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  • Senior Center to help earn income, make planned gift We are pleased to announce that we now can arrange for you to purchase a Charitable Gift Annuity!Charitable Gift Annuities A charitable gift annuity is a great way to ...
    Posted by Wayne Wieseler
  • Senior Center recruits fall prevention program facilitator. Job Description Fall Prevention Program FacilitatorContract Period: July 1, 2017 – January 31, 2018Reimbursement: $2,800Duties: To facilitate a Fall Prevention Advisory Committee to identify and initiate a ...
    Posted Jun 21, 2017, 2:33 PM by Wayne Wieseler
  • Mobilizing for a Culture of Nonviolence The Call for a Culture of Nonviolence In the face of the Trump Administration’s priorities — demonizing immigrants, dismantling social programs, destroying environmental safeguards, diminishing civil rights, and dramatically increasing ...
    Posted Jun 13, 2017, 4:12 PM by Wayne Wieseler
  • Volunteer Job Opportunities Senior Center Following are volunteer opportunities at the Sebastopol Area Senior Center. To apply, please contact: Linda Civitello, MA, CFRE, Executive Director linda@sebastopolseniorcenter.org 167 N. High St. Sebastopol, CA 95472 ...
    Posted by Wayne Wieseler
  • I’m Home Alone Telephone Outreach Program Many seniors are living alone. Every single day of the year, Catholic Charities volunteers place friendly, personal check-in calls to those who are disabled or otherwise housebound. Often our ...
    Posted Jun 7, 2017, 2:32 PM by Wayne Wieseler
  • Attitudes towards aging often blind us Year of the SeniorAttitudes towards aging often blind us to the fact that millions of seniors are active, experienced, capable, and talented.They want to continue to remain engaged ...
    Posted Jun 2, 2017, 10:28 AM by Wayne Wieseler
  • Volunteer driver pays it forward Sara Schomp began volunteering for the Sebastopol Area Senior Center’s Volunteer Driver Transportation Program after attending a Sebastopol City Council meeting earlier this year when we went to the ...
    Posted Jun 1, 2017, 4:15 PM by Wayne Wieseler
  • Aged To Perfection: A Night To Remember Phil AaronThings were fantastico for the Godfather Cabaret at the Aged To Perfection benefit for the Sebastopol Area Senior Center, held May 13. The festivities began with a procession ...
    Posted Jun 1, 2017, 4:01 PM by Wayne Wieseler
  • Award-winning artist opens new show Award-winning watercolor and acrylic artist, Kathleen Andre, is an is now showing her work at the Sebastopol Area Senior Center into midsummer. She is a native Californian, growing up ...
    Posted May 22, 2017, 1:54 PM by Wayne Wieseler
  • My Grandfather’s Experience At Sebastopol Area Senior Center When I was presented with the opportunity to write for the Sebastopol Area Senior Center’s Wisdom Counts monthly newsletter, I looked at it as a chance to contribute to ...
    Posted Apr 27, 2017, 11:35 AM by Wayne Wieseler
  • The Legacy hires new assistant manager Joanne CooterJoanne Cooter has joined The Legacy as its new assistant manager. Cooter has been volunteering for The Legacy for some years and has a wealth of in-store ...
    Posted May 17, 2017, 2:37 PM by Wayne Wieseler
  • LGBTQI Elder Information and Assistance Program launches Sonoma County, CA – The second year of local programs to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) seniors has started, including the launch of the LGBTQI Elder Information & Assistance Program ...
    Posted Apr 24, 2017, 3:07 PM by Wayne Wieseler
  • Dine with seniors and guests Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.Dine with seniors and guests at Sebastopol Senior Center Fresh meals, made daily, to order. Visit with local seniors and ...
    Posted Dec 29, 2016, 10:41 AM by Wayne Wieseler
Showing posts 1 - 13 of 13. View more »

Senior Center to help earn income, make planned gift

posted by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated ]

We are pleased to announce that we now can arrange for you to purchase a Charitable Gift Annuity!

