By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Heritage House Observes RHF Golden Anniversary
Music, proclamations, celebration, a balloon release ... all were part of the festivities as the Escalon Heritage House marked the 50th anniversary of its parent corporation, Retirement Housing Foundation, RHF, in a ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 7.

The early evening gathering also featured a chicken barbecue and spaghetti dinner for all those in attendance, ranging from residents of the Escalon Avenue complex to friends and neighbors, in addition to city officials.

"This is the result of a vision," Escalon Mayor Danny Fox said in offering the city congratulations for the project. "We're certainly proud of Heritage House."

The Escalon location is just one of several retirement sites operated through the RHF, in business since 1961. Escalon hasn't been open that long, but all the RHF sites hosted parties for the 50th anniversary of the parent corporation.

San Joaquin County Supervisor Ken Vogel, who represents Escalon, was on hand with a proclamation, presented to Rev. Dr. Laverne Joseph, President and CEO of RHF. Vogel congratulated the firm and Escalon Heritage House for "its services to the community" and said more housing is needed for seniors throughout the county.

Local resident Linda Martin also took the podium to offer thanks on behalf of her sister, who is now a resident there and Heritage House resident Dona Jo Roberts praised the facility and its staff, noting that seniors "have a clean and safe" place to live.

She is a three-year resident at Heritage House and said she has seen many improvements and upgrades in her short time there.

"I'm a grateful tenant," Roberts said. "Happy anniversary and God Bless."

Special presentations were made to the longest-tenured Heritage House resident, Donna Whitman, who has lived there 24 years, and the oldest resident, Cathy Johns, who is 95 years old.

Offering the welcome was Heritage House Manager Dolores Mateo and serving as emcee was Wilma Wilson, Regional Manager of the Northwest Region for RHF, covering Northern California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

"I am very pleased," Mateo said of the turnout for the Wednesday celebration, noting that many city residents and public officials joined in to mark the occasion.

Jess Bradley offered a patriotic song, Pastor Troy Onsager gave the invocation and Rev. Victor Berg-Haglund offered some remarks on the importance of the Heritage House to the local community. Rotary Club spokesman Jordon Freitas offered thanks for those that planned and sponsored the event and said the Rotary Club also was making a donation of a 42-inch wall mounted television to the facility in addition to a large microwave oven.

Wilson said each celebration is a little different, but all highlight the success that RHF has found in providing affordable housing for seniors.

Dr. Joseph, formerly a pastor serving in Chicago, joined Retirement Housing Foundation more than 20 years ago and said though he wasn't looking for a change in careers, it happened for him.

"The position sought me," he said. "All I did was go through the open doors God set before me," he said.