December 2019
In The Spirit of Giving
Annual Campaign in Full Swing!

With our traditional annual fall campaign in full swing, now is the time to think about making a gift to Ashby Village. We are well on our way to our goal of $200,000, and every gift helps! 
There are many different ways to make a gift, one we are often asked about is giving through your IRA . To find out more about the different ways you can support Ashby Village,  CLICK HERE .
by Helen Hansel, Development Committee

Editor’s note – Helen was the force behind the very successful auction following Narsai David’s presentation in October, and she has joined the Development Committee for a year to help us plan for our upcoming 10 th Anniversary Celebration on May 8, 2020. We asked her to share her thoughts on fundraising, and why she works so hard at making things happen. 

I hate fundraising. Not in the way that I hate salmon and would never eat it. No, I REALLY HATE fundraising.

But with a third of our annual budget coming from fundraising each year, this is so important!

The way I’ve made peace with fundraising is to focus on the creative aspects; organizing events and helping people understand the good they can do for others and the satisfaction that brings our donors. It was in this spirit that I offered to help Ashby Village do the Mother’s Day email campaign this past spring.

Fast forward a few months: somehow that is how I became the informal lead on the 10 th Anniversary Gala to be held on May ­­8, 2020 at the Claremont Hotel. I am taking it in stride, focusing on making it an event no one will want to miss; celebratory and a ton of fun. I am working with a great team of equally enthusiastic Ashby Villagers. We are starting by soliciting sponsorships so that the Gala can become a real fundraiser, providing significant resources for the future.

You can expect me or some other volunteer to enlist you in contributing and otherwise assisting in raising the anniversary funds that will catapult us into still greater challenges and enhanced services in our second decade.  

And you know what? I took my own advice – I gave a generous donation in honor of the 10 th Anniversary, and it felt great! 
Please join me.
In honor of this Tenth Anniversary, we cordially invite you
to join us for our special “10 for 10” programming series:
ten events that celebrate who we are as an organization, a community, and a Village.
Let's Cheers to this Holiday Season with Limited Edition - 10th Anniversary Mugs *NOW AVAILABLE*
The winter chill is coming, which means it's the perfect time to enjoy your morning cup of tea or coffee in these limited edition 10th Anniversary (11 oz.) mugs, while also helping to spread the word about Ashby Village!

The mugs will be available for purchase at our 10 for 10 events, and the first opportunity for sale will be at this Saturday's (December 7th) holiday party. Suggested donation: $5 - $10,
please bring cash.
10 for 10 Events to Look Forward to in 2020

  • 90s Tea & Centenarian Birthday Bash
  • Arts & Aging Exhibition
  • 10th Anniversary Gala @ Claremont Hotel (May 8, 2020)
  • Community Open House
  • Grand Opening - Ashby Village Archive
Come Celebrate With Us!
Living Room Chat

 Invite a friend to join our Living Room Chat.  They'll have the opportunity to hear what Ashby Village offers to our members and volunteers, how it enhances their quality of life, and why it helps them develop peace of mind about the future.

Sunday, January 19, 2:00-4:00 pm
OAKLAND -  RSVP for location
Upcoming Hearts N' Hands
Painting a Garage Interior
Wednesday, December 11,
9:30-3:00pm  RSVP

Come and join us! Light lunch provided.

The  Hearts N' Hands    program provides volunteer assistance to Ashby Village
Members when they need a hand with larger projects. Volunteers gather for a half day to complete multiple jobs at once.
Hearts N' Hands
Thank you!
I want to thank Peggy, Pat and Gordon for the excellent window washing that you did today. It couldn't have been better! My views are now sparkling! You also did other miscellaneous chores that you noticed should be done -getting rid of spider webs near the ceiling, and sweeping up dust under a chest that had not been moved in a long time. Thank you!! AV Member~Esther Schroeder 
Volunteer Chance Encounter
I was at a friend’s studio, and, as I was leaving, she introduced me to a friend of hers. Her friend’s face looked familiar, and I asked if she was in Ashby Village. When she said yes, I said, “I think I drove …” She threw her arms around me and said, “You were so wonderful!” And then she started telling everyone how wonderful it had been to be taken to her medical appointment. Her family and friends were all out of town or unavailable … and then she had remembered Ashby Village.

