Celebrating (and Making) History

By Michael E. McRae
President & CEO
St. Ann’s Community
July 5th, 2023


When three esteemed organizations in our community join together to mark their respective anniversaries, you can bet it will be one memorable celebration.

That’s just what happened last month as part of a Flag Day event held at St. Ann’s Community at Cherry Ridge. The three organizations marking milestones this year are:

  • St. Ann’s Community (150 years)
  • Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (100 years)
  • Veterans Outreach Center (50 years)

The event featured patriotic music performed by a string quartet from the RPO. The audience consisted of Cherry Ridge elders and their families as well veterans and current service members from across the area thanks to the VOC. So many worthy reasons to celebrate!

It was the historic aspect of the event that resonated most with me. First, we observed Flag Day, commemorating the adoption of the American flag by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.

Second, we honored our veterans and service members for their service to our nation and to generations of Americans. Without them, events like this one would not be possible.

Third, the string players from the RPO not only performed a beautiful program of patriotic music (for which they received a standing ovation), they also gave the backstory of the songs and put them in the context of America’s history.

Of course, we also recognized our three organizations for the role they’ve played in enriching life in  our community for so many years. There’s a lot of history there.

When it comes to St. Ann’s Community, it’s the employees who make us what we are. It’s evident in the relationships they build with our elders and by the appreciation those elders and their families show to our staff members, who are like family to them.

And since we’re on the subject of history: I’m a firm believer in the adage, “If you don’t know where you’ve been, how can you know where you’re going?” Our employees are making history—the work they’re doing today will have an impact on what St. Ann’s becomes over the next 150 years.

Today’s elders have needs different from those who came to us 30 years ago; those who come to us 30 years from now will have still different needs. With the foundation laid by the Sisters of St. Joseph 150 years ago and the dedication of today’s employees to our mission and vision, we’ll be ready to meet those needs and help the next generation of elders enjoy life to the fullest.

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