Heritage Village Skilled Nursing residents award $1,000 scholarship

GERRY – The Heritage Village Resident Council recently awarded Sara DeChard, a senior at Cassadaga Valley High School, a $1,000 scholarship.

In 2001, the Heritage Village Resident Council established the Heritage Village Resident Scholarship Fund. The purpose of the award is to recognize an area senior who shows academic merit and seeks to continue his or her education in the healthcare industry.

As recipients of outstanding care, the residents of Heritage Village Rehab & Skilled Nursing (HVRSN) understand the value of great healthcare. Since great healthcare starts with smart and motivated people, creating a scholarship to provide assistance to area students seeking an education in healthcare seemed like the perfect cause to support. Originally, the resident council created four $250 scholarships. However, with the rising costs associated with education, the council elected to award just one $1,000 scholarship this year. They believe the impact of one larger award will be more beneficial than several smaller awards.

To open the ceremony, the HVRSN administrator, Jeffrey Ondrey, expressed words of gratitude to the resident council for their continued work on such a worthy cause. He went on to congratulate DeChard on the work she did to earn the award, and he wished her a successful career in health care.

Director of social work Valerie Johnson organized the ceremony and also congratulated DeChard on her success and promise of a bright future.

In order to qualify for the award, Dechard had to fill out an application. On her application, DeChard listed all of her accomplishments. DeChard for four years of high school participated in Key Club and SADD and served as president of History Club. She also received honor roll awards throughout her time in high school, and received the Western New York Safety Conference Scholarship this past March.

Upon listing all of her accomplishments, Valerie Johnson noted that DeChard is a deserving recipient of the award.

Phyllis Paddock, the resident council chair, presented the award and said, “In this day and age, the value of a college education is forever increasing and the need for those committed to the healthcare industry is growing.”

DeChard graciously accepted the award and explained that she planned to use the money toward her tuition to Edinboro University, which she plans to attend starting in the fall. DeChard also stated that she first plans to study to become a registered nurse (four-year program), and then seek a master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner.

The award ceremony took place in the HVRSN auditorium, which is located in Gerry. Residents and staff, as well as family members, were present to celebrate DeChard’s accomplishment. The ceremony concluded with a reception and light refreshments.

Heritage Village Rehab & Skilled Nursing is a Heritage Ministries property. Heritage Ministries is a non-profit, human-service organization that serves the western New York region and employs nearly 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. Rehabilitation and skilled-nursing services are provided at Heritage Village in Gerry, Heritage Park in Jamestown, and Heritage Green in Greenhurst. For more information, call Heritage at 487-6800, visit at www.heritage1886.org or LIKE them at www.facebook.com/HeritageMinistries.