Whew! The Holidays are over. Did the season arrive faster this year? If you know me, you have heard my analogy of time and our lives. I like to compare time to a funnel. When we were young, we circled the funnel at the top. It took forever for your birthday or Christmas to arrive. As we get older, we slide down the side of the funnel, we seem to pick up speed. The holiday season and birthdays arrive more quickly than we remember. The downward slope of the funnel and the speed of time forces us to hang on! Life changes could be necessary to ensure that we attain the maximum benefit of longevity. We can do this!

Every person living in our community has made a momentous change in their life. We moved to The Villages. That includes you. You may have moved here for recreation opportunities, lifestyle options, social activities, healthcare, a job, volunteer work or just the beauty of it all. I assure you that none of this happened by accident. The vision I believe evolved around one word. Quality. Specifically, quality of life.

My New Years resolution is gratitude. I hope you will join me in saying “Thank You.” Thank you to the Morse Family for committing their lives to creating this incredible community. Thank you for the vision that saw the necessity for health care, recreational facilities, charter schools, commercial properties, and district government. Their vision has provided each of us with the opportunity to create the quality of life we desire. We can pick from all that is available to improve our lives, which in turn will improve the life of the community. Remember the word quality.

Look around in every town center. Not only is there an outstanding variety of commercial opportunities, but healthcare options are part of the vision. Villages Health offers more than seventy-five classes in the wellness program to help us continue a healthy lifestyle. These vary in scope for our ageing demographic and are available to all residents at no charge.
All of this takes place in beautiful surroundings. A favorite view of mine is Buena Vista Blvd in the Lake Sumter Landing area. I have the same reaction every time I pass, beautiful. Again, no accident. Landscape architects saved the existing Live Oak and added the touch of botanical garden. The effects of peace and serenity associated with the outdoors bring quality to our lives. This beauty is everywhere in our community. Quality and vision.

Do you own one of the estimated sixty-five thousand golf cars in the community? If everyone drives their golf car even one thousand miles per year, that equates to sixty-five million miles. Sixty-five million miles of transportation not driven in an automobile. That improves our community and the world. Again, this is vision. Quality.

Everyone is experiencing the perceived speed of life. However, we have given ourselves the opportunity of challenging the future. The Morse Family has provided us with the stage.

“Get involved.”
Read a book. Join a new club, avail yourself to education through The Enrichment Academy or The Villages Health free classes. Attend a meeting of the new Dependent Fire District Supervisory Board, CDD or PWAC to understand how the District Government operates. Understanding is important.

The VHA will again be providing over forty informational forums in 2024. These will include our Resident’s Information Night and Golf Car Safety. We also will be hosting monthly Bingo and quarterly socials events. All are free to residents. (Some events may be members only due to seating capacity).

“Make a difference.” Your involvement in the sports, clubs, the church, or local government can “make a difference” in the quality of your life as well as the life of this beautiful community. What could be more important?

I want to be the first to say “Thank You” to Mark Morse and his family in 2024. To you, your employees and contractors, I appreciate your vision and the quality of life you have made available my wife and myself.

“Thank You” to Kenny Blocker District Government Manager and your numerous employees and contractors for maintaining and enhancing this incredible infrastructure.
To all the residents of the community, I urge to also say “Thank You.”

See you at the gym!

Peter Russell