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Woodloch Employees Raise Hope and Awareness for Type 1 Diabetes

  
  
  
  
  
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~Shared by T. Compton

The message on her hand is one she carries in her heart.

Sara Hoey's hand is covered in colorful letters, including her daughter's favorite color - purple. In fact, every member of Sara's family (and a large number of their friends) is sporting a similar message on the back of their hands: Hope 4 Jilly.

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Jillian is her lively, hazel eyed, curly haired, much adored daughter. Gearing up for her second year of rookie softball, she's an active first grader who loves music class, takes tap and jazz dance, makes her mom grin with the constant playing of Taylor Swift's 'Trouble' on her iPod, and lives life each day with juvenile diabetes.

Strong in their support, family and friends have markered up their hands to celebrate "Hope for a Cure Day."

"It brings awareness to finding hope to one day cure Type 1 Diabetes," Sara said.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, or JDRF, is hosting a 5K Walk to Cure Diabetes on June 1st, Moosic. To support Jillian's team, please visit: http://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR?pg=team&fr_id=2172&team_id=78440

As a mom, Sara admits she worries about the disease. "You worry any time you are a parent. Being a mom of a Type-1 Diabetic child, the worry is intensified. I look at the clock and worry while she is in school that she is going to have a low (blood sugar level) and pass out or if she will have a low on the school bus, and there will be nobody able to take care of her. I worry at night that she is going to go unconscious in her sleep and that it will happen while we are sleeping. Both Brian (her husband) and myself take turns getting up each night at 2 a.m. to do a blood sugar check on her and make sure she is safe."

What helps her cope? "I have a really great support system in my family who listen to me vent each day about the latest obstacle. I have a wonderful husband who is there to help 24/7, and we have faith in God who listens to our prayers to help keep our little girl safe each day," Sara said.

Although she's young, Sara says Jillian has a good understanding of diabetes. "Jillian understands a lot more than I think most 7-year-old children would grasp. She does her own blood sugar checks six to eight times a day, and we supervise, or the school nurse does it. We do her dosing and carb counting, but she understands what is good for her and what will make her blood sugar go high. She understands what she needs when she goes low," Sara said.

"She takes a lot in stride and she is so strong!! However, she does get lows that are scary that leave her unable to think clearly or function for some time. And that is upsetting as a parent to see her having to miss out on things due to her being low.

"I get overwhelmed a lot when Jillian is sick. A simple stomach bug can land her in the ER on IV. Colds and flus promote high and low blood sugars. I often get very stressed when she is sick. Also, when she is growing, her blood sugars go out of whack," Sara said. 

Are there many visits and long trips to the hospital? "When she was diagnosed she was admitted there for a week. We went back for educational courses on how to take care of her as well as when we transitioned her to the insulin pump. We go to Chilldren's Hospital of Philadelphia every three months for her regular check-ups," she said.

How do you turn those trips into something fun instead of something to be dreaded? "We started a fun tradition of going to Build-A-Bear when we go to CHOP to put a fun spin on the trips. Now she looks forward to those trips a little bit more," Sara explained.

How has the rest of the family adapted to Jillian's diagnosis? "Her little brother (Brett) had a tough time initially dealing with all of the attention Jillian was getting. He started to act out a bit, but we made it a point to spend time with him one-on-one as well, and he seems to have adjusted very well. He looks out for his sister now. He tells her when something is going to 'give her high blood sugar,'" Sara said.

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Does everyone go out of their way to make her feel comfortable? "Everyone in the family has gone out of their way to make sure she knows she is loved. We are always telling her how strong she is each day and how incredibly proud we are of her."

Is it a learning curve? "Taking care of Jillian is a huge learning curve. Everything from knowing signs of highs/lows, carb counting, insulin dosing and using her pump is invloved. There aren't many times that she is not with myself, Brian or the school nurse due to those factors," Sara explained.

What is Sara's hope for everyone with diabetes? "My hope is that there will one day be a cure. That the 6-8 checks a day, 3-4 painful site changes, and scary lows and highs will one day be no longer. If not a cure, my hope is that more and more technological advancements (like Jillian's insulin pump) will keep coming out."

