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May 2017 Newsletter

Village Network of Petaluma  | Published on 5/1/2017
Village Network of Petaluma
A nonprofit membership community of support
serving the Petaluma and Penngrove area.

Village Office: 402 Petaluma Blvd. North

Table of Contents
May Programs
Village Information Meeting

Village Volunteer Training Workshops
All Volunteer Meeting and Appreciation Event
Volunteering 101
Driver Training

Free Programs Open to the Public
Welcome to the Village
Thursday, May 4, 11:00 – 12:00 noon
Saturday, June 3, 11:00 – 12:00 noon
Village Network Office, 402 Petaluma Blvd. North (at Oak St.)

An introductory meeting for adults 50+ and their familymembers who want to learn more about the innovativeVillage concept of “friends helping friends” to continue living vibrant, active, and connected lives in our own homes as we age. Learn how membership offers social engagement, transportation, home assistance, computer help, connection, and fun! Bring a friend or loved one, get your questions answered, and meet Village members and volunteers.


All-Volunteer Meeting and Appreciation Event
Wednesday, May 10, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, Village office
We are holding our first "All-Volunteer Meeting" for Village volunteers. We want to acknowledge all of you, update you on our progress, improve information flow between teams, and support the Village concept of positive aging in a community of support. Each Team Leader will present a 3-minute highlight on his/her team. RSVP required to Stephanie at 776-6055 or

"Volunteer 101" Training
Wednesday, May 17, 2:00 – 5:00 pm, Village Office
All volunteers who are interested in working with members or in the Village office need to complete this training. If you’d like a one-on-one meeting to discuss your interests, contact Stephanie at
info@VillageNetworkofPetaluma.orgor 776-6055. RSVP for Volunteer 101 is required.

Volunteer Driver Training
Wednesday, May 31, 1:00 – 4:00 pm, Village Office
We’re looking for a few good drivers, as driving is one of our most requested and appreciatedservices. Completion of this training, in addition to the "Village Volunteer 101 Training,”is necessary before driving Village members to medical appointments, grocery shopping, Rx pick-up, or Village events. RSVP required: 707-776-6055 or


Pros & Cons of Personal Emergency Response Systems
Monday, May 8, 10:00 – 11:30 am, Village Network Office
This workshop will present features of Personal Emergency Response Services (PERS) systems and their benefits. Different products and services that are available will be discussed and compared. The presenter will explain the importance of receiving quick medical attention after a fall or during a medical emergency. Please RSVP to Stephanie at
info@villagenetworkofpetaluma.orgor 776-6055.

Presenter is David Decker, a marketing and community relations representative for LifeLine of the North Bay, a service of the Petaluma Healthcare District.
Introduction to CPR
Monday, May 22, 10:00 – 11:30 am, Village Network Office
This short workshop, presented by Coast Guard staff, will discuss and demonstrate what to do in an emergency while you are waiting for the ambulance to arrive. The program uses basic CPR techniques and common household items, and is geared toward older adults.Open to members, volunteers, and the public. RSVP to Stephanie at
info@VillageNetworkofPetaluma.orgor call 707-776-6055.


Birding Group
Tuesday, May 9, 9:30 am – 12:00 noon
Visit the Heron and Egret Rookery on Ninth Street in Santa Rosa. The eggs will behatched and the youngsters will be beggingfor food and trying out their wings. Much noise and activity. Ifyou are interested,contact Len Nelson for carpooling arrangements:
lennelsn@comcast.netor 707-763-8007.
Lunch and a Movie
Tuesday, May 9, 11:30 – approximately 4:00 pm (depends on show time)
New member Gretchen McEvoy, who “loves the movies,” has proposed this group for members and volunteers who would like to attend a movie together in Petaluma. We’ll meet for lunch at 11:30 at Cucina Paradiso. Contact Gretchen to rsvp at
gretchenmcn@me.comor 707-559-3325.

