Varsity Team, Author at Varsity Branding

Author: Varsity Team

Total solar eclipses are rare events. The last one we saw in the U.S. was in 2017. This year’s total solar eclipse on April 8 will last longer and will be visible in more states than the last event.

If you’re looking for the best views, you’ll have to watch from Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire or Maine. In Arkansas, that means over a million people will be visiting from across the country for the state’s largest tourism event ever. The entire state is gearing up, including state troopers, hotel clerks and restaurant owners.

Parkway Village, a senior living community in Little Rock, Arkansas, is getting ready, too. “There is definitely an air of anticipation as April 8 gets closer!” said Alyssa Majeske, the community’s wellness and activities coordinator.

With its home state a prime viewing position for this rare event, Parkway Village is going all out in throwing a solar eclipse viewing party. “We have quite the event planned — it will be such a fun time for our residents,” said Alyssa. “We are planning to have yard games to play, music, ‘safe sparklers,’ and, of course, we are providing solar eclipse glasses.”

Best of all will be the food. “We are planning a fun menu of snacks and desserts that are in line with the theme of the event — foods like Milky Ways, moon pies and specially shaped cheese and crackers,” Alyssa said.

“We are starting the viewing party right before the partial eclipse begins (projected to be 12:33 p.m.), so our folks can have the full experience of the eclipse,” she continued. “We will have LED Tiki torches to light the path, as well. There will be music with a mic system, so we can make announcements — for example, to let our residents know that they need to wear the eclipse glasses whenever any part of the sun’s disk is visible. We want this to be a fun, memorable experience for our residents here at Parkway Village.”

Parkway Village is anticipating attendance of 100 to 200 residents, or more. “Our residents are very excited,” said Alyssa. “Just this week, I’ve received multiple phone calls making sure we are still hosting a viewing party.”

The eclipse has also attracted prospects to Parkway Village. There are several tours booked for the week of the solar eclipse, and they are all people from out of town who are here to view the celestial phenomenon. Most of the community’s guest rooms are booked, too.

An opportunity like this only comes around once in a great while, but the total solar eclipse does provide inspiration for planning other events. From Super Bowl parties in February to tax prep workshops in April, tying your community’s event to something that’s happening in the greater community can create excitement and draw in potential residents.








In another signal of the agency’s growth – and planned expansion for the future – Varsity has named Derek Dunham as the agency’s president. In his new position, Dunham will lead day-to-day operations of the company in support of its national footprint and expanding client base. 

Derek is an 18-year veteran of Pavone Group and has been a leader at Varsity since the agency was founded. At Varsity, he’s led research studies, strategic development initiatives and tactical plan implementation for countless senior living organizations and other major brands targeting the mature market. 

For Derek, the new role is an opportunity to lead clients as they transition to the next wave of retirees and their ever changing expectations. It’s also an opportunity to continue Varsity’s work in challenging senior marketing stereotypes. 

“The field of aging services is incredibly diverse and yet we see a lot of marketing aimed at older adults that’s based on the same tired stereotypes,” said Derek. “Varsity’s goal for its clients is to bring ideas to life that shatters those stereotypes. That’s what Varsity has done for the past two decades and what we’ll continue to do in the future.” 


Even though February is the shortest month of the year, it sometimes seems like it’s never going to end. It’s cold, it’s dark, it’s dreary and it doesn’t have the advantage of December’s holiday parties to bring happiness and cheer.

But February is also packed with occasions that can help us be kind to one another and lift one another’s spirits. These holidays include Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 14 – 20),  National Write a Letter to an Elder Day  (February 26) and National Set a Good Example Day (February 26).  And don’t forget National Caregivers Day (Third Friday in February), which is a great time to thank the people giving their all to care for residents.

We can all feel a lot warmer by taking advantage of February’s many opportunities to be kind to our residents, our staff and one another. These don’t have to be grand gestures — even the smallest act of kindness can spread joy, connection and positive change around your community, and ultimately, the world.

