When you move into a new community, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
When you move to Lions Gate, your worries disappear in a blink, all thanks to the Welcoming Committee. This resident-run group has created a wonderful buddy system that makes the transition seamless for new residents.
Keesie Spector moved into Lions Gate in December, 2019. Her sister already lived at Lions Gate, so Keesie had a support system in place as she started the next chapter of her life. “I had visited my sister many times, so I already knew so many details about living here,” said Keesie. “I sat with my sister and her friends at dinner the first night I was here, so it was easy. Then two months later Covid lockdowns went into place, and I imagined how difficult it was for new residents to learn the routines here when no one was allowed to socialize. Who would you ask questions to, like how do I work this new oven and where do I buy stamps? After the Covid restrictions were lifted, I sent around a flyer asking if there was interest in re-starting the Welcoming Committee that this community used to have in the past. I got a terrific response, and we’ve been helping new residents ever since.”
Keesie Spector is the chairperson and Lois Goldberg is the vice chair for the Welcoming Committee. “Lions Gate is such a friendly, warm community. Everyone finds their niche here,” said Lois. “They find dinner companions. They join clubs. They take classes. It only takes a few weeks, and everyone acclimates just fine. The Welcoming Committee is here to reduce anxiety for people when they first arrive. Nancy Dawson, the Move-In Coordinator, gives new residents a 20-page orientation book. She also hosts an orientation breakfast, where new residents meet each other as well as meet key members of the Lions Gate staff. What the Welcoming Committee does is reach out to the new resident BEFORE they move here to learn a little about their interests. Once they move in, a member of the Welcoming Committee stops by their apartment, and we spend an hour chatting with them. We offer to show them how to work their appliances. We walk them around the community so they know how to get to the dining room, the pool, the gym, and Commons Hall. We review that month’s Activities Calendar, encourage them to go to the concerts if they like music, attend classes if they want to keep learning, or participate in the Monthly Tea to learn all about upcoming trips and events. We also invite them to come to dinner with us and introduce them to others who might share common interests. The Welcoming Committee is a great conduit for meeting new people.”
“We wanted to thank our fellow Welcoming Committee members for all their good work throughout the year,” said Keesie. “Our committee includes Sybil Bernstein, Etta Cills, Ruth Gross, Len Feldman, Paula Richman, Ann-Linn Glaser, Judy Pyle, Rickie Cohen, Jovina Spirgel, and Judy Franklin. We look forward to meeting many new Lions Gate residents in 2024!”