Charitable Gift Annuities

A charitable gift annuity is a great way to make a gift and create an income stream for you or a loved one. In exchange for your charitable gift, you or your loved one will receive a fixed annuity for life, part of which may be tax-free. Additionally, you will receive a charitable tax deduction and a potential reduction in gift and estate taxes. The size of the payment is determined at the time the gift is made and will not fluctuate with the financial markets.

Your gift to establish a charitable gift annuity also assures that the Sebastopol Area Senior Center continues to be the home-away-from-home that we are for so many elderly in our community.

Sebastopol Area Senior Center has partnered with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) to issue charitable gift annuities. With assets of approximately $8 billion under management, SVCF provides the expertise and financial resources required to back Sebastopol Area Senior Center charitable gift annuities.

Why are gift annuities so appealing?

  • You will become a member of the Sebastopol Area Senior Center President’s Council
  • Your annuity income payments are fixed and are not affected by market turbulence.
  • Your payments are secure, backed by all of the Foundations unencumbered assets.
  • You may qualify for a tax-deductible donation.
  • There may be a potential to increase your cash flow, especially if the annuity is funded with low-yielding assets.
  • A portion of the payments you receive may be tax-free.
  • Donors might receive a capital gains tax advantage if the annuity is funded with long-term appreciated assets.
  • The security of fixed payments can be directed to you or to a loved one, such as a parent, sibling or child.
  • Best of all, the residuum will be used for the long-term benefit of the Sebastopol Area Senior Center!

Senior Center recruits fall prevention program facilitator.

posted Jun 20, 2017, 2:12 PM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated Jun 21, 2017, 2:33 PM ]

Job Description

Fall Prevention Program Facilitator

Contract Period: July 1, 2017 – January 31, 2018

Reimbursement: $2,800

Duties: To facilitate a Fall Prevention Advisory Committee to identify and initiate a comprehensive fall prevention intervention in Sebastopol.
  • Identify and recruit members to the committee including representative orthopedic or geriatric specialists, emergency responders, health care providers, and seniors.
  • Conduct meetings to review available fall prevention curriculum, determine optimal program for Sebastopol; determine if additional components are needed to supplement priority curriculum
  • Identify prospective venues for program referrals
  • Arrange for implementation of program at SASC with Program Coordinator and Julie Smith
  • Appraise Executive Director of opportunities for continued program funding (grants)

Once the committee is formed, they will determine with the facilitator how often they should meet to achieve objectives. A minimum of a monthly meeting is required for the committee and additional facilitator time for recruiting, researching existing programs, meeting preparation, and reporting is expected.

Qualifications:
  • BA in health education, gerontology, and or equivalent experience with elder health interventions
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to facilitate meetings
  • Ability to implement program planning and outcomes reporting
  • Basic understanding of community data profiles, program impact evaluation
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office
Opportunities:
This project is funded by a seed grant. Funding sources will be solicited for continuation and expansion of the project.

To apply please contact:
Linda Civitello, MA, CFRE, Executive Director
Linda@sebastopolseniorcenter.org
167 N. High St.
Sebastopol, CA 95472
707.829.2440
www.sebastopolseniorcenter.org

Mobilizing for a Culture of Nonviolence

posted Jun 13, 2017, 4:06 PM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated Jun 13, 2017, 4:12 PM ]

The Call for a Culture of Nonviolence

In the face of the Trump Administration’s priorities — demonizing immigrants, dismantling social programs, destroying environmental safeguards, diminishing civil rights, and dramatically increasing the prospect of war — we call on you, and your loved ones, and your friends — and all people everywhere — to be part of an unprecedented movement-of-movements for a culture of nonviolence free from war, poverty, racism and environmental catastrophe.

The time has come for powerful nonviolent resistance to challenge the calamity we face at this critical moment and to set our society on a new course.

