This year we celebrate our 35th Anniversary of providing health and wellness! Throughout the year we’ll be celebrating the organizations, charities, and causes that we have played a small role in helping to shine a light on the good work that these groups perform every day. Being here for over 35 years comes with the help of our customers, employees, and certainly our involvement in the community.
Here are some stories about local community organizations making a difference.
The team at Martin House in Norwich, CT is committed to provide a nurturing community where individuals of limited income who have been alone, alienated, fearful and dispossessed can develop healthy relationships, new dignity, and a renewed life. The community includes people recovering from mental illness and addictions and Martin House provided dignified housing, nutritious food, a safe, caring environment, and supportive services for 54 men and women who seldom experience any of these.
The Spa at Norwich Inn has had the pleasure of serving this community annually and most recently this past September at a luncheon at Martin House.
“Your staff, especially Chef Masten made Martin House residents and employees feel valued and quite frankly, special. We have been so fortunate to have corporations like yours who take the time to go above and beyond for people in our community come and do wonderful things for us! Please know that each time feels like the first…” – Paula Oberg, Executive Director, Martin House
Martin House could use your help…
The longer it takes the State of Connecticut to pass a budget for fiscal year 2017-2018, the harder it is for these programs to survive. All non-profits have been asked to submit budgets with 2.5% to 10% decreases over last year. As with many non-profits, Martin House has also experienced cuts in funding from other sources, not related to the good work they do or the results residents experience, but due to changes in fundraising.
For the past 35 years more than 850 individuals who have experienced homelessness, mental illness and poverty have called Martin House “home”. Please help by contacting your representatives and ask them to pass a budget that allows them to continue providing basic needs like safe, affordable housing, nutritious food and a healthy alternative to living in isolation.
Camp Rising Sun exists to provide a safe, nurturing environment for kids who have faced the diagnosis of cancer so that they may grow and learn from their experiences to become the best they can be. The camp welcomes any child aged 5-17 who has faced a diagnosis of cancer to a week of fun and friendship. Campers can be in treatment, in remission, or anywhere in between. Camp is held in the beautiful hills of Colebrook, Connecticut at the facilities of Camp Jewell, a YMCA campground. Campers stay in heated cabins with other children in their age group along with a dedicated staff. Thanks to generous supporters there is no cost to attend camp.
Staff members come from a variety of backgrounds in “the real world,” but all share a passion for helping to make Camp Week the best week of the year for their campers. Cabin counselors, activities leaders, directors, even the medical staff all volunteer their time, talents, and energy to make Camp Rising Sun the special place that our campers can come back home to year after year.
Each year, staff members from The Spa at Norwich Inn volunteer their time to create a Spa Day for the campers complete with facials, massages and manicures. The experience is beyond rewarding.
Camp Rising Sun is 100% donation-driven. Every donation, large or small, helps to keep the Camp going and ensures that it remains cost-free for all the campers.
One camper has said…
“I’ve been going to camp for almost 7 years and it has been the best decision I ever made. Going into camp I was very shy and scared to be away from home but by the end of the week I made tons of new friends and the last thing I wanted to do was go home! Some of my best friends I have are from camp. It’s such an amazing place with awesome, hilarious and caring counselors. All of the campers are so kind and the best kids and teenagers you will ever meet. We are a very tight-knit family. Camp has changed my life forever and taught me how to socialize, take risks, and just have fun! It’s the one place no one refers to you as “that girl/boy with cancer” and you don’t ever think about the hospital or your next doctor’s appointment while you’re there. At camp you can truly be yourself and not be afraid to open up because you know you have a whole ton of people supporting you. I look forward to camp every year and wouldn’t miss it for the entire world. I would absolutely recommend camp to anyone who has or has had cancer…”
Please consider joining the legion of dedicated supporters who make this experience happen! Camp will be held in August.
Throughout the year we’ll also be celebrating our 35-year employees by giving them the spotlight. We wouldn’t be a leader in health and wellness without our customers and we certainly wouldn’t be here without the best staff in the industry to serve them. Please help us honor our 35 Year Stars!
Jayme was born in New London and currently lives in Groton. She specializes in Body Treatments and Wraps. Jayme was working at a local Salon 32 years ago, until the Spa “became her salvation.”
She remembers the movie stars that would come through the spa doors over the years and one particular Metropolitan Opera Star, Mrs. Petrocheck, who was fond of Italy and of course Jayme for being Italian.
She remembers slabs of stationary tables made of wood for body treatments and big loofa mitts to work in. The Inn and Spa were not connected back in the day, which created interesting images of guests crossing the snow in their robes as they moved from place to place. The spa was famous for a special vegetable broth made with potassium and consumed by guests by the gallons.
