St. Mary of the Woods

1-2-06 St. Mary of the Woods is open

12-10-11: St. Mary of the Woods files for bankruptcy

35755 Detroit Rd.

Avon, OH 44011

Avon: 440-937-3111

fax: 440-937-2738

Toll-free: 866-209-6869

St. Mary of the Woods is a brand new continuing care retirement community ... in Avon ... on a 23 acre site on Detroit Road, south of Avenbury Lakes and the Avon Commons, near the Heritage School.

On the web, visit St. Mary of the Woods

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 12-23-05, By Scott Allyn, Morning Journal Writer

``AVON -- A visitor to St. Mary of the Woods retirement community could be forgiven for thinking he or she has entered a well-appointed country club.

Situated on 23 acres across from Avon Commons, the spacious facility, located at 35755 Detroit Road, will offer independent living, assisted living, and a nursing home when it is finished in February [2006].

Executive Director Janet Harst said construction began about a year ago, and residents started moving in the first week of October [2005].

"We call them our pioneers," said Harst. "We were so new we didn't have food service yet, so we gave them vouchers for the Vintage House Cafe across the street ..."

St. Mary of the Woods is run by the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago, which also sponsors Mount Alverna Village in Parma. The two Ohio facilities are part of the Franciscan Communities network, with more than a dozen retirement and care facilities in six states.

Although the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago is a Catholic group, Harst said people of all faiths are welcome to St. Mary. She said since applicants are not asked about their religious affiliation, she does not know what faiths are represented by her residents.

Harst said St. Mary was designed to provide a home for those who are fit and active, and to continue as their home as they become increasingly dependent on others' care.

"We have 81 (independent living) apartments," said Harst. "By mid-February [2006] 48 apartments will be ready in the assisted living section and our 30-bed nursing home will be done. Eight beds in the nursing home are dedicated to skilled nursing. Patients can stay there for short-term visits while they recover from things like broken hips or pneumonia."

Harst said apartments include studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom floor plans, and can accomodate singles or couples. Amenities include fully-equipped kitchens and washers and dryers in the apartments, and one meal a day served in dining rooms. Monthly rentals start at $2,600, and personal assistant services include dressing, grooming, laundry and other kinds of assistance for a range of fees.

Executive Chef Thomas Steinmetz said he had a country club background, having worked at clubs in Mayfield Village and Pepper Pike.

"We operate like a restaurant," he said. "At lunch we typically have about 25 items. We also have a dietician on staff to help plan menus for people who require low sodium or low fat foods, or other restrictions."

Steinmetz said he's trying to make mealtime a festive occasion. "We're planning party themes for every holiday you can think of," he said. "On Kentucky Derby Day, for example, we'll offer Derby pie, a chocolate pie with pecans. We'll also have bourbon chicken, with barbecue sauce that includes bourbon whiskey, and burgoo stew, with pork, chicken and beef ..."

Roy Zimmer, a retired executive from Cowles Tool Co. in Cleveland, said he had lived in Raleigh, N.C. for years after retiring, but found St. Mary of the Woods too good to pass up.

"My wife and I looked around North Carolina but didn't see anything we liked," said Zimmer, 87. "We felt too far from family. My daughter heard about St. Mary, so we took a look. I have to say I didn't want to live in a place like this. But now that I'm here, I couldn't think of a better place to be."

Zimmer said his wife passed away three weeks before they moved in to St. Mary fo the Woods. "People my age are looking for new friends," he said. "If you're looking for a place that is not your own home, this would have to be the next-best thing."

When Zimmer moved to St. Mary in October, he met Arthur Rossi. The two men enjoy a light-hearted bantering friendship ... Rossi, 84, said he was an electrical contractor and electrical engineer for the Cleveland Water Department for 30 years.

"This place is first class," he said. "They let us be who we are ... We have peace of mind here, we don't have to worry. It's like one big family."''

Avon: 440-937-3111

fax: 440-937-2738

Toll-free: 866-209-6869

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www.morningjournal.com/articles/2011/12/10/news/mj5416569.txt

NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 12-10-11, By KATE SNYDER ksnyder@MorningJournal.com

[St. Mary of the Woods files for bankruptcy]

AVON -- St. Mary of the Woods, an Avon retirement community, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Cleveland in November [2011].

Jennifer Thompson, spokeswoman for the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago Service Corporation, said the business recorded more than $5.6 million in net losses, but the bankruptcy will not disrupt the day-to-day operations. The retirement facility has about 158 residences. St. Mary of the Woods had about 117 employees at the time of the filing, according to court records.

"Continuing operations ... as normal is a number one priority," she said, adding through a financing plan set in place by the FSCSC, funds would ensure the daily life of residents and employees would go on uninterrupted.

FSCSC sponsors the Franciscan Communities, which is a chain senior living centers across Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, including St. Mary of the Woods ...

According to a memo filed with the court by President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Mary of the Woods Judy Amiano in support of the bankruptcy filing, the funds from FSCSC would allow St. Mary to pursue a "restructuring process," whether through financial reorganization or "through an orderly sale of its facility to a buyer that will have the resources and expertise to ensure the continued care and well-being of (St. Mary of the Woods) residents."

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