The time has come for all of us to pool our nonviolent power to resist the tragedy we face and to signal, once and for all, our determination to build a world of peace, racial justice, economic equality, and a healthy planet for all.

We call on you — and all people everywhere — to join us in training for nonviolent action, in creating a community for nonviolent action, and in taking nonviolent action in this challenging time.

The power of this movement will not be rooted in fear or hatred. It will be grounded in our love for the earth and all its inhabitant. It will be nourished by courage and compassion. And it will be fostered by a great way of nonviolence, which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the love that does justice.”

The Call for Nonviolent Action in September 2018

With this resolve, we invite people everywhere to join our powerful eighteen-month journey from now until the 2018 Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions—September 15-23—when thousands of nonviolent actions will take place across the United States shortly before the pivotal US Congressional elections.

This is not an electoral strategy—it is larger than that. Together we will take dramatic, nonviolent action in cities and towns across the US and around the world to frame the mid-term elections as a Referendum for a Nonviolent Future. We will march and rally not to support specific candidates but to sharpen the choice before the nation and the world: Will we ratify the policies of violence and injustice—or will we set a new course for nonviolence, justice and peace?

The centerpiece of the September 2018 Action Week will be the Campaign Nonviolence Convergence in Washington, DC, a multi-day set of nonviolent actions in the nation’s capital dramatically magnifying the national and international mobilization of thousands of actions that week for a nonviolent future.

The Call to Build Momentum Toward September 2018

Between now and the 2018 mid-term elections, we will be part of this historic effort to build a powerful people- power movement for nonviolent change. To contribute to this growing momentum, Campaign Nonviolence calls on people everywhere to take the following concrete steps together.


Together we will take action during the upcoming 2017 Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions, September 18-24. Since 2014, Campaign Nonviolence has organized an annual action week in September, where marches and rallies calling for a culture of peace and nonviolence have taken place in all 50 states and a growing number of countries. This past September, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in 758 Campaign Nonviolence marches, vigils, rallies and other forms of public witness calling for a nonviolent culture. Our goal this fall is 1,000 nonviolent actions.

Together we will take nonviolent action training. Using role-plays, small group discussions, and informative presentations, nonviolence training prepare participants for action, provide principles and methods and help build community. Most of all, attendees go deeply into the power and dynamics of active nonviolence. Nonviolence training is critical to the success of a nonviolent action. Look for training on the Nonviolence Hub co-sponsored by Campaign Nonviolence and Pace e Bene.

Together we will form affinity groups. It is hard to make change by ourselves. We, therefore, invite people everywhere to form Campaign Nonviolence Affinity Groups. Affinity groups—usually consisting of between 5 and 10 people—are small action communities whose members support one another in taking action, studying nonviolence, reflecting on the realities of our time, and envisioning the way forward. Affinity groups have been an important part of effective movements—and are needed now more than ever.

Together we will explore launching a Nonviolent City. Imagine Nonviolent Seattle or Nonviolent Boston or Nonviolent Tokyo. Campaign Nonviolence calls on activists, organizers, local leaders, political and religious leaders and ordinary citizens in every city in the nation and beyond to organize their local community as a Nonviolent City. So far, 35 cities across the US are exploring this. Imagine your city as a culture of nonviolence — and the concrete, long-term steps it will take to get there.

Together we call on people to organize local and regional gatherings and conferences in Spring 2018. Campaign Nonviolence envisions local and regional assemblies across the US and beyond in Spring 2018. We urge CNV friends around the nation to organize day-long gatherings, conferences, and retreats to plan for their local fall convergence and to deepen this movement for a culture of nonviolence. Campaign Nonviolence staff are happy to assist in making these gatherings a reality.

Together we will take action nationally and internationally in September 2018 before the Congressional elections. In addition to the thousands of actions we are planning throughout the US and around the world during the 2018 Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions, the Campaign Nonviolence Convergence in Washington, DC will be a multi-day call for a nonviolent shift. We are envisioning a day of nonviolence training; a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill; a day of nonviolent direct action; and a silent march from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial to the White House. Together— in Washington, across the country, and around the world—we will call on the nation to see the impending mid-term Congressional elections as a decisive Referendum for a Nonviolent Future.