What would she tell someone whose child has just been diagnosed? "I would tell them to take a deep breath. Right now everything is going through their minds at once. Try to take everything one day at a time. Some days will be harder than others, and you will constantly be comparing your life from before diagnosis to now. Things will get easier in the sense that you will get used to your new routine and lifestyle, but it will all take time," she said.

Sara and her husband work at Woodloch Pines Resort, where Sara is employed in the Reservation's Department, and her husband is Facilities Manager.


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Great New Reasons to visit Woodloch! PART II

  
  
  
  
  
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kubart summer

~Shared by J. Ranner

And so, I have finally caught my breath from the last update I shared with you on all of the great things that lie in store for our guests this summer.

And to quote one of my favorite movies, just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in. But another writing assignment- a "sequel," so to speak- means even more adventure and good times ahead for the summer of 2013. This is our second installment reporting changes in activities for the months ahead.

Our "Empire Strikes Back" it seems. Some pretty big revelations are about to be exposed on par with Darth confronting Luke, so if you'd like a spoiler free vacation I would stop reading now.

For everyone else, here are a few more new additions to your Woodloch summer vacation!

Toy Story- since my first summer here in 1995, each summer season has brought a delicious outdoor barbeque-style cookout offered each Monday afternoon. And every subsequent summer since then, it has been followed up by a family carnival. The themes have taken us to the wild west, to the tropical islands, and even to the far reaches of outer space. Every guest is given 10 game tickets to try their luck on games of skill and chance. Winning the carnival games gives you prize tickets to be redeemed on your Woodloch dream prizes, like keychains, coffee mugs, t-shirts and yes... even whoopee cushions.

This year, we're going to be "toying" around with nostalgia! All of our carnival games will be based on your favorite childhood toys spanning from the 1950's straight thru today. Patrons can expect the beautiful simplicity of jacks and slinkies and then move through the 80's Pandora's Box known as the Rubick's Cube to the mind melting mayhem of "BOP IT" (which to this day, I can't get past 3 steps on.)

Safe to say playtime is on!

We CAN Drive 55- It's hard to believe 55 years have passed since a young Harry and Mary

 Kiesendahl followed their dreams and started Woodloch Pines. Since then, the small one room boarding house has expanded to over 135 acres as well as a golfing community and adjacent spa. It is an undeniable truth, however, that we would not be here without the support of all our guests and friends that we have been lucky enough to meet through the years.

family reunions, girlfriend getaway

So blessed are we that we have decided to continue our 55th Anniversary Celebration way past our annual "Anniversary Weekend" and keep the party rolling all summer long. 

Welcome to our special "55 Party." All ages can expect a night full of great dance music and contests in which you can win one-of-a-kind Woodloch prizes. Bust a move in our dance off, show us how low you can go in our limbo, and get ready to dash with our live Scavenger Hunt simply known as "ONYA." 

Get ready to share some smiles with us all season!

Strings Attatched- To me, there are 4 ingredients to a perfect summer's day. The first is plenty of sunshine, followed by good friends and an ice cold beverage. But to me, everything falls apart if I'm too far removed from one of my greatest loves: MUSIC. Throw an acoustic guitar into the mix and I've achieved my own personal Nirvana.

For the first time ever, Woodloch will be featuring an acoustic guitar performer somewhere on property 4 times per week this summer. Venues will vary and include the Beachfront, our brand new firepit and recently renovated outdoor pool deck. For those looking to take a break from events like our Olympics and Amazing Race, this provides ideal conditions for prime relaxation. 

And if I wasn't working, I'd be right there joining you.

Stay Tuned- We've reached the conclusion of our second view into the Summer of 2013 at Woodloch. And lo and behold, I STILL have more details to share with you! So check back soon for the exciting conclusion to this trilogy!  

 

:)

 

 

 

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Great New Reasons to visit Woodloch! PART 1

  
  
  
  
  
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golf resorts, class trips

~Shared by J. Ranner

"That jukebox in the corner blasting out my favorite song / the nights are getting warmer, it won't be long / it won't be long till summer comes..."

Even though my dad was but a school boy when Thin Lizzy hit the scene in 1976, I think their lyrics have transcended the generations. While the Pocono Mountains of Pennyslvania offer some of the finest skiing, ice skating, sledding and wintry fun on the East Coast, nobody can deny the buzz that the advent of summer creates during the last of the winter months. We want to trade our cold nights and high heating bills for barbeques, ice pops and short shorts. For me, there still is no greater feeling than having the sun brightly long after dinner has been served. Long days in the sun make for plenty of fun nights out with reunited friends. 

