Mary Toland likes cooking up things to do each day

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Mary Toland volunteers, exercises, socializes and bakes an occasional treat

Mary Toland never thought she’d be living in Henrietta, after living all her life in Livingston County. But after she made the decision that it was time to move, she discovered Rockwood Center and is so glad she did.

“I told my family I was ready to move after I made a list of what I wanted and needed in a place to live, and did a lot of research online. When I found Rockwood Center, I made an appointment with two of my daughters to tour here, and got on the waiting list right away. Now I’m so close to everything, and it’s almost unbelievable how much there is to do here.”

Her active lifestyle is important to her, especially after a back injury that led to Mary’s retirement in 1992. For many years, she worked with SUNY Geneseo’s food service department, where she eventually became head baker after first working in the adjacent grade school cafeteria. She baked everything from cookies and breads to beautifully decorated specialty cakes.

Once she retired from her job, Mary felt more isolated living in an apartment by herself. She knew it was important to her health to stay active and involved with other people—key reasons she loves her new apartment home at Rockwood Center. “As I got older, I felt there was more to do, and it was all right here,” she says. “I like to try new things.”

Her activities range from looking after the gardens at Rockwood Center, to taking bus trips with her fellow residents, tidying up the onsite library, and heading to the Healthy Eating Class with her friend Char. “You can go on and on when you like things. I pace myself so that I can do what I want each day,” says Mary, who was named Rockwood Center’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year.

Some days that means heading out to shop with one of her daughters, two of whom live in Henrietta. Other days include joining in the community’s knit and stitch group to make blankets for the animals at Lollypop Farm, or attending tai chi or yoga through the Neighborhood Program. She also loves the balance class that she takes weekly in the large community room. And every once in a while, she bakes something in her fully equipped kitchen. “My fresh banana cake is one of my favorites. My kids also love my banana bread and carrot cake,” says Mary.

With family close by and new friends and activities to join in at Rockwood Center and adjacent Brentland Woods, Mary is happy to stay busy and healthy. “I’m inspired to do what I need to keep my health. And I’m so glad to be living here, where I can be around other people.”

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