There’s plenty of entertainment options to be found at Jubilation
When you ask anyone at Jubilation by Silver Companies about the entertainment offered at the active adult community in Fredericksburg, they all have the same reply. It’s like being on a cruise ship that never leaves the port.
Brad Roteman, one of the first member/residents at the community, sums it up by saying there are three things that make the entertainment top notch: Quality, frequency and variety.
“We do a lot of cruising. We were on a 10-day cruise that caters to older people and the entertainment we have here is better. Eric is the glue,” said Brad. “We have comedians, magicians, musicians, pianists and much more.”
The Eric he speaks of is Eric Brouman, the on-site Entertainment Director at Jubilation, who literally came straight off the cruise ship.
“It’s unbelievable. Two or three nights a week. Just incredible. There is always something to look forward to,” Brad said. “It’s like an all-inclusive resort or cruise ship that never leaves port.”
Brad agrees with Shane Gabis, General Manager at Jubilation, when giving Eric credit for bringing a fresh approach to member engagement/social time to the new community. “The two bookends at Jubilation are the entertainment and food. They go hand in hand,” he said.
“We branded our own level of hospitality and it is modeled after the Ritz Carlton. It’s members first. Our team anticipates their needs,” explains Shane. “You can’t teach people to be that caring. It’s engrained.”
Shane said he asked Eric to throw a tailgate party on opening day for the local Fredericksburg baseball team. “We put up a nice, big hospitality tent. Had entertainment and we all sang ‘Take me out to the ball game.’”
It’s this kind of spontaneity and enthusiasm that energizes the residents like Mike Kilby and Patti Myers.
“I met Eric (on-site Entertainment Director) and was really impressed with his energy. There is something for everyone. I was at the first tailgate for the baseball game—the Fredericksburg Nationals. It was a blast,” Mike said.
“Eric is just a gem. He is straight off the cruise ship and uses a lot of his contacts to get the acts and plans the entertainment and events. We couldn’t be happier. We have everything,” Patti said.
“There are so many aspects of entertainment here. People really respond to the monthly sock hop. We even had visiting dance instructors and learned to do the jitterbug,” she said.
Eric got his start as a comedian/magician and worked his way up to becoming a Cruise Director. “I said maybe I want to work on a ship forever … and then came the pandemic.”
The leadership at Jubilation by Silver Companies found Eric in September 2021 and the community opened in November 2021, and Eric has been at the entertainment helm ever since.
“Senior living chose me. I interact with the residents/members all day like I do on a ship. I walk the clubhouse, make announcements, and engage with them all the time. They don’t go home in a week, they stay here – this is their home and I’m lucky enough to work here,” Eric said.
For Eric the best part of being the on-site entertainment director is the interaction and camaraderie between the team and the members/residents.
“I get to have an extended family. They treat me like family. I am in my office all day and at about dinnertime they all see me when I walk in and it’s like I am their grandson. They tell me stories, ask me questions,” he said.
Mike said every day is a vacation at Jubilation although he works full-time for the government and has a side car detailing business.
“I always thought I could live in a hotel. This is perfect for me. The entertainment starts early enough, and I don’t have to fight traffic and can still get up and work in the morning.
We have everything without having to leave,” he said.
Patti said there is always a puzzle underway on a table in the dining room and it’s another way for people to socialize and meet the new residents.
“It is very easy to make friends here. People who are drawn to this community are gregarious,” she said.
Shane recalls one puzzle in particular. He said one evening Eric brought a puzzle in without a box and set it down in front of a group of residents at the table. They started working on it and once they started getting some of the pieces in place they realized it was a puzzle that was a photo of them. They loved it.
“This is the kind of environment and atmosphere we have created. Eric is all about hospitality and all our team goes above and beyond and to predict or know what someone needs or wants before they ask for it,” said Shane.
During the first tailgate party, Shane saw a Sysco delivery truck pull into the parking lot. “I asked if they had ice cream sandwiches and got two boxes and handed them all out. It was perfect for that event.”
Incorporating fun things like bees and beer into the entertainment and activities also is on Shane’s radar.
“We have two bee hives and we are adding a worm farm. The honey we get will be used in the kitchen. We are also about to make honey ale brews and starting a beer making club,” Shane said. “As people age, they want to try to leave the world a better place than they found it.”
Shane and the team continue to add and tailor programs for the residents/members using a person-centered approach to entertainment and wellness. It’s about the mind, body and wellness. He also noted the partnership with Mary Washington Hospital for ongoing healthcare needs, seminars and visiting professionals.
“There truly is something for everybody. Your life your way. You can participate at the level you are comfortable,” he said.