The need for housing and health care for older persons was a concern of Will Overholt. As a result, he purchased property on Bahia Vista street in Sarasota, Florida and built Sunnyside Rest Home. This 49-bed facility began operating in 1968 under the direction of the Sunnyside Beachy Amish Mennonite Church, the church Mr. Overholt attended.
A voluntary service program of the church was the source of a large part of the staff at Sunnyside Rest Home. The room rates were the lowest in town.
When Sunnyside Beachy Amish Mennonite Church was faced with the challenges of organizational and operational expansion, a group of local Mennonites assisted in the process. As a result, there was a change of ownership.
An Acquisition Committee made up of persons from Sarasota area Mennonite churches met on September 23, 1976 to explore the idea of purchasing Sunnyside.
Officials of the home office of the Mennonite church and the area conference, Southeast Mennonite Conference, were supportive. The Southeast Conference stressed that the operation be self-supporting. The Mennonite Church officials offered their resources but recommended that the ownership be kept on the local level.
A corporation was formed, and the purchase papers were signed on August 1, 1977. The purchase was contingent on the ability of the group to obtain funds and a building permit to add 11 beds to the facility. This was accomplished, and work began on the addition.
Planning for a retirement community continued over the next five years. Several options were evaluated and in the spring of 1983, Sunnyside Village began with six efficiency apartments. Since that time, Sunnyside Village has expanded to include 38 duplexes, 66 villas, 122 garden apartments, and a beautiful Lakeside Community Center.
The logo communicates the essence of Sunnyside's mission. The hands signify a willingness to reach out -- neighbor to neighbor, resident to staff, staff to resident -- as we serve one another.
At first glance some may see a ribbon and a heart, conveying Sunnyside's motto "We Care"; yet others may see an S and a V, standing for Sunnyside Village.
Encircling the logo are the words "Sunnyside Village 1968." The dream of Sunnyside Village became a reality in 1968 when Sunnyside Nursing Home first opened its doors. That dream lives today through the residents and staff of Sunnyside Village.
The hands and heart are printed in forest green, denoting the high visibility of Sunnyside's natural beauty -- the trees and the lush greenery. The words in the circle are printed in gold, complimenting the "sunny" in Sunnyside.