Noble Horizons Blog

If you’ve ever donated to a non-profit before, you’ve realized that every donation matters - big or small. However, there are more ways to make a difference than just a one-time, monthly, or even yearly donation to your favorite organization.   Planned Giving, also known as legacy giving, deferred giving, or estate giving is a powerful way to pass on a legacy to an organization you are passionate about supporting.  

Marion Romeo’s 9/24 Lakeville Journal picture with her husband Fred doesn't just celebrate 60 years of marriage, it recognizes the loyalty that defines Marion's commitment to others. Her astonishing 20-years as a beloved Noble Horizons volunteer further evidences her dedication and steadfastness.  After retiring from a nursing career in 1998, Marion brought her skills, compassion, and kind heart to Noble where two decades later she continues to touch lives.

During a recent staff meeting, the leadership team decided to share stories about our co-workers and life during the past 6 months here at Noble.  I immediately thought of our nursing staff.

Carita Gardiner

Carita Gardiner is a veteran English instructor at The Hotchkiss School. She’s taught countless students and scores of literary works, and her entire career has been focused on creating and sustaining a love affair with literature and writing for herself and her students.

Ellie Youngblood, the young manager of Fairfield Farm at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, represents a generational link between farming’s agrarian past, and its socially conscientious future. Ellie is a self-described “turbo farm nerd” who began working on Marble Valley Farm in her hometown of Kent, CT, at the age of 16, and has been farming ever since.

Caroline Moller has been donating her time and infectious cheer to Noble Horizons for nearly two decades and her contributions have added up! Whether reading to residents, taking them to events on campus, or working in the library, she explains, "I love to help."  

When Jessica Boardman is asked why she became a nurse, her answer is swift and clear, “I like to help people.” Acting on this instinct, Jessica joined the Dover Plains ambulance service as a young EMT volunteer and quickly discovered that she not only enjoyed offering help as a first responder but that she had a facility for the highly technical training it requires. Volunteering as an EMT in her home town of Dover, NY reinforced her love for helping people and led to her decision to enter the medical field. Despite a full-time job, she enrolled in nursing school and juggled both her career and education. “It took me four years to complete my associate’s degree, but I did it.”

For Leslie Eckstein, mother of four and owner of Studio Lakeville in Lakeville, Connecticut, the sudden challenge of owning a health and fitness business during a pandemic, and the isolation of the elderly population gave way for an opportunity to provide support on two critically important fronts.

Pain had become a part of daily life for the Tri-Corner area’s voice Marshall Miles. “I have had what doctors call over-pronated ankles since I was a child,” he says. “So I have dealt with pain in that area of my body for most of my life.” Over-pronation is commonly defined as a prolonged flattening of the arches in the foot and an inward tilting of the ankles. Over time, it is this stress in a foot with little to no arch support that causes pain in the knees, ankles, feet and even back.

Even the challenges of COVID can’t dampen Lana Knutson’s love for what she does each day at Noble Horizons. As the Director of Recreation, Lana is responsible for putting a smile on every resident’s face every day. She and her colleagues offer activities and programs that stimulate the mind, body, and spirit. It’s a challenge that Lana is more than equal to, given her training, creativity, determination, and can-do attitude.

Today I embarked on what would be my final birding blog for the Noble Horizons. Due to the damage of Tropical Storm Isaias in the local area, my mom and I decided to stay not only in the town of Lakeville but in the comfort of my own yard and neighborhood.

Noble Horizons has worked hard to keep families close throughout pandemic. We are proud to announce that the visitation center designed and constructed by members of the Noble team to allow safe family visits during the pandemic will be featured in the Best Practices section of the State of Connecticut's Department of Aging and Disability Services Silver Panther summer newsletter.  

For 15 years,  Linda Castaldi has been welcoming people to Noble Horizons. “I’m the first voice people hear when they call Noble,” Linda describes, “I’m always in contact with residents’ families, helping them feel at ease and providing them with information.”

When you ask Laurie Frey what she does at Noble Horizons you quickly realize there is very little she doesn’t do. From personnel to housekeeping, laundry to the reception desk, Laurie Frey does it all ... with boundless energy, an infectious smile and a deep fondness for Noble residents and their families. “I like to do different things, and I love to do anything that brings me in contact with the residents. I enjoy having a bond with them.”

Today’s birding blog brings me back to Massachusetts, more specifically the town of Sheffield. The location is Bartholomew’s Cobble, a property owned by the Trustees of the Reservation (the same organization that maintains Field Farm), a location that was chock full of birds and one of the most beautiful locations that I have visited for this blog series.

In 2007, community leader Karen Kisslinger, a local acupuncturist, organic gardener, and meditation teacher first proposed the idea of a farmers market in the village of Millerton, NY. Around that time, Mrs. Kisslinger also ran a popular youth program at the North East Community Center called “Partners for Children." Karen, who was married to physician Rob Dweck, had been nurturing and nourishing the community for many years and recognized the need to promote local farms and healthy food sources within rural communities. Karen went on to approach then Executive Director of the NECC Jenny Hansell who — as fate would have it — had experience with Greenmarkets in New York City. Ms.Hansell expounded on Karen’s idea by promoting the use of teen interns in farming and marketing. Today, Karen’s contributions and legacy live on in the 13 continuous seasons of market operation on the grounds of the Millerton Methodist Church.

Kay Carlucci exudes positive energy and an infectious joie de vivre, traits that have helped her quickly acclimate to Noble Horizons. Though she and her husband, Arthur, moved to the area and to their Noble Horizons Cobble apartment just over a year ago, she’s fully immersed in her new life, despite the arrival of COVID this spring.

Recreation team member Danielle Bailey's smile alone can brighten your day and because she is doing what she loves - working with seniors - Danielle smiles a lot! Even as a child, Danielle loved spending time with older adults. “My grandmother lived with us when I was a child and, because of that, I’ve always felt a connection to seniors.”

Eight growing seasons ago in 2013, Salisbury Family Services (SFS) board member and professional gardener Peggy O’Brien had the seed of an idea for an organic community garden on the rocky grass area in front of the SFS office. Her vision took root with fellow board members and Director of Social Services Patrice McGrath and the Hewat Community Garden was founded.

Today’s venue is a bit of an unorthodox one. Normally, I venture to nature preserves and land conservation sites in search of the best birding New England and New York have to offer. This visit, however, was on a common footpath that runs parallel to Salisbury’s Main Street between Salisbury and Lakeville known as the Railroad Ramble on the site of the Central New England Railroad route. It is a popular spot for walkers and runners but it is also a fun locale for a quick bird walk.