Member Highlight – The Rec

MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

Charles Tipton “Chick”

Chick is highlighted because…

He still drives himself to The Rec every day, even in the worst weather.

His positive attitude and determination are an inspiration to all of the staff and members he greets every day and his smile is contagious.

Last month he shared his nervousness with some of the staff over having to take his drivers test and the following day, he came in to share his joy of passing the test!

He has countlessly held the door for young mothers coming in with their kids.

His positive attitude, general wisdom and outlook on life makes him a joy to have around The Rec!

He shared with us he wants to make it to 100, so he can have been retired as long as he worked! (this is his best job he has had, he joked.)

Nickname: “Chick”-He got this nickname because he is a chick magnet!

February is his birthday month…He turned 92!

He is a widow who was married for 67 years to his late wife, Fran.

He served 2 years in the Navy.

He retired from Ameren in 1990, which was known as Union Electric in 1990.

Chick’s hobbies include baking, playing golf and spending time with his family.

He has 4 sons and 1 daughter, 5 grandsons, 2 great grandchildren (both of whom are members at The Rec as well!)

He has 7 favorite restaurants that he dines at every night of the week.


The Mueller Family

Meet the Mueller Family… Brandon, Amanda, their kids Lily and Caleb, and their three rescue dogs Seirra, Lucy, and Floppy!  The Muellers have been REC members since day one and are extremely devoted to the REC, strengthening themselves in Recreation, Exercise, and Community. 

Brandon is always at the REC bright and early on his way to work.   Later in the day, Lily and Caleb enjoy playing in the Little RECers’ Zone while their mom uses the Fitness Center.  In the Little RECers’ Zone, Caleb is busy playing with dinosaurs and trains, while Lily plays with princesses!  Caleb and Lily have a close bond and play very well together.  The REC is delighted to provide a safe and welcoming facility to families like the Muellers! 

Tell us about yourself/family

We are originally from northern IL.  We lived in New Mexico for 6 years.  We have been here for 2 ½ years.

What do you enjoy the most about the REC?

All the great employees!

What motivates you?

Living a healthy life style to model for our kids motivates us.

What is your favorite movie/show/band?

Thanks to Lily and Caleb, Mary Poppins and soundtrack.

What is your favorite vacation sport or place to visit?

Chicago

Do you have any pets?

Yes, we have three rescue dogs.

Does your family have any talents?

Lily and Caleb can dance and sing.


The Hefty Family

Meet the Hefty family! The daughter Lyndle, her dad Scott, and her mom Jenny. With a wide variety of recreational interests, they have been REC members since day one. They even participated in the building’s Grand Opening! They were originally attracted to The REC because of its convenient location and then found that the complex checks all of the boxes. Their main goal once joining The REC was to foster a healthy lifestyle through the activities we offer and have fun at the same time.

The Hefty family uses every aspect of The REC 3-5 times per week. At our Clip ‘N Climb Center, Lyndle loves the Hex Wall and Jenny loves the Stairway to Heaven. Jenny and Scott participate in lap swimming at our indoor Aquatic Center, while Lyndle participates in swim lessons and loves how fast the big slide is! After swim sessions, Jenny and Lyndle also enjoy playing ping pong in the Game Room. Lyndle loves going to the Little RECers’ Zone while Mom and Dad utilize the Fitness Center’s free weights and cardio zone. In addition to all of the member activities, the Heftys also utilize the public outdoor facilities, including the outdoor track and dog park.

The Hefty family recommends The REC because it is safe, kid-friendly, and has an expansive selection of things to do. The Heftys are a welcoming, supportive, and community-oriented family. After reading the following interview, you’ll find they are also a fun, active, and inspiring family.

How long have you been Fairview Residents?

Almost 18 years.

What super powers do each of the family members possess?

Lyndle: “I have the super power of funny faces, sounds and being weird.”

Scott: “I have the super power of productive hoarding and making any simple decision take an agonizingly long time.”

Jenny: “I have the super power of ignoring over-done funny faces and sounds, minimalism, and making quick decisions.”

If you could create a slogan for your family, what would it be?

“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

What’s one thing you as parents wish Lyndle knew about you as a younger person?