And just as the sun finds its way back North, so begins another summer at Woodloch Pines resort... it's 55th, to be precise. We pride ourselves on tradition- and not to contradict myself but one of our proudest traditions is finding new and unique ways for you to enjoy time with your friends and family.

Even though we've already given you over a million reasons to visit us, why not a few more? 

This summer is shaping up to be one for the ages. If you are already planning on visiting us, then you are in for a real treat. If you are still in the planning stages of your family vacation... maybe you need to hear about the new delightful fun we are going to dish out this summer!

 

You're Not in Kansas Anymore - A new summer means new Theme Games down at the lakegirlfriend getaway, all-inclusive on Wednesday afternoons. In the past, we've sent you through Hollywood movie sets, had you don a cape and showcase your superpowers, and even saluted our real American Heroes with our Firemen & Policemen games. This year, be prepared to follow the Yellow Brick Road to Lake Teedyuskung! We know that our guests have the brains, the heart, and the courage to find their way to the Emerald City! Forget your ruby red shoes, though- be prepared to lace up your sneakers for great relay events that provide fun for all ages! There's no place like (your other) home! 

Unleash your inner "Hawkeye" - After a few decades absence, we are very pleased to announce that archery will be returning to campus! Starting this summer, you will be able to kick it old school to demonstrate your shooting abilities!

Baking Up a Storm - Last year, we debuted our now famous "Cupcake Battles" to universal acclaim. Do not be fooled by their innocent nature; this slowly but steadily became our most competitive and challenging event! But of course, we continually raise the bar in the interest of maximum fun. That's why we've upped the ante this year and will be hosting a "Cake Showdown." Be prepared for plenty of plot twists and start dreaming up a confectionary gold medal!

"COME ON DOWN!" - Perhaps you've had a chance to participate in some of our gameshow events. Perhaps you've squared off against another family in Woodloch Feud. Or maybe you've put your musical prowess to test with Name That Tune. This summer, we are very excited to announce that we're ready to put your consumer knowledge to the ultimate test with "Precisely Right." Through a rigorous test of pricing knowledge (and maybe a little bit of luck), maybe your family will hit the ultimate jackpot and win a FREE STAY at Woodloch!

Koombaya - So that's a stretch, we most certainly won't be singing those kinds of songs! BUT we are very excited to use our new fire pit all summer long! Located on the North Lodge long, it will be lit nightly and offers a great place to relax and tell stories with all your friends, both old and new. On select nights, we'll even have live entertainment out by the pit. They will actually be playing good music! 

As I sit here right now, I am still buried in all sorts of new and exciting things headed your way for this summer- let all of this fantastic news resonate for a while and be ready for a second article heading your way SOON!

 

:)

 

Water Skiing at Woodloch from Woodloch Pines on Vimeo.

Double Dare at Woodloch from Woodloch Pines on Vimeo.

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Irish Cooking and Shenanigans in the Poconos!

  
  
  
  
  
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family resort, weekend getaway

~Shared by Jake Basil

It's that glorious time of year again. It only lasts for a little over a month so indulge now.

It's corned beef time. We're serving it here at Woodloch every Tuesday night and Sunday afternoon on our Smorgasbord. We also serve our traditional cabbage, potatoes, and our baby carrots. Yum!

The thing about corned beef and cabbage is that you're either in or out. Love it or hate it; embrace it or ignore it. For me, I can't get enough. I make it for my family, my in-laws, my son's friends and anyone who expresses to me that they will miss out on this lovely feast because they have no one to make it for them.

What's not to love about this dinner? The completion of a flat cut or point corned beef, tiny red potatoes or white potatoes, Guinness or O'Douls. Oh the decisions! Every year I think, "why didn't I take notes from last year?" This year I'll just make several dinners over the month. Note to self: write down the pros and cons of each course.

Then you have the smells of all of this goodness warming every room in your house. I cook my corned beef in the largest pot I have in the house, occasionally turning it over. I even like the corned beef facials I get when I take the lid off the pot, and the steam comes rushing at me. The days before the meal my family and I anticipate dinner: hot corned beef, cabbage (some like it with a little vinegar), salted boiled potatoes, and carrots with a lot of butter. I like my carrots coined.


