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Washington Towers

December 14, 2019 - 2:49pm

Above, Vicki McKeirnan, Gail Montgomery, Sandy Tabone, and Joe Zaso and the cache ready to distribute for the annual Washington Towers Christmas Door Decorating Contest: 

On Dec. 10th, Washington Towers held its Christmas Door Decorating Contest, a longstanding tradition.

Fifty residents participated in 2018 and received a prize. This year even more tenants signed up.

It should not have to be said, but fairness in these matters is of utmost importance.

"Several years ago we decided we needed 'outside' judges so it would be fair," says Washington Towers property manager Valerie Tidwell, who was not forthcoming about the backstory or how the tipping point was reached in determining the "need."

Yet, paradoxically, without any whiff of concern over whispers of nepotism, Tidwell took it upon herself to enlist her three aunts, "The Sisters," and one of their friends and they've been at the annual task ever since -- for more than 12 years now.

With the contest reins firmly in hand, Vicki McKeirnan, Gail Montgomery and Sandy Tabone, along with Sandy’s friend Joe Zaso, all "fun and funny" people with "huge laughs" set their hearts and minds to make the holidays special inside Washington Towers.

The Sisters donate all of the gift bags, each filled with a pleasing array of items including: slippers, socks, hats and gloves, kitchen and bath towels, stationary, candies, holiday items and more. And the cache is brought in in advance and organized.

For their mission, which they volunteered to accept, they don't dillydally. They take their judging duties very seriously although their attire suggests otherwise.

They painstakingly go to each contestant's entrance and critique the door decor by means of an intricate scoring system. Ask the details though you may, they will not be shared. (The Batavian, though tempted, dared not broach the subject.)

The judges pick the mise-en-scène winners and deliver the prizes of gift bags.

Despite the purportedly elaborate scoring calculus, all participants receive a prize, definitely a case of “Everyone Gets a Trophy.”

Regardless, competition for one of the top spots is consistently fierce. After all, bragging rights last an entire year!

The denizens of Washington Towers are so grateful to The Sisters -- and The Friend -- for their time, the gifts and most of all, the holiday cheer they bring.

"They brighten the season for our residents and our staff," Tidwell said. "The residents love it and I love it, but I also know that they love it!"

Photo and information courtesy of Valerie Tidwell, property manager, Washington Towers.

December 20, 2017 - 10:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Care-A-Van, Washington Towers, batavia, news.

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This Christmas season, as in previous years, Paul and Bridget Ohlson and the rest of the folks with Care-A-Van ministeries are serving the elderly community in Batavia to help ensure they do not feel forgotten.

The ministries have prepared more than 400 gift bags and last night 74 of them were delivered to residents at Washington Towers, along with cookies and coffee and a short concert of Christmas carols. Care-A-Van will also visit 400 Towers and several local residents at their homes.

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February 14, 2015 - 11:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, smoking, Washington Towers.

Jeanne Graber and Margaret Hughes are quitters, and we mean in a good way. Graber and Hughes were among a group of Washington Tower residents who were recognized Friday for successfully quitting the cigarette habit. Some of the quitters have stopped within the past year, and others haven't smoked in up to 60 years.

April 26, 2014 - 12:44am
posted by The Batavian in batavia, Washington Towers.

Story and photos by Sloan Martin, WBTA.

At 67 years old, Cherry Pease is now Cherry Farr.

She and 78-year-old Edmund “Sonny," who met as Washington Towers residents, got married Friday afternoon on the same Care-a-Van bus they got engaged on.

Cherry said a few days before her wedding that this is a second-chance for her; a way to have the wedding – and marriage – she’s always wanted.

“I think things will be different this time because my last marriage, to be honest, I married for money that he didn’t have,” she said. “This time I am marrying for love, so I think it’s really going to be wonderful.”

Surrounded by close family members, about 15 people wearing pink carnation boutonnieres witnessed the union of Cherry and Edmond.

