Valley Manor celebrates 35th anniversary

BARRY’S BAY – Nancy Clarke’s stuffed moose dances on her lap to entertainment at the Valley Manor’s 35th anniversary party on May 22.

She doesn’t get out much these days, she said. So, line dancing and singing performances such as these by the Opeongo Seniors make Clarke’s day.

She is just one of the 871 residents cared for by the long-term care facility’s many workers over the years.

Six of those workers also celebrated 35 years with the Valley Manor during the week of May 24.

Mary Blank, activities director for the Valley Manor, was one of them.

She said God gave her a gift, allowing her to work in a place she loves so much for so long.

“Life of the Valley Manor has given life to my family, and will continue along that way. I just love what I do,” Blank said.

Part of the reason for that love is the sense of home that welcomes people at the door, she said.

Blank said, thankfully the unique elements separating this building from other local facilities haven’t changed over the years. These include its great windows, spacious meeting room and outdoor courtyard with garden.

“One of my staff put it in a funny way. They said, ‘35 years ago Mary, I wasn’t even born.’ So there you go. That just tells you how it’s come [along,]” she said.

Looking back, credit should be given to the facility’s founders, Blank said.

Story continues in the May 29, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.