.Here are seven things you can do to show kindness to your residents and staff during National Kindness Week.

  1. Send a handwritten letter. 70% of people find letters written by hand more personal and prefer them to emails or texts. Possible items to include: a story about your life, a joke, a fun illustration or a crossword puzzle.
  2. Give a compliment. Show your appreciation by praising an aspect of a team member’s or resident’s personality, character or appearance that you truly admire.
  3. Plan a scavenger hunt. Hide notes with small acts of kindness written on them and have residents and staff work together to find them.
  4. Leave uplifting notes. Place sticky post-it notes in shared spaces or work stations or on a resident’s door with positive messages like, “You are special,” “You add so much to the community” or “You inspire me.”
  5. Set up a kindness station. Create a space where volunteers and team members can hand out balloons, give manicures, pass out cookies, serve a cup of coffee or just spend time chatting.
  6. Do a small favor. Run an errand, carry in groceries, open a door, help a resident with their computer or phone, walk a dog.
  7. Decorate the community. Put up flowers, posters and banners to remind people that it’s Random Acts of Kindness Week.

Don’t stop just because Random Acts of Kindness Week ends — keep the goodwill going! Check the National Day Calendar [links to:] to find small holidays in every month to celebrate and keep spreading those positive feelings, because kindness has physical, mental and emotional benefits. It boosts happiness and well-being, combats depression and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, strengthens the immune system, reduces pain and promotes healthy relationships.

The more you fill this month with small acts of kindness, the less you’ll worry about the black ice, surprise snowstorms and freezing temps. You’ll be having so much fun, you may even wish that February had more than 28 days.



Reprinted with permission from

 It’s a fact of life — people grow old. While modern society tends to obsess about the negatives of aging, studies suggest that we often experience more happiness and contentment in our later years. These 12 facts investigate the phenomenon of growing old, debunk some persistent myths about aging, and explore the brighter side of those golden years.

  1. Say Goodbye To Migraines

As our bodies age, they naturally become more susceptible to a variety of illnesses and maladies — but migraines are the rare exception. Migraines often first develop in adolescence, and while both sexes are affected, women are three times more likely to develop migraines compared to men (often due to a fluctuation in estrogen levels). However, the frequency of migraines eventually peaks at the age of 40 and actually gets better as we enter our golden years. Stress and hormones are the most common triggers for migraines, and these two factors usually affect older people with less severity. That said, pain, smoking and alcohol can still contribute to migraines in seniors, and although migraines generally subside with age, they are still the second-most-common headache disorder in older people (after tension headaches). One in 10 older adults still experience them about once a year.

  1. Hair Doesn’t Actually “Turn” Gray

One of the hallmarks of aging is that our lifelong hair color begins to turn gray, or in some cases, white. Although an entire industry is built around hiding this fact, human hair isn’t actually turning gray so much as it’s no longer supplying the pigments necessary to produce color. This occurs when hydrogen peroxide builds up after wear-and-tear on the hair follicles. That blocks the normal synthesis of melanin, which is responsible for all shades of hair color.

  1. Older Adults Are Happier Than People In Their 20s on Average

As people age, we also gain a certain calm. A study published in 2016 in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry analyzed a random sample of 1,546 people ages 21 to 100 in San Diego. Although younger people in the survey responded positively in terms of physical health compared to older folks (as anticipated), older adults far outperformed younger generations in terms of mental well-being. Panic disorders are also reported as less common among older cohorts compared to younger people, and developing a panic disorder later in life is a rarity.

  1. They Also Sweat Less, Too

As we age, our skin loses collagen, gets thinner, and presses our sweat glands close to the surface of our skin. This process is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, because these glands are squeezed, it’s harder for sweat to come out of our pores, meaning older people sweat less overall. This may be a check mark in the “pro” column for personal hygiene, but it does come with a few negative side effects. With a reduced ability to sweat, older adults can have trouble regulating temperature during strenuous exercise or excessive heat. Sweat also plays an important role in healing, as it helps stimulate wound closure in skin cells. Thankfully, a lifetime of physical fitness helps slow down this process so you can sweat long into your golden years.