The Call to Build a Historic Movement

What will it take to build a culture of nonviolence? A society where everyone counts? The world where there is peace for all, racial justice for all, economic equality for all, a healthy planet for all, and nonviolent solutions for all?

These kinds of questions have prompted women and men throughout history to grapple powerfully with towering injustice and to make concrete change possible. Each step forward in the age-old task of definitive liberation for all has been ultimately rooted in such a vision—and, at the same time, has helped to make that vision more clear and real.

Such a direction is needed now more than ever. We are in new territory, and things will likely get worse before they get better. That is why we need each other at this decisive time—to take action together, train together, build community together, envision nonviolent cities together, and mobilize together.

As challenging as things are, we know that nonviolent strategies for social change are twice as effective as violent ones, as the quantitative analysis of Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan documented in their groundbreaking book, Why Civil Resistance Works. There is something else that their research established: movements which activate 3.5% of the population are likely to succeed. In the United States this is a tall order — 12 million people — but we envision working with many campaigns and movements over the next eighteen months to help build such an unprecedented movement-of-movements seeking to connect the dots between issues, to achieve concrete goals of justice and peace, and to lay the foundation for building a culture of peace and nonviolence.

Let Us Now Begin

Nonviolence combines an unmistakable rejection of violence with the power of love and truth for justice, peace, and care for the earth. It is a powerful means of struggle and resistance, creativity and compassion, and healing and forgiveness. It is a way of life and a method for effective change.

As Pope Francis recently declared, “A culture of nonviolence is not an unattainable dream, but a path that has produced decisive results. The consistent practice of nonviolence has broken barriers, bound wounds, healed nations."

Similarly, Campaign Nonviolence believes that a culture of nonviolence is not only possible but critically necessary—so we are taking to the streets and mobilizing for a new way of nonviolence, a new future of nonviolence, and a new world of nonviolence.

We call on you – and all who read this declaration— to join this movement, to build Campaign Nonviolence wherever you are, and to mobilize the nation for this long-term work of creating this new culture of nonviolence.

Please send this call to all your friends and colleagues, to all your groups and religious communities, to students, activists, and people across the nation. Post this call on social media, and help spread it far and wide.

At this critical turning point, let us take powerful nonviolent action together to resist the enormous challenge of violence and injustice we face in this perilous moment and to boldly shine the light of nonviolence in our lives, our communities, our societies and our world.

~ Pace e Bene Nonviolence Serice and Campaign Nonviolence

Volunteer Job Opportunities Senior Center

posted Jun 13, 2017, 9:09 AM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated ]

Following are volunteer opportunities at the Sebastopol Area Senior Center. To apply, please contact:

Linda Civitello, MA, CFRE, Executive Director
linda@sebastopolseniorcenter.org
167 N. High St.
Sebastopol, CA 95472
707.829.2440
www.sebastopolseniorcenter.org

Gratitude Assistant/Administrative Assistant

Time required: 4 - 8 hours per week

Day/Time
Flexible, but regular schedule preferred, (such as being present the same days/time each week).

Duties
Prepare thank you letters or notes for all donations received each week. All letters will be signed by the Executive Director and then the volunteer asked to prepare the letters for mailing and postage.

Requirements

  • Use of Excel, word processing and mail merge essential.
  • Excellent grammar skills.
  • Comfort in learning copying machine, postage meter, and e-filing system.
  • Ability to use email.
Reports To: Executive Director

Training
A review of the procedures, how to use the postage machine, etc. will be provided.

Commitment

If you are comfortable with the task, we ask that you make a minimum commitment of three months. If you like working with seniors, we have a homey location and fun people to work with. 

Reception Assistants: 4 Positions Needed

Time required: 4 - 6 hours per week

Day/Time
Flexible, but regular schedule preferred, (such as being present the same days/time each week).

