On February 22, Warm Hearth Village (WHV) celebrates the 45th anniversary of its incorporation. Employees and residents there will use it as an opportunity to pay homage to Warm Hearth’s founders, their unique history and its deep roots in the New River Valley community.
Wybe (Vee-ba) and Marietja (Mar-ee-cha) Kroontje (Croon-cha – means little crown), Dutch immigrants from the Netherlands, were dissatisfied with the conditions they observed in “typical” nursing homes and were eager to give something back to the country that had given them so much during World War II. In 1974, they received the official stamp on their vision and many years of planning and hard work to build a nonprofit community with a variety of living options. This one official milestone gave way to a flurry of activity that included the donation and purchase of land and the formation of what would become the 100-year plan for the development of the NRV’s only comprehensive retirement community.
Leaders at Warm Hearth strive to keep the Kroontjes’ dreams moving forward by using the 100-year plan as a roadmap for the growth and development of the Village. In recent years, an active adult community, Village Center for community gathering and fitness opportunities, home health and home care services and a Carilion clinic have all been added to the 220-acre campus to meet the increasing demands of seniors.
February celebrations will be more intimate and internally focused while additional festivities will be held later in the year as the weather warms.