  1. Older People Vote More Than Any Other Age Group

Older people may not feel as strong as they did in their youth, but in terms of political power, they’re as strong as ever. In 2018, 64% of people 65 and over voted in the U.S. midterm election — the highest turnout of any age group — and the 65-to-74-year-old cohort also had the highest turnout in the 2020 election. There are a couple of reasons why the older vote is particularly robust. The biggest may be that older Americans, as well as seniors in other democracies, have government programs and initiatives they rely on, such as Medicare, prescription drug pricing, and Social Security, and because these policies so directly affect them, elections tend to turn out seniors in higher numbers. (There are other factors at play, too — older folks may simply have more time on their hands.) Senior citizens also grease the wheels of democracy, as they’re the most likely age group to volunteer as poll workers on Election Day.

  1. Noses and Ears Don’t Keep Growing, But They Do Droop

While a common myth purports that our ears and nose continue to grow as we age (while the rest of us generally shrinks), that’s not entirely true. Like most other parts of our body, our ears and nose stop growing once we’re in adulthood, but the constant tug of gravity over the decades causes these cartilage-filled features to droop over time. This constant pull actually causes the collagen and elastic fibers in our ears and nose to elongate, and this lengthening, combined with surrounding facial structures losing overall volume, often produces the illusion of growing ears and noses as we age. This elongation is a slow and steady process; studies have shown that ears can lengthen some 0.22 millimeters a year. Interestingly, the process is so precise that you can discern a person’s age just by measuring their ears.

  1. Old Age Isn’t a Modern Phenomenon

A common misconception about old age is that it’s a relatively modern phenomenon, as our predecessors lived brutish lives cut short by disease and war. While modern medicine has certainly expanded life expectancy, many people in the past lived as long as people live today. For example, some ancient Roman offices sought by politically ambitious men couldn’t even be held until someone was 30 — not exactly a great idea if people didn’t live many years beyond that. Scientists have analyzed the pelvis joints (a reliable indicator of age) in skeletons from ancient civilizations and found that many people lived long lives. One study analyzing skeletons from Cholula, Mexico, between 900 and 1531 CE found that a majority of specimens lived beyond the age of 50. Low life expectancy in ancient times is impacted more by a high infant mortality rate than by people living unusually short lives. Luckily, modern science has helped more humans survive our vulnerable childhood years, and life expectancy averages have risen as a result.

  1. Older People Requiring Less Sleep is a Myth

Another myth about getting old is that as we age, humans need less and less sleep, somehow magically subsisting on six hours or less when we enter our senior years. The truth is that the amount of sleep a person needs is only altered during childhood and adolescence, as our bodies need more energy to do the tough work of growing. Once we’re in our 20s, humans require the same amount of sleep per night for the rest of their lives (though the exact amount differs from person to person). In fact, the elderly are more likely to be sleep-deprived because they receive lower-quality sleep caused by sickness, pain, medications, or a trip or two to the bathroom. This can be why napping during the day becomes more common as we grow older.

  1. Some of Our Bones Never Stop Growing

The common perception of human biology is that our bones put on some serious inches in our youth, and then by the time we’re 20 or so, nature pumps the brakes and our skeleton stays static forever. While that’s true of a majority of our bones, some don’t follow this simplistic blueprint. A 2008 study for Duke University determined that the bones in the skull continue to grow, with the forehead moving forward and cheek bones moving backward. Unfortunately, this imperceptible bit of a facial movement exacerbates wrinkles, because as the skull shifts forward, the overlying skin sags.

The pelvis also keeps growing throughout your life. Scientists analyzing the pelvic width of 20-year-olds compared to 79-year-olds found a 1-inch difference in width, which adds an additional 3 inches to your waistband. That means our widening in the middle as we age isn’t just about a slower metabolism.