Duties
The front desk reception is critical to conveying hospitality to our guests. The volunteer will be asked to welcome visitors, answer the phone and route inquiries to the appropriate staff. Once familiar with the organization, the volunteer will be trained on protocols for checking in seniors who participate in programs, classes, lunch and other services.

General administrative and clerical support is needed, including but not limited to:

  • Answer telephone, screen, and direct calls
  • Respond to queries from the public and customers
  • Greet persons entering center
  • Tidy and maintain the reception area
  • Other duties as assigned
Reports To: Executive Director

Requirements

  • A friendly, welcoming attitude.
  • Understanding senior needs and issues when interacting with senior center members and clients.
  • Experience with telephone reception.
  • Comfort in using the computer to read daily schedules of classes and programs at the Senior Center
  • Prompt and organized
Training
A review of the procedures, how to use the postage machine, etc. will be provided. Excellent grammar skills essential.

Commitment
If you are comfortable with the task, we ask that you make a minimum commitment of three months. If you like working with seniors, we have a homey location and fun people to work with.

Volunteer Coordinator

Time required: 4 - 6 hours per week

Day/Time
Flexible, but regular schedule preferred, (such as being present the same days/time each week).

Duties
Coordinate volunteers for the Center including:

  • Arranging and processing an intake form for each volunteer.
  • Keeping a sign in log for volunteers to record their hours.
  • Seeing that each volunteer has a description of their duties.
  • Keeping a schedule/calendar of volunteer hours at the Center for staff and volunteers.
  • Checking in with volunteers to see if they have any needs to be able to do their job effectively.
  • Advising the Executive Director of any management issues that arise regarding specific volunteers.
  • Working with staff to provide volunteer recognition activities such as volunteer of the month article in the Wisdom Counts Newspaper, Volunteer stories on the website (with their approval) volunteer birthday and get well correspondence; annual volunteer holiday party.
Requirements
  • Experience managing people or volunteers.
  • Understanding senior issues when interacting with volunteers, members, and clients.
  • Friendly, encouraging, welcoming attitude.
  • Ability to use email, word perfect or similar word processing
  • Organized
Reports To: Executive Director

Training
A review of the procedures will be provided and regular meetings with the Executive Director.

Commitment
If you are comfortable with the task, we ask that you make a minimum commitment of six months. If you like working with seniors, we have a homey location and fun people to work with.

Gratitude Assistant/Administrative Assistant

Time required: 4 - 8 hours per week

Day/Time
Flexible, but regular schedule preferred, (such as being present the same days/time each week).

Duties
Prepare thank you letters or notes for all donations received each week. All letters will be signed by the Executive Director and then the volunteer asked to prepare the letters for mailing and postage.

Requirements

  • Use of Excel, word processing, and mail merge essentials
  • Excellent grammar skills.
  • Comfort in learning copying machine, postage meter, and e-filing system.
  • Ability to use email.
Reports To: Executive Director

Training
A review of the procedures, how to use the postage machine, etc. will be provided.

Commitment
If you are comfortable with the task, we ask that you make a minimum commitment of 3 months. If you like working with seniors, we have a homey location and fun people to work with.




I’m Home Alone Telephone Outreach Program

posted Jun 7, 2017, 2:15 PM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated Jun 7, 2017, 2:32 PM ]

Many seniors are living alone. Every single day of the year, Catholic Charities volunteers place friendly, personal check-in calls to those who are disabled or otherwise housebound. Often our calls are the only contact these people have throughout their day, and we have saved lives through this most welcome program.

How it works
Registered clients receive a telephone call one a day, Monday through Friday (Saturday, Sunday, and holidays can also be arranged), within a two-hour time frame. Calls are usually brief in duration. Clients may request to be called at a predetermined time each day.

Who will call
A team of trained volunteers makes the daily telephone calls. A different friendly voice will ask you each day, "How are you doing?".