Scott: “In 5th grade I gave a girl named Karma a Bon Jovi poster but she didn’t want it so I put it on my wall and cut out the sappy message I had written on it.”

Jenny: “I was just like her.”

Are you athletes?

Lyndle: “I take gymnastics and I’m enrolled in swim lessons at the REC.”

Scott: “I played tennis in high school and got into cycling in college. After we graduated, we rode our bikes from Oregon to Kansas in the summer of 2000.”

Jenny: “I ran cross-country and track in high school and my freshman year in college. After that, I trained for a marathon and did a couple triathlons.”

What motivates you all to live a healthy lifestyle?

Lyndle: “Because it’s the best way. It’s way more fun to be healthy than to be not healthy.”

Scott: “To feel good, and to have energy to enjoy my life.”

Jenny: “I feel a responsibility to take care of the body God gave me. There are so many activities we are able to enjoy and we would like to do those activities for as long as possible.”

When you visit the REC, you have a very good chance of running into this active and friendly family. When you see the Heftys playing ping pong or swimming in the pool, say hello and we’re sure they would say hello back. The REC is lucky to be able to provide the space for their family-fun.


Lawrence Williams “The Rabbit”

Lawrence Williams loves hats and has worn many in his lifetime, including the stylish ones he wears out on the town and the figurative ones for all of the roles he’s held: brother, husband, father, grandfather, chef, entertainer, Sunday School teacher and medical miracle are just a few. As the fourth son in a family of 5 boys and 5 girls, Lawrence has always been the positive, happy go lucky one of the bunch, not to mention the class clown. That carefree, can do attitude has taken Lawrence on many adventures, which have led him where he is today.

As a young adult, Lawrence joined the National Guard where he worked as a cook and developed a love and talent for serving others through food. Despite the naysayers, with hard work and determination Lawrence went from food service specialist to chef, by the age of 25. Of course in typical Lawrence fashion, he didn’t stop there, ultimately landing the prestigious role of sous chef in the hotel industry, serving 1,200-1,300 meals on a single holiday and carving intricate sculptures out of 300 pound blocks of ice. That same level of determination would prove invaluable time and time again.

Through his church, Lawrence felt called to use his talents in a variety of ways, the first of which was through song in the choir. However, it wasn’t long before he heard another calling: working with the children in the nursery. Mr. Lawrence, as he is known, has a way of leading the young ones ages pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade like no other. The church had never had a man work in the nursery, but the church had never had a Mr. Lawrence. Delivering relatable and entertaining interpretations of the Bible while serving as a mentor and role model is just what the young ones needed. However, it was the love of the children in the church nursery who kept him alive when he needed it most, sending him love and prayer when he was too sick to be with them.

When Lawrence was diagnosed with heart disease, he decided to do anything necessary to keep living. Procedures ranging from a defibrillator and pacemaker to implanting a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) and ultimately a heart transplant on November 27, 2010, after being placed on the transplant list in September that year. Along the path to a healthy heart, Lawrence underwent 7 surgeries in 5 years, spent 5 days in a medically induced coma due to pneumonia, 50 total days in the hospital following LVAD and transplant surgeries and completed 40+ sessions of cardiac rehab.

Lawrence referenced Eddie Murphy’s character Sherman Clump who said “If you want something so bad, you’ll do just about anything to get it.” For Lawrence, just about anything meant increasing his endurance in cardiac rehab following the LVAD procedure from 2-3 minutes to 20 minutes per machine and lowering his BMI to 30 to be eligible for a transplant. According to brother James, Lawrence, also known as “the rabbit” to his family for being quick and hard to catch, looked “like a science project”, but also said “the one thing about the rabbit is that he’s not a quitter”.

The love and support of his family proved invaluable during his medical journey. From countless days and hours by his side in the hospital, to dressing changes and wound care, his lovely wife Myra has been there every step of the way all while working full time. In return, Lawrence took care of his grandson and used his culinary talents to prepare dinner for Myra every night.

Lawrence’s family extends wherever he goes, including the REC. Our team at the Welcome Desk look forward to his daily visits, and his participation in the AquaFit classes always makes the workouts more entertaining. Lawrence credits his level of fitness to the water, noting that he could never do 45 minutes of exercise on land. The next time you see Lawrence at the REC, stop him and say “Hello!”.

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