Do Unto Others

La Loma Village resident lives by the Golden Rule in supporting her community

By Susie Steckner  and Ken Reinstein

To say that Ann Flatten has lived life to the fullest is a bit of an understatement.

She shared nearly 55 years of marriage with her husband Orris, raised five children, served as a passionate educator and counselor, and devoted herself to community service in varied roles such as arts supporter, poll worker and school board member.

At 85, Ann is still living a full life. The La Loma Village resident is an enthusiastic advocate of exercise and healthy eating and is already anticipating her 100th birthday.  She is also committed to helping programs that promote education.

Ann is grateful to support her community through Sun Health Foundation. She made a donation benefitting the La Loma Village Employee Scholarship Fund and included the Foundation in her estate planning.

“It’s nice to know that whatever you believe in, whatever you feel passionate about, is going to be able to continue because of something you’ve done to help,” she said.

A lesson learned long ago from her mother still guides her life. “The thing that she lived by and taught all of us was the Golden Rule,” Ann said. “She thought that was the most important way to live.”

That’s what Ann has exemplified throughout her life. She was an elementary school teacher when she met her husband on a blind date in 1954. They married a few months later, began raising children and juggled Orris’ work as an electrical engineer while Ann attended night school to earn a master’s degree in counseling and guidance. She eventually became a school principal.

Giving back came naturally, whether volunteering at the library or serving as a board member and president of a classical musical festival and conservatory.

Ann lost Orris in 2009 and later moved to Arizona. She was immediately attracted to La Loma Village in Litchfield Park.

“The minute I walked in here it felt right,” she said. “Everybody was so friendly. I tell people, other than marrying my husband, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Ann volunteers with La Loma University, the resident lifelong learning program, and has engaged in programs like Masterpiece Living®, which promote successful aging. Ann is also focused on staying fit.

“I check my Fitbit at dinnertime and if I don’t have at least 5,000 steps I walk around the community until I do,” she said.

As a retired educator, Ann is particularly interested in La Loma’s employee scholarship program.

“Philanthropy should come from your heart, where your passion is, and that’s why Ann supports the employee scholarship fund,” said Bonnie Olsen, Sun Health Foundation development director.

Donors can designate gifts through the Foundation to support important personal causes in and around the community they live in, whether it’s health care, wellness, senior living, or any number of programs and services. Donors can also make unrestricted gifts to support wide-ranging needs in the community.

“There are different ways that people can give,” Bonnie said. “Sun Health Foundation is there to share those gifts with the community.”

Ann said she is fortunate to be able to support the Foundation’s good work now and through her estate.

“It gives you a way to live beyond your life,” she said. “What you’ve done is going to continue after you’re gone.”

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