A quick look at our web site’s many monthly calendars demonstrates that no matter where one lives at Willow Brook, a lot is going on.
For independent residents the credit goes to “cruise director” Jim Bartha.
Jim demurs, saying the residents tell him what they’d like to do and he just helps them get the ball rolling. But if you know Jim, as most people in Delaware do, you know he is responsible for making many things in Central Ohio happen.
A graduate of the College of Wooster, Jim attended the Princeton Theological Seminary with a dream of ministering to families through outdoor education. He and his wife, Nance, spent the summer after his year in the seminary doing just that, when he got a call from his mother asking him to return to central Ohio to help her run the family business, Bartha Audio-Visual, in Columbus. He remained with the company for thirty years.
A few years back, Jim helped lead a successful levy campaign for the Delaware Public Schools. Motivated by his own excitement about lifelong learning and encouraged by his mother-in-law, Willow Brook Christian Village resident Jane Rutan, Jim contacted Willow Brook CEO Larry Harris and pitched his idea to expand the learning and doing opportunities for folks at Willow Brook. It has been a match made in heaven.
Jim is proudest of the two-day Summer Extravaganza, an intramural competition among the three Willow Brook campuses. “They are competitions and opportunities for comaraderie. Most important, they are fun!” “By broadening programs in music, sports, and other extra-curricular activities we are enriching lives. People are experiencing and trying new things.” he says, “and our lives are richer for it.”