Pillars of Shaker Pointe community leaving a legacy of love and comfort

An active lifestyle and sense of community are just two of the pillars Shaker Pointe was built on. Co-executive directors Sisters Lauren VanDermark and Kay Ryan helped lay that foundation.  The two nuns have run Shaker Pointe together since the Sisters of St. Joseph decided to build the 55-and-older community in Watervliet a little more than a decade ago.  “They’ve been the best,” one resident remarked as the sisters passed through one of the dining areas. “Everybody loves living here and it comes from the top.”  Ten years removed from opening Shaker Pointe, Ryan and VanDermark will soon be given a new mission by the Sisters of Saint Joseph, and are now preparing to hand over the reins to incoming executive director, Kathy Welden.  “The moment you come here, you have a feeling of love and comfort automatically,” said Welden, who began working at Shaker Pointe at the end of April and will take over in July. “That’s strictly from the foundation that they’ve provided here.”  As they soak up every remaining moment, Sisters VanDermark and Ryan say it will be hard to walk away from the community they’ve helped build, but they don’t plan to become strangers, either.  “I think the next part of Shaker Pointe needs to develop, and we’ve done what we can do here, that’s the bitter sweet part,” Sister Ryan said.  “I certainly will miss every single part of Shaker Pointe — the residents, the staff, the visitors, the families,” Sister VanDermark said.

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