  1. Pupils Get Smaller As We Age

While our hips get bigger, our pupils get smaller. The human pupil is controlled by the circumferential sphincter and iris dilator muscles, and as we add on the years, those muscles weaken. Because of this loss of muscle function, pupils get smaller as we age, and are also less responsive to light. Smaller pupils make it harder to see at night, so people in their 60s need three times as much light to read comfortably as people in their 20s. Reading a menu in a dimly lit restaurant? Forget about it. Other eye changes include an increased likeliness of presbyopia, or farsightedness (which can often be resolved with reading glasses), and cataracts, or a clouding of the eye’s lens. In fact, half of people over the age of 80 will have experienced a cataract of some kind.

  1. Older People Have a Stronger “Immune Memory”

Although the body experiences some slowing down as we age, growing old isn’t all bad news. Researchers from the University of Queensland found that older people had stronger immunities than people in their 20s, as the body keeps a repository of illnesses that can stretch back decades. This extra line of defense begins to drop off in our 70s and 80s, but until then, our bodies generally just get better and better at fighting off disease due to biological experience. Additionally, as we age we experience fewer migraines, the severity of allergies declines, and we produce less sweat. Older people also exhibit higher levels of “crystalized intelligence” (or what some might call “wisdom”) than any other age group.

  1. The Atoms That Make Up All of Us Are Already Billions of Years Old

It’s true that age is just a number, and in the cosmic view of the universe, human age is pretty insignificant. The atoms that make up the human body are already billions of years old. For example, hydrogen — one of the key components of our bodies — formed in the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago. Likewise, carbon, the primary component of all known life, formed in the fiery cauldron of stars at least 7 billion years ago. So when someone says we’re all made of “star stuff,” they’re very much telling the truth (we’re also made from various supernovae). And while we grow old on Earth, this is only the latest chapter of a story that stretches back to the beginning of everything — and it’s a story that’ll continue until the universe ends.


Q & A With Sara Breindel, Chief of Staff at Changing the Narrative

Changing the Narrative is a leading national effort to end ageism through evidence-based strategies and innovative public-facing campaigns.

Q. Why did you join Changing the Narrative?
A. I was working in marketing communications for older adults and attended a 2018 training for professionals at Changing the Narrative, which really shifted my perspective. I learned that many of the stories we told about older people were stereotypes — older people are not a homogeneous group. I was drawn to join the organization soon after, first as a content creator and now as chief of staff and co-director.

There’s a lot going on at Changing the Narrative, not just anti-ageist birthday cards, but workshops to promote age-inclusive workplaces, intergenerational conversations, social media campaigns and more. In this culture, we’re doing a disservice to ourselves with many of the stories we tell about what it means to get older — and Changing the Narrative wants to change that.

Q. What is the anti-ageist birthday card project?
A. The idea was to engage people at birthdays, because it’s a time when we all think about aging. Cards are a very visual example of ageism. One example was a card with a picture of a walker and a line that said, “Here’s your next birthday present.” Why is that OK to say?

We launched our first set of birthday cards in 2020. Because we’re headquartered in Colorado, we called for local artists to create general age-positive cards. For the second round of cards in 2023, we engaged with existing designers at small greeting card companies from across the nation, asking for specific messaging that used age-positive language as well as images.

When picking out birthday cards, we want people to take a little pause and think about the message they’re sending. Some cards send a really negative message about getting older. Ask yourself: Is that how I think of my friends and colleagues? That they should feel bad about themselves — old and ugly?

It takes time, but these awareness campaigns can change peoples’ perspectives. The genesis for this idea actually came from one our volunteers, who was about to turn 70, and she had already talked to her friends about her work with us. For the first time ever, she got no negative cards about aging on her birthday.

Q. What is implicit bias and how can birthday cards change that?
A. We’ve all been surrounded with negative messages about older people and we now believe them about ourselves. We don’t realize we have this implicit bias — even about ourselves. Our negative beliefs about aging actually hurt our ability to age well. Receiving positive card messages can help us celebrate a milestone rather than fear it and start to chip away at the idea that aging has nothing to offer.