Weekly Walking Group
Tuesdays, 8:30 – 9:30 am. Meet at Walnut Park on 4th St.
We have fun, great conversations, and exercise while exploring neighborhoods and gardens, or walking across the river. Everyone welcome. Email Sue Miller at
rmiller875@comcast.netfor info, and whether rain cancels.
Our Life Stories and Legacy
Tuesdays, 10:15 – 11:45 am, Village Network Office, Newcomers Welcome
Our life stories and legacy are unique and important both individually and as a community. We explore ways to preserve, celebrate, and honor our experiences using writing and creative projects. For more info email Members free, non-members $5.
Qi Gong Class
Thursdays, 9:30 – 10:30 am, Village office. Newcomers welcome.
Fridays, 3:30 – 4:30 pm, Petaluma Health Center,* 1179 No. McDowell
* Co-sponsored by the Petaluma Health Center and the Village Network

Qigong is a mindful movement training that supports balance, relaxation, vigor and strength. Qigong is also a meditative practice that encourages awareness, focus, and calmness. Participants report feeling confident as they walk without a fear of falling. There are no restrictions on who may come - if you cannot stand, the poses can be done easily in a chair. Members free, non-members $5.

Elad Levinson has studied QiGong for many years with teacher Teja Bell. He has also practiced meditation since 1975.

Film Discussion Group
Friday, May 5 and May 19, 10:15 – 11:15 am, Village Network Office
Would you like to join a group of film lovers who get together to discuss the latest hits every other Friday at the Village office? We agree on a movie to see on our own and discuss it at the next meeting. Please RSVP to Jerry Spremich (discussion facilitator), at 415-827-3206, or For Village members and volunteers.
Women's Circle -for members
Wednesday, May 10, 9:00 – 10:30 am, at the home of a member. (Third meetingof a 4-month series)
his discussion group provides an opportunity to share thoughts and feelings about what life is like as we age, and the gifts and losses we experience.For Village members only, age 60+.

Sarah Fleming, MFT, is a psychotherapist in private practice who has worked with clients in Petaluma for 15 years.
Gentle Yoga -to improve balance, flexibility and increase vitality
Wednesday, May 10 and 24, 11:00 – noon, Village office
Practice gentle yoga, Eden Energy exercises, breath work and meditation to promote your well-being. We work both sitting and standing and focus on stress reduction as well as improving strength and resilience. Members are free, non- members $5/class. Please bring a large towel.

Teacher Pat Martin, CMT, EEM-CP, CYT, focuses on optimizing health and managing stress using Massage Therapy, Yoga, and Eden Energy Medicine. Pat also teaches yoga at P.O.S.T. Wellness by Design.

Village Game Night
Friday, May 12, 4:00 – 6:00 pm, in a member’s home, newcomers welcome
We will have potluck finger food and games. Join us, and bring a favorite game if you wish, or just bring yourself and have fun. RSVP for address to Stephanie at, or 707-776-6055.
Gardening Group
Monday, May 15, 12 – 1:30 pm, at the home of a member
Join our monthly gardening interest group, meeting in each other’s gardens. This is not about having a showplace, but about seeking suggestions, new ideas, and having fun. Please RSVP to Suzanne Clarke for the address, at
Bocce Ball
Wednesday, May 17,4:00 – 5:00 pm, Leghorn Park, (meets 3rd Wed. of each month)
No experience necessary, rain cancels. We have a lot of fun - dress warmly! RSVP to George Beeler at
Poetry Group
Friday, May 19, 1:30 – 3:30 pm, in a member’s home, (meets 3rd Friday of each month)
Poets are invited to join us to share our poetry with one another. For more information and the location of the meeting, contact Sam Doctors at
samdoctors701@gmail.comor 530-414-4032.
Tech Workshop
Wednesday, May 24, 1:00 – 2:30 pm, Village Network Office
Members at all experience levels welcome in this workshop, which will assist you with computer, tablet or cell phone issues. Learn new ways to get things done and make your life easier. Led by Village volunteers Tom Horst and Paul Greenblatt. RSVP to

Reminder: If you are a member and need someone to come to your home to help with a computer problem, you can also schedule an appointment with a Village tech volunteer.

