~shared by J. Ranner
Sometimes, it’s hard for me to believe that Woodloch is actually a real place.
A friend once told me, “the rules of the rest of the world simply don’t apply there. That’s what makes it’s so special.” After more than 20 years of working here, I simply agree- to so many families and friends, this resort has become a haven where the stresses, headaches and inconveniences of day to day life are put on hold for at least a few days, and we focus on enjoying quality time together.
There are a lot of resorts out there, all over the world. So many of them are in beautiful locations, so many of them feature great amenities, beautiful accommodations and delicious food. But, far and above anything else at this resort, is the staff.
The culture of working here– the aspect of togetherness and family that so many of our guests share, is shared among employees as well. I’ve lost count of the friendships I’ve formed with the people working with me. Even though we reach over 1,000 strong, employees at Woodloch are simply FAMILY. When reality does ultimately set in, the unfortunate truth is that bad things can and do happen to good people.
And when a family member is hurting, the rest of the family is usually pretty quick to step into action- enter Woodloch’s Crisis Fund.
The Woodloch Crisis Fund was started in the 1980’s by our own employees, including Sharon Bedrosian (she still works at our Front Desk!) Through bake sales, resort furniture sales, private donations and eventually a talent show, the fund was built to help Woodloch employees take care of each other, in case of need.
“Charlie McHale was one of our first staff to be helped,” says Bedrosian. “He was a dishwasher here for years- he was also a hero of World War II. He developed cancer and was being treated at Walter Reed. I found out that he was a huge Boston Red Sox fan. We were able to get him complimentary tickets, where he was able to meet some of the players and fulfill a lifelong dream.”
Over the years, the Crisis Fund has:
- Helped sick friends fulfill their bucket lists
- Provided relief to house fire victims, both through monetary and time donations
- Held benefit square dances to help sick friends and their families
- Donated money for gas so staff could get to chemo and other therapies
- Provided gift certificates from local supermarkets for families in dire need
- and much more.
“The community- both Woodloch’s and the local areas- truly come together to provide support for our talent show every two years,” says John Kiesendahl, president. “We are a large family company, but the key word here is family- when someone is hurting, many of us are hurting.”