“Ruth Gross and Shirley Srolovitz came from two different states and moved into Lions Gate at two different times, but their friendship was certainly bashert…

Ruth moved into Lions Gate to be near her children. “I lived in Allentown, Pennsylvania for 30 years,” said Ruth, “and after my husband passed, my children suggested I move into Lions Gate because it was in between the two of them – my son lives in Cherry Hill, and my daughter lives in Lafayette Hill. I moved into the community in March 2020 and had dinner in the dining room twice before the whole world shut down for Covid. They kept us very safe here at Lions Gate by adhering to social distancing protocols. They delivered dinner to my apartment every night instead of having all of us in the dining room together. After we all got vaccinated and they reopened the dining room again, that was when I started meeting people and making new friends.”

Shirley was living alone in Mount Laurel when the pandemic hit, and the isolation was difficult to endure. “My husband had already passed, and my four children were scattered from North Carolina to Hong Kong to Israel,” said Shirley. “Weathering the pandemic by myself in my home was so lonely. I decided to move into Lions Gate in August 2021, just to be with people again. On my second night here, a member of the Sunshine Committee had me sit at her table for dinner, and that’s when I met Ruth and the rest of the group. I felt like I had good friends right from the start! There are eight of us in our dinner group, and I like them because they are all young at heart and have positive attitudes. They’re FUN! And it was such a breath of fresh air to find new friendships in the middle of a pandemic. I was so happy to have moved here.”

“Every morning I look at the activities list for the day and give Shirley a call to see what she wants to do,” said Ruth. “We go to all the lectures and concerts. They’re always wonderful. And when they have day trips to the Arden Theater or the NJ Philharmonic, we always make sure to sign up for that.”

“And if we don’t feel like going to chair yoga that day, we hop in the car and go shopping,” said Shirley. “Or if we decide we want to skip the evening entertainment, a group of us will gather in someone’s apartment for cake and coffee. With friends around, I always have someone to talk to and do things with. And with all the classes and concerts and trips they have at Lions Gate, if you’re bored that’s on you.”

“Everyone at Lions Gate is very friendly,” said Ruth. “If there’s one piece of advice I could share, it’s that you’re never too old to make a new friend.”

“That’s true,” said Shirley. “If it wasn’t for Lions Gate, I never would have met Ruth and the rest of the ladies in our friends group. When you move here, your new best friend might just sit down next to you at dinner one night. What can I say? We’re all best friends now!”