Let's talk leftovers: sandwiches, corned beef hash, Shepherd's pie - the possibilities are endless. I used to make my own Irish soda bread, but Woodloch's is so good I buy it here and spend the extra time on dinner. Woodloch also features an Irish Cooking Class throughout the month of March - something that simply should not be missed!

If that wasn't enough of something special, the night before Saint Patrick's Day we get a visit from tricky leprechauns. I personally haven't been able to spot them yet they leave their mark. There is magically delicious cereal on the counter (which only appear this time of year) and a hunt for a pot of gold. Those wee mischievous leprechauns may appear at other times of the day: in lunch boxes, at dinner, during shower time or even at bedtime. it's a fun time for all.

If after reading this and you feel you are missing out I have a tip for you: our very own John Sloane has been throwing his traditional Saint Patrick's Day party for years. After the green line seamlessly appears on the road from the water wheel (it used to be in front of Sloane's house before he moved) and runs to the nightclub, the parade begins to assemble. There are different kinds of floats and plenty of characters riding on them.

girlfriend getaway, poconos golfYesterday for St. Paddy's Day, the road was lined up with friends and family, staff and guests all eagerly waiting to join in the fun. When the parade ended at the Inn, the fun didn't stop there. Sloane and his family throw a "Traditional Saint Patrick's Day Party". There were stories, Irish music, mischief, and a lot of malarkey.

If you're in the mood to do a jig or two and bask in the luck of the Irish, John Sloane is the man to show you. You can find out more about our March Irish festivities by calling 1-800-WOODLOCH, and be sure to join us next St. Paddy's Day!

Erin Go Bragh to you and your family!



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Woodloch Guest Runs for a Cause

  
  
  
  
  
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jocelyn resized 600

~Shared by J. Ranner

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Now that I think of it, I've learned more from Dr. Seuss than I did throughout four years of college. There's an awful lot of truth in his words. We live in a world with almost 7 billion other people, so at times it's somewhat easy to feel small and insignificant.

Even though there's nothing further from the truth.

Change has to start sometime, somewhere, with someone. So why not be the one to make it happen?

We're proud to announce that Woodloch's very own guest, staff member and friend is doing what she can to make some positive change in our world. Jocelyn Gebhardt of Fallston, Maryland, will be running in the Saint Luke's Half Marathon on April 28th, 2013. She is doing it all to raise awareness for melanoma. 

Her motivation comes from the heart. She will be running in memory of her mother, Teri. Teri was not only a Woodloch guest but a very special Woodloch guest; she was the recipient of Woodloch's "Chuck Russell Award," which is handed out during the summer to people who demonstrate the true meaning of the Woodloch Games. Teri had a very welcoming disposition and knew how to make everyone smile. "She loved everyone," says Jocelyn. "No matter who you were or what you did, she just loved you, and she let you know that. I remember her as always trying to help someone." Woodloch provided the Gebhardt family with 15 years of "leaving reality" for a week. To Teri, Woodloch was a special place where she could just be herself and be "crazy" without anyone thinking it was odd!

Teri was diagnosed with stage three melanoma in 2004 when Jocelyn was just 16 years old. Though doctors gave her just 6 months to live, Teri, alongside her loving family, fought as valiantly as possible. "She didn't let the disease get the best of her," says Jocelyn. "She still came to my college lacrosse tournaments and went to our beach house on the weekends. I learned so much from her during that time about what it was to be strong."

Sadly, Teri lost a very tough battle with melanoma in 2007. Though she was deeply saddened by her loss, Jocelyn keeps her spirit alive with a great attitude and willingness to help others. "She was always so positive and upbeat, living everyday like it was her last. Today, I try to live my life just the way she did, never taking anything or anyone for granted."

She set out to find ways that she could help and make a difference against the disease. Jocelyn, a proud Woodloch competitor herself, found Miles for Melanoma, which raises funds for the Melanoma Research Foundation. This organization gives people the opportunity to run for sponsorships that will all go to fighting melanoma, so even if you aren't the next Steve Prefontaine, you can still help. All of the framework in place, she started her training routine. 