Village Singing Group
Thursday, May 25, 3:00 – 4:30 pm (meets last Thursday of the month)
No prior experience or talent necessary, just a love of making music. We try many kinds of music – and have a lot of fun! RSVP to Sue Miller atrmiller875@comcast.netfor location.

Book Group
Friday, May 26, 1:30 – 3:00 pm, at the home of a member
Join us for a discussion ofUnderground Airlines,by Ben Winters.It is available at the public library and at Contact Village member Jane Merryman for the address at
jane@sonic.netor 707-762-1023. (return to top)

Potluck for Village Members and Volunteers:Newcomers Welcome!
Sunday, May 28, 4:00 – 6:00pm, in a member’s home
A time to get to know each other better, share good food, enjoy our “conversation café,” and have fun. For members and volunteers. RSVP to Stephanie Wilkinson,, for the address.

TED Talks Discussion Group
Wednesday, May 31, 10:00 – 11:30 am, Village Network Office
We watch two or three TED talks and talk about what they talked about-- anything from sexism in movies, the news industry, New Yorker cartoons, ballroom dancing, why we travel, and where is home. Contact Jane Merryman for more info at, or 707-762-103. RSVP

Quilts and Conversation
Wednesday, May 31, 1:30 –3:00 pm, in the home of a Village volunteer
Selma Ehrlich will host a quilting group for both beginners and those who have some experience with quilting. She will teach basics, from choosing materials and pattern to piecing and binding. Selma is a prize-winning quilter who loves to teach the craft. RSVP to Selma at 707-762-9541

Online calendar

Village Network office: 402 Petaluma Blvd. North

Hope Stewart, Village volunteer and professional photographer, will have a photography show in the Village office for the next few months. The show will comprise a potpourri of people photographs and pictures from her “old” yellow show and some from her “new” yellow show which is a work in progress. Many of the photos are for sale and will help benefit the Village Network. Hope can be contacted

Operation Manager's Report

As we approach our third birthday this June, it’s a good time to reflect on how far we’ve come since launching our Village.We now have 84 members, and provided a record 102 service requests in March, reflecting 336 hours of volunteer service in March.

Our Handyperson Team is at work on a home maintenance checklist, which will enable our handypeople to review with Village members who request this service possible maintenance issues around the home - squeaky hinges, cabinets that don’t latch, burnt out light bulbs, etc.

We also have a team working on a home safety checklist that will help trained volunteers review your home to discuss potentially unsafe situations, such as rugs that can trip you, need for shower grab bars, etc.

Our office hours are Monday - Thursday from 10:00 am – 1:00pm. You can leave us a message or send email at any time. We need at least 3 business days’ notice for requests.New (and sometimes not-so-new) members often find it difficult to ask for support. We want to remind everyone that we created a Village as a mutually supportive community to enable us all to live satisfying, active lives as we grow older.

- Paul Greenblatt, (volunteer) Operations Manager

Profile of Village Member and Volunteer Tiaga Liner

Tiaga glowed as she described her childhood.

“I had a wonderful, free experience as a child growing up with my brother and sister a half a block from the ocean in Venice, California,” she said. “We rode bikes, skated, and played outside from dawn to dusk. Although our parents struggled to put food on the table, Dad passed on his love of classical music and art, and Mom her love of nature. Being in nature gave me a ground for my life, as well as a spiritual center.

“Mom died when I was 17, so I started working to help support the family while going to UCLA at night, studying psychology. I became a teacher, soon married, and began raising our two children. I returned to get a certificate in Horticulture/Gardening in mid-career, and started an interior plant design business, first in Los Angeles and later in Larkspur when we moved there. After my divorce and with our two daughters launched as adults, I moved to Sebastopol to live in the country. I moved to Petaluma three years ago when I realized that living in town would be a better lifestyle for me as I grew older.”

What attracted you to the Village Network?
I joined the Village shortly after arriving in Petaluma, as I wanted to make new friends and build my community here. I loved the innovative idea of the Village as a cooperative network of mutual support, so I joined as a member to help grow the fledgling Village. I was also aware that I would need more services as I grew older.

