Meet Mike Hollander

At 90 years old Mike Hollander has seen his share of hard times, but he's also experienced joy, much of it thanks to his fellow residents at Weinberg Village.

A lifelong Baltimorean, Mike moved into Weinberg Village with his wife Yanette in 2007. She was soon diagnosed with the dementia that eventually claimed her life. In 2014 their oldest son Steve died at 62, just months before Yanette passed away.

The double loss took its toll. “After my wife of 65 years passed away I was in total mourning for almost a year,” Mike recalls.

At the same time, Mike totaled his car and had to stop driving. The months of rehab for injuries to his knee and hand could have drained his will, but his Weinberg neighbors rallied around him.

“I thought I would be in trouble, but with all the friendly people here, I had so much help I had to chase some away. They were fixing me meals, opening my bottles and cans, anything I needed was here for me,” he says.

Once his injuries healed, Mike engaged himself in the life of the community, first by taking rides on the shuttle bus. As he was no longer driving, the shuttle rides gave his spirits a big lift. “They are so convenient! They visit different shopping centers almost every day. We go out to shows and lunches. You name it, they do it,” he says.

With that renewed sense of confidence, Mike decided to give back to the community, and he's become a formidable party planner in recent years. With a group of resident-volunteers working by his side, he puts together parties for all his Weinberg neighbors, with food and entertainment, at least once a month.

“It takes a lot of work but I know everyone enjoys it. The entertainment is great, the food is terrific and people are just grateful for the opportunity to socialize.”

The parties provide a welcome outlet for Weinberg residents, who embrace the opportunity to mix and mingle. For Mike, organizing these events has given him a chance to become even more deeply enmeshed in the life of the community.

“I've gotten to know just about everybody here, and of course there are always new people coming in. This gives me a chance to get to know them too,” he says. “I hate to see elderly people sitting in their apartments. What are they going to do, twiddle their thumbs? I am someone who is occupied all the time, I'm always planning the next party. With the help of my wonderful, loyal volunteers, I plan to continue for another 10 years. I’ll retire when I hit the century mark.”

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