Karen on bridge

Be FREE

Karen Stathakis is moving in a healthy direction at a pace of 4,000 steps a day – as tracked by her Fitbit!     Be FREE After years of caregiving, raising two sons, maintaining a home and juggling a career, Garlands member Karen is free at last to pursue her passions and step into the spotlight: on… Continue Reading Be FREE

Sally and Nancy toasting champaign

Be FAMILY

“Always my sister, forever my friend.”   Be FAMILY Garlands members and sisters Nancy and Sally grew up side by side on the northwest side of Chicago near the famed Riverview amusement park and Wrigley Field. Nancy, the older by two years, attended Alvernia, an all-girls high school. Sally opted for the co-ed St. Benedicts “because it was more… Continue Reading Be FAMILY

Marlene Peterson painting

Be CREATIVE

Marlene Peterson is a priceless original.   Be CREATIVE When a Garlands friend asked Marlene if she painted, she replied, “I don’t ‘do’ art.” The friend’s response, “How do you know?” sparked Marlene’s curiosity and creativity. Dozens of masterpieces later, Marlene exhibits her work at The Gallery at The Garlands and around town, but her true gift is… Continue Reading Be CREATIVE

Natalie and Fred with Mountains

Be ADVENTUROUS

The sky is the limit for Fred and Natalie Sponsler.   Be ADVENTUROUS Garlands members American Airlines pilot Fred and tax accountant Natalie were “fixed up” later in life by their fraternity brother teenage sons. Taking a risk on love again, the adventuresome Fred and Natalie began dating. A trained Air Force pilot and owner of his own Cirrus… Continue Reading Be ADVENTUROUS

Gary and Sue Ellen on Ski Lift

Be THRILLING

Sharing breathtaking views atop a snowy Colorado mountain is a real thrill for Gary and Sue Ellen Griffin.   Be THRILLING Family ski trips that started when their three boys were in grammar school continue today…with the addition of seven grandchildren on the slopes! They’ve been risk-takers and adventurers from the get-go. Sue Ellen took the first… Continue Reading Be THRILLING

Dorothy and Richard on their deck

Be YOURSELF

His and her offices are the perfect fit for Richard and Dorothy Winsor, two scholars with doctorate degrees in their respective fields.   Be YOURSELF In their Garlands home, each spouse has space – in the home as well as in their relationship – to be him or herself and follow their own individual passions – along… Continue Reading Be YOURSELF

Van Griffen's at dinner

Be GRACIOUS

The Garlands is home-sweet-home to Dick and Alice Van Egeren.   Be GRACIOUS When these Garlands Members returned to Barrington, where they raised their five children, it was a happy homecoming after 15 golden years in Arizona. Once settled, they welcomed a new four-legged family member, Callie, affectionately known as their “Velcro dog.” Ever perched on a… Continue Reading Be GRACIOUS

Zilowski's in library

Be SMART

The Zilkowski classroom knows no boundaries.       Be SMART For these Garlands members Red is the color of love and Bob Zilkowski’s beloved alma mater, Indiana University. “I bleed crimson,” says Bob, a Hoosier fan through and through. Bob and Janet met on a blind date at IU, fell in love and married on the beautiful… Continue Reading Be SMART

Sisters having coffee

Be FRIENDS

Bonnie Gekler is organized, Chris Kotarba is a wee bit loosey-goosey.     Be FRIENDS These Garlands members and lifelong friends are like two distinct peas in the same pod. Whale watching, hiking, retirement parties, a wedding and divorce, a few medical challenges, birthday celebrations―the two pals cruise through life’s ups and downs together. Workmates at First National… Continue Reading Be FRIENDS

Bonnie Smith smiling drinking coffee

Be THE LIGHT

Be THE LIGHT Garlands member Bonnie Smith Smiley’s friendliness, outgoing personality, and yes, smile, consistently exceed even the highest of those expectations. Bonnie’s life journey began in California and led her and her husband, Don, to serve in Guam and then return to California, Washington, New York, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Florida. With their son’s encouragement, they eventually moved… Continue Reading Be THE LIGHT