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Awards & Events

Villa Colombo Vaughan Celebrates Volunteers

Villa Colombo Vaughan recognized its volunteers at their annual Volunteer Holiday Party on December 12. It was a fun-filled evening with great food, dancing and games, as well as a cake graciously donated by Cappuccino Bakery. We are so grateful for all of the selfless men and women that dedicate their time to volunteer with our staff and residents. Our volunteers play a large role in making Villa Colombo Vaughan such an amazing place for our residents to live, and the staff and residents are very grateful for the lasting relationships we have created over the last 11 years.

Villa Colombo Vaughan Celebrates the Holiday Season

Villa Colombo Vaughan celebrated its annual Santa Day celebration on Sunday, December 3. Residents, their families and staff gathered together to celebrate the holiday season. Residents and their families had the opportunity to take pictures with Santa Claus while enjoying a live performance from musical guest Giordano from JC Musica. The room was filled with the scent of fresh pizzelle baked, on the spot, and other baked goods prepared by volunteers, staff and generously donated by Cappucino Bakery.

Throughout the month of December, Villa Colombo Vaughan will be hosting a wide variety of musical guests, including performances by Fortunato, Coro Italia, Christmas Carolers and Paolo Bussato, Nerossa Music and the choir, in addition to other fun-filled holiday activities for residents.

Villa Colombo Vaughan Residents Celebrate Fall with Music, Arts and Crafts

On Sunday, October 15, residents of Villa Colombo Vaughan had the pleasure of attending the Concerto Lirico-Sinfonico Banda Musicale Castellammare Del Golfo at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. The 45-piece band came directly from the beautiful city of Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, Italy. The concert included performances by renowned vocalists as well. Residents and staff enjoyed a lovely performance while having front row seats to the great event! Thank you Associazione Trapanesi Toronto for inviting our residents to the spectacular show!

On October 16, residents of Villa Colombo Vaughan enjoyed an afternoon decorating fall-themed mason jars. Residents, staff and volunteers worked together to design beautifully crafted mason jars as they painted and covered the jars with a variety of fall leaves. The craft was a great success and the finished product was exquisite! What an artistic way to start the fall season!

Villa Colombo Vaughan October Highlights

On October 5, Villa Colombo Vaughan enjoyed an evening performance from the ‘Italia Trio’ musical group as residents gathered in Piazza DeGasperis to enjoy a live interactive show. The talented music group is composed of three musical artists who play the guitar, violin and piano while singing to a variety of classical Italian songs! The evening performance had everyone on their feet as they sang along and danced the night away. Light refreshments and espresso were also served during the event. Thank you to all families and volunteers who helped make the concert a great success!

On a sunny afternoon, our residents gathered together in the Casa Bratty courtyard to enjoy our Parachute Fun program. Parachute Fun is a recreation program which is meant to improve social interaction, refine perceptual skills, and encourage cooperation for residents living with dementia. This activity is favored in Casa Bratty as it promotes exercise while stimulating their social and motor skills. Residents enjoy taking part in the activity while listening to their favorite Italian songs, and enjoying refreshments. What better way to enjoy the last few days of summer!

Villa Colombo Vaughan is promoting several fundraising initiatives throughout the month of October! The “Fluff a Turkey” fundraiser allows individuals to purchase a leaf to place on our crafted turkey located near the main entrance. All proceeds collected will be donated to the local Vaughan Food Bank. Villa Colombo Vaughan is inviting all staff and community members to purchase raffle tickets to win a variety of gift cards graciously donated from local community vendors such as Tim Hortons, and Fortinos. Throughout the month of October, Villa Colombo Vaughan will also be selling scrumptious pumpkin and crisp apple homemade baked pies. We thank everyone in advance for supporting the residents at Villa Colombo Vaughan during this holiday season!

Villa Colombo Vaughan Celebrates September Events

Residents and volunteer chef Eufemia Torresan spent a day continuing Villa Colombo Vaughan’s cultural tradition of making homemade Italian sausages. Residents and families gathered in the Salone as they each took turns making delicious sausages while sitting down together at the table and enjoying sausages served with our very own homemade tomato sauce!

Villa Colombo Vaughan welcomed Executive Chef’s Mateo and Antonio from Villaggio Ristorante to host an intergenerational cooking program for residents and grandchildren. Guests experienced the cooking performance with the culinary chefs as they prepared Pasta Faggioli, an authentic rustic culinary dish. Together they shared the secrets of a 50 year old receipt for Pasta Faggioli from their hometown in Calabria!

