Local woman enlivens life for Tryon Estates residents

Published 2:29 pm Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sara Staton, director of resident services at Tryon Estates, delights residents with her innovative and exciting programs.

One such program, A Cruise to Nowhere, took residents to several parts of the world sampling tasty ethnic dishes and cultures without leaving the premises. She also arranges festive theme nights celebrating key holidays with lively entertainment and fitting costumes. She is indeed a shining star.

Sara was born in Hendersonville and moved to Polk County at the age of eight. She graduated from Polk Central High School, and went on to earn an associate degree in Liberal Arts at Spartanburg Methodist College. She is married to Ralph Staton and they have a son, Trey, who is a computer technician for Polk County Schools.

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Well before the first building was completed at Tryon Estates in 1988, Sara helped organize initial activities. She tells of one Christmas Eve when the construction site had only been rough graded. She was showing some prospective future residents the property when their vehicle got stuck in the mud. The unfortunate group trudged to Holly Hill and was taken in by some hospitable residents who gave them a warm refuge and some hot toddies.

Early in her career, Sara worked in the sales group and also sold real estate. She became director of resident services in 2002 and is responsible for volunteer committees, resident programs and entertainment, all of which she performs with exceptional cheer and competence.

Sara was honored as employee of the year in 2008 by the North Carolina Association of Non-Profit Homes for the Aged. It was a fitting tribute to a truly fine employee.

George Cashau, a resident of Tryon Estates, writes an occasional column about life at the Columbus retirement village.