Friendship Village is well known for its commitment to the seniors living throughout its communities. But did you know Friendship Village is a beacon of philanthropy and local community involvement? The Kirkwood – Des Peres Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to honor the staff of this dynamic organization with the 2023 Commitment to Community Award for the positive impact that its team has made in our community.
One poignant example is Friendship Village's active participation in the National Day of Service at the Enterprise Center on 9/11 in 2023. More than a dozen Friendship Village leadership team members, alongside a thousand volunteers, transformed a day historically marked by tragedy into an opportunity for service. The volunteers packed over 400,000 meals for the St. Louis Area Foodbank, turning a somber anniversary into a day of hope and giving.
Friendship Village's dedication to fostering skills and opportunities is evident in its long-standing community-based vocational instruction program. Coordinated through the Special School District of St. Louis County, this initiative empowers high school graduates aged 18-21 to acquire valuable on-the-job skills. Friendship Village often becomes a permanent workplace for many program graduates.
Friendship Village's team philanthropic spirit extends to its Employee Council, which has tirelessly raised funds for organizations such as St. Baldrick's and the American Cancer Society and provided essential items for charities like Our Lady's Inn Maternity Home and the St. Patrick Center.
The executive team's collaboration with Leading Age Missouri highlights its commitment to senior citizens' rights and protections. Key team members actively participate in advocacy efforts, demonstrating a dedication to promoting positive legislative change. Annual fundraisers for the Alzheimer's Association exemplify Friendship Village's commitment to health-related causes, with the Sunset Hills campus donating over $1,700 in 2023. Their involvement in Wreaths Across America at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery and support for the Ronald McDonald House further underscores their commitment to honoring veterans and assisting families in times of need.
The community's engagement extends beyond traditional philanthropy, with Friendship Village residents actively participating in events such as the Backpack Project for the St. Louis Family Court Foster Care Division. These initiatives, along with support for scouting for food drives and pediatric hospitals, emphasize the breadth of Friendship Village's impact on the community.
The Titan 100 in St. Louis recognized Executive Directors Terry Walsh and Carmen Fronczak, which is a testament to the exemplary leadership at Friendship Village. This program, recognizing top CEOs and C-level executives, provides a platform for these leaders to showcase their influence and vision in business and the community.
Carmen Fronczak's upcoming performance on Dancing with the St. Louis Stars is a shining example of leadership transcending traditional boundaries. Her dedication to raising funds for the Independence Center, a community-based rehabilitation program for adults with severe mental illnesses, highlights the team's commitment to holistic well-being.
In Carmen's words, "I'm so proud to be a member of the Independence Center's Board of Directors. The help we provide for adults is critical, and there are many success stories of how the center has a real impact on people in our community."
Friendship Village's multifaceted approach to philanthropy and community engagement serves as an inspiration, showcasing the transformative power of collective compassion and action.