On September 18 residents experienced the taste and music of beautiful Portugal as they enjoyed delicious Pastel de Natas, the traditional Portuguese egg tart pastry. Residents enjoyed an afternoon listening to classical Portuguese songs, while enjoying their espresso served with the delicious traditional Portuguese treat!

A Talk with Josie Galati, Volunteer at Villa Colombo Vaughan

Q. Tell me a little about yourself.

A. I am 63 years old. For most of my life I was a stay-at-home mother taking care of three children. I also cared for my mother-in-law for 18 years as she aged. My husband passed away in 1998, and that is when I had to go out and find work to take care of a household.

Q. Why did you decide to volunteer with Villa Colombo Vaughan? Why is this work important to you?

A.  I was let go from my job in 2014, and that same morning I drove by Villa Colombo and said to myself, “That is what I want to do.” I think it is very important for me, as I had a very difficult life and now, thanks to God, I am in a much better position to give my time to the elderly.

Q. What is the best part about volunteering with Villa Colombo Vaughan?

A. I put myself in the residents’ shoes and hope that one day I will be treated with respect, the way I treat the residents. The best part about volunteering is that the residents want me there, and care about me just as much as I care about them.

Q. What is one thing you have learned about yourself or the way you live your life from volunteering at Villa Colombo Vaughan?

A. The one thing I have learned is that the more I give of myself, I get back tenfold from these wonderful human beings.

For more information on volunteer opportunities at Villa Colombo Vaughan, please contact 289-202- 2222 or vcvprogmanager@universalcareinc.ca.

Villa Colombo Vaughan Celebrates August Events

On August 15, Villa Colombo Vaughan celebrated a very special spiritual event called Ferragosto, The Catholic Feast of the Assumption of Mary. Residents gathered together and enjoyed traditional Italian foods such as parmesan fried zucchini, tomato salad, and fresh fruit. A religious mass service was held during the week in honor of the special day. All residents received a customized Ferragosto holiday card, which included an Italian prayer to commemorate the assumption of Mary.

On August 21, Villa Colombo Vaughan invited the talented Caribbean entertainer Kenn Lewis to host an extraordinary steel drum performance for all residents in the home. Residents gathered together in the Piazza as Kenn Lewis sang along to a variety of Caribbean island songs. Residents enjoyed the performance while dancing the afternoon away and wearing beautiful, handcrafted, traditional Caribbean headpieces.

Caribbean culture was celebrated throughout the month of August! Villa Colombo Vaughan hosted a Caribbean food social for all residents to enjoy. Caribbean beef patties were served along with island coconut water. Residents entered a deep state of relaxation as they listened to soothing island music and enjoyed their Caribbean treats. It felt like true paradise at Villa Colombo Vaughan!

Villa Colombo Vaughan’s Morning Espresso Bar a Hit

The Morning Expresso Bar takes place in Piazza DeGasperis every day and is one of Villa Colombo Vaughan’s most popular programs. Every morning, residents gather together to enjoy their morning expresso while also enjoying live music performances from various entertainers throughout the week. The Morning Espresso Bar is a time where residents, staff, and volunteers gather together to sing, and socialize with one another while enjoying a warm rich cup of espresso. What better way to start your day!

On August 13, residents enjoyed a ‘Mocktails and Cheese’ social. Residents gathered together and enjoyed a wide assortment of cheese and sparkling juices. Residents were also served espresso, and spent the afternoon socializing while listening to some of their favorite Italian songs. Thank you to all volunteers and staff who helped make the social a great success.

Villa Colombo Vaughan Celebrates Canada Day

On July 1st, Villa Colombo Vaughan hosted a Canada Day social in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. Residents and families enjoyed a lovely afternoon dancing and listening to music from famous Canadian artists while enjoying delicious refreshments. Canadian cultural exhibits were displayed in the Piazza for all to enjoy and staff, residents, and families participated in the celebration by wearing festive clothing and accessories showing their Canadian pride!

In honour  Canada’s 150th birthday, Villa Colombo Vaughan hosted a Canadian Butter Tart social on Sunday, July 9th. Residents spent a wonderful afternoon listening to music from Canadian artists while enjoying one of Canada’s most famous quintessential desserts, butter tarts! Residents came dressed in festive clothing and spent the afternoon telling stories about why they came to Canada and what makes them so proud to be Canadian.


Villa Colombo Vaughan Celebrates June Events

On June 15, Villa Colombo Vaughan invited all members from the emergency medical services team of York Region to attend their annual appreciation BBQ as a way to say thank you for all of the services and support provided to our residents. Members enjoyed a BBQ lunch, along with refreshments and dessert, while enjoying a beautiful afternoon with our residents and staff.

