Nov 19, 2013 | 2099 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy Photos<br>
DOROTHY GRAFF, a resident of Buckner Westminster Place, pulls a freshly baked pie that she made for local firefighters out of the oven.
Courtesy Photos
DOROTHY GRAFF, a resident of Buckner Westminster Place, pulls a freshly baked pie that she made for local firefighters out of the oven.
Dorothy Graff, a resident of Buckner Westminster Place, is making pies for local firefighters as a way to say thank you for their service.
Dorothy Graff, a resident of Buckner Westminster Place, is making pies for local firefighters as a way to say thank you for their service.

LONGVIEW, Texas, November 18, 2013: Thanksgiving is not only a time to stop and reflect on what we are thankful for, it is also a time to show people how thankful we are for them. Seniors in their 70s, 80s and 90s at Buckner Westminster Place are planning on showing local firefighters just how thankful they are for their service by baking 36 homemade pies for their heroes to enjoy both at the station and at home. Residents will participate in a special baking session on Thursday, November 21 from 9:30 am to 11:00 am. After lunch, the residents will deliver the pies for Station 6 at 12:30 pm. Each of the 18 firefighters will get to choose a pie to take home to their families. The remaining 18 pies will remain at the station for each shift of firefighters to enjoy.


“I really enjoy baking and am excited to do it for the firefighters who sacrifice so much to make sure we are all safe,” said 82-year-old Dorothy Graff, a resident of Buckner Westminster Place. “All of the ladies at Buckner Westminster Place are excited to participate in this baking project. We all feel really good about being able to show our thanks for them. This will be the first time I’ve made pies for anyone but my family. It makes me happy to think that the firefighters will be able to enjoy my pies at work and be able to take one home to share with their families.”


Graff learned how to bake in high school in a cooking class and learned from her mother as well. Most of her pie recipes have been passed down to her from her mother. Her favorite pie to make is pecan pie, which she plans on making for the first responders. She also enjoys making pumpkin pies, sweet potato pies and mince meat pies. Graff and the other ladies at Buckner Westminster Place are eager to show their thanks through baking.


“The key to making a great pie is to make sure you make the crust right; it sets the tone for the rest of the pie,” shared Graff. “My favorite part of baking is pulling the pastry out of the oven and seeing that it turned out real good. I really enjoy baking and sharing my homemade treats with others. Everybody likes dessert after a good meal. Recently, I have been working with a student from Panola College to teach her how to bake. It is great seeing how much pleasure she gets out of it. The first thing I taught her to bake was a pound cake. It turned out beautifully and she took it home to share it with her family. Next week I may have her help me with baking pies for the firefighters.”


Graff said it is more fun for her to give than to receive. She grew up eating these pies, learned how to bake them and is now excited to share these joys with others who sacrifice so much.


“I cannot begin to imagine what it is like to sacrifice everything to ensure the safety of others,” said Graff. “It is such a dangerous job and it is wonderful that they choose to serve us. My brother and my cousin served in World War II. My cousin did not make it home, as his airplane was shot down and never found. I always think about them when I give back to others who are also putting their lives on the line and it makes me feel good.”


“The firefighters at station six are quick to get to the community when we need them and they are very caring toward the residents,” said Wes Wells, executive director at Buckner Westminster Place. “The staff and residents are eager to show their thanks and give back to our local heroes who serve us every day. We have so much to be thankful for, so we feel this is one small way we can give back.”


If you are interested in setting up an interview with Dorothy Graff, covering the baking of the pies or covering the delivery of the pies, please email or call Lauren Witt at (214) 890-7912 ext. 42.




Buckner Westminster Place, a Buckner Retirement Services community, is a non-profit, faith-based senior living community offering 89 independent living apartments and patio homes for active adults aged 62 and above.  In addition, the community offers a continuum of care including 30 assisted living apartments, 25 memory care support residences and 20 private bedrooms in the Green House® homes for skilled nursing care.  Buckner Westminster Place is the only complete CCRC (continuing care retirement community) in Longview which accommodates these four levels of living and care as residents’ needs change.


Located near the Longview Mall and just minutes from area medical centers, Buckner Westminster Place gives residents a beautiful way to live.  The community includes a 16-acre lakeside setting with walking trails and spacious well-manicured grounds. 


Residents enjoy delicious dining and warm fellowship in beautifully arranged dining rooms.  The community also has an on-site life enrichment coordinator, chapel, full-time chaplain, on-site worship services, beauty/barber salon and weekly housekeeping/linen service.


A partnership with the Good Shepherd Institute for Healthy Living gives residents and staff access to a wellness center that includes classrooms, a resistance pool, a track and exercise equipment.  The community provides transportation to the wellness center.


For more information about Buckner Westminster Place, please visit the community website at or call Blake Lambert at (903) 252-6736.



Buckner Retirement Services, Inc. is one of the largest not-for-profit senior living organizations in Texas dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for senior adults and their families by promoting an active, healthy Christian lifestyle while maintaining their independence and dignity. Buckner Retirement Services is part of Buckner International, a global faith-based ministry serving more than 470,000 people each year in the United States and 18 countries worldwide.
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