September 14, 2022
A strong diverse community, (within easy commuting distance to their daughter’s family in College Park), was a key requirement for Howard Piggee, Jr. and his wife, Patricia, when they first started their search. They knew they wanted a place where the term “community” was more than just a buzzword on a marketing brochure.
With a wide-ranging professional background working for international corporations, municipalities and a career in the military, Howard had experienced how diversity was successfully integrated in the well-performing community/organization.
For more than a year, he researched the business models and other important factors of potential CCRCs. Howard and Patricia narrowed it down to five places in Maryland that they wanted to visit in person. They stopped by Collington twice, even returning on the weekend to walk around and see what it was like when the staff was not present.
They were impressed that the Episcopal Bishop of Washington DC wanted Collington to be specifically set up to be a diverse community from an economic perspective, a career and professional perspective, a spiritual perspective, a multi-ethnic perspective and to include people from all different walks of life.
During their visit they witnessed how the residents greeted each other and how warmly and welcoming they were to visitors. Howard and Patricia felt that Collington truly embodied the Bishops vision and they moved in later that year.
Howard and Patricia now enjoy the beautiful natural environment, particularly the wildlife and wooded area they see outside their cottage window. In the evenings they see deer, many squirrels and even a fox. He often feels that he’s in a faraway place even though Collington is only seven or eight minutes from the highway and just 15 miles from Washington, DC. “It’s like an oasis out here in the middle of everything.”
Patricia has participated in swimming, the book club and the Collington Singers among other things while Howard is involved with several groups including the choir, the courtyard, and outreach committees, as well as working at the country store during COVID isolation. He serves as the 1st Vice President of the Resident Association (which automatically includes every resident), interfacing with seven other staff/administration groups and committees on campus. He appreciates the fact that all residents who have an interest in new activities are encouraged to start them with support from the Resident Association.
Howard particularly enjoys working with others to put programming on the closed-circuit television station. When the group noticed that new people moving in during COVID were not able to get to know others as easily with all the restrictions in place, Howard began a show which introduced and interviewed new residents enabling others to see and learn about their interests. Howard and his team have also produced videos of residents who were involved in Collington from the very beginning. This community sharing, which can be viewed at home, makes life easier for everyone as restrictions have been lifted.