December 7, 2016 // 1:02 PM

Purposeful Living

Written by Trish Lauer

EJ Rittersbach is someone who symbolizes the sense of volunteerism throughout Garden Spot Village. She is involved in multiple areas of the community, each offering something different to the overall environment of GSV. Some are for fun, others are more business minded – all are important to making Garden Spot what it is.

As a member of the Resident Board, a position she’s held since March of 2012, EJ is a part of a group that focuses on strategic planning for Garden Spot Communities. Having business experience and a history of time spent on other Boards in the past, she’s accustomed to the ins and outs of the process. Her position allows her to take suggestions and issues raised by others residents to the Board and work towards putting a plan in action. “It is rewarding and exciting for me to be a part of a progressive organization that has forward thinking but makes decisions based on Garden Spot's mission of "enriching the lives of older adults as an expression of Christ's love,” says EJ.

EJ is also a member of more than one committee, including the Golf, Resident Development, and Cooperative Living Home steering committees. The Golf and Resident Development committees are something she has been a participant in since moving to Garden Spot Village. For the Golf Committee, she assists with planning the yearly tournament, as well as volunteers on the day of the event. The Resident Development Committee, which meets two to three times a year, discusses pertinent presentations and seminars to provide to residents regarding topics such as charitable gift annuities, as well as reviews letters sent to residents concerning the Benevolent Fund. For the past two years, being a member of the Cooperative Living Home steering committee has given EJ the responsibility of a sub-committee who puts together the resident handbook and lease for the upcoming home, something she feels quite positive about. “This is a very exciting venture,” remarks EJ, “as I see this new home being able to help those older adults live a more meaningful life in a ‘family’ setting.”

Not finished still, EJ also gives her time to the Share & Care shop, the Village Voices and helping as a mail volunteer, distributing mail to other residents. In the Share & Care shop, she works closely with Deborah Fast, Director of Volunteer Services, as a team coordinator handling pricing, display and furniture evaluation. The job was something she stumbled upon while looking into what opportunities to volunteer were available. “All of the hours spent is rewarding and gives me joy as all we do in Share and Care results in benefiting the Benevolent Fund,” comments EJ. Village Voices, where she holds the position of secretary treasurer, gives her the chance to tap into her musical side while bringing a love of music to others. “I enjoy singing and get joy from seeing those who enjoy our concerts enjoy what we present. Many of those in attendance as we know have no other means of going to musical events outside of GSV. Also, it's fun when we take our concerts "on the road" to other retirement communities.”

Besides all that she does at Garden Spot Village, EJ also continues to work part-time for the company she retired from full time in 2001. This past January, she celebrated 60 years with them and she still enjoys what she does while being able to contribute from the comfort of her home. In addition, she volunteers at the Fulton Theater in Lancaster as an usher, a position she’s held for the past six years and allows her to meet new people – and also see wonderful shows at no cost!

All of these different things give EJ a sense of fulfillment while she stays busy in a way that engages her. “Keeping active in all these ways delights me as I see the benefit of helping others, which gives me joy and a real purpose to get up each day,” says EJ. “All I do is for the glory of the Lord. It is He and He alone who gives me the strength and sound mind to be involved as I am.”