On June 19, Villa Colombo Vaughan hosted its annual Fred DeGasperis Bocce Tournament. Staff, residents and our team of board members enjoyed a sunny afternoon outside participating in some friendly competition while enjoying a BBQ lunch. Trophies and medals were awarded to the teams and The Alfredo DeGasperis Excellence Bursary Awards were presented to four staff recipients at Villa Colombo Vaughan.

Villa Colombo Vaughan Launches Its Cucina Rustica Cooking Program

In honor of Italian Heritage month, Villa Colombo Vaughan launched its Cucina Rustica cooking program in June. Volunteers and staff will be cooking and baking traditional Italian dishes with residents. Villa Colombo Vaughan will also be creating a display board showcasing Italian heritage and history and will be hosting an Italian Heritage Month Social for all residents and visitors.

The Cucina Rustica program will take place once a week, for five weeks, in the Villa Colombo Vaughan Piazza.  The program will give residents a chance to not only enjoy some gourmet foods, but also to reminisce about some of the dishes they grew up cooking and enjoying with friends and family. The program will truly showcase the regional diversity of the residents at Villa Colombo Vaughan and bring them together to enjoy good food and good music in an interactive experience.

For more information on the Cucina Rustica program and any of Villa Colombo Vaughan’s programs, please contact Melissa Granda, Volunteer Services Manager, at 289-202-2222 ext. 333.

Villa Colombo Vaughan will also be attending a youth musical performance at Saint Padre Pio Church on Sunday, June 11. Residents will enjoy a mass service, following a youth musical concert to celebrate Italian Heritage month with all of those in the community.

On Thursday, June 15, Villa Colombo Vaughan invites all members from the emergency medical services team of York Region to attend their annual appreciation BBQ as a way to say thank you for all of the services and support provided to our residents. Members will enjoy a BBQ lunch, along with refreshments and dessert while enjoying a beautiful afternoon with our residents and staff.

Also on June 15, at 6:00pm, Villa Colombo Vaughan will be hosting an evening musical performance with Fortunato. Families and friends are invited to attend the evening concert where they can enjoy traditional Italian songs and dance with the residents! Italian pastries and expresso will also be served.

Villa Colombo Vaughan Celebrates May Events

To honour our Latin American cultural theme of the month, Villa Colombo Vaughan celebrated Cinco de Mayo on Friday May 5 with the talented Samba dancers from the “Hips Don’t Lie” dancing company. The dancers performed a number of classic Spanish tunes while performing choreographed samba routines in the Piazza. Staff, residents and volunteers danced the afternoon away and cheered with sombreros and maracas!

Villa Colombo Vaughan hosted their annual High Tea social on May 9. Staff, residents and families enjoyed an afternoon tea party while wearing a number of hats from the extraordinary collection brought to us by Hats on for Awareness.  The event was a huge success and residents posed with the decorative hats while enjoying delicious treats along with an assortment of served teas. The female residents also received a wrapped tea cup and saucer set in honour of Mother’s Day. Thank you to Benny Caringi, Enza Tiberi-Checchia, and Dona Rosa from Hats on for Awareness for another successful event!

Villa Colombo Vaughan Hosts Volunteer Appreciation Party To Celebrate National Volunteer Week

In honour of National Volunteer Week 2017, Villa Colombo Vaughan hosted its annual Volunteer Appreciation Party on Monday, April 24. The party was held to celebrate our volunteers, and shareour appreciation for all that they do. This year’s event also incorporated Villa Colombo Vaughan’s cultural ‘Greek’ theme of the month. Management, volunteers and staff enjoyed an evening of entertainment, dancing, and a taste of Greece! The night also included a special ceremony, where every volunteer received a personalized framed certificate on behalf of Villa Colombo Vaughan honouring their continued support, dedication and commitment. One of our volunteers, Lina Manzon, was also presented with the Ontario Long Term Care Association Circle of Excellence Award and our volunteer Maria Gallace was presented with the City of Vaughan Volunteer Recognition Award.

Villa Colombo Vaughan Celebrates Easter

Villa Colombo Vaughan hosted its Annual Easter Family Gathering and Bake Sale on April 2. Family, friends, staff and resident gathered in the Piazza and Salone to celebrate the season with live music by Giordano and refreshments, including traditional Colomba di Pasqua. The Easter Bunny stopped by for a visit later that afternoon and there was an Easter Egg hunt in the garden.

Thank you to all of our volunteers who baked wonderful crostatas for our Bake Sale and to all of the residents, families and staff who made our event a success!

