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The Good Samaritan Society – Las Cruces Village celebrates its 40th year the week of Oct. 14-18.
In 1979 the facilities were conceived when there were no retirement facilities in Las Cruces, said Marketing Director Marcus Royo.
“Some of the (New Mexico State University) professors in the early ‘70s got together and started talking about a plan to build a retirement center where their professors could retire after their tenure at NMSU,” Royo said. “So, there was a lot of trial and error, but they finally got the funds together in 1976 or 1977 and once the funds were raised, they contacted the Good Samaritan Society out of Sioux Falls South Dakoda. They were brought in to take a look; then they took over and built it.
“It became Las Cruces’ first retirement facility and we offer now independent senior living, assisted living, nursing care [and] memory care.”
Facilities at Good Sam include a rehabilitation center for occupational, physical and speech therapy, and post-acute care for those recovering after hospital stays. The services are open to the public as well as residents.
The complex has 155 apartments, said Marty Hart, senior living manager, plus 84 beds in the health care center and 24 rooms in assisted living. The apartments are full, with 28 married couples and a total of 176 residents. “We have 100 percent occupancy rates in assisted living and independent living,” Hart said. “We are blessed with that.”
This year, the Las Cruces Good Samaritan Center was purchased by Sanford Health, another Sioux Falls faith-based organization.
“I love helping seniors, it’s a great situation to be in,” Hart said. “It’s the fact that its evangelical Lutheran-based, Christian-based. The staff here live by eight traits: love, compassion, acceptance, joy, humility, honesty, courage and perseverance.”
There is no requirement of faith for residents, however.
“We are not restrictive in any way,” Hart said. “It’s just the principles our staff operate under. ‘Everyone is someone in Christ’s love.’”
Hart plans a full week of activity during the 40th anniversary.
“On Monday, Oct. 14, we will honor all the area first responders. We will be serving meals all day by the healthcare center. Any first responder should drop by and get a meal. We have made first responder pins and flags, which will be presented to the police chief, fire chief and station captains.”
On Tuesday, residents will be treated to an ice cream social; Wednesday, area providers will be provided lunch and KRWG will be visiting for a “coffee break.”
The big celebration happens Thursday with an evening gala, ribbon cuttings, an open dining hall and creative arts room with food, prizes and music with Jake Mossman, a local flamenco guitarist. Friday will have a closing ceremony.
“We are excited,” Royo said. “There is a lot of excitement over here. We have staff members working on everything – musicians, invitations, compiling pictures. We are bringing it all together.”
“I’m really proud of the way people pull together on this campus,” said Executive Director Bob McDonald. “We really don’t let anything get us down too much. There’s a sense of community that applies to residents and staff, they watch out for each other.”