Pair from Pines Village reach new heights

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on August 20, 2014 with No Comments

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Jill Silhavy and Ken Holt

It’s a thrill to watch a brightly colored hot air balloon soar to the clouds. But, how about climbing aboard?

That dream lifted off for Jill Silhavy and Ken Holt recently as they won a ride in the Kiwanis Hot Air BalloonFest. The contest, called Reaching New Heights, was sponsored by Pines Village Retirement Communities to inspire residents and employees to reach higher and dream bigger.

“We’re interested in what inspires our residents and staff and we encourage them to take steps toward things that make them happy,” said Laurie Mullet, Pines Village CEO.

Pines Village staff and residents could enter the contest daily for several weeks, but it took Ken Holt just one entry to win.

“It was absolutely meant to be,” said Holt, 82.  Holt has been a Pines Village resident for more than five years, after retiring as a master sergeant for the Illinois State Police and spending two decades in Florida.

Holt was grateful for his spot in the clouds. “I had a bad year last year physically and I’m doing a real good job of recuperating. I wasn’t scared up there at all. It was inspiring,” he said. “When we were above the treetops, I felt like I could reach down and touch them.”

Holt continues to reach new heights at Pines Village where he is adding to his two master’s degrees by taking correspondence courses. He enjoys walking his dog, Princess, and spending time with friends.

Holt shared his spot in the basket with Jill Silhavy, 35, of Valparaiso who has worked in dining services at Pines Village for more than two years.

“I entered the drawing because I knew I probably wouldn’t get another chance to do this,” said Silhavy who has always enjoyed Ferris wheels and roller coasters. “For the first 10 minutes of the balloon ride, my knees were shaking.”

Silhavy is an avid runner who has challenged herself in several local 5K runs. Next on her bucket list is going on a cruise and climbing a waterfall.

“We encourage our residents and employees to never stop dreaming, learning, and setting goals,” said Mullet.

Located in Valparaiso, Pines Village Retirement Communities is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing quality housing and services for older adults. For more information, visit pinesvillage.org or call 219-465-1591.


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