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With help from the late Virginia Stewart, South Franklin Circle Associates are achieving their professional goals free from burdensome debt. The Stewart Professional Development Fund is the first philanthropic fund to support employee growth and professional development at South Franklin Circle. This important fund provides resources for team members interested in advancing their skills through academic courses, workshops, seminars, and conferences.
“Having looked at a number of places, I can say that the people here are simply the best,” said Virginia, who established the fund in 2018 to show her appreciation for the Associates responsible for the high-quality care and services she enjoyed at South Franklin Circle. Virginia moved to her spacious apartment overlooking the pond and walking trail in 2012. “We are lucky to have such good people,” she added. Before her passing in April 2020, Virginia contributed nearly $100,000 to assist Associates with their educational endeavors. Virginia’s philanthropic investment has already made a positive impact. Recently, members of South Franklin Circle’s dining services team began participating in a food and beverage safety training program administered by the National Restaurant Association called ServSafe. The widely recognized program is the industry standard in food safety training. To date, 13 Associates have added ServSafe certifications to their resumes.
Other departments are also benefiting from Virginia’s kindness. In 2020, Director of Crane House Brigitte Hill, RN, BSN, became a Certified Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia Care Trainer (CADDCT), Certified Dementia Care Manager (CDCM), and Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP). Community Wellness Director Diane Menges achieved her Yoga Align Teacher Certification. Darlene Kash, Director of Programming and Member Services, is advancing her technology skills through online courses.
“We are extremely grateful to Virginia for her incredible generosity and vision,” said Judson President and CEO Kendra Urdzik. “At Judson, it is our caring and compassionate Associates that advance our mission of Bringing Community to Life. Virginia’s support is a tribute to our dedicated staff who work diligently to ensure our residents’ needs are met in a safe, comfortable, and supportive environment.”