Flag Raising Ceremony Marks Opening of The Lodge

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Flag Raising Ceremony Marks Opening of The Lodge

Nearly 300 people turned out May 19 for a ceremony to raise a flag that has flown over the U.S. Capitol on the pole near the entrance to The Lodge at Old Trail. The senior living complex, which promotes intergenerational connections for its residents, opened a few days later.

“We’re here to honor the flag and to show the respect we need to give each other and to our veterans and first-responders,” said Lodge developer David Hilliard.

A color guard from the Albemarle County police department paraded the flag to the pole and Eddie Shifflett of Crozet, representing American Legion Post 74, did the honors of raising it. Fifth graders from Crozet and Brownsville Elementary Schools combined to lead the crowd in singing The Star Spangled Banner. Everyone also recited the Pledge of Allegiance when the flag was raised.

Scott Leake, representing Fifth District Congressman Robert Hurt, reminded the crowd that America is the only country that honors its flag with a pledge and a holiday, coming up June 14. Hurt had arranged for the flag to fly first over the Capitol.

County Police Chief Col. Steve Sellers, who lives nearby, said, “This flag-raising symbolizes the arrival of new neighbors and the excitement of welcoming them.” He also drew attention to the 166 police officers killed in the line of duty last year across the country.

White Hall District Supervisor Ann Mallek said the flag ceremony “represents our sense of community. David Hilliard could have built The Lodge anywhere. He understands what we have here. This community values its past and is prepared for its future. Our citizens are friendly and engaged in their community.”

Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade James Cheng, the event’s keynote speaker, congratulated The Lodge for bringing nearly 100 new jobs to the area and noted that Virginia has been named the best place to do business by CNBC, a television financial news channel. He credited right-to-work laws for that distinction.

“Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the economy,” said Cheng. “The can-do spirit is the essence of the American spirit and the American Dream.

“Quality of life is paramount in attracting business. The Lodge has classic small-town living,” Cheng said.

The Lodge has 45 commitments for its 123 apartments so far and seven residents had moved in by the end of the month. Sixty-seven units offer one or two bedrooms, 40 are designed for assisted living (they do not have kitchens) and 16 are available for those with memory problems. A basement parking garage has 80 spaces. Monthly rates for apartments range from $3,295 to $5,495 (including a $600 food allowance) and assisted living rates range from $4,595 to 5,495 per month. The Lodge has no entrance fees. It offers transportation around the area and to medical appointments.

Programming for residents includes educational and art classes, fitness programs, sightseeing excursions, concerts, movies, book and hobby clubs and prayer groups.