Mitchell and Ann Sieminski
David Badertscher

On Wednesday, September 18, 2019, Fellowship Senior Living (FSL) celebrated the grand opening of the Fellowship Cultural Arts Center (CAC) and the naming of The Mitchell and Ann Sieminski Theater. The new name of the theater was unveiled in front of an audience of 200 residents and guests. Ann Sieminski, a resident of Fellowship Village and a patron of the arts, fell in love with the spectacular venue. While Mrs. Sieminski had originally intended to leave a gift to the Metropolitan Opera, she instead chose to give a gracious gift to her home and community. Ann has named the FSL Life Enrichment Fund as the sole beneficiary of her estate upon her passing.

Among the speakers during the dedication was Mitch Slater of Westfield, who has served as financial adviser to Mrs. Sieminski for 32 years. “Ann wanted everyone to know that Fellowship has become her family and if she can help with the enrichment programs and this theater, then she is more than pleased to be able to do so,’’ he said. “However, she has come to realize that life is about community and she feels strongly about giving back to the Fellowship community that she has grown to love,’’ he said. “Today Ann is with her new family here at Fellowship Village and she is so happy to help and is truly touched that you are naming the theater in her honor. As she said to me Monday, most people just give a gift posthumously. But by making her gift now, she is able to see and experience the positive impact of her generosity during her lifetime.’’

The cultural arts center is made possible in part by the generosity of our residents, the community and our business partners. There are many opportunities to support the cultural arts center through our Main Stage Society, our Seat Naming, or naming a part of the Cultural Arts Center for special recognition.

David Badertscher considered donating to Fellowship Senior Living, even before he was a resident. From his first visit as a visitor, he knew Fellowship was a special community. Residents, who he had not previously known, greeted him warmly, and team members were genuine and helpful. David has long believed in providing for causes and organizations he believes in and generously supports them both financially as well as with his time and energy. Now a resident of Fellowship, David is also a generous donor.

Fellowship’s core mission resonates deeply with David, in particular the emphasis on bringing seniors together in mutual respect and unity. And as a donor he wants to make sure his contributions are making a difference by advancing that objective. He believes that all funds donated should be used to improve the quality of life for residents. One area that continually impresses him is Fellowship’s leadership team, who he frequently collaborates with. Here is how David puts it: “They are responsive to the needs of the residents, and they think strategically about the long term. I am optimistic about Fellowship’s future.”

When a Task Force was created to research the possibility of creating a foundation, David was invited to participate. However, he said, “I only want to get involved if I can make a positive difference.” His desire to improve things is something he has done throughout his entire professional career as a Law Librarian and by generously donating his time to various boards and causes. He continues to work to make life better for residents as a member of the Fellowship Foundation and by making targeted donations to specific causes at Fellowship.

If you ask David why he gives to FSL, he will say in a straightforward manner, “It’s my home. I have a vested interest.” A 2017 study by LeadingAge Virginia indicated that less than 2% of charitable grant giving is directed towards “aging services organizations.” Knowing that there is strong competition for these limited funds, David assures “Your donation can make a difference.” Residents can give to a project of their choice or to one of Fellowship Foundation’s four funds to support a cause that is important to them and ensure residents have a high quality of life now and in the future.

As David would say to his fellow residents, “We have to do everything we can to ensure Fellowship Senior Living is moving forward. We cannot sacrifice quality of care at Fellowship.”