What if you do not answer
If a volunteer caller fails to receive an answer after three attempts made throughout the course of the day, a predetermined contract person will be notified to investigate further.

Benefits of I'm Home Alone

  • Peace of Mind
  • Reassurance
  • Feeling of safety
  • Contact with people
  • Learn about other social services
  • Saves lives
  • Yearly social event brings volunteers and clients together.
How do I register
Call the program director at 707-528-8712 ext. 185.

Did you know

  • 8,902 seniors in Sonoma County are living with Alzheimer's disease; Catholic Charities is the only center in the county that provides services to these clients regardless of their ability to pay.
  • Almost 400 caregivers received respite at Catholic Charities Respite Center from the demanding task of caring for a loved one with dementia
  • 38% of Sonoma County's senior population lives with some form of a disability.
  • 6% of Sonoma County's seniors live below the federal poverty line.
  • In Sonoma County, 80% of long-term care for seniors is provided at home, not in facilities.
  • I'm Home Alone volunteers placed 34,840 telephone calls to seniors living alone, providing a friendly voice and check-in service
  • Homebound seniors received 119 rides to medical appointments or to buy groceries through the St. Rose CARES program

Attitudes towards aging often blind us

posted Jun 2, 2017, 9:12 AM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated Jun 2, 2017, 10:28 AM ]

Year of the Senior

Attitudes towards aging often blind us to the fact that millions of seniors are active, experienced, capable, and talented.

They want to continue to remain engaged, productive, and active. Sonoma County is a leader in making healthy aging a priority. In January 2017, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved a plan that established 2017 as the Year of The Senior. Developed as a collaborative effort by the Economic Development Board and the Human Services Department, it is a celebration of the economic and social contributions of residents age 60+. The plan includes working with the Age-Friendly Sonoma County initiative and increasing community understanding and support for the challenges that seniors face. It also explores the economic potential of a growing senior population and provides support for businesses, government, and community organizations to expand opportunities for seniors. Participation is vital to positive aging. There are many great programs offered in our communities. A few of these opportunities are:

Age-Friendly Ambassadors

Age-Friendly Sonoma County is recruiting volunteer Age-Friendly Ambassadors to help assess, plan, and implement what can be done to make cities and communities throughout Sonoma County more livable for older adults. In 2016, Sonoma County was accepted into the World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities (the Global Network). Renee Tolliver with the Council on Aging serves as Sonoma County’s Age-Friendly Communities Coordinator. Renee facilitates a countywide volunteer steering committee and provides guidance to cities that want to join the Global Network and form their own task forces. Supported by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and overseen by Aging Together Sonoma County, Age-Friendly Sonoma County is a five-year effort. For information: Renee Tolliver at 707-525-0143 x124 or rtolliver@councilonaging.com or visit https://www.agefriendlysonomacounty.org/

Senior Art Show

This year’s theme is “Year of the Senior” and the celebration of its 20th Anniversary. The Senior Art Show celebrates the creativity of Sonoma County seniors. The art show is a free event held at the Finley Center from July 18th through September 8th. A Cookies and Coffee reception to celebrate the talents of local seniors will be held at the Finley Center on July 20th from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. For information: http://www.socoaaa.org/htm/senior-art.htm/

Area Senior Centers

Senior Centers specialize in positive programs that keep us engaged and active. Activities are varied: exercise, yoga, technology classes, social opportunities, art groups, writing courses, current events discussions, dance, and nutrition programs. Check out your local senior center and take advantage of some of these great programs. Let’s make aging something to embrace and celebrate in Sonoma County!

~ By Diane Spain, AAA Advisory Council

Volunteer driver pays it forward

posted Jun 1, 2017, 4:13 PM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated Jun 1, 2017, 4:15 PM ]


Sara Schomp began volunteering for the Sebastopol Area Senior Center’s Volunteer Driver Transportation Program after attending a Sebastopol City Council meeting earlier this year when we went to the City for a little financial aid.