For the past few months, she has been following a rigorous training routine that has her running three to five miles three days a week and seven to nine miles at least two days a week. This is certainly no easy task, but it will prepare her for the half marathon (13 miles) that she will be undertaking in a few short weeks. She trains most days at the Sports Complex at Woodloch Springs, and if she gets a nice break in the weather, she jogs around the famously serene Woodloch Nature Trail. An absolutely great way to stay fit, if you ask me!

Need a little ambition to go out there and make things happen? Heed Jocelyn's advice: "We are all put here to make a difference. Whether it is to impact something or someone, we are all here for a purpose. Make your purpose be known. Get out and do the things that you are passionate about, appreciate the little things, and love everything and everyone unconditionally. Live every day like it's your last because you never know when it will be. Appreciate the life you were given!"

On a personal note, I'm proud of my friend and wish her the best of luck. I love seeing positive change and am reminded of my favorite Latin phrase Sic Parvis Magna, meaning "greatness from small beginnings." Your journey of a thousand miles starts with just a single step; never underestimate your ability to inspire others!

Find your "marathon," and go run it. 

 

If you'd like to support Jocelyn in her mission, please click here!

:)

As Always, Love Flourishes at Woodloch!

  
  
  
  
  
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weddings, class trips

~Shared by Kathy Van Horn

Love is in the air at Woodloch, and there are many different ways to love someone. Who would think you could find true love at a family resort? Well it happens all the time at our beautiful resort, Woodloch Pines.

Take Chuck Gray whose parents have been bringing their family here since Chuck was a little boy. He met his wife Catherine while here on vacation. Catherine's parents are also long time guests.  After five years of marriage and two beautiful children, both families still come the same time each year.  The funny part of this story is that during their week Catherine sits with her family at the main lodge for meals, and Chuck sits with his parents at the Inn.  I guess you're wondering who gets the kids? 

Another love story is Lizzie Horn. No, she didn't meet her husband Matt here. Since she was a little girl she dreamed of getting married here. Matt, her boyfriend at the time, decided that this would be the perfect place to propose to her (ask me about the ring some time).  After a few frantic days, Matt got the ring.  Lizzie said yes, and they started planning their wedding.  They did have the perfect Woodloch wedding filled with family, friends, fun and laughter. They now have a beautiful son.

We've had staff-to-staff weddings, we've had guest-to-guest weddings , and we've had staff-to-guest weddings. We have love for our co-workers. We are a tight knit group. When something good happens to our staff members and guests, we rejoice and celebrate their good fortune. When something bad happens, we mourn and look for ways to console them. From our being so close, relationships develop, even romantic ones. The other day a couple of staff members at the desk were counting how many marriages that we knew of that were tied to Woodloch.

Can you guess? Let me know on my blog, or stop by the desk and ask.

We also have other types of love here. Employees who love our guests. Guests who love our staff. Even first time guests can fall in love with our staff.

Take the Olsen family. First time guest Mrs. Olsen came to the desk to check in with Tess, our front desk manager. She explained to Tess that her five-year-old son had just gotten sick in the car.  Tess helped her with that situation and a few other things. Then Kate, Tess's daughter who works in social, adored Ms. Olsen's two children. Kate was with them at many activities, at one point she mentioned that her mother worked at the front desk. This made the bond between the Olsen's, Tess, and Kate even stronger.  By the time the Olsen's checked out, there were a round of hugs between everyone. There was also an exchange of emails, and the Olsen's promised to be back soon.

Relationships are important whether they are romantic or platonic. They are what makes you smile when you get up in the morning. It's the anticipation and enthusiasm of knowing you're going on vacation, and you're going to see people you know and love.

As some of you know, my family goes on vacation to Maine every year. We have developed relationships over the  years.  Every year we anticipate seening the Murphy's.  Mr. Murphy is a Boston firefighter (not someone you would mess with).   He is also a big fan of the Red Sox,  we are not - go Yankees - so we have a friendly rivalry going. We don't tell them what dates we are comming, so it's always a suprise.  The first night we are there, we decorate their car or fence with Yankee memorabilia.  Then we anticipate seeing them the next day.  During the week we inevitably find something that has Boston Red Sox on our cottage door or car.  This is what makes vacations fun. The big hugs and the anticipation and knowing you have friends on your vacation.

I would love to hear any of your love stories!