Q. What can we do to get involved?
A. It’s easy to say, “I’m going to grab the first thing I see in the card aisle.” People might take a second look and ask, “Is this a positive sentiment?” Every time we purchase something, we’re telling the industry, “there’s a market for this.” If we start picking up cards that are more age-positive, it can change what companies sell. People looking for age-positive cards can find them on our site, but wherever you buy them, we encourage you to think about the message you’re sending.

Q. Why is it important to foster a positive picture of aging?
A. Getting older can bring health problems, but it brings great things as well. Greater resilience, wisdom, experience and an ability to form connections all come with age.

A study by Yale University professor Dr. Becca Levy showed that people live an average of 7.5 years longer if they have positive feelings about getting older. Something seemingly small like a birthday card, or our larger initiatives to help end workplace discrimination, can work to create a more positive view of aging.

To learn more about what Changing the Narrative is doing to end ageism, visit their website.


Kendrick Brinson is addicted to photographing Sun City, Arizona, where the average age is 73. An acclaimed  documentary, commercial and editorial photographer whose clients include The New York Times, National Geographic and Smithsonian Magazine, Kendrick first visited Sun City more than a decade ago. This census-designated, self-governed community is home to 40,000 people on 40 acres. Over several years, Kendrick has photographed nearly all of it. Here is her perspective on life in this unique place.

Q. Why did you first come to Sun City?
A. I used to work at a newspaper and when I left to do full-time freelance photography, I was looking for something happy and fun to work on. I saw a movie about Sun City, then learned that 49 years earlier, Time Magazine had done a story on Sun City and its founder Del Webb. Sun City was the first place of its kind — and it’s still one of the largest —where people can decide what their retirement will be like. For Sun City’s 50th anniversary, I said, “I have to go there.” Then I returned and I returned and I returned.

Q. What’s unique about Sun City?
A. Sun City reimagined the idea of what retirement could look like. It’s a place of exploring, play, learning and community. And the landscape is so different from where I’m from in South Carolina — cactus-lined streets … golf carts on the streets … 1960s homes … giant palm trees. The light is even different here. People own their homes and they pay a very affordable yearly fee to be in the 100+ active clubs and use any of the seven pools, 11 golf courses, seven recreation centers, three country clubs and two libraries — all owned by the Recreation Centers of Sun City.

Q. What are some of your favorite subjects to photograph there?
A. I like the colorful, quirky, fun shots, like a costumed dog parade or a Halloween party. I love anytime I can capture people not taking themselves too seriously. One resident’s wife told him he needed to get off the couch and stop watching TV. He made this little golf cart out of a couch and a TV and drives it around.

My favorites are the cheerleaders: The Sun City Poms. One of the members just turned 90 — they have beautiful uniforms. It’s like a sisterhood. At first glance, when you see the cheerleaders perform, you think, “I wouldn’t be surprised if this person was 17 or 18” — but it’s actually a 78-year old throwing pom poms. These are people our grandmothers’ ages, and this is not what we expect, and this is what they’re doing.

Q. What’s it like connecting with residents?
A. People are always trying to connect me with other people to photograph — I feel very welcome there. I’ve played pickleball there, and when I go to the dances people coerce me to do the foxtrot. I get a little taste of retirement.

Q. What have you learned from visiting Sun City?
A. When we’re young, we go in the direction of what we love. Along the way we pick up messages like “you’re a terrible painter,” and we might stop doing it. But at Sun City, you don’t have to be the best cheerleader or the best at pickleball — you’re doing it because your friends are doing it and because it feels good to do.

People are having fun and they’re staying young and they’re staying healthy. I love this idea that we can get back to the things we really loved as a kid. It’s kind of like eternal summer camp.

Sun City has helped me look at aging in a way that’s appealing and exciting, contrary to our culture that worships youth. I’ve come to view getting older as a thing to look forward to — and a gift every day.

See more of Kendrick Brinson’s photos on her website.

