From Deep Roots to New Beginnings

March 5, 2024

“We’ve been aware of Garden Spot Village for more than 25 years,” says Zoe Bilski. “When we started looking for a retirement community, we knew we wanted to stay in Eastern Lancaster County, but we also wanted to know that we had access to quality care if we needed it. We love the mission of Garden Spot and the active, productive lifestyle people experience here. It just made sense for us to move to Garden Spot Village.”

Zoe and her husband Walt live in East Earl, just 15 minutes from Garden Spot Village. They attend Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in New Holland and have deep roots in the local community. Each Christmas they coordinate an Angel Tree at Our Lady of Lourdes. In 2023 they connected with Prison Fellowship, which allowed them to provide Christmas gifts for the children of men and women who are incarcerated.

“I was surprised at the needs right here in our community. It’s been a blessing for us to help local kids in need,” Zoe says.

“We do the coordinating at church, but it’s the parish family that makes it work by giving generously with joy,” Walt adds.

In addition to their involvement at their church, they have also volunteered with CrossNet Ministries, packing and delivering Meal Packs during the school year and delivering lunches through the summer lunch program. “Volunteers prepare and pack the lunches and then, as volunteers, we drive the lunches to Petra Church, Pine Grove Church and the skate park in Terre Hill,” Zoe explains. “It’s an easy way to make a difference.”

Walt worked for Lukens Steel in Coatesville. As an electrical engineer, he was responsible for the electrical control systems in the melt shop department.

Zoe worked most recently as an operating room nurse at a small surgery center in Chester County that specializes in eye surgery. “It was a good place to work,” Zoe says.


“Garden Spot, for us, is a safety net,” says Walt. “Several years ago I was dealing with some health issues and I started to think, can I care for this house? Do I want to maintain it?”

Walt’s health issues were a wake-up call and he retired early. Because both of their daughters live several hours away, Walt and Zoe don’t want to burden them with their potential future care. They chose their future home at Garden Spot Village and placed a 10 percent down payment, which put them on the Radar Screen in 2020. They hope to move to Garden Spot in 2024.

Zoe says, “We can’t wait to move and become more involved—a more integral part of the community. Our involvement to date will hopefully make that transition easy and seamless.”

When Zoe and Walt’s grandchildren come to New Holland, they always plan a visit to Garden Spot Village. “In the summer of 2022 both our grandson and granddaughter visited. We walk through the campus a lot so we decided to take our usual walk and make note of things that might be interesting to include on a scavenger hunt,” Zoe explains.

“The kids had a blast and it was neat to see them working together to find the things we listed. Each item had points and they earned a prize in the end. They far exceeded the points goal, but didn’t stop looking because they were having so much fun,” Walt says.

“It’s great that Garden Spot Village is a place you can bring your grandkids to have fun,” he reflects.
The couple visits several times a week, using the Wellness Center and volunteering. Walt drives the small Garden Spot Village bus to Yoder’s Country Market once a month. He also drives the shuttle to the summer concerts at New Holland Memorial Park. In addition, the couple volunteered at the golf tournament in June 2023. “It was so much fun,” Zoe says.

“It’s nice,” she adds, “that we have all of these connections with our future neighbors already.”

Walt and Zoe shared the scavenger hunt they created for their grandkids. Download a copy for your grandkids here.

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