Rydal Park celebrates 40 years

By Matt Schickling
Wire Staff Writer

Last Wednesday, Sept. 10, Rydal Park, a continuing care retirement community in Abington, celebrated its 40th anniversary with a “ruby soiree” held outside on the campus grounds.

The formal event included cocktails and hors d’oeuvres prepared by the Rydal Park staff, live music and statements of acknowledgment from several elected officials and representatives of the community.

During the ceremony, Abington Township Commissioner Ben Sanchez presented Rydal Park with a resolution from the township’s board of commissioners outlining its “outstanding service” to seniors in the community. State Rep. Madeleine Dean also recognized the anniversary with a citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

“While we can call it a beautiful place, and there’s no doubt it is — the level of care is extraordinary — it’s really the people that make up this place, both those who live here and those who work here,” Dean said. “Nobody can deny that this is one of the gems of our community.”

Former state Rep. and current Chair of Montgomery County Board of Commissioners Josh Shapiro also made a statement acknowledging Rydal Park as a “good neighbor” in Montgomery County.

“Thanks for creating the great sense of community here in Abington and thank you for being my friends,” he said in closing.

Of the close to 400 adults aged 62-plus living in the community, 13 were identified as second-generation residents, meaning their parents were also residents. Some were pictured on posters around the celebration, posing with photos of their parents.

Some of the amenities on the 22-acre campus include a year-round heated swimming pool and hot tub, health and fitness center, beauty salon and barber shop, greenhouse and individual gardening areas and multiple dining venues.

John Berges, president of the Rydal Park Residents Council, said his daughter “thought we were moving to a resort,” when he and his wife moved in.

“It’s a place where people work, play, learn and laugh. Friendships are made, experiences are shared,” Berges said during his speech. “When you encounter something life-enhancing like Rydal, it’s not difficult to keep the tradition alive by following your loved ones’ footsteps.”

Rydal Park is owned by the Presby’s Inspired Life organization, a Delaware Valley not-for-profit developer. In 1974, Rydal Park opened with one residential building, which housed 231 living units. Now, there are four buildings and 320 apartments with a recently added 94,000-square-foot medical center for nursing and rehabilitative care. It currently employs nearly 425 workers.

Residents will continue the anniversary festivities with a speaker series through October, including prominent media figures from the Philadelphia area and a Founders’ Day celebration on Nov. 12 and 13.

“Rydal Park is the flagship of our organization, and it always will be. For the next generation coming in, it’s only getting better,” said Judee Bavaria, CEO of Presby’s Inspired Life. “We’re proud of the 40 years we have been able to serve this community and now are in a position to serve it for more years to come.”

For more information, visit www.rydalpark.org.