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Wide variety of activities keeps senior resident's calendar full

Via Christi Villages resident Mary Withers

When Mary Withers moved to Via Christi Village on Georgetown in Wichita, she got more than a new address — she also got a full activity calendar.

“A big part of the attraction was that they had a lot going on in different fields,” says the 86-year-old retired college English professor. It was important to find a place where she could make new friends, keep longtime hobbies, try new activities and stay fit physically and mentally, says Mary, whose closest family member is 400 miles away.

From fitness classes to day trips around Kansas, Mary and fellow residents have a variety of daily activities to choose from. 

Movie fans take in classics on Saturday nights in the retirement community or go to an area first-run theater. Memories are shared during weekly reminiscing sessions, and favorite books and poetry are read aloud during weekly readings in the library.

“They're so much fun and I especially don't want to miss new activities to try them out,” says Mary, who often does two or three activities daily. 

Since moving to the Village on Georgetown in early 2012, Mary has rekindled her love of music theater, going to the popular summer Music Theatre of Wichita productions. “And I've learned more about Wichita than I ever knew before,” she says of monthly historic drive-by tours offered. Mary moved to Derby 30 years ago after marrying a childhood friend who was a Boeing engineer. 

With encouragement from a staff member and a fellow resident, Mary has even started playing the piano again, a pastime she'd given up in 2006 when she became ill and stopped practicing. 

“I'm living a very full life,” she says, smiling.

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