When she is not leading the health wellness charge with her clients, she frequents movies and plays. She studied voice at Connecticut College and was a former wedding singer. Her co-workers find her singing in the hallways daily.
Gloria was originally from Rhode Island, but found a home here in Connecticut when she entered the Inn and Spa over 30 years ago. She currently runs the switchboard or PBX and is probably the first voice you will hear when you call the Inn. Gloria also held positions in the Reservations Department, Laundry and Housekeeping. Over 30 years ago, she heard the Inn was hiring and since it was close to home it all worked out.
How does someone stay working at the same place for over 30 years?
“It’s because of the people I work with and the guests who I have met…and bumped into…over the years. I remember the day that I literally ran into the actor Michael Douglas as he turned the corner on a guest room floor. He was so nice about it. I just about knocked him over. Then there was the night that I met Joan Rivers. I was working in the coat room and Joan Rivers walked by and took all my tips out of the tip jar and stuffed them down my shirt! She said, “This is how you make more tips!”
When Gloria isn’t bumping into celebrities, she likes to read, swim and have fun with her grandchildren.
Lois was originally from Canada and has been here in the US since 1970. She specializes in Massage Therapy and Wraps. She graduated from the Connecticut Center for Massage therapy with Kathy Yocius who recommended that she check out the Spa 30+ years ago, and the rest is history.
She remembers that the spa would shut down from 12:00 until 1:00 every day for lunch. Dan the chef would hand everyone a peach on the way out the door. She remembers the expansion of the spa and the warning “beeps” that would go off before the dynamite exploded. She also remembers manual treatment sheets of paper instead of computers.
Lois says that she has “No Fun” but is a voracious gardener and a rescuer of cats. She quite often convinces her co-workers to start gardens of their own by giving them some of her Hosta Plants. She grows over 100 of the 5,000 varieties of Hosta. She is a Libra, which means she always wants beautiful things around her.
Barbara grew up in New London and now lives in Niantic. She specializes as an Esthetician and Nail Tech. Barbara started in the Spa at the desk as a scheduler and has worked in several departments including body scrubs and wraps, mail order and the Inn front desk.
She enjoys the flexibility of working here as everyone understands the challenges of families, kids, school, and busy schedules. Working with great people in a beautiful place keeps her here year after year.
Barbara remembers the celebrities that would come here and that there always seemed to be a photo-shoot going on. She remembers Mariah Carey and Barbara Streisand. She remembers Joan Rivers and how she would bring her dog into the massage room. She remembers all types of models like Elle Macpherson and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit shoots. She remembers Estee Lauder bringing the top sales people in the country here.
Men had to wear jackets and ties in the dining room and woman wore dresses. No coffee or alcohol was served, but you were allowed one carafe of wine on Sunday Night. All guests dined together for a two-hour lunch.
In her spare time, Barbara walks, bikes, boats and kayaks.
Dawn was originally from the islands…Nantucket Island off Cape Cod to be specific.
She lives in Canterbury today and has made the Spa at Norwich Inn her place of work for over 30 years. Dawn works in Food and Beverage and performs as a server in Kensington’s Restaurant. When she moved to the area years ago, the Spa was well known during her search for employment. What keeps her coming back? “The people, my supervisor, it’s very family oriented here. I’ve always enjoyed working with my fellow teammates over the years, both front and back of the house. The guests also keep me coming back and it gives me the chance to meet new people.” She remembers many of the guests who have come through these doors over the years: Robert De Niro, Theresa Caputo, Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Joan Rivers, (kept her little dog under the table for every meal.)
When Dawn is not at The Spa at Norwich Inn, she enjoys hiking, going to the beach, dining out and reading.
Kathy has lived in the Windsor/Hartford area for over 30 years! She specializes in Massage Therapy and Body Treatments. A former classmate referred Kathy to the Spa at Norwich Inn when she was working at a weight loss spa at the Grand Lake Spa Hotel in Lebanon, Connecticut. She thought she would stay for about 6 months here in Norwich because of her commute, but here she is 30+ years later.
Her position fits her personality perfectly and she enjoys working with one person at a time. The company provides her with stability through the constant flow of guests and an added benefit of laughter every day. Not a day goes by that Kathy isn’t laughing about something…
Kathy enjoys the personal, emotional side of her job. Recently a guest sent her a thank you note where the guest described herself as being “healed” through a treatment she never had before. Powerful, meaningful change.
Kathy loves to read, takes long walks and enjoys quirky movies. One in particular is called Cold Comfort Farm set in the early 1930’s. (we may have to check that one out.)