Our History

Senior Village Background

In the fall of 2015, Gary Hammond and Dick Fleming met to discuss the idea of forming Senior Village. Modeled on other “villages” in the United States, the intent was to foster “aging in place” and “independence” for seniors.

With the unexpected death of Dick in early 2016, Gary decided to carry on with the village. He enlisted a few friends to serve as the original board to create the operational skeleton. At that time, Stephanie Thomas and David Loendorf were recruited to serve as Membership Team Leader and Technology Coordinator respectively.

The first member of Senior Village at SaddleBrooke was enrolled in February 2016. Membership took a leap in the spring of 2016 when forty volunteers canvassed all SaddleBrooke homes leaving flyers in the mail tubes explaining Senior Village services. Within a month, membership grew from 32 to 74. To encourage additional memberships, Stephanie and Gary frequently made presentations to clubs and unit gatherings which spurred the number to 200 members. By January, 2019, that number became 700!

As membership grew so did the volunteers. By 2019, the number was 165 on active duty.

Interview with Gary Hammond

How did the idea for Senior Village begin?

Dick Fleming and I (Gary Hammond) had worked together on several community projects over the years. It was no surprise when he called me in October 2015 with an interesting idea.

Dick had done research on the Village concept, and we agreed that the time was right for a volunteer group that could help SaddleBrooke residents live comfortably in their homes for a few more years with just a little non-medical assistance.

How did you start?

Dick designed the logo and came up with the mission of “neighbors helping neighbors.”

I handled the paperwork to incorporate Senior Village as a non-profit and then set out to recruit volunteers, raise funds and whatever it took.

Dick and I formed the first Board of Directors comprised of mutual friends: Steve and Susan Shear who headed a local theater group and Ron Bechky whose audio-visual company Sights ‘n Sounds had served SaddleBrooke in many projects.

Unfortunately, Dick passed away a few months later, but by then Senior Village was well on its way.

What were your goals?

I thought 20 volunteers and 100 members would be a big success. We passed that goal long ago thanks to the generous and talented community of SaddleBrooke. Our volunteers are the heart and soul of Senior Village. I must give special thanks to David Loendorf and Stephanie Thomas. Their unique talents and untiring efforts built the foundation of Senior Village.

Now, many years later, I plan to enjoy my retirement with the confidence that Senior Village will be serving SaddleBrooke for many years to come.

A Member’s Note

We wish to thank the Village very much for the wonderful basket we found at our door this evening. At this stage of our life, these little things mean a lot. ~ F&P H

See more testimonials from our members and volunteers. 

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Help Us Grow

Donations are crucial to advance our mission and ensure the future of Senior VIllage at SaddleBrooke. 

Become a Member

As a member of Senior Village, you will gain access to a range of services. Join us and experience the care of a Senior Village membership. 

Assist Your Neighbors

Senior Village offers a wide range of volunteer opportunies that benefit the organization as well as the members.