The faux Oscar statuettes were about six inches tall, shiny and golden in all their painted plastic glory, and our Programs Coordinator, Francisco, handed them to the winners amidst enthusiastic applause.
— The Leo Wertman Residence
To backtrack, this was the Legacy Awards ceremony during our sixth anniversary, as we celebrated being a family for six years.
Unveiled during a tastefully arranged grand opening in the autumn of 2014 that reflected Legacy’s intimate and boutique style of luxurious retirement living, the residence is not merely a construction project, but more so conceived out of memory and tribute to Leo Wertman. A veteran and hero of WWII, Leo started a scrap-metal business that led to the development of the family-owned Wertman Development Corporation, which has been dedicated to the development and operation of quality residential rental apartment buildings since 1961. Nicknamed The Provider by his extended family for his selflessness, generosity, and loving contributions to the community, Leo’s values hold true for Wertman Development’s vision of helping to shape beautiful communities. Legacy Senior Living, affectionately known as The Leo Wertman Residence, fully embodies Leo’s legacy and spirit of inclusion , diversity, and giving, and never forgets its roots in being a safe haven and home to the community’s elders, those who have provided for us.
Over the years, many people have contributed to Legacy’s growth and refinement in service quality, and each year in September, we celebrate all the goodness of the year, and the amazing union of our residents and dedicated employees with gratitude and a forward looking mindset to happy memories we’ll make in the future.
Organizing his second anniversary celebration for Legacy this September, Francisco started planning well over a month in advance to design the theme, hire performing artists, and to start a survey gathering votes for categories such as Best Smile, Best Dressed, Best Personality, etc.
On the special day, residents stepped into the disco night themed common area after walking across a red carpet to nostalgic tunes and sparkling lights from a disco globe. At 1:30 p.m. on the dot, Francisco kick-started the first ever Legacy Awards ceremony to present the statuettes to our resident Irene, and Concierge Fernanda, who both swept the awards categories to take home multiple little golden figures. Before the toast to good health and happiness, Francisco had one more surprise for the residents with a short speech on his reflections of his years with Legacy.
The afternoon flew by in glitter and laughter, accompanied by jazz music as the group MAD JAZZ performed outside in the courtyard, following distancing protocols that did not prevent the music from filling the lounge. Dinner was cheerful and reflective that night, and residents retired to their suites bidding a good night and good year to their neighbours and friends.
Sitting down with Francisco afterwards, he shared his thoughts about the event. The disco theme came about as Francisco wanted to get the residents dancing and laughing along with older, nostalgic music that they would enjoy. As for any growth or differences from last year’s celebration, Francisco grew thoughtful.
There definitely was a difference from last year. a lot more people came to join the celebration and had great fun, even if the weather wasn’t great outside. We had our first ever Legacy Awards ceremony too, and I think we can continue it as a tradition with how much the residents and staff enjoyed the event. Even with social distancing protocols in place, residents are still involved in activities, being physically distant but socially involved. A barrier, a glass window between the performers and residents didn’t dampen the spirit at all, and everyone had fun. They had adapted to the new situation, and our residents are positive and strong.”
Onboard the Ship
A true community is not just about being geographically close to someone; it’s about feeling connected. In the past six years, we have made Legacy become a community. It is now a place that unites younger and older generations. I like to see it as a ship…a ship that we all decided to board, but in order to get to the ship, we all had to take different boats. Boats from South America, African, Asia, Europe, and other part of Canada and the rest of the world. I’m a big believer that we all are where we need to be and everything is unfolding exactly the way it needs to.
They say friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.” I find it hard to believe how we are part of a different generation; yet, we have so many things in common. It’s amazing how much we can teach each other and learn from each other every day. I have never written a journal, but if I did, I’m pretty sure that most of my fun, captivating, touching, silly, motivating, memorable, and inspirational stories would take place here at Legacy. It has become my second home and I believe most people here feel the same way.
I want everybody to know that we are aware that you don’t live in our workplace; we work in your ho,e. Thank you for letting us be part of your daily lives. Thank you for always sharing life experiences, wise advice, and positive thoughts with us. I aspire to be alike all of you some day. I want to be as fit and active as Anne Hersh and as bright and knowledgeable as Diana Filer. I want to wear nice ties like Sam Wong, be in a good mood always like Vicky Boldt, travel the world like Dr. Ankenman, speak five languages like Hazel Stevens, and bring joy to a room every time I walk in like Lorea does. I wish I could go on with the list because I have lots of memories with all of you.
It’s amazing how time flies, right? Six years! I am happy to be part of this community. Let’s all take pride in how far we have come. Let’s have faith in how far we can go. But let’s not forget to enjoy the journey. Thank you!