I know that I am the one who benefits from giving just a little time, and I’m gratified to know it made a big difference to one of our members. ~Ella, Ashby Village Medpal

Find out more about the Medpal Program HERE

Healthier Aging
Congratulations Ashby Village,
We Are On the Move!        

Our classes are near full and we are giving our minds and bodies a wonderful gift. It’s not too late to join in.

Check out our energizing classes that build muscle and improve balance while you mingle with your fellow Ashby Villagers.

Tuesdays 10:30 - 11:30 Tai Chi @ Ashby Village
Wednesdays 10 -11:30 AM Stretch, Strength and Dance  & 12:30- 1:30 PM   Balance, Flexibility, and Strength @ Ashby Village
Thursdays   10 - 11:30 AM Gentle Yoga @ The Yoga Room - 2350 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley
Fridays  10 - 11 AM  Tai Chi Chi - Wait List only @ Epworth United Methodist Church -1953 Hopkins St. Berkeley          
For those who think you are too old to start, see:

"In a recent UK study, lifelong athletes and non exercisers, all in their 60’s- 80’s did a weight training routine…The researchers ran muscle biopsies that Indicated both groups were equally able to build new muscle.”

“Being physically fit may sharpen the memory and lower our risk of dementia, even if we do not start exercising until we are middle-aged or older…”
Nature Walks
What a great way to de-stress

In addition to our classes, we have a wonderful team of hiking leaders, Audre Newman, Celeste Burrows and Claire Heinzelman, ready to explore the beautiful parks of the East Bay with you, while helping you to dramatically reduce your stress hormones

A recent study conducted across 24 forests in Japan found that when people strolled in a wooded area, their levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, plummeted by almost 16 % more than when they walked in an urban environment. Blood pressure improved after about 15 minutes

"Most people are not aware that trees and plants emit chemicals called phytoncides that are beneficial to humans…Phytoncide exposure reduces stress hormones indirectly strengthening the immune system” (read full article here ).

Take a weekly hour long easy walk at Cesar Chavez Park or join our more challenging walks in one of the east Bay Regional Parks. Check the calendar for dates, times and location.

Joaquin Miller Park , Easy with more challenging options.
Sunday, 12/8 11AM- 1 PM

Martin Luther King Regional Preserve , Arrowhead Marsh
Sunday, 1/19 11AM-1 PM
Thinking of Creating a Connection?
The Connections Team provides ongoing friendly visits for members who, for a variety of reasons, are feeling socially isolated or in need of extra support following changes in their living situations. Members are paired with a volunteer and together the volunteer and the member plan what kind of a connection they would like to have.  
The Connections Team helps members access services, programs and resources from the Village, take a walk together, have a cup of tea or just have a conversation. Together you plan the type of activities you would like to engage in and the frequency of the visits.
For more information or to create a connection, please contact Erik Whitaker at 510.204.9200 or
Plan Ahead to Submit Articles to This Newsletter
Would you like your event or notice to appear in the Village Voices Newsletter? Use this simple form to submit your material. 

It takes us time to prepare each issue! Remember that the DEADLINE for each newsletter is the 15th of the previous month. Late submissions are not guaranteed placement in the next newsletter.
Tech Tips
iPhone photography, caf é style!
by Maryl Gearhart, AV technology volunteer

If you’re passionate about making and sharing photographs on the iPhone, what do you do? You offer a workshop to encourage others!

That’s exactly what two Ashby Village volunteers did in October. Bill Graham and Celie Placzek designed and facilitated two workshops with support from a team of Ashby Village volunteers. 

Their sessions were part of the technology workshop series co-hosted by Ashby Village and the University of California Berkeley Retirement Center.

Click here to read more about the workshop design, what's next for iPhone photography, and to ask the experts!
Would you like personal assistance from Technology & Electronics Volunteers?

Volunteers can help you with a wide range of devices!

