our events.


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