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Throughout 2016, Cedarfield will celebrate this important anniversary by hosting 20 special events from April through August. Each week residents and invited guests will have the opportunity to participate in these events, ending with a “Cheers to 20 Years” party.
As Cedarfield celebrates 20 years, it is worth taking a look back as to how it all got started. This context was taken from The History of Cedarfield, written in 2011, by one of Cedarfield’s first residents, Andrew McCutcheon.
The Hermitage at Cedarfield emerged from a Wesleyan heritage in the Methodist faith. John Wesley understood that to do God’s will one must respond to human need. That heritage would lead the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church to follow the developments that were occurring elsewhere in responding to the needs of older adults.
Keep in mind that before Cedarfield was ever a twinkle in the eyes of Virginia United Methodist Homes’ leaders, there was The Snyder Home in Richmond (closed in 1998), The Hermitage in Richmond, Lydia H. Roper Home in Norfolk, The Hermitage in Northern Virginia, The Hermitage on the Eastern Shore and The Hermitage in Roanoke. But Cedarfield would be VUMH’s biggest undertaking and its greatest accomplishment.
On a lovely wooded site on Three Chopt Road near Gaskins Road and I-64, a $62 million development would emerge on 90 acres of forested land bordering on Henrico County’s Deep Run Park. The land was made available by Mr. and Mrs. Matthew T. Blackwood. The Blackwoods had lived on the site for more than 30 years and referred to it as Cedarfield. It was 48 acres of woods and pasture; the Blackwoods appreciated the natural beauty of the site and placed covenants in the deed to preserve a portion of the property in its natural state.
In March 1994 financing was obtained followed in April by the acquisition of the site. The property eventually would be expanded to 90 acres.
Construction started with hundreds of workers on site, materials stockpiled and tall cranes in operation. The dynamiting of rock during the first year was a big event, and a rock crushing plant was used to make big rocks into small ones.
To sense the magnitude of this magnificent building you should note that it required:
By October 1994, 95% of the families who chose to call Cedarfield home had already reserved their new residences.
Two years later, on September 3, 1996, the doors opened to its first residents who called Cedarfield home
Cedarfield had a party. It wasn’t just any party, it was an extraordinary celebration never before seen at this community. Capping 20 weeks of events (each week since April) this party was a showstopper!
Let’s go back to February when a group of residents and team members met for the first time, as a committee, to brainstorm ideas to celebrate Cedarfield’s 20 th anniversary. “It needs to be BIG,” said one resident. “But we don’t won’t a formal event or dance,” said another. “We just want to party!!!” The group agreed that the celebration should be a music festival with three different bands to entertain as well as …. food trucks? Hmmm…food trucks at Cedarfield?
Finally, Friday, August 26, arrived after months and months of planning. Bright green tee shirts worn by Cedarfield Team Members (employees) were everywhere, as they buzzed around, setting up for the big event. It was a hot day, but the enthusiasm and anticipation of the upcoming party was their focus.
At 2:00, guests began to arrive. Residents with their family members, invited guests, and friends came together in fellowship to enjoy the festivities. It was seamless. The heat bothered no one. The food trucks were a big hit. By the time the last band started at 5:00, the party was going strong. The evening ended with a champagne toast, as glasses were raised to celebrate Cedarfield and its future. Happy 20th anniversary Cedarfield!