Guest post by Natalie Clark, Community Manager; and Kaitlyn Mulligan, Social Media Strategist; Pavone Group

Hardly a day goes by without hearing buzz about “AI.” Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence technology that can produce content, such as text, images and other media, in response to prompts. And this year, we’ve seen a huge wave of AI tools entering into the social media space. 

Snapchat was the first on the scene to add AI features. Since Snapchat is well known for its focus on privacy, people were a bit nervous when it introduced its AI bot. Essentially, the AI added commentary about things people were “snapping” and messaging about. Thankfully, Snapchat listened to its community and “My AI” is now solely for those who have a paid Snapchat membership. 

As for Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, Threads and WhatsApp, it is being a bit more cautious about developing AI tools. Currently, Meta is developing an AI tool that would enable you to ask questions of an AI system within any direct message. This is something that may be more useful for senior living brands in responding to clients or prospects, helping you to write better answers. 

TikTok is also looking to latch onto the AI hype with an AI chatbot, which it’s calling Tako. Different from what Snapchat and Instagram are doing, Tako can be used to find relevant TikTok content that matches your preferences or to track down videos you’ve seen before. Generally, it makes users’ lives easier. Speaking of which, AI-generated content on TikTok must now be disclosed with either a sticker or a disclaimer indicating the content has been created by AI, similar to an “ad” hashtag you’d see on Instagram.

In general, as AI starts to help users search for social content, keywords are becoming even more important for social posts. For your brand, make sure to use keywords in captions and copy, so that those using AI tools will be directed to your profile with their queries. 

While senior living prospects may be slower to adopt social media, we should always keep in mind that we also want to reach their adult children, and even the younger generation, for hiring talent. So we need to stay on top of these AI trends to connect with all these audiences.

The Varsity team attended the National LeadingAge Annual Meeting + EXPO, which was held October 16–19 in Denver, Colorado. In case you weren’t able to attend, here are some of the top themes we heard.

  1. Workforce recruitment. This remains a hot topic of conversation and a major struggle for much of the field. However, it seems as if the situation is slightly improving and there are some signs of hope.
  2. Raising rates. How much and when? People talked about how they had to raise rates twice in a year and deal with the issues that go along with that. Given that Social Security will increase by 8.7% in 2023, there is hope that residents will be (somewhat) understanding.
  3. Technology. Some people said they were excited by all the technology they were seeing. However, others said they just keep hearing a lot of buzzwords and no real substance. Technology is great; it can replace the tasks that don’t need human interaction (e.g., waiting for food and delivering it to residents), so team members can focus on relationship building. But high tech alone is not enough — we need high touch as well.
  4. Marketing content development. We saw fresh ideas from old and new vendors alike. Marketers are looking for new ways to redefine perceptions of Life Plan Communities in the marketplace.
  5. Cherish the moment. We’ve all been through a lot with COVID-19. We’ve all lost people in our personal and professional lives. It’s been hard, hectic and long hours of work, but let’s cherish the moment and cherish the people we do have.

What moments have you been cherishing during these challenging times? Please share your thoughts on the Varsity Facebook page.

October 22 is National Make a Difference Day! To honor this day of service, we asked our staffers,
“What is one thing you are doing to make a difference?”

Here are some of their answers:

“I’m building a sanctuary for nature and its creatures.”
“l live on a farm, where I compost just about everything possible, plant bee and butterfly favorites like milkweed, bee balm and butterfly bushes, and tend a flock of chickens that give me great nutrients for my gardens. I also maintain a small pond that attracts frogs, insects and butterflies, and build and install birdhouses around my property.”
Jace Dawson, Project Manager 

“I join 100 women in making a bigger difference together than we could alone.”
I belong to 100 Women Who Care, and each of us donates $100 per quarter and awards the aggregate $10,000 to a nonprofit in need. We nominate the nonprofits to be considered, they each present to us, and then we vote for who should receive the funding.”
Jackie Stone, Sales Consultant

