Love Living at Home
History ~ From Concept to Opening
January 24, 2014
Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News, conducts an interview with a “Village” called Staying Put in New Canaan. This creates a buzz in the broader Tompkins County Community. Jim and Leslie Quest and Kathy Garner begin to research the model. They receive materials directly from Staying Put in New Canaan and begin to study the Village to Village Website.
Early Spring 2014
Having received numerous calls from the community about the “Aging in Place” model, the Tompkins County Office for the Aging and Ithaca College Gerontology Institute organize a meeting to discuss emerging issues. The group divides into two groups: one interested in senior housing, the other focused on the “Aging in Place” model.
Leslie Quest and Kathy Garner Darnieder attend the first meeting for people interested in the “Aging in Place” model. This group begins to meet monthly to discuss the potential for developing the “Village” model for Tompkins County.
June / July 2014
Leslie Quest works with a group assigned to develop a community survey for the purpose of analyzing need and interest. The survey is distributed throughout the county.
August / September 2014
The Tompkins County Office for the Aging staff collates the returned surveys. Kathy Garner Darnieder works with the group who analyzes the responses. The survey respondents are very positive about the model, there is a strong desire among older adults to continue living in their own homes, needs are identified and many of the respondents hope that a “Village” will be developed in a timely manner. There is a concern about what a membership organization would cost individuals and households. Also, a number of people write in remarks that express a strong desire to continue to be “needed” and to be vital members of the community.
- The original Aging in Place group meets to discuss the results of the survey and to hear a report from the national conference.
- The group decides that we should move forward to develop a “Village.” Group members are asked if they would like to take a leadership role and/or serve on the task force for developing the model. Jim and Leslie Quest and Kathy Garner Darnieder agree to take the lead.
- Leslie and Kathy join the Village to Village network on a trial basis, which provides access to all the Village to Village documents.
- Jim and Leslie Quest attend the Village to Village annual conference in Washington. They also meet with members and staff of Staying Put in New Canaan.
- A data base was created beginning with the original “Aging in Place” discussion group and adding everyone who expresses an interest in the model. Updates are sent to the entire data base at regular intervals.
- Leslie, Jim and Kathy meet with Kara Pass and Percy Browning to identify potential Steering Committee / Board Members.
- A name was need for our “Village.” After listening to the results of long discussions regarding names and what is most important to us, Jim Darnieder suggested the name – Love Living at Home.
October, November, December 2014
Leslie, Jim and Kathy meet individually with prospective Steering Committee / Board members.
January 12, 2015
FIRST MEETING OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE / BOARD (see attached roster)
In preparation for this meeting, Leslie, Jim and Kathy meet with Mary Kane of Concept Systems to look at short and long-term goals. Mary moderates this first meeting as the group explores the model and how it might meet the needs of the Tompkins County community. In the following months, Mary meets regularly with Jim, Leslie and Kathy to identify best practices and strategize next steps.
January 2015 and beyond
- Leslie, Jim and Kathy begin to meet with agencies and organizations within the community to talk about LLH. It is important to let people know, firsthand, who LLH is and what the organization is planning to do. Most importantly, that LLH is not duplicating services in the county, but rather partnering with existing organizations.
- Leaders from other agencies are invited to speak to the LLH Board. The goal is twofold – to develop good relationships with existing organizations and for Board members to have a better idea of what is already available for older adults in Tompkins County.
February 2015 meeting cancelled due to a snow storm
LLH officially joins the Village to Village Network. Our Village to Village Mentor is Jane Nyce, Village to Village Board Member and the first Executive Director for Staying Put in New Canaan.
March 2015 the Steering Committee becomes the LLH Board (see attached roster)
The Board approves the LLH Mission Statement
Late Winter / Early Spring 2015
Committees are developed, with each using a variety of different Village to Village materials as guidance.
Chairs are selected.
- SERVICES, Ann Colt
- MEMBERSHIP, Carol Scheele
- PROGRAM, Shelley Semmler
- FINANCE, David Sprague
- MANAGEMENT AND OPERATION, TBD
- DEVELOPMENT, Jim Quest
- MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION, John Turner
Board Officers are elected:
- Kathy Garner Darnieder, Chair
- Robin Dubovi, Co-Vice Chair
- Mary Kane, Co-Vice Chair
- David Sprague, Treasurer
- Leslie Quest, Secretary
- The official Opening Date for Love Living at Home is set for October 24, 2016
- With the opening date scheduled, Committees begin to work toward that goal. Each Committee Chair and members will have access to the Village to Village website and materials. Monthly meetings are scheduled, and hours of research and discussions take place as policies, procedures, and handbooks are developed.