How has the Village made a difference in your life?
Getting help with my computer was the first way. When I was hospitalized for pneumonia, Village volunteers provided rides. Then I asked for a MedPal to help me prepare for a follow-up medical appointment. The volunteer reminded me of a question I’d forgotten to ask during the appointment, which was especially helpful. A few months ago, two upbeat volunteers from the Handyperson Team flipped my mattress and changed my smoke alarm battery.

I love the weekly Qi Gong class led by Elad Levinson, which work on so many levels – physical, psychological, and spiritual. His class contributes to what makes our lives more meaningful, balanced, and functional. The Gardening Group and Game Nights are also lots of fun.

Soon after joining the Village, I signed up as a volunteer on theFriendly Visiting Team.I quickly decided to be the team leader, and helped grow the team to provide phone check-ins and temporary friendly visitors for members recuperating from medical issues. We’ve recently renamed it the Member Connection Team, as we work together to create new ways to support members.

What aspects of your engagement with the Village have been most satisfying to you?
Feeling I’m contributing to this community, to people who can benefit from the skills I have, is most important. The friendships I’ve developed through the Village mean a lot to me, and I love how we volunteers work together to provide programs and services for our members. I’m also excited about the prospect of hiring another staff member to assist Stephanie, our hardworking Administrative Coordinator, respond to requests from our growing community and increase our capacity to make a positive difference in so many people’s lives.

Member Satisfaction Phone Survey Taking Place May 1-14

Members who joined the Village in 2014-2016 will soon receive a call from one of our survey interviewers. Your feedback is invaluable and continues to shape the Village we're building together, now and in the future.Memberswho joined the Village in 2017 will receive your call this summer, after you've had a bit more time to experience all the Village has to offer.

The survey results will be shared, anonymously, in our newsletter and annual report — and when our members and volunteers gather this fall to celebrate the Village's 3rd birthday!The resultsmay also be highlighted in fundraising materials to demonstrate the impact of the Village on the lives of our members.

THANK YOUfortaking time to participate in our phone survey, and especially foryour continued support of the Village Network.

- Darcy Survey, Member Survey Coordinator

New Ways to Renew Strength As We Age
As anyone who keeps up with the latest trends in fitness and exercise knows, the mitochondria – components of our cells that produce energy for muscles – deteriorate as we age. They decrease in number and no longer regenerate, resulting in weakened heart function, diminished brain cell communication, and degeneration of other organs.

But a study published in the journalCell Metabolism
( hope for renewed strength in our energy-producing cells, our muscles, and in our bodies generally. The researchers found that high-intensity exercise repairs cellular damage and promotes gains in muscle mass in older people who had previously been sedentary.

After 12 weeks of a supervised exercise regimen, the study participants all showed significant improvement in fitness, whether they had done aerobic exercise (such as running, swimming, and basketball), resistance exercise (weight lifting), or high-intensity interval training (repeated bursts of intense exercise interspersed with periods of recovery). The greatest gains, however, were seen in the interval trainers, whose workout routines were the most intense.

These results suggest that exercise can indeed repair the mitochondrial deterioration of aging, and the more intense the workout, the greater the gain. Couch potatoes, take note– your mitochondria await rejuvenation through some energetic activity. For hints on interval training for older adults, see 14, 2017).

- Kathy Lawrence

With the departure ofRebuilding Together Petalumato their new quarters we have a large new space to furnish. It's coming together - drop by to see it. Our wish list now includes:
  • Large carpet
  • Large table (and chairs)

Making Music Makes Us Healthier

Whether you prefer a soothing sonata, a raucous rock anthem, or a mellow jazz riff, chances are that you do like music. We’ve all experienced its ability to relax, uplift, inspire, and entertain. But research is now showing that music can also affect our physical and emotional well-being, especially when we actually make the music rather than just listen to it. And making music has particular benefit for older people, even when they take up an instrument for the first time. It’s not about becoming the next Yo-Yo Ma (or Bruce Springsteen), but about increasing lung capacity with wind instruments, improving dexterity by playing piano or a stringed instrument, and boosting both cognitive function and emotional wellbeing through choral singing.

