This month is monumental to us for many reasons. March 2013 not only marks 50 years of Panorama, it also brings a special anniversary for one of our most beloved employees.
Patrick Thielen has been a retirement advisor at Panorama for 25 years.
Before joining us, Pat served in the United States Marine Corp, worked for Union Pacific Railroad, and the Olympia Brewery. Later, he and his wife operated their own independent insurance agency, which they stayed with until 2004.
As a retirement advisor, Pat works with those who are considering life at Panorama. He takes on the task of presenting our complex community to prospective residents, a job he has mastered with enthusiasm. When you listen to Pat explain all that comes with life at Panorama, it’s easy to see he is a wealth of knowledge for a topic that he truly believes in.
So what has kept him here?
Pat says “free coffee.” All jokes aside, “I love my job. I’m still having fun. If I wake up one morning and I’m no longer having fun, I’m outta here.”
Luckily for us, we will never really lose Pat; he and his wife became residents in 2010. Sharing the story of Panorama is something Pat loves to do, not only as part of his job but as a resident who believes in the community and lifestyle that comes with it. His favorite part about being a Panorama resident is the maintenance-free living.
“Even though we loved [working on our house and yard] before, it becomes a chore after a while. This frees up a lot of our time.”
That “free” time is well used. He hasn’t become too involved with resident organizations and activities yet but, with five grandkids, sporting events are Pat and Joy’s real passion.
“We could be at five or six sporting events a week, and we love that.”
Childhood sports opportunities are something Pat takes to heart. Knowing the expenses associated with youth sports, it is clear there are many children missing the opportunity to participate.
“Four years ago, Joy and I started a non-profit organization called All Out Sports. It’s my passion to make sure kids can get into sports.”
All Out Sports has grown from an idea to a successful 501 (c) (3) corporation that sponsors children who are financially unable to play sports in the Thurston County area. The program is designed for kids up to 18 who meet the academic performance requirements, as approved by their school principal. The organization is currently sponsoring kids in a variety of athletics including swimming, karate, basketball, baseball, cheerleading and more.
Through donations and fundraisers, such as the annual fall dinner auction and summer golf tournament, All Out Sports is able to provide the funds necessary for kids to participate in their favorite athletics. For one particular little girl, that meant purchasing a bathing suit and covering the YMCA membership fees so she can take swimming classes. That little girl has showed her appreciation for this support in letters written to the board of All Out Sports with a description of her progress, a “thank you”, and “I hope I can swim again next year.”
Making an important difference in those children’s lives will keep Pat busy even after he retires. He plans to focus his time on his grandkids and All Out Sports.
We aren’t ready to lose Pat as an employee and we are all glad to know that when he does decide to retire, he will never be far.