Former Texas Ranger Guzman brings music, piano to grand opening of Meadowood assisted living community in Grapevine

03/31/2014 2:57 PM

03/31/2014 2:58 PM

Meadowood Assisted Living and Memory Care Community at The Vineyards showcased its staff and facilities at its grand opening.

The event also highlighted the bongo talents of former Texas Rangers pitcher Jose Guzman.

Guzman was on hand at the March 20 official opening and ribbon cutting for the facility that offers 51 apartments and six floor plans in the assisted living area, as well as life enrichment activities and healthcare.

Among those in attendance were members of the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce and Guzman’s musical trio.

“I love to play,” said the bongo-playing Guzman, a former professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues for the Rangers and Chicago Cubs from 1985-1994.

Guzman made an appearance due to his related interest through his Guzman 23 Foundation, which was formed to create awareness of and funding for Alzheimer’s disease.

His mother, Maria Mirabal Guzman, “died from this terrible disease,” he said.

Although baseball was a major part of his life, he said nothing was more important to him than his mother. He said it is because of his personal experience with Alzheimer’s and the suffering it caused his mother — and ultimately his entire family — that he chose to start the Guzman 23 Foundation.

Guzman’s biggest fundraiser is his annual “Putting for a Purpose Charity Golf Tournament” at Trophy Club Country Club, slated this year for Oct. 13.

In addition to playing the bongos at the grand opening, Guzman — who lives in Colleyville — donated a piano to the facility’s Memory Care, saying, “People with Alzheimer’s, they love the music.”

Located at 4545 Merlot Ave., Meadowood — which is privately owned and locally operated — is a Signature Senior Living community. Steven Vick is owner of Signature Senior Living, which is based in Irving.

Executive Director Susan Coopman-Moser said, “We believe in customer choice and working with each resident individually to design a care and service plan that meets their needs and wants. And most importantly, to spoil our residents and celebrate life each and every day.”

She said they work closely with area physicians, hospitals and community services to benefit residents.

“Individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s require special care and services,” Coopman-Moser said. “All of our staff receive specific memory care training to provide the care and life enrichment for our residents.”

Guzman said most people mistakenly think the Guzman 23 Foundation was named for his jersey number.

“Human cells have 23 pairs of chromosomes,” he explained.

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