Riderwood Residents Show There’s “Opportunity” in Activity (PHOTOS)
While the month of August is synonymous with relaxation, residents of Riderwood were able to “Jump into Summer, Dive into Opportunities” during a unique event.
On August 21, the Erickson Living retirement community hosted its Annual Opportunities Fair, a showcase of sixty (60) resident-run groups and activities coordinated by the Resident Life Department.
More than 350 people attended, including new residents who recently moved to the community. In total, 240 resident-led groups and activities exist at Riderwood ranging from leisure pursuits and service organizations to arts & crafts and hobby interests.
According to Amy Holzer, a Community Resources Coordinator, the main objective of the event is to encourage resident-run groups by providing a venue for them to attract new members and ideas. The interactive format allows residents to meet with club leaders and join a group that fits their interests “on the spot.”
“The creativity and energy exhibited by our residents knows no bounds,” stated Ms. Holzer. “For instance, the Performing Arts Council hosts numerous musical performances each month. The Continuing Education Committee organizes three semesters a year of college-level classes, of which over one-third of Riderwood residents participate.”
The Community Resources team facilitates the various activities based on a “resident-driven, resident-run” philosophy: all groups at Riderwood are started and run by residents.
“The groups place a tremendous amount of energy into being good neighbors, both on and off campus. We maintain a database, through the group Neighbors In Deed, that offers neighbor-to-neighbor support among residents. They do everything from dog walking to sharing computer expertise,” noted Ms. Holzer.
“Our residents provide food to the needy in Silver Spring through the Elizabeth House Food Delivery Group,” Ms. Holzer said. The Genealogy Club is even partnering with a local scout to help her achieve the Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouts. So the scope of their involvement extends beyond our physical campus.”
At the Opportunities Fair, there was something fun for everyone. Attendees enjoyed mini-performances by the Ukulele musicians known as the Acousti-Cats, caught a case of “Natitude” at the Washington Nationals Fan Club display and learned about the innovation offered by resident-led technology groups. Residents even won gift cards to Target as part of a trivia contest.