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WVEC Features WC's 35 Acts of Caring

We stopped by Thalia Elementary School today to teach students about teamwork and sportsmanship while enjoying healthy competion through ping pong. Our partnership with the school is part of our "35 Acts of Caring" to celebrate our 35th anniversary.


35 Acts of Caring for Hampton Roads Mark Community’s Anniversary

From serving meals to families in need to mentoring elementary school students, Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay residents will conduct “35 Acts of Caring” this year to celebrate the non-profit life plan community’s 35th anniversary, which takes place in March. It is anticipated those involved will dedicate as much as 28,000 hours of volunteer time to a wide range of causes throughout Hampton Roads.

“Since our founding, helping make Hampton Roads a better place for people of all generations has been an important part of our mission,” said Ben Unkle, Westminster-Canterbury president and CEO. “Our residents’ contribution of volunteer talent and time also reflects the purpose and social interconnectedness that are part of our focus on healthy aging. This ‘35 Acts of Caring’ program formalizes a tradition that has always existed here.”

Among the  expected activities will be over 700 hours of time spent knitting blankets and other soft goods for cancer patients; donating and serving meals at such organizations as the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, mentoring Achievable Dream students at Seatack Elementary School in Virginia Beach, assistance at blood drives and more.

Westminster-Canterbury opened on March 29, 1982, on 12 acres of beachfront land that formerly accommodated Camp Owaissa, the YWCA’s summer camping program. 

Holiday Inn: Chefs at Westminster-Canterbury build gingerbread Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach

By Lorraine Eaton
The Virginia-Pilot
December 21, 2016

photo credit: Vicki Cronis-Nohe, The Virginian-Pilot

We’ve seen gingerbread houses and gingerbread men. But we’d never seen a gingerbread hotel until this holiday season, when the chefs over at Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay in Virginia Beach built a replica of the iconic Cavalier Hotel.

To do it, pastry chefs Michael Fountain and Rachel Kauder and their merry helpers used 16 pounds of gingerbread, 6 pounds of icing and 90 pounds of candy. The project took 20 hours to plan and design and another 20 to build.

Making ambitious gingerbread creations is a tradition at grand hotels and botanical gardens across the country. Chefs at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Ky., last year built a gingerbread still, a nod to the state’s bourbon roots, and this year made an intricate bourbon aging house, complete with 100 marshmallow-and-gum-paste barrels. And in New York City, the massive GingerBread Lane display at the New York Hall of Science won the Guinness World Record in 2013, 2014 and 2015 for the largest gingerbread village.

-By Lorraine Eaton, The Virginian-Pilot

View the original article here:

Westminster-Canterbury Gingerbread Replica of Cavalier Hotel featured on WVEC

Local Chefs Build Gingerbread Replica of Famous Cavalier Hotel

By Kevin Green
December 10, 2016 

The staff at Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay decided to honor a famous landmark this holiday season — by recreating a gingerbread replica of the Cavalier Hotel.

Staff used 16 pounds of gingerbread, 90 pounds of candy and 6 pounds of icing in creating the replica. It took 20 hours in total to build.

“Every December, our pastry chefs delight and surprise us with a new, massive gingerbread house,” said Westminster-Canterbury CEO J. Benjamin Unkle, Jr. “It is a famous holiday tradition at many fine resorts and hotels. Ironically, this year their design is a famous hotel!”

Unkle went on to say, “Everyone at Westminster is happy the iconic Cavalier is being saved and rejuvenated. Secondly, our own East Tower borrows from the three-wing Cavalier design for water view maximization.  So, our pastry chefs made a wonderful choice. Everyone is wowed by it. The design really hits home.” The replica now proudly stands outside of the Westminster-Canterbury dining room.

Pastry Chef Michael Fountain stands next to the gingerbread replica of the Cavalier Hotel.

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LeadingAge Magazine Profiles Award Winners

By Deborah Cloud
LeadingAge Magazine
October 2016

Behind every great aging-services organization are caring, committed people who exemplify the best of our field. We salute the creativity, compassion and leadership of the 2016 honorees.

Click below to read the full article on the Excellence in Research and Education Award accepted by  Westminster-Canterbury on October 31, 2016. 

2016 Leading Age National Award Winners

Virginian-Pilot Highlights Achievable Dream Lunch with Celebrity Chefs

By Robyn Sidersky
The Virginian-Pilot
Oct. 28, 2016

Almost everyone at the table remembered to place the blue cloth napkin in his or her lap before the meal began. /// One student needed an etiquette refresher, however. /// The third- and fourth-graders from Seatack Elementary went to Westminster Canterbury on Tuesday to practice their etiquette and learn from two chefs who have frequently appeared on the Food Network and Bravo.

Fortunately for the students, Chef Jet Tila and Chef Fabio Vivani were there to give them bites of advice.

“Table manners and good eating habits are the foundation for the rest of life,” Chef Vivani told them.

Tila and his family always made it a priority to break bread together. He learned manners that way.

He said doing business over meals is the way a lot of people will get to know manners. The students who were part of Tuesday’s luncheon at Westminster Canterbury, a retirement community in Virginia Beach, are in the Achievable Dream program, which provides extra opportunities for success and develops social, academic and moral skills. Seatack Elementary is an Achievable Dream Academy.

The first course served was Caesar salad – which some of the students had tried before, and others had not. They examined it carefully, smelling it and inspecting it before digging in. One person decided that it smelled bad, but tasted good. And of course, they were sure to pick the right fork – the outermost one.

Avalyn Brown, 8, was careful about how she ate.

She said etiquette is important because “if you go to a restaurant and eat dirty, you’ll be embarrassed.”

They also learned that it’s polite to wait until everyone at the table has bread before digging in. That proved to be one of the most popular parts of the meal, and several students asked for more bread. They were fascinated by the butter shaped into flowers and had to resist the urge to eat the butter by itself.

When eating the salad, some people said right away that they didn’t like the tomatoes.

Chef Vivani showed them a way to deal with eating something they didn’t like. He suggested they cut the cherry tomato in half and eat it at the same time as the bread, which they did like.

When they were finished with their salads, the students were shown how to tell the servers that they were done without saying a word: by placing their fork upside down on their plates.

While they waited for the main dish, chicken Parmesan with farfalle, Chef Vivani told them the most important thing about cooking: adding flavor to food.

He impressed upon them that the way the food tasted was more important than anything else, even how it looked.

Vivani has appeared on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and some of the show’s spin-offs. Tila has been on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen,” “Chopped,” and “Iron Chef America,” among other shows.

When the main dish appeared in front of the students, the chefs instructed them how to cut the food properly. Most followed directions fairly well.

Brown said normally, she doesn’t like tomato sauce on her pasta, “but on chicken, it’s delicious.”

Laila Odumgba, 9, said the chicken tasted lemony to her, which reminded her of the way her mom cooks it.

When the final course, dessert, arrived, there was a gasp when the servers brought the trays of cannolis into the room.

For many of the students, it was their first time trying it.

They leaned forward and smelled it first. Then they debated whether it would be more appropriate to use a fork or to eat with their hands. Most opted to use their fingers.

The chocolate part of the cannolis was the best part, a few decided.

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