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Following Up with Maxy: A Home After Hurricane Sandy

  
  
  
  
  
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~Shared by T. Compton

It's fun to watch God connect the dots.

When we first contacted Woodloch guest Susan Fox, it was in regards to a reservation. But it was during that fateful phone call, that we learned of Susan's love for shelter pets and the need of orphaned animals following Frankenstorm Sandy.

Susan's words painted a sorrowful picture of pets having been surrendered following the destructive super storm. It was then that we learned of Maxy, a beautiful pitbull in need of a forever home, along with an additional 70 or so cats and dogs in the same situation. We also learned of the great-hearted people at The Emergency Pet Shelter at Mitchell Field in Uniondale, New York, who had selflessly cared for those orphaned animals but were now being forced to close.   

That was a week ago. Since then, we've had positive news from Susan. Here's what she had to say:

 "Good News!! Maxy was adopted by For Our Friends Rescue this past Friday!! She will be boarded by them until a home is found for her. Anyone interested in adopting Maxy can find her on PetFinder under For Our Friends Rescue, or they can call 718-595-2161. Maxy passed her evaluation with flying colors. Bryan said she is a very sweet dog. She rode in my car without a crate for probably the first time in her life and was so happy looking out of the car window!! It made my heart happy!!

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As for the emergency shelter, they are in the process of closing. There are a few dogs that have not been claimed by their owners as of yet and some that have been surrendered. They have a few kennel spots at Last Hope Animal Rescue in Wantagh, NY, and some will be able to go there. One small Yorkie was surrenderd to the shelter by it's owner, but a family from Ohio is coming for the dog. They have many acres, a closed-in animal run with a doggie door entrance, and the owners take their dogs with them when they travel. There is a beautiful pit bull mix, named Snoop a.k.a Porkchop who still needs a home, as well as Misha, a shepard mix.
Anyone interested can call: 516-272-0017. People that are interested can also visit the Hurricane Sandy Lost and Found Pets on Facebook.

Maxy had a happy ending as did the Yorkie and those going to Last Hope Animal Rescue, but there are many who will go and are in municipal shelters all over the country. My words of advice are to spay and neuter your pets, microchip them, realize that getting a pet is a lifetime responsibility. The cute puppy or kitten will grow up and get big. They will have accidents, and they will at times get sick. You will have vet bills, food expenses etc. This is all part of loving an animal. Animals are not disposable when you get tired of them or can no longer afford them. So that being said, people MUST take ownership when bringing a pet home. The rewards of an animal are unlike those you will ever know!! They don't care if you are skinny or fat, are bald or have too much hair, are rich or poor!! They just want to love you and be with you. It is the best homecoming you will ever receive at the end of a work day!! So people repay their loyalty with your loyalty to them!!

To all of you who took the time to read our story, to Tammy without whom the story would not have been told and to Woodloch Pines for allowing this to move forward, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, Maxy's and all of the staff and animals at the Emergency Pet Shelter!!"

EPS Two of the wonderful volunteers at the Emergency Pet Shelter

Celebrating a Lifetime of Love at Woodloch

  
  
  
  
  
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~Shared by Tammy Compton

Big red hearts hanging in windows signal the upcoming holiday.

Who's your Valentine?

For 85-year-old Florence Southerton of Honesdale, the answer is simple. It’s the man who’s faithfully been by her side for the past 60 years, her 91-year-old husband Bernie.

What makes Bernie the perfect Valentine?

“We’ve never had a fight. I know you can’t believe this, but we’ve never had a fight in 60 years. He’s just a good person in every way. I guess it takes two (to fight). And he never fights,” Florence said.

The two met when Bernie came out of the Service. “He was in the Army, a former POW (Prisoner of War),” Florence said. The World War II army veteran spent six months as a prisoner of war.

After the army, Bernie worked as an electrician at the Murray Company in Honesdale. He’s also well known for the 31-years he worked at the Honesdale Post Office delivering mail on his walking route.    

Florence and Bernie were wed on July 26, 1952 at St. John the Evangelist Church in Honesdale.

What’s the secret to 60 years of success?

“Faith has a lot to do with it. We’re both of the same faith, and we both practice our faith. And family has a lot to do with it. We have three children. They’re just all very close in relationship,” she said.

Along with their three children, they’re equally blessed with 12 grandchildren.

