A Legacy of Supporting Seniors: The Admiral at the Lake Foundation

Apr 16, 2024

When selecting a senior living community, retirees consider many factors before making what is one of the most important decisions of their lives. For many, a community with a commitment to the greater good is important, and there’s no better example of this than The Admiral at the Lake in Chicago, Illinois. 

The Admiral at the Lake Foundation is a distinct part of the mission and vision of the community itself, where supporting all seniors reigns supreme. 

The Mission and Vision of the Foundation

In 2005, The Admiral at the Lake Foundation was formed. The mission of the foundation is not only to support The Admiral at the Lake residents and staff, but also to help support activities that benefit all seniors in the community.

The majority of donations to the foundation come from six trusts, and these dollars ensure that any resident who may run out of funds, through no fault of their own, is able to remain at the community. With the close-knit nature of the community and residents, this is a point of pride for the foundation. 

The strategic plan for the foundation outlines goals to help grow their reach in the future and raise awareness. Board Chair Sarah Shirk shares that this is just the beginning for the foundation. “It’s exciting to think about how much more we can do. We want to be recognized more globally, helping a wider net of seniors in our community and beyond.” 

An Engaged Board of Directors 

Composed of a diverse group of eight individuals, the board has skill sets for every need. CPAs, attorneys, former public administrators, and even children of residents make up the group, which is committed to the betterment of life for all seniors. 

“Having children of residents on the board is so important to us,” shares Shirk. “It is a direct ear to the ground and helps us know what is working well and what needs improvement.”

This personal connection is a common thread for board members. Shirk herself was drawn to giving back in this way after her own personal experience with losing her grandmother and mother at a young age, where health care had failed them. She believes in places like The Admiral at the Lake, where senior years are lived to the max.

As is typical for a nonprofit organization, there is also a committee structure within the foundation. Three residents serve on the philanthropy committee along with members of the board to ensure resident ideas and passions are shared. 

Building Relationships and Making an Impact

 “There is an abundance of youthful energy here,” Shirk can’t help but smile as she shares about the community and residents. “Our community has the feel of a college!”

Her assessment is on point, as residents travel together, manage an art gallery, sing in a choir, and have an ongoing zest for learning. These close relationships built at the community are a large part of why she is passionate about the foundation helping seniors here and beyond. 

“Our community is located in a very diverse area, with many immigrants and refugees,” explains Shirk. “If our residents see a need in the community, they go help with their time and money. Recently, one of our residents, Soraya Tonos, began volunteering her time as a translator and mentor for Afghan refugees. She is Iranian born and speaks Farsi, so she has been incredibly helpful to people in tremendous need of support after having their lives upended by war.”

This belief in giving back to the surrounding community holds true for all residents of The Admiral. Shirk affirms them as a “well-connected group of people who know many area nonprofit organizations, and are eager to synergize around the groups we at the foundation are striving to support.”

Focusing on the Future

Planned giving through the Legacy Society is a key focus for the foundation. This honors those who have made a bequest in the past or in the future and have committed to the long-term sustainability of the community. 

Additionally, residents have expressed interest in working toward financial support for people of different socioeconomic statuses, as diversity, equity and inclusion continue to be a cornerstone of the community’s belief system. 

When Shirk speaks about plans for the future, she smiles ear to ear and is filled with hope and optimism. “It’s a snowball effect; our residents bring their passion and energy to The Admiral, and the vibrancy of the residents is contagious,” she shares. “It’s something that can’t be described – it’s just felt. Like gratitude! When you’re here, you feel this wonderful warmth. I would encourage anyone to come visit – we have so many programs open to the public – and learn more about the good work happening here.”

Enjoy a Life of Purpose at The Admiral at the Lake

Find community, social impact, friendship and endless fun as a resident of The Admiral at the Lake. Call 773.433.1800 today to schedule a tour and get a personal experience with the vibrance and kindness on display year-round.