Living in Happy
Leslie Boehlert, Evergreen Lifestyle Director at Vitalia in South Florida, is super aware that people buy into that community partially because of the activities offered and the active lifestyle available.
“They choose to move to this community,” she says, “because they want to be active. They’re happy. They’re engaged. They want to live in a place where other people are also active, happy, and engaged.”
There’s a robust lifestyle program in place at Vitalia, supported by Leslie, her event-planning committee and her volunteer team. Since stepping into the Lifestyle Director role 9 months ago, Leslie—with her team—has vigorously expanded the program by collaborating with Vitalia community clubs.
Working Together for Expanded Results
An example of this collaborative planning is the upcoming Chili Cook-off. This is a joint Lifestyle program event being planned with a club called Cook’s Corner. Individual residents and all 45 clubs are invited to participate. Judging will take place on creativity of the chili name, booth decorations, and of course on the chili itself.
A collaborative effort like this results in increased publicity, promotion and interest. Leslie promotes Lifestyle events through her regular channels and mentions participating clubs. This raises awareness of the clubs in the community. The individual clubs promote events through their channels, which raises awareness of events. The overall result is new members for the clubs and higher attendance at Lifestyle events.
The ultimate goal of the collaboration is that more residents have access to the fun, activity, and camaraderie both at Lifestyle events and through club participation.
Leslie has collaborated with other clubs on other events as well. For the High School Reunion lifestyle event, the Car Club helped with several aspects of the planning and delivery, including bringing out three of their own classic cars. The Music Lovers Club has gotten involved in promoting events, specifically in emailing their contacts and plugging the bands and music performers.
Diverse Clubs for Diverse Interests
The nearly 50 clubs at Vitalia represent a wide range of interests: bridge, hand & foot, knitting and crocheting, music, singles, art, cooking and food, fitness, tennis, and pickleball, to name a few.
Each club plans and promotes their own events, and Leslie supports them by promoting through her channels and scheduling meeting/event spaces.
The Italian heritage club, Club Amici, is one of Vitalia’s largest resident clubs. Its events can draw 250 people. The club takes on all aspects of planning, from booking entertainment to managing ticket sales and decorating the venue. Leslie supports them with email notifications, newsletter plugs, and ticket reminders.
While many clubs form around particular interests, some exist specifically to champion causes, like the FAN Club (Friends and Neighbors of Education) which supports the cause of children’s early literacy development, and the Dogs & Cats Forever Club, which raises funds for local animal shelters. Recently the Bible Study Club did a drive to provide summer food for needy school kids and their families. Residents responded by donating hundreds of pounds of food.
Leslie loves the fact that so many clubs exist in Vitalia. And she loves the model of bringing clubs and the Lifestyle program under one umbrella, offering residents the widest possible variety of events and activities.
The combined effort boosts both event and club participation. It’s a win-win. The biggest win of all, of course, is that residents are connecting, engaging, and enjoying life at Vitalia.