Florence  Bernie Southerton

Asked what she’d like to share – heart to heart – with her Valentine this year, Florence said, “I said it all last winter. ‘I couldn’t live without you.’”

Last winter, Florence suffered with several stress fractures in her back. “I couldn’t move,” she said. On top of that, she was also dealing with shingles. “I couldn’t do anything on my own,” she said. But Bernie was there to help every step of the way.

Prayer also made a big difference, she said. Faith can move mountains. “Every week, we spend an hour at chapel,” she explained. It’s time spent praying “for others, for each other and being in the presence of Jesus Christ,” she said. “We’ve done that for 21 years.”

This Valentine’s Day Bernie is facing pre-op for knee replacement surgery. So, they’ll exchange Valentines and do what they do every day. “We’ll wait on each other, and be with each other, and enjoy each other,” she said.

They’ll also enjoy a special Valentine’s dinner at Woodloch Pines on Wednesday, February 13. It's Woodloch’s Broadway-style theme show “Everything Italian” and mouth-watering menu that has caught their attention.

Wednesday’s theme dinner features the following festive Italian food: wedding soup, caesar salad, parmesan encrusted prime rib, pan seared Jail Island salmon, mediterranean chicken, pappardelle Bolognese, roasted redskin potatoes with garlic & rosemary, broccolini with oven-roasted tomatoes, artichoke & spinach flatbread & Italian bread, and tiramisu for dessert.

“My husband looked at (the flyer) and said, ‘Why don’t we go?’” Florence said.

“And I said, ‘We will,’” Florence replied. “We’ve always enjoyed it. It’s first class."

“In the last five or six years, we’ve gone every year for my birthday in November. We like to be able to see every one of the shows. It’s just something where we can relax and enjoy. Good food, and most of all, everyone in the staff makes you feel special.”

“It’s all about love and family,” says Woodloch Special Events Agent Sharon Bedrosian. Call 1-800-966-3562, option 3 to make dinner reservations. The cost to attend is $29.99 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

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Helping a Woodloch Guest Find Homes for Pets After Hurricane Sandy

  
  
  
  
  
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Hurricane Sandy claimed the lives of more than 100 people. But the deadly Frankenstorm didn't stop there; she also claimed the lives of countless animals. It is unknown just how many drowned.

Dogs and cats could be seen on rooftops and balancing on debris, struggling to survive a storm they didn't understand. Separated from their families during evacuations, some pets were eventually reunited. But not all stories have happy endings. Living in apartments until their homes can be rebuilt, some families have been forced to surrender their beloved pets.

In the days following the Super Storm, temporary shelters popped up to help the displaced pets. But three months later, the orphaned animals are still waiting and some of the shelters are out of resources and must close their doors.

The Emergency Pet Center in Mitchell Field, Uniondale, New York, will close this Sunday, February 17th. Currently, they have 30 dogs and 42 cats in need of adoption.

"There is NO ADOPTION FEE," says Susan Fox of Hicksville, NY. "We desperately need to find homes for these animals. The shelter is scheduled to close this coming Sunday."

Run by the Pet Safe Coalition, Susan says the Emergency Pet Center volunteers are "unsung heroes," people who have selflessly reached out to orphaned animals. She's seen firsthand how much they care. It's there in the smiling eyes of Maxy, a tender-hearted pitbull not more than two or three years old. Maxy is special. She's seen her fair share of shelters.

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Susan says she first met the friendly pup at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter where she'd eventually volunteer. As she did from time to time, Susan had stopped by for a friendly visit. That's when she met the gentle Maxy, and the two made a connection, so much so that Maxy whined when it came time for Susan to leave. "She cried for me, and I made her a promise that I'd see her every week," Susan remembers.

Since she already had a dog, she was unable to adopt Maxy, but that didn't stop them from becoming fast friends.

Only one day, when Susan stopped in, Maxy was gone. "A rescue group came and took a group of dogs, and she was among them. I would ask periodically, but nobody knew what happend to her," Susan says.

With a full heart, Susan wished Maxy well and continued to help those that she could.

Until that fateful day when someone said they'd spotted Maxy among the shelter pets taken in following the hurricane. "I don't know how she got there, but she is there," Susan says. " I have been going every weekend, two hours Saturday and Sunday. They have a play area."