- Elena Flash agrees to complete LLH legal work, pro bono. Elena joins the Board and the Management and Operations Committee as Chair.
- LLH Statement of Purpose for IRS submission is reviewed and approved by the Board.
- Love Living at Home is incorporated.
- Communication between committees is crucial, so Kathy, Jim and Robin begin to attend all Committee meetings. The Committee Chairs agree to join the monthly Executive Committee meetings to further communication and coordination.
- Village to Village mentor, Jane Nyce spends three days in Ithaca meeting with Officers, the Board and with each Committee – providing expertise, answering questions and brainstorming.
- After meeting with Jane, the Board decides to serve the whole county. Originally, we thought of starting with a small area of the county and branching out at a later date.
- The Membership Committee spends months researching membership fees in a number of “Villages.” In coordination with the LLH treasurer, the Board discusses and votes on a mid-range annual membership fee: $450 for individuals and $575 for households. A household is a home where at least one member is 62 years of age or older. This was one of the Board’s most discussed topics. From the beginning the Board had a strong commitment to providing financial aid to those who might not be able to afford the annual fee.
November / December 2015
- LLH receives its 501(c)3 status a month after sending in the application, thanks to the hard work and dedication of Elena Flash.
- The Executive Committee votes unanimously to recommend that Elena Flash be hired as Love Living at Home’s first Executive Director.
- The Board of Directors votes unanimously to hire Elena Flash whose employment officially begins in April 2016.
- LLH begins to receive start up gifts (both financial and in-kind) from Founding
Sponsors: Tompkins Trust Company, Triad Foundation, Warren Real Estate, Hancock Estabrook, Sprague and Janowsky, Cayuga Medical Center, Leslie R. Quest Bookkeeping Services.
January – October 2016
- Committees and the Board continue to work diligently to ensure that LLH will be ready to open on October 24, 2016.
- Cayuga Medical Center provides staff to design the LLH logo and stock photos for our website and brochure.
- Elena Flash officially begins her work as Executive Director.
- LLH offices are located in the Gateway Center thanks to generous support from Hancock Estabrook.
- Early membership is offered. Anyone 62 and older who lives in Tompkins County and joins before October 24th is a Charter Member. Membership fees are prorated to indicate which portion would be considered a donation since no services or programs are being offered before October 24th.
- Information Sessions are held throughout the county:
5/11/26, Kendal at Ithaca
6/18/16, Foundation of Light
7/12/16, Cayuga Medical Center
9/3/16, Cornell Wellness Program
- Ann Colt, Chair of the Services Committee and Carol Scheele, Chair of the Membership Committee are honored as Love Living at Home’s first Volunteers of the Year. They were recognized for their deep commitment to LLH’s mission and their tireless efforts to make Love Living at Home a reality. They spent countless hours coordinating efforts between the two committees. Without their diligence, Love Living at Home would not have realized its goal of opening its virtual doors on October 24, 2016.
OCTOBER 24, 2016
- Love Living at Home officially opens.
- Programs and services begin.
October 30, 2016
A launch party “Love Living at Home Takes Flight” is held at Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology. John Fitzpatrick, Director of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, is the keynote speaker.
GUIDING PRINCIPLES: What we learned along the way.
- We are all neighbors helping neighbors.
- While the Board of Directors and Committees worked hard to achieve our goals, we found that a slow, steady and thoughtful process worked well in all areas. The LLH Philosophy is to do the basics well so that a firm foundation is established for growth in the future.
- Important work takes place at the Committee level. Committees do an incredible amount of research and discussion before bringing a recommendation to the Board. The Board then listens and asks questions.
- If a new idea comes up within the Board or the Membership, it is sent to the appropriate Committee for research, discussion and recommendation.
- New Board Members come from the Committees. These are people who have a proven commitment to LLH’s mission and who are dedicated volunteers.
Love Living at Home
January 12, 2015
Kathy Garner Darnieder, Chair, Co-Founder
Jim Quest, Co-Founder
Leslie Quest, Co-Founder
Kathy Garner Darnieder
Mary Pat Dolan
Love Living at Home
Board of Directors
Chair, Kathy Garner Darnieder
Co Vice Chair, Robin Dubovi
Co-Vice Chair, Mary Kane
Treasurer, David Sprague
Secretary, Leslie Quest
Kathy Garner Darnieder