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Orchard House Turns 30!

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The Orchard House Medical Adult Day Care will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Sunday, October 14 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the center’s location on 421 Shore Drive in Branford.


Honorary Chair, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, will address the gathering at 3:30 p.m., and Kristen Cusato, former morning news anchor at WTNH will be the emcee. All residents of the shoreline towns from New Haven to Guilford, including North Branford and North Haven are invited. There will be refreshments, entertainment, and an exciting silent auction. The event is free and open to the public.


Originally known as East Shore Regional Adult Day Care, founding director Thomas R. Romano opened the doors on the lower level of the First Baptist Church on Main Street in Branford to two clients. Within two year and with 12 clients, the center moved to its present location in the old Short Beach School, which provided room for continued growth and grounds that became a beautiful garden for the enjoyment to all.


Orchard House’s 30th year celebration will highlight those entities and individuals whose enduring support has helped sustain the organization throughout the years. Among those being honored are: the First Baptist Church of Branford, the center’s first home; the town of Branford, whose support and generosity have enabled Orchard House to continue its mission for so many years; Don Hyatt, who served as board chair and who worked tirelessly to create the garden; the Anderson Family, whose continued generosity plays an important  role in maintaining the gardens; Harry Hampton, whose wife Virginia was a client and who remembers Orchard House still with his ongoing financial support; and Ruth Dese, whose enormously generous bequest has funded improvements to the facility and has sustained the center through financially difficult times.


The final honoree, Daniel Cosgrove, a well known Branford resident and philanthropist, has been a faithful and generous friend to Orchard House from the beginning. As well as financially supporting the center all these years, Dan was influential in orchestrating  the agreement with the town for the current facility. He donated the center’s first van to transport clients, topsoil for the gardens, and the paving of the parking lot and driveway among other gifts. Orchard House will be acknowledging the 95th birthday of this special friend at the October 14 event.


Another highlight will be the opportunity to meet Stephanie Evans-Ariker, the new Executive Director of Orchard House. Stephanie comes from  Georgia and has a background in nursing and 14 years of experience in the senior care industry. She has served as the Director of an Independent and Assisted  living community, as well as a geriatric care management company. Stephanie has coordinated complex care delivery programs, developed client-centered care plans and built fiscally sound organizations.  Although Stephanie has been at Orchard House for less than a year, her strong leadership and dynamic community outreach are helping Orchard House thrive.


Orchard House will also be celebrating the lives of its many clients on October 14. Without them, there would be no celebration. The men and women who attend Orchard House originate from as far away as Australia and range in age from sixty to close to 100. Their lives are filled with stories of unique experiences, jobs, travels, and loved ones. As their home away from home, Orchard House is proud of its nurturing, comfortable setting in which clients can share their experiences. Orchard House’s dedication and caring staff provides medical monitoring, therapeutic services, and a social environment for seniors, as well as respite care for their families. Free transportation and meals are available six days a week. Funding resources are available for those needing financial assistance.

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