Profiles in Philanthropy

Dr. Carl and Mrs. Virginia Scheetz

Dr. Carl and Mrs. Virginia Scheetz’s involvement with United Methodist Communities has always been a family affair. The pair grew up in Glassboro, New Jersey, and attended school together from kindergarten through college.

Virginia, a lifelong United Methodist, followed in her mother’s footsteps early on and supported the Church’s various ministries, including the Methodist Hospital in Philadelphia. Since their marriage, Carl became acquainted with United Methodist Communities through church activities. They participated in Richwood United Methodist Church’s annual Mother’s Day fundraisers for United Methodist Communities, a tradition many churches in Greater New Jersey continue today.

Both had a parent live at United Methodist Communities at The Shores. Virginia’s mother, formerly a resident at the Wesley Homestead, moved into the newly reopened and renamed The Shores at Wesley Manor, upon completion of the first construction phase. She was the second Homestead resident to move there in December 1995. Shortly thereafter, Carl’s father also became a resident.

The Scheetz family has financially supported United Methodist Communities for many decades. During the Centennial Campaign, their daughter, Staci Scheetz; son-in-law, Robert Uyehara, Jr.; and their young granddaughter Virginia Scheetz Uyehara; seized a donor naming opportunity for The Shores’ beauty salon. In keeping with the name the young Virginia had adopted for her grandmother, it became Gigi’s Salon, honoring both grandparents.

As legacy donors, Carl and Virginia are also members of the United Methodist Communities’ Wesleyan Society. Virginia explains, “Our parents received excellent care here, and we felt it was right to do our part to ensure residents and future residents can receive that same level of care.”

In fact, they look forward to eventually becoming residents of The Shores. When that day comes, it will surely be the start of a new, exciting chapter in their remarkable relationship with United Methodist Communities.

Elizabeth A. Keat

The Keat family has a longstanding tradition — supporting the Communities. As Elizabeth A. Keat (Betty Anne), a retired high school teacher noted, her mother was very much concerned about supporting those who need care as they get older. “We’ve had several pastors who gave of themselves, time, energy, support and friendship not only to people in the church, but also in the community. To know the Communities would take care of elderly people whether they were retired pastors and their family or other people who didn’t have family … seemed a small way and great opportunity for all of us to give back.”
Elizabeth remembers as a young child her local church taking annual collections to help the residents of the Communities. She also recalls that she benefited from a Methodist scholarship for two years while attending Dickinson College.

Growing up in Chatham, Elizabeth and her family felt a great deal of backing from the Chatham United Methodist Church and were able to view its generous benevolence first-hand. “The church family is very supportive.” The congregation also visited residents of Methodist Manor (closed in 2001) in Branchville regularly. Members saw directly how residents of the Communities benefited from their annual collection, given around Mother’s Day. Elizabeth says that when she thinks of the Communities, certain things come to mind — “A very homey atmosphere, relatively easy access to friends and a place for keeping seniors safe.”

Elizabeth appreciates the whole idea of the Fellowship Fund, its essential support of the Communities’ mission and that it continues to support the organization. Among all the services offered, she’s also happy to know the Communities has Memory Support residences for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Among its many effects, her vote of confidence keeps the Keat family tradition vibrant and leaves a legacy for others. “I feel at this point in my life I’m able to continue giving donations and would like to keep it up because I think you’re doing a great job and there’s certainly a need for it.”

Frank Kardashian

Frank Kardashian has an incredible history of volunteerism in a variety of areas spanning business, athletics and his United Methodist faith. For 25 years, Frank served as chairman of the Middlesex County branch of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association. He also dedicated his time to the children of his town, serving as the president of the Spotswood Board of Education. An avid softball fan, Frank organized the Spotswood Recreation Department’s first girls’ softball league and personally sponsored a team of college-aged scholarship players in Edison.

Frank, actively involved at Simpson United Methodist Church in Old Bridge, heads the Facilities Planning Committee and is diligently overseeing construction of a new church fellowship hall. Other organizations he supports include the VFW of Old Bridge, the Veterans’ Memorial Home in Edison, and Old Bridge’s championship-winning senior softball league, of which is he is the co-founder.

Frank Kardashian’s involvement with United Methodist Communities began almost 15 years ago, when his business experience at Dataram prompted an invitation to join a committee, which he gladly embraced. In 2004, Frank accepted a nomination to the board of directors and Foundation board of trustees. Frank chaired the Foundation board from 2008-2015, and is currently serving his emeritus year. He still sits on several committees of the board of directors.

Frank is proud of his years serving and wholeheartedly supports the mission, devoting his time, consistently making donations, and acting as a strong ambassador. He feels a connection with our residents and enjoys seeing them happy. When asked why he continues to devote so much of his time volunteering, Frank sums it up beautifully, saying, “I feel grateful that God has given me these 80+ years to help people.” We, in turn,
certainly feel grateful to have his support!