The sitting room inside The Bridge at Cherry Hill was overflowing with love Saturday afternoon.
It came in many forms, with extraordinary emotions from a number of people, including Jen Burns, the assisted living/retirement center’s sales and community relations director.
“I love to come to work,” Burns said amid applause from a standing-room-only audience. “I love everyone here. You are all very, very special people.”
As she spoke, Burns announced that The Bridge at Cherry Hill was about to make history by announcing the names of two people who she personally selected as the Johnston-based facility’s first-ever ambassadors.
“When you make a major move in your life, whether it’s a move to a new part of the county, a new job or even a new grocery story, there’s usually an adjustment period,” Burns said. “You don’t know where to go and you might not have any friends at first. It can be the same when moving into The Bridge.”
Burns announced residents Dorothy Branch and Marie Quartino as The Bridge’s ambassadors, noting their “outstanding performance because they choose to take it upon themselves in an informal and friendly way to help our new friends adjust to their move here.”
Branch and Quartino, Burns emphasized, “are never without a smile or willingness to help a fellow residents no matter what their situation.”
Branch and Quartino greet every visitor with a “hello” and “welcome,” and when a new friend moves into The Bridge, they go out of their way to show them around or help them get to their apartments and also remind them of meal time and activities.
“Whenever a new friend enters the dining room for the first time, they make sure they receive a standing ovation with applause,” Burns said of the new ambassadors. “They do this because as they have told me many times, they remember how they felt in their first days here … it can be a little scary not knowing anyone, and they just want to make sure everyone feels welcome and loves it here as much as they do.”