Several studies have verified these and other benefits when an older person begins playing and instrument and/or singing with others. Music making helps control breathing, regulates heart rate and blood pressure, builds new neurons in the brain, and makes the brain more resilient. And then, of course, there’s the not inconsequential fact that it’s fun! Ask any member of the Village Singing Group, who meet monthly to make beautiful music (and memories) together. If you are inspired to join their fun and improve your health in the bargain, contact Sue Miller at
rmiller875@comcast.netfor details.And if you still have that old harmonica or guitar around someplace, dig it out and start making some noise!

Thank you so much for enhancing our lives significantly – with inspiration, support, and vital connections!
- a couple who are Village members

Our Villagers Can Help Raise Funds for PEP Housing

If we use reusable bags at Whole Foods Market in Petaluma between April 10 – July 2, we have the option to donate 5 cents to PEP Housing.
"At times our own light goes out and is re-kindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."

- Albert Schweitzer
Donors to our newMembership Partners Program

Patricia Arfsten
George and Ellen Beeler
Fr. Michael Culligan
Laura Dunne
Selma Ehrlich
Paul and SherryEklof
Rabbi Ted Feldman
Wayne and Robin Guptill
Marcia Hince
Kiwanis Club of Petaluma
Scotti Kluess
Lucy Kortum
Tiaga Liner
Maryann Marks andElad Levinson
Pat Martin
Len and Charlotte Nelson
Nora Pearl
Leslie Quadres
Alice Rebizzo
Starr Rohrman
Robin Schaef
Paula Schafer
Silver Lake Technology
Vreni Schnirman
Janine and Ray Slaughter

Your donations are vitally important in building a sustainable organization.
All financial and in-kind donations are tax deductible,
as we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

If you would like to support the Village Network, make checks payable to:
"Village Network of Petaluma"
P.O. Box 442
Petaluma, CA 94953

Or you can donate on-line at
2016 Donors to the Village Network are deeply appreciated

Diamond Sponsors - $1,000 to $5,000
Stanton Lawson andGabriella Ambrosi
Sequoia Senior SolutionsIn-Home Care Provider
Anne and Paul Greenblatt
Pat Martin
Supporting Donors-$500 to $999
Steve Ayala
George and Ellen Beeler
Lolly Burns
James and Harriet Coyne
Sherry and Paul Eklof
Marie Fletcher
Linda Fox and Floyd Dickman
Robert Gallup
Marilyn Hartley
Janice Kearns
Darcy Levy
Sid and Gerry Lipton
Barbara and Jake Mackenzie
Suzanne Miller
Diane Olberg
Nancy Porter
JoAnn Pozzi

Supporting Donors - $100 to $499
Lyndi Brown and Anthony Tusler
Suzanne Clarke
Jodi Clinesmith and Chris Samson
Sam Doctors and Mer
edith Cahn
Peter HolewinskiHome Care Assistance
Gary and Lynn Imm
Kathy Lawrence and Red Fraser
Kit Loofroos
Len and Charlotte Nelson
PEP Housing
Emil Perlsteiner
Eileen Simard
Donors-up to $100
Bridie Acton
Pat Burns
Janet and Vernon Burrows
Patricia Early
Rod Fraser
Tina Hittenberger and Chuck Pyle
Marilee Jensen
Kathleen Kestlyn
Nina Komiakoff and Paul Smith
Lucy Kortum
Nancy Kull
Kathy MacDonald
Caroline O'Reilly and family
Paul Praetzl
Pam Torliatt

We extend our appreciation to to Kathy Lawrence our newsletter editor,
and to
Daya Ceglia, graphic designer and web designer,
for contributing her expertise to our newsletter.

Community-Support-Peace of Mind

As part of a national movement, the Village Network of Petaluma is a nonprofit membership organization empowering adults 50+ to continue living active, independent, and connected lives in our own homesand apartments as we age.

402 Petaluma Blvd. North - - 707-776-6055
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