Cherry tells the story of their first meeting like a college student who doesn’t have a car on campus yet would. A couple of years ago, she started to give him rides to Wal-Mart and Tops so Sonny wouldn’t have to walk so far in the winter.

“I asked him if he wanted a ride because no one else would ask him in the building. And we went. And that’s apparently when he said he fell in love with me, with my eyes,” she described. “But I asked him later on, maybe a couple months later if he wanted to come up and play (the gaming system) Wii. He runs up the three flights of stairs – that’s how quickly he wanted to get up to play Wii (with me).”

Both are widows. Sonny’s late wife passed away in August of 2012, Cherry says, and Cherry’s late husband died in September of last year.

In November, Sonny proposed.

That was after the couple had gotten involved with the Care-a-Van Ministries. Founder and Director Paul Ohlson runs the local public outreach initiative to share the Gospel and was there for the engagement.

“It was a cold morning and he walked out to the jewelry store and picked up the ring,” Ohlson said. “He brought it onto the bus and knelt down and asked if she would marry him and of course she said ‘Yes.’ ”

“We couldn’t afford a very expensive ring,” Cherry said. “It’s sterling silver which doesn’t bother me at all, but it’s blue diamonds and that’s one of my favorites and he’s got blue eyes so they kind of match.”

Cherry says Care-a-Van Ministries has been a “good foundation for our lives.” They spent many weekends volunteering together which is why they decided to get married on the bus itself.

The bus is cozy and inviting. White tulle and potted plants with fresh flowers hang from the silver overhead poles which hands once grasped for balance in the bus’s former life. Seats with tables in between line the bus. Each table has a Bible, creamer and candies in a pretty dish for the Care-a-Van’s outreach coffee and movie sessions.

Guests crammed in for the intimate session. Sonny’s grandson, Jordan Farr, read aloud from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 between wiping away tears. Pastor Tim Young was the officiant. Sonny, who was peppy and spunky posing for cameras prior to the ceremony, was tender and reserved, almost nervous. They did not recite their own vows, but exchanged rings and kissed twice -- to make sure they did it right.

Ohlson says weddings on the bus don’t ever happen. It was because Cherry and Sonny were so devoted to both the ministry and each other that he was supportive of the wedding venue.

“Everybody needs somebody,” he said. “Edmund, he’s getting up there in age and he knows it and he jokes about it, he’s good with it. He just doesn’t want to be alone. Just to be able to connect and encourage someone to follow through with the dream that they had but also bringing in Biblical principles to their relationship and encouraging them to put the Lord first.

“Even this late in life they can make it work and they can be happy.”

After the ceremony they celebrated with a Chinese buffet for the whole party. It was almost like when they first met, transporting around Batavia. Only this time they were married and it was their special Care-a-Van bus that shuttled them.

July 24, 2013 - 3:34pm

Washington Towers is hosting an Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 26th. We will be hosting an Open House to show our beautiful building to the community! Take a tour of an apartment, ASK questions of our staff, MEET other residents, see the amenities we have to offer, LISTEN to music and HEAR a live broadcast by WBTA personalities. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

This event will take place rain or shine, inside or out. We will be here to show you the benefits of living at "the very best senior facility in Genesee County!"

We offer:

  • Security
  • One bedroom/two bedroom units (no studios)
  • Well maintained inside & out
  • Great location
  • Friendly & helpful staff

Event Highlights:

  • Music by Gridder & Pitch -- 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Food by Louie & Stella’s Café and Pasta Bowl
  • Live broadcast with WBTA personalities! 10a.m. - Noon

For more information on Washington Towers, please call (585) 344-0200.

HUD Section 8 Housing for Elderly & Disabled (with impaired mobility).
Displays provided by: Wortzman's Furniture Floral Fantasies.

May 12, 2011 - 5:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, music, entertainment, Washington Towers.

Residents at Washington Towers were treated to an afternoon of music sung by Danielle DiStrefano, a classically trained soprano who performs opera, sacred songs, Broadway hits, love songs and ballads. It was part of a "Our Tribute Tea to Women" at the complex.

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