March Highlights at Villa Colombo Vaughan

March was a busy month full of exciting events at Villa Colombo Vaughan.

Residents started the month by celebrating Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent on March 1. Residents celebrated Mass in Villa Colombo Vaughan’s Chapel Cappella San Nicola. On March 8, we celebrated International Women’s Day by handing out gerbera flowers to all female residents and staff. On March 9, the 10th Annual Maria Di Salvo Compassionate Care Awards were given out. Named in honour of Villa Colombo Vaughan’s first resident, the award recognizes the compassion and excellence in care that Villa Colombo Vaughan staff provide for the residents. The award was received by seven individuals this year. On March 15, residents, staff, and guest of honour Julian Fantino and his family participated in our annual Antonio De Bin Briscola Tournament. Congratulations to this year’s winners: Antonietta Baldesarra and Julian Fantino.


Seven Receive The Maria Di Salvo Compassionate Care Award at Villa Colombo Vaughan

Seven elder care professionals received the Maria Di Salvo Compassionate Care Award at Villa Colombo Vaughan on March 9.

The award, which is named in honour of Villa Colombo Vaughan’s first resident, is presented to recognize staff, physicians, service providers or managers who in caring for residents consistently demonstrate compassionate care, superior customer service and are considered a positive role model for other colleagues.

The following care professionals were the recipients of the 2017 award:

Grazyna Ficyk: Grazyna has been a Registered Nurse at Villa Colombo Vaughan for 10 years. She received multiple nominations for providing excellent care, her high level of competency and efficiency, for being informative, caring, and above all, going above and beyond her job duties.

Linda Clemente: Linda has been the Receptionist at Villa Colombo Vaughan for two years. She received multiple nominations for providing excellent customer service, kindness, patience, and for being very helpful.

Ameena Mohamed: Ameena has been a Registered Practical Nurse at Villa Colombo Vaughan for 10 years. She received multiple nominations for being a very caring nurse and for being a very happy person who loves and cares for her residents.

Daljit Kaur: Daljit has been a Personal Support Worker at Villa Colombo Vaughan for 10 years.  She received multiple nominations for her hard work, kindness, teamwork and for making her residents feel safe and happy.

Ruby Batoon: Ruby has been a Personal Support Worker at Villa Colombo Vaughan for three years. She received multiple nominations for her excellent service, and for being a loving, gentile, caring, thoughtful person who cares for her residents.

Joseph Abule: Joseph has been a Physiotherapist (contracted through Universal Care) at Villa Colombo Vaughan for three years. He has received multiple nominations for his kindness and is always helpful whenever needed.

Rosanna Di Matteo: Rosanna has been a Cook (contracted through Nutra Services) at Villa Colombo Vaughan for 10 years. She received multiple nominations for her hard work, cooks with her heart and cooking with Italian flare. She is kind, enthusiastic, and outgoing.

A luncheon was held on March 9 to recognize these seven recipients for their hardwork and dedication to Villa Colombo Vaughan and its residents. Each recipient received $500.00, were awarded a recognition trophy and had their name displayed on a plaque located at Villa Colombo Vaughan.

The Maria Di Salvo Compassionate Care Award celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017. The Selection Committee consisted of one member of Maria Di Salvo’s family (Lina De Gasperis, daughter of Mrs. Di Salvo), the Chair of the Villa Colombo Vaughan Board of Directors (Rina Tiberini) and the Administrator and President/CEO of UniversalCare (Joseph Gulizia).

Antonio De Bin Annual Briscola Tournament

The spirit of competition is alive and well at Villa Colombo Vaughan at the Annual De Bin Briscola Card Tournament. 

Named after the late Mr. Antonio De Bin, a past resident of Villa Colombo Vaughan, Residents form teams to play against each other for the glory of winning and having their names added to the trophy.

A special thank you to Liviana Fantino, Sandra Bosa and Families for their ongoing support and participation with this special event.

The annual tournament has become one of the most anticipated events at Villa Colombo Vaughan. 

Lago Bocce Tournament

The Lago resturant bocce court which is nested on the north side of Villa Colombo Vaughan is where residents host the annual tournmant playing against “The Construction” Committee, led by philathopist/entrepreneur Jim V. De Gasperis, Board Members and Staff.

This magnficent bocce courtyard was made possible through Jim V. De Gasperis’ vision as he personally funded and oversaw the design/construction.  Due to his generosity, the residents of Villa Colombo Vaughan thrive on the opportunity to challenge themselves and live through the wonderful game of Bocce, Italians original past time.