Friday, September 17, 2010

A Stunning Debut for The Villa at Suffield Meadows

It was another fabulous, star-studded red carpet opening for Fauquier Health. After more than a year of hard hat construction and behind-the-scenes toil, The Villa at Suffield Meadows -- Fauquier Health’s simply fabulous assisted-living facility -- held its premiere September 13.

Sarah Pearson, administrator of the facility, took the red carpet by storm Monday, decked out in a big smile to greet the first residents. “We’re going to have a champagne celebration,” she beamed. “It will be fun-filled and fabulous. Around five o’clock,” she added, “since most of our seniors like to eat a little earlier…”

One of the first celebrities spotted on the red carpet was Julian Caballero and his sidekick Boz (pronounced “Boss”), canine star of the show. Mr. Caballero, a former CIA satellite expert, said he was delighted to be moving into The Villa. “It’s very nice here,” he said, as Boz capered around his new two-bedroom apartment.
Mr. Caballero’s family spent some time helping to decide which photographs to hang on the walls. Laid out to consider were prestigious awards and numerous photographs of Mr. Caballero shaking hands with past presidents. Mr. Caballero seemed unimpressed with his own awards, however. “I don’t need all of them up on the wall,” he shrugged. “It’s just what I did.”

Family friend Carol Kohler, who recommended The Villa to Mr. Caballero, said that The Villa staff has been great helping residents get settled. “Everyone has been so nice. We’ve called every day with questions, and they’ve been there to help with anything we needed.”

Why The Villa? Mr. Caballero looked down at the ball of fluffy white fur sniffing out his new surroundings. “If I hadn’t been able to bring Boz, I wouldn’t be here,” he said. He explained, “I have been living in a big house. Now I don’t have to bother about taking care of the house, doing the laundry or getting meals.”

Next on the red carpet parade was George Nevins, who turned 100 in July. “I can’t wait for the exercise room to be open,” he said eagerly. His daughter, Diane Keen, laughed and said, “Dad has always been very healthy. He’s always been a walker.” Mr. Nevins exercises in the morning and in the afternoon, and exercises his sunny smile all day long.
Mr. Nevins was a world traveler in his day, and continued globe trotting until about two years ago, when his wife of 68 years passed away. He believes, “If you want to see ancient history, go to Europe. If you want to see beautiful landscapes, they are here in the U.S.”

Now Mr. Nevin’s daughter and her husband plan to spend some time traveling. “I know he’ll be looked after here, and his granddaughter lives only a few minutes away. They are very close. This is such a beautiful place, and everyone has been so nice and so friendly.”

As with any major production, it’s the behind-the-scenes crew that deserves kudos for making sure everything runs smoothly and the stars are happy. In the case of The Villa, many dozens of supporting players made it all possible. From the construction crews and decorators, to the nurses and clinical staff, to the administrators and their support staff, it’s been a tremendous undertaking.

The results? Oscar-worthy.

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