“I went to the council meeting and during that time I realized I wanted to help,” Schomp said. “I’m a good driver and I like driving, so it seemed like a good fit.”

Born in San Francisco, Schomp grew up in Denver, Colo. but returned to the Bay Area 25 years ago to be near family.

She retired from teaching high school art, English and social studies at Mission High School in San Francisco and is enjoying her retirement in her house on the outskirts of Sebastopol.

Schomp likes serving people who live in the less populated areas of the West County and sees her role as helping them stay connected to the outside world. She also uses the down time when she volunteers to catch up on her reading.

“I’m doing this because someday won’t be able to drive,” she said. “I feel like I’m paying it forward: Someday I may need a ride.”

 


Sara Schomp

Dean Brittingham, the Transportation Coordinator at the Senior Center, is grateful to have Schomp as a volunteer.

“We really appreciate everyone who’s stepped up to help us this year, and Sara is a prime example of what can be accomplished when the community works together for a common goal,” she said. “Her willingness to act as a connection for aging people in the more remote parts of the county is commendable.”

The SASC Volunteer Driver Transportation Program is a community-based, volunteer program that provides rides to medical and social service appointments to people age 60 and over from the West County.

It was developed in collaboration with the Russian River Senior Resource Center in response to the unmet transportation needs of West County Seniors. The program is presented in partnership with the Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging.

Its trained volunteer drivers are community members who donate time and gas so area seniors can meet their health care needs and be less isolated.

Call Dean Brittingham, Transportation Coordinator at 707-829-2440 if you have a need for a ride, wish to volunteer or to find out more about the program.

Aged To Perfection: A Night To Remember

posted Jun 1, 2017, 3:59 PM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated Jun 1, 2017, 4:01 PM ]

Phil Aaron

Things were fantastico for the Godfather Cabaret at the Aged To Perfection benefit for the Sebastopol Area Senior Center, held May 13.

The festivities began with a procession escorting this year’s Aged to Perfection Honoree Phil Aaron, the Godfather, to the throne. Once Phil arrived, the Pasta King’s designee Chris Smith, wearing a full red cape and crown and carrying a four-foot sword, knighted Phil as “Phillipo Aaroni” making our honoree an Italian for the night.

The dining hall was elegantly decorated for the Godfather, with Pat Boblitt organizing the centerpieces and Nick Vannucci responsible for the venue arrangement.

Accordion music provided by “gangster” Larry Hendricks lent an Italian flair to the evening. City Council Member Michael Carnacchi served as the mobster’s bodyguard, ensuring that the Godfather was safe throughout the festivities. Board Member Matt Witteman surprised everyone as “Father Guido,” belting out beautiful Italian

songs. Tango dancers glided throughout the dining room, handing out red roses to the female guests. In a mass act of Italian fidelity, all the guests joined in singing the “Italian national anthem,” That’s Amore.

Keeping to the theme, dinners of pasta, polenta, and chicken cacciatore were assembled in the kitchen by Mark and Char Haley, and served by the Sebastopol Love Choir and volunteers from Helping Hands, Inc. Homecare. Fantastic wine from local wineries provided finesse to the dinner and was truly appreciated.

Phil was also honored with a resolution from California State Senator Mike McGuire and State Representative Marc Levine, recognizing his incredible service to the community and to the Sebastopol Area Senior Center. Guests watched as Phil and his daughter danced with a slide show of his life in the background. The room was graced with beautiful paintings and drawings of Phil’s life by students from Analy High School, whose artistic contributions were coordinated by volunteer Betty Visser.

All in all, the evening was a fabulous success. Kathy Deeton and Board Member Phyllis Sutter organized the silent auction which brought in over $6,000. Ted Williams and Board President Brian Ledig succeeded in getting folks to bid over $20,000 for live auction items. Board Member Cynthia Quinn helped with the contributions from the paddle raise, bringing in $9,000, and the drawing brought in $2,000. The event, coordinated by Board Member and Past President Bill Phillips, grossed more than any ATP before, bringing in over $60,000.

