Bill Pond’s Speech – 50th Anniversary Jubilee Community Picnic

Welcome and thank you!!! Thank you to the volunteers, Noble team members, benefactors, families and community friends whose contributions over the last 50-years have made this celebration possible!   

I’d like to thank the volunteers of the Lakeville Hose Company who have not only prepared this exceptional anniversary meal but whose dedicated volunteers keep our community safe 24 hours/day, 365 days a year.  We are honored to partner with them.  

I am especially grateful to the indomitable 50th Anniversary Planning Committee who have not only organized this celebration but have spent hours copiously excavating 50 years of Noble history. They have unearthed memorable photos, heart-warming stories and timeless artifacts that reveal the magic and wonder of the Noble story. In fact, this October the Salisbury Association will host a multi-media experience featuring the story of Noble Horizons as told by the people who lived it.  Please check our website later this summer for more details of this truly exciting project.  

I would like to thank the 50th Anniversary Planning Committee members  

Mary Barton, Susan Gallaway, Judy McKernon, Trish Walsh   

and extend gratitude, as well to Jean Saliter whose decorations, made in conjunction with Noble residents, surround us this evening.   

I’d also like to recognize Joe Thibodeau’s relentless focus on every single detail of tonight’s event; he and his team have worked tirelessly and I am proud to thank them. 

Thank you to our esteemed  50th anniversary community picnic Sponsor  Sharon Hospital/Nuvance whose generosity has helped us celebrate so grandly today! 

I am also indebted to  

Our Donors 

Harney Tea 

Jay’s Lawn Care 

Salisbury Wines 

Stateline Wine and Spirits 

And our Supporters 

Lakeville Wine and Spirits 

Wheeler Wine Merchants 

Moore and More Printing 


Thank you to the Noble Horizons Auxiliary for their incalculable financial and volunteer contributions for almost half a century.  Volunteers are the lifeblood of any non-profit and everywhere you look tonight there are volunteers who never stop giving-they are the team that fuels our special events like the Festival of Trees-which will be back this year- and have raised over $1 million for Noble Horizons. 

Incredibly, the daughter of the Auxiliary’s founder, Judy McKernon, has not only served on the 50th-anniversary committee but is the president of the Noble Horizons Auxiliary!   

I am humbled to be in the company this evening of many Noble team members, past and present.  They are the heart and soul of Noble Horizons.  Their compassion, dedication, expertise and LOVE fill Noble Horizons every single day. Their devotion is the abiding centerpiece of life at Noble; as a former resident’s family member wrote to me just yesterday, 

May you and Noble have a great celebration. I will never forget the wonderful care my father, had; my family still treasures it. We remain forever grateful for the devotion of all you wonderful people who made sure he was safe, comfortable and as happy as he could be.  

The staff knew how much he loved sweets and ice cream and he'd get his treats each night. When we all were concerned about his falling out of bed, there was another mattress next to his bed in case he rolled out of bedEvery time I visited him, there was someone who was asking him what he would like to do or to eat or to talk with him. Noble Horizons is where the sun is always shining. I could sleep at night because I knew he was in capable caring hands. We remain forever grateful. 

I would like to recognize in the audience tonight:  

Barbara Wiggins, Noble’s first nurse who remembers putting beds together before the first residents arrived in 1972!  

Dr. Michael Tesoro, Noble’s first Medical Director and 50 years later still a very close friend of Noble’s 

Betty Thompson who joined Noble Horizons in 1976 and after 40 remarkable years as a devoted and beloved nurse she now volunteers in the Country Store and at tonight’s picnic!  

Mary Ellen Baldwin began as a nurse at Noble in 1977 and continues to volunteer throughout Noble. 

There are countless others who have led with their hearts and passionately served this remarkable community through its first half century and I am deeply grateful to them.  I am particularly indebted to Eileen Mulligan, Noble’s visionary 43-year administrator whose legacy we strive to carry out each day.  Her imprint is everywhere and it is our honor to ensure that Noble continues to reflect and embody the heart and soul of this exceptional woman. 

In closing, I want to honor another woman whose dedication to Noble is perhaps only second to Eileen’s.  Fortunately, this woman spent over 45 years with Eileen as a friend and volunteer and she continues to imbue Noble with the same qualities that defined Eileen’s singular leadership of Noble.   Recognizing the invaluable role volunteers play at Noble, Eileen established the Volunteer Award which has been given annually to a man or woman whose contributions have been transformative and deeply touched resident lives.  Several winners are with us tonight and I salute them once again.  

One volunteer, however, has redefined dedication, devotion, commitment and love and it is in her honor that we have renamed the Volunteer Award the Mary Barton Volunteer Award.  The Mary Barton Volunteer Award plaque will hang at the entrance to Noble Horizons signifying our profound appreciation and the distinction of being named a recipient if the Mary Barton Volunteer Award. Of course, the first winner of the Mary Barton Volunteer Award is Mary Barton whose 49 years of selfless service to the residents of Noble Horizons is unmatched.  

In closing, I’d like to share the reflections of former 64th Legislative Representative and Roberta Willis whose mother lived at Noble Horizons for many years.  “Most nursing homes are run as a business.  Noble Horizons is a community entity created by and for the community by people who cared about the community and people who lived here.”  

Indeed, Noble’s history is proudly embedded in this wonderful community and it is now my honor to introduce two esteemed members of our community, Legislative Representative of CT’s 64th District, Maria Horn and Salisbury Selectman Curtis Rand, both of whom are family members of former Noble residents.

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