LAKEWOOD - Heritage Living at Chautauqua Mall (located near JCPenney) recently celebrated its grand opening. New York Senator Catharine Young and New York State Assemblyman Andrew Goodell were in attendance, as well as a representative from Congressman Tom Reed's office. Other notable attendees were local and county officials and the Executive Director of Heritage Ministries, David Smeltzer. The ribbon-cutting ceremony included thoughts from many of the guests.
Open since December, Heritage Living at the mall is serving the community by providing an easy-access location for area seniors and their families to get answers to questions about a senior's evolving needs. The Chautauqua County Office for the Aging, Chautauqua County Health Department and the Alzheimer's Association are among the many that have already joined forces with Heritage Ministries to utilize the space to provide information to seniors.
Also, in conjunction with the mall staff, Heritage Living plans to start a mall walkers' club from this location soon.
From left, MaryAnn Spanos, Director of the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging; Julie Bihler, Chautauqua Mall Manager; Jacqueline Chiarot, Regional Director for Congressman Tom Reed’s Office; Assemblyman Andy Goodell (R,C,I-Chautauqua); New York Senator Catharine Young; David Smeltzer, Executive Director of Heritage Ministries are shown cutting the ribbon for the grand opening.
Heritage Executive Director David Smeltzer said, "The purpose of Heritage Living at the mall is to provide a warm and friendly environment where people can find out more information about the many services that are available for seniors in our community. The community and mall have been extremely welcoming, and we are eager to continue to develop new programming."
Smeltzer then turned the floor over to Senator Young, who shared, "Empowering seniors to be able to live rich, full, and healthy lives is an important mission. I congratulate everyone at Heritage Living on this exciting venture. The services offered will be invaluable to area seniors and their families. They do a great job at Heritage Ministries through all of their residences and services, and I have no doubt this new location will be a welcomed and highly utilized addition to the community."
Next, Assemblyman Goodell (R,C,I-Chautauqua) conveyed, "Heritage Living will be an outstanding addition to the Chautauqua Mall. Its effort 'to provide a warm and friendly environment where people can find out more information about the many services that are available for seniors in our community is not only admirable, but also a testament to the kind and helpful attitude of the people in Chautauqua County and the mission of Heritage Ministries. I applaud the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging, Chautauqua County Health Department and the Alzheimer's Association for creating this strong public-private partnership with Heritage Ministries to better serve our local seniors. I want to extend my thanks and warmest wishes to everyone at Heritage Ministries as they begin this exciting new endeavor."
Following his thoughts, Jacqueline Chiarot spoke for Rep. Tom Reed quoting, "Heritage Living continues to be an invaluable resource to seniors, their families and caregivers in our area," said Rep. Tom Reed. "With Heritage Ministries expanding its reach, more seniors will have access to information and care available close to home and more families will have the peace of mind that their loved ones are getting answers to their questions. We look forward to partnering anyway we can to be a resource for our seniors and a voice on behalf of their needs."
Finally, Dr. MaryAnn Spanos, Director of the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging, spoke as a representative from County Executive Vince Horrigan's office. She shared that she has been affiliated with Heritage Ministries for 17 years, "I've always known that Heritage Ministries brings community back to its residents, and now, I am so pleased that they are bringing Heritage to the community. The partnership with the community will only help to improve the lives of seniors in our area."
Heritage Living at the mall will continue to seek out new and enriching programming for area seniors. The community is encouraged to stop into the mall store; Heritage Living is open weekdays 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Anyone looking for more information about the programming at Heritage Living should contact Doug Justham at 487-6873.
Heritage Ministries is a non-profit, human service organization serving the Chautauqua County region with over 800 employees. Independent and assisted living residences for seniors are located at Heritage Village Retirement Campus in Gerry and at The Woodlands on Southwestern Drive in West Ellicott.