First resident DJ Cahen cuts the ribbon at the grand opening of Morning Star, as CEO and Founder Ken Yaeger and Executive Director Cara O’Connor look on.
Centennial Mayor Cathy Noon offers opening remarks at the July 11 grand opening of the new Morning Star Assisted Living and Memory Care facility at Arapahoe Road and Jordan in Centennial.
By Jan Wondra
The crowd filled the lobby area, the dining room and greeting room and a few folks peeked over the railings of the second floor balcony to celebrate the grand opening of Morning Star, a new senior-living center located in Centennial at 14301 E. Arapahoe Road.
“This is a place that the staff feels they are being called to,” said CEO and Founder Ken Yaeger. “I lived in Centennial for 15 years, and always dreamed of opening a state-of-the-art senior living home in Centennial. We’re thrilled to be here.”
Centennial Mayor Cathy Noon said, “Centennial welcomes Morning Star senior living community. It’s major when you can bring a project like this out of the ground. Thirty percent of Centennial residents are over 50, and our average age is 45. We’ve got to be prepared for this life stage.”
As a fully functioning community, it has two-bedroom, one-bedroom and studio suites, and 29 residential units in the Memory Center. The community has high ceilings, big windows, multiple community and activity rooms, including an outdoor gathering living area. Along with offering full laundry services and housekeeping, its chef prepared meals are already a hit with residents.
“I was living in Palm Dessert, Calif., 21 years by myself,” said DJ Cahen, who was not only the first to make a down payment on space in Morning Star, but the first to move in to the center where her daughter-in-law Lynn Cahen is director of community relations. “My children (one in Colorado, one in Texas) kept saying, ‘come live by one of us.’ Finally one day, I was just tired and I called Craig and said, ‘It’s time.’ Now I live two blocks away from them. I am just tickled to be here.”
“We’re thrilled to be in Centennial, there’s a big need for this kind of senior living community,” said Cara O’Connor, executive director. “This is a new area to me, but I’ve been able to jump in and get involved…to get a feel for who is in the community. We want to be a good asset.”
The name of the center, Morning Star, was a case of serendipity.
“Ken was looking and looking for a name for our organization,” said O’Connor. “A brand name is a really big thing. A lot of people put in suggestions. Then one day he was reading the Book of Revelation and the name Morning Star jumped out at him: ‘I am the root and the offspring of David and the Bright morning star.’ That was it. We became Morning Star.”
Community activity is going to be a major component of Morning Star.
“Our life-enrichment coordinator is working hard to arrange a lot of hours of community involvement,” said O’Connor. “We want this to be multi-generation ,getting children and their parents and their parents, and aunts and uncles to come and spend time here. We want it lively. There will even be a resident dog at some point.”
For information, visit www.morningstarseniorliving.com.
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