Maxy is a changed dog. "If a dog could smile, she is. She's truly happy," Susan says.

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She can't say enough about the goodness of the Emergency Pet Center and how much they care. She's touched by the way they responded to one family's crisis. The son had suffered brain damage after being struck by a car last August. "During the hurricane, 7 feet of water came into the home, working its way up to the second floor staircase. They couldn't get out the window with him because he's disabled. The rest of them they could have fled, but they wouldn't leave without the child. They were terrified that they were going to drown.

"They did get out and were rescued. And the family's cats were taken to emergency shelter, and they're being fostered - all four cats - until they can get their lives together," Susan says.

The Emergency Pet Center is in desperate need of foster families and preferably "furever homes."

"They're trying to find foster families and if they don't, they'll wind up back in shelters," Susan says.

The Emergency Pet Center is located at Mitchell Field, Uniondale, NY, just behind the Children's Museum off of Hempstead Turnpike; they may be reached at 516-272-0017.

Additionally, for more information on pets affected by Hurricane Sandy, please visit the Facebook Page, Hurricane Sandy Lost and Found Pets.

Susan is a longtime guest of Woodloch Pines Resort and has been coming with her family for close to two decades. She thanked Woodloch for putting this blog on our website. "I cannot thank you enough for doing this for me and for the staff and animals at the Emergency Pet Shelter! I am deeply appreciative! Woodloch employees always take that one or actually many steps extra for everything!!"

 

2013 Woodloch Weddings: The HOTTEST Trends!

  
  
  
  
  
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class trips, family reunions

~Shared by Cara Stokowski

Though the February Pocono weather is still chilly, make no mistake about it- Cupid is on the loose, and the fires of love (both new and re-kindled) will soon be warming the air! Yes, tale as old as time, Valentine's Day is right around the corner. And undoubtedly, along with the exchange of tons of candy and mounds of flowers, a few golden rings will likely be presented along with the biggest and most important question that one could ever ask... "Will you marry me?"

If that does happen (or already has!) then I extend to you the warmest of CONGRATULATIONS!  As a Woodloch Wedding Coordinator, I have the pleasure of working with dozens of couples as they start their new lives together. Along the way, I have noticed a few trends that are setting the wedding world ablaze, and I'd like to share with you with ten of the hottest wedding trends for 2013!destination weddings, golf resorts

  • Mint is the top color choice for 2013! Huge on the runway, this refreshing color is making its way into weddings. Incorporate it into dresses, shoes, jewelry, centerpieces, cake, invitations, décor and more!
  • Non-white wedding dresses are sweeping the nation!! Not only ivory, but pastels like pink, baby blue, lavender, and mint green are rapidly entering the bridal dress market.
  • You are already the belle of the ball, so why not enter your wedding Cinderella style? Make a statement while arriving via horse and carriage ride!
  • Get stylish with seating! Stray away from the simple escort cards and get creative with your seating plan. Think outside the box- use old windows, chalkboard paint, shutters, clothlines, at rocks, wine corks/bottles, and more!
  • Feathers are back and not going away!!! Feathers have been slowly entering the wedding word in the past year, and this unique trend is growing rapidly! Incorporate brightly colored feathers into centerpieces, or simply skip  owers all together and carry beautiful bountiful feather bouquets.
  • We all need to take a break from the dance floor sooner or later. Create a lounge corner in your reception room for guests to relax and mingle without leaving the room. You can even use LED or posh-looking furniture to match the look of the wedding!
  • Add some grace with a little bit of lace! Soften up any look and add a little bit of class by using lace for your tables, your bouquets and whatever your heart desires!
  • Rainbow Weddings! Why choose just one or two colors when there are so many? Incorporate a whole color pallet, and have alternate place settings, various bridesmaids’ colors, and evenmix and match accessories and shoes. Whether you want bright and bold or soft and light, the colors and possibilities are endless!
  • Why not add a little convenience and look cute at the same time? Dresses with pockets are every woman’s dream! Pockets are making an appearance in more and more bridesmaid’s dresses and girls everywhere are thrilled.

  • MOST IMPORTANTLY- make your day YOU! Why not let your personality shine throughout every element of your wedding? Be bold and make it the day you’ve always dreamed of! Whether you are ready to take the plunge or just mulling over some ideas, we wish you the best of luck! 



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