“The volunteer spirit in this community is outstanding,” Executive Director, Linda Civitello said. “In my 25 years of working with nonprofits, I have never seen anything like it.

“It was definitely a Buona Notte!” she added.

Award-winning artist opens new show

posted May 22, 2017, 11:45 AM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated May 22, 2017, 1:54 PM ]


Award-winning watercolor and acrylic artist, Kathleen Andre, is an is now showing her work at the Sebastopol Area Senior Center into midsummer.

She is a native Californian, growing up on a peach farm near Modesto, and has enjoyed living in Sonoma County since 1988. She currently lives with her partner Alex and her cat Ari in Santa Rosa.

Since childhood, art and creativity came naturally, and she has taken classes in arts and crafts most every year since high school. For the past fourteen years, a passion for watercolors and acrylics has taken over. Her favorite subjects are landscapes, animals, birds, people, water scenes, and Koi.

Kathleen has studied art with local artists — Marsha Connell, Jean Warren, Karen Ingalls, Birgit O'Connor, Michele Farendell, and Barbara Marlin-Coole. She also enjoys and learns from the many fine artists in her classes, and has been a member of Artist's Round Table, WASCO, and currently AWS - Art Workshop of Western Sonoma.

Kathleen shows and sells her work in local galleries, shows, festivals, and other venues including the Gravenstein Apple Fair, Graton Gallery, Chroma Gallery, Senior Art Show at Finley Center, The National Arts Program, Montgomery Village Art Show, SoCo Coffee Shop, and Slice of Life Restaurant.She has won awards at the Apple Blossom Art Show, Sonoma County Fair, The Harvest Fair, Town of Windsor Fine Art Show, and WASCO.

My Grandfather’s Experience At Sebastopol Area Senior Center

posted Apr 27, 2017, 11:34 AM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated Apr 27, 2017, 11:35 AM ]

When I was presented with the opportunity to write for the Sebastopol Area Senior Center’s Wisdom Counts monthly newsletter, I looked at it as a chance to contribute to an organization that had a profoundly positive effect on my own family.

Nearly 10 years ago, my grandparents, Dick and Marge, left their home in Marin County to move to Sebastopol.

They looked forward to the move with a nervous excitement. They would be leaving friends they had known for over 50 years, as well as the familiar sights and sounds of life on the edge of San Francisco Bay. On the other hand, they would get to watch their youngest grandchildren, my younger brother and me, grow up.

They moved into a house on the same lane as ours, but before they had even finished unpacking, tragedy struck. Grammy suffered a fall, and unbeknownst to all of us, was hemorrhaging within the brain. By the time it became obvious that something was wrong, it was already too late. After a grueling week in the hospital, she passed away. Dick was left in a state of shock, living in a new area, and now without his wife of 57 years by his side.

In an effort to help Dick establish some sense of community in Sebastopol, my mom urged him to attend the Sebastopol Area Senior Center. Like many in the older crowd, he had not made new friends in years and was unsure of his ability to make new connections. After a few days of grumbles and ha-rumphs, he gave in and went to play bingo. This was a turning point for him.

Through activities hosted by the Sebastopol Area Senior Center, Dick met a wide variety of people. Each of them had a story to share. He would always share these anecdotes with us at dinner, cheerfully retelling us his friends’ tales.

The Senior Center quickly became an important place in Dick’s life. He cherished the weekly bingo games, and he always seemed to win more than he lost. Whether he went for bingo, poker, or just a healthy lunch and good conversation, the Senior Center provided Dick with a strong sense of community and a restored sense of excitement.

Dick lived another seven years before peacefully joining his beloved Margie. But, those seven years were filled with grandchildren’s sporting events, family gatherings, and bingo at the Senior Center with his “Sebastopol Posse.”

And for that, my family will be forever grateful.

~ By Parker Dangers Oncken, Student at Santa Rosa Junior College


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