“I serve as an election judge in my own precinct.”
After the murder of George Floyd, I wanted to do something that would make my community fairer and more equitable. I looked around for ways to do that and determined one of the best ways was to get involved in the election process. I wanted to be a poll watcher to ensure everybody was able to safely and confidently vote. However, I was told the greatest need was to be an election judge in my own precinct. I’ve served in that capacity since 2020.
— Derek Dunham, VP Client Services

“I support organizations that support the community.”
“I donate to local organizations and am mindful of the environment, because we all live downstream.”
— John Bassounas, Partner

“I’m going a year without purchasing new clothing.”
At the end of 2021 I did my routine closet clean-out, and by the end of the day I was donating more bags of clothing than I care to share the final number of. Seeing that much clothing was humbling and disturbing. I probably was only wearing about 20% of my clothes. I took on the challenge to see if I could go an entire year without purchasing any clothing, and I’m well on my way there.  Remake has been a great resource, and is packed with information about huge flaws in the fashion industry, from labor issues to the huge amount of clothing that ends up in landfills.”
— Renee Kelly, Art Director

“I volunteer my time to a nonprofit theatre company and a community college’s graphic design program.”
“For over 35 years, I’ve supported the local arts community by volunteering my time to a nonprofit theatre company — producing posters for The Harrisburg Shakespeare Company’s main stage events. I’ve also dedicated time to the local community college’s graphic design program, as a member of their advisory board, a guest lecturer and mentor to students, assisting them in preparing their portfolios and honing interview skills prior to graduation.”
— Robinson Smith, Creative Director

“I focus on reducing plastic use and recycling, buying locally and composting everything I can.”
“I compost everything (including buying compostable diapers), have planted bee- and butterfly-friendly flowers, use biodegradable cleaners, recycle all that I can, and use Terracycle for items that aren’t traditionally recyclable. I also buy local eggs, meat and produce at the farmers’ market one mile from my house that I walk to.”
— Natalie Groeger, Senior Account Strategist

That’s what we’re doing to make a difference! Here’s to helping each other, our communities and the planet!

September is Happy Cat Month and Responsible Dog Ownership Month! To honor these observances, we would like to introduce you to the feline friends and canine companions of our staffers. In addition to contributing to a happier, longer  life for older adults, pets have a similar impact on our team. Without further ado, we present the pets of Varsity!

Rocky the Pillow-Fort Creator
Owns: Ellie Weaver, Account Strategist

“This three-year-old boxer makes pillow forts for himself out of the couch cushions. He barks at everything that moves and sometimes at nothing at all.

Louis the Snow Bunny
Owns: Emily Runyon, Account Strategist

Two-year old Louie, a mutt, was adopted as a puppy. This big, happy lazy boy is happiest sitting on your lap (all 75 pounds of him) or in the snow.

Loki the Rodent Connoisseur
Owns: Jace Dawson, Project Manager

Adopted from Heavenly Paws, this 12-year-old feline hates to be inside too long and is the best hunter Jace has ever had. (Loki prefers rodents to birds.)

Mia the Tennis Ball Fanatic
Owns: Emily Runyon, Account Strategist

Adopted as a puppy, five-year-old Mia is obsessed with tennis balls and will do anything for a treat or to bask in the sun.

Sebastian the Cat’s Best Bud
Owns: Jace Dawson, Project Manager

An eight-year-old German Shepherd, Sebastian is loyal to a fault and loves to be vacuumed.

Mila the ZZZ-Catcher
Owns: Renee Kelly, Art Director

Adopted at a year old, ten-year-old Mila made her way to central PA from a shelter in Ohio. She lives her best life through relaxation, naps and walks.

Keno the Complainer
Owns: Jace Dawson, Project Manager

The first (and probably last) pure bred Jace has ever owned, 12-year-old Siberian Husky Keno is bullheaded and loves to complain.

Kylo the Cuddler
Owns: Jace Dawson, Project Manager

This affectionate feline loves to cuddle up on the sofa and in bed, but doesn’t like to be picked up. His snores shake the earth.

That’s our pet project. Here’s to our beloved animals – and yours!

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