Family Pictures

Join Us In Helping Make Dreams Come True

The Highlands at Pittsford, together with the Pittsford Chamber of Commerce, recently co-hosted a Spring Fashion Show fundraiser for Fairy Godmothers of Greater Rochester. We are proud to support this organization that makes dreams come true for high school girls.

Fairy Godmothers collects and gives away gently used and new prom gowns. If you have a gown and/or accessories to donate, go here to learn more!  Cash donations are also accepted which go toward gift cards that allow every young lady to purchase the perfect pair of shoes to go with her gown.

The fashion show was held at Label 7 in the Village of Pittsford on March 25th.  The Highlands’ very own silver foxes, Joan Volonte and Ron Nelson, along with models as young as four and from every generation walked the runway.  The fashion was generously provided by Pittsford retailers!  Here are just a few photos, courtesy of Lovejoy Photography, from the event:

Featured image credit:  Fairy Godmother’s of Greater Rochester website

The Seward Family Digital Archive Project

Residents Join U of R Students as Members of “The Seward Family Digital Archive Project”

About the feature photo:  Letter from William Henry Seward to his wife, Frances Seward; December 29, 1834. // Wax seals and the holes left by them are pictured on letters comprising some of the University of Rochester’s Seward Papers collection, photographed in the Digital Humanities Center in Rush Rhees Library February 10, 2016 // photo by J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester

Different Generations Bring Equally Valuable Yet Different Skills To “The Seward Family Digital Archive Project”

The William Henry Seward Papers are an extensive collection of handwritten documents that were found in boxes in the attic of the Seward Family home in Auburn, NY.  This collection of 375,000 pages includes both personal and professional notes composed from the late 1700’s into the 1800’s.

These notes were given to the University of Rochester in the 1950’s.  “Rochester vied with Yale and the Library of Congress for the papers; ultimately, Seward’s grandson chose Rochester as their home…”

The cursive handwriting style in which the notes are written is too foreign for many of today’s college students to decipher, so “… an intergenerational team of ‘citizen archivists’—led by Thomas Slaughter, the Arthur R. Miller Professor of History, and with the wide-ranging support of librarians at the River Campus Libraries—is working to bring to light the extensive holding of family papers in the collection.”

Slaughter’s team consists of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as a group of Highlands at Pittsford residents who are volunteering their time and expertise to the project.  Our residents are bringing knowledge “that is not readily found in people in their late teens and 20s: an intimate familiarity with both letter writing and reading cursive handwriting”.


In addition to the quotes above, the following are excerpts from a feature about this project on the University of Rochester website entitled “Lives in Letters”:

– The William Henry Seward Papers is one of the largest manuscript collections that the library holds and among the most often cited. Seward, who lived from 1801 to 1872, was a trial attorney, a New York state senator (1831–1838), governor of New York (1838–1842), U.S. senator (1849–1860), and secretary of state (1860–1869). He was the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president in 1860, only to be sidelined in favor of someone more moderate in his support of abolition: Abraham Lincoln. Today he is best remembered for his decision to purchase Alaska—at the time, called “Seward’s Folly.” He was also attacked in the assassination plot that killed Lincoln. The collection of Seward’s papers, both professional and personal, includes 230 linear feet of materials, 150,000 items, and 375,000 pages.

First year University of Rochester history PhD student Lauren Davis [bluish shirt] works with sophomore history and political science major Sarabeth Aranbold [grey sweater] and residents Lynn Nelson [red] and Allan Anderson [plaid] to transcribe letters for the Seward Family Papers Project at the Highlands in Pittsford, NY January 28, 2016. // photo by J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester
First year University of Rochester history PhD student Lauren Davis [bluish shirt] works with sophomore history and political science major Sarabeth Aranbold [grey sweater] and residents Lynn Nelson [red] and Allan Anderson [plaid] to transcribe letters for the Seward Family Papers Project at the Highlands in Pittsford, NY January 28, 2016. // photo by J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester
– While the volunteers are adept at reading handwriting, the students bring computer savvy. “It’s a balance,” says Davis.

– As a little girl, volunteer Lyn Nelson remembers, she’d go to the library in the summertime and fill her bag with biographies. Now she finds a direct connection to history in the Sewards’ correspondence.

– She transcribed a letter in which Seward describes seeing the Washington Monument, already standing 15 feet above the ground.

– “I adore that!” says Nelson. “It just tickled me. It gave me shivers all over.”

– She says that “the whole project gives me energy, delight, interest. I find it—how should I phrase this? I’m eager to get to it, and eager to learn from it, and it adds something, a new dimension, to my life.”

Starting today, a website about the project is available at https://sewardproject.org/

Bubbly Champagne at the Highlands

“Wild for Fall” – Fashion, Fun, and Philanthropy

Fall Fashion Show Brochure Oct 2015
“Wild for Fall” Fashion Show brochure cover

A very big congratulations to the resident Community Outreach Committee members who put on this year’s Fashion Show entitled “Wild for Fall”. The show, which featured this fall’s hot looks of faux fur and metallics, is an annual event held here at The Highlands benefiting the Wilmot Cancer Center.  This year’s show raised $4,200!

The committee worked extremely hard getting raffle prizes, making favors, and modeling at the show.


Committee Members:

  • Verna Doeltz
  • Mary Doino
  • Ginny Fitch
  • Audrey Freeborn
  • Marie Graham
  • Gerry Johnston
  • Jean Marritt
  • Karen Moore
  • Nancy Robbins
  • Bette Smith
  • Thelma Hammerton
  • Joan Volonte

Thank you to Lord & Taylor for all of the fashions featured in the show.  Three Brothers Winery provided beautiful wine for the event.  A special thanks to guests Marion Wilmot and Highlands resident Helen Pluta.

Finally, we must recognize Lisa Stephenson, Director of Cultural Programming, for her entertaining and witty commentary as the co-announcer of the show with Director of Sales and Marketing, Ann Julien!

Man in his car

A Campaign for The Ageless

Talent, humor, and good-natured fun are ageless. We’ve been reminded of this joyous fact over the last few years while creating our current advertising campaign!

Here at The Highlands, we like to take a concept called “The Seven Dimensions of Wellness” and do it to the max.  

You’ll see it in the:

⇒ fine dining

⇒ truly fascinating U of R lectures

⇒ fun friends have

⇒ state-of-the-art Wellness Center with pool, whirlpool, underwater treadmill, and gym 

⇒ scenic campus with nature trails

⇒ tree-lined streets

⇒ classic Pittsford village architecture

and so much more!

Tennis is available at the Highlands

“I still have lots of energy. Why not use it?”

Three Highlands community members were recently featured in a Rochester Business Journal article. **

For these residents and so many others, it is a sense of purpose and connectedness that they love about living in Rochester and being a part of The Highlands at Pittsford community.

Resident Nancy Robbins founded Rochester’s Ronald McDonald House in 1990.  After spending many nights in hospital room chairs when one of her two daughters fell ill, Nancy had the idea for a place that “provides affordable lodging and emotional support for families who need to be near their hospitalized children.”  She continues to lend her time and energy toward the fundraising activities that take place each year for the organization.  Last year alone, she and her colleagues raised over a half million dollars.

In addition to her work with the Ronald McDonald House, Nancy serves on our community’s Purpose Committee.

“I’m working on a fashion show, bake sale and luncheon. Just because we’re old and retired certainly doesn’t mean we can’t be useful. Rochester is such a wonderful city for volunteering. I still have lots of energy. Why not use it”

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