  • Want to learn more about your smart phone or tablet?
  • Not sure how to get your TV hooked up?
  • Interested in finally getting your printer to work?
  • Ready to learn how to use Skype or FaceTime to have video calls with friends and family?
  • Have you had enough of that weird thing that keeps happening with your computer? 

To request service, please email or call 510-204-9200.
Neighborhood Groups &
Ongoing Activities
Tuesday, December 3, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, Hamlet Mac Users Group - Accessible! RSVP not required.

Friday, December 6, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, Emery Bunch Mah Jongg. RSVP Jean Goldman , or call 510-207-6600.

Monday, December 9, The Midlands Tea. RSVP Wanda Nusted, please call 510-527-5931 before 7:30 PM .

Tuesday, December 10, 2:00-4:30 pm, Bridge Group Call Contact Mary Jo 510-525-0545 or Betty 510-524-8260 for location.

Wednesday, December 11, 3:00-5:00 pm, Shakespeare Reading Group - Date Change! RSVP Don Hubbard .

Friday, December 13, 2:00-3:30 pm, 90 Plus Club. RSVP Tobey Klein or call 510-653-4205.

Monday, December 16, 2 :00-4:00 pm, Handwork Group Knitting and More . RSVP not required.

Wednesday, December 18, 3:30-5:00 pm, Hearing Loss Support Group. RSVP or call 510-204-9200 .

Monday, December 23, 12:00-3:00 pm, North Berkeley Mah Jong. RSVP Gloria Davis or call 510-666-0937 .

Check out our online calendar for the full view of our upcoming meetings, activities and other events.
Reflections on Past Events
Local Culinary Legend Narsai David Leads Us Down East Bay’s Food Memory Lane
by Rochelle Lefkowitz, with photos by Nancy Rubin and Peter Sussman

Despite PG&E power shutoffs and the flu season’s start, over 150 Ashby Village (AV) members, volunteers, donors and friends filled the social hall at Berkeley’s Unitarian Universalist Church (UUCB) on Saturday, 10/26.  The occasion?  Our latest Arts & Culture Series (A&C) event: a special AV 10 th  Anniversary whirlwind tour of the East Bay’s gastronomic transformation, led by global food icon Narsai David, followed by a reception that he helped to make so memorable.

After a warm welcome from A&C and AV Board Member Betty Webster—also a member of the UUCB—our speaker was introduced by his dear friend Martin Paley, former San Francisco Foundation ED, now a key member of our Village’s Development Team. 
Then, with his extraordinary hour presentation of “My Life in Food”, Narsai David regaled us with memories so vivid, we could almost taste them.
And what a treat it was! With an impish grin and his signature bow tie, the world-renowned restauranteur, chef, winemaker and author shared his historic 50+ year journey. 
He began with a quote from poet Owen Meredith’s  Lucile  (1860):
“We may live without poetry, music and art,
We may live without conscience, and live without heart,
We may live without friends, we may live without books,
But civilized man cannot live without cooks!”

Read full article and learn about the success of our first silent auction (which raised $5,000!) here
When You Need Help; Tech Tools for an Emergency
by Lincoln Spector with photographs by Nancy Rubin
In our high-tech age, how do we choose the right emergency response system? There are so many devices to choose from!

In late October, Dr. Richard Caro, Founder and Director of  Tech-enhanced Life , spoke in Berkeley about aging and technology, and especially the devices you can use in an emergency when you need help. Tech-enhanced Life is a Public Benefit Corporation that works "to improve the quality of life of older adults and their families." Ashby Village and the University of California Berkeley Retirement Center co-hosted the talk.

Dr. Caro started with an aging problem that wouldn't require an emergency responder: opening a jar. Many elders have problems with that once-simple task. Caro and his organization's Longevity Explorers experimented with various jar-opening devices. They discovered that there's no one best device, because people have different problems with jars. Some can't grip the top properly; others can't get the leverage. The solution must fit the person
Dr. Caro pointed out that the same is true for medical alert devices.
Read full article here
A Poem
Edited by Irene Rosenthal and Peter Sussman

Today, in the second edition of this newsletter feature, we share a poem by prize-winning poet, critic and professor Mark Halliday about leaving a long-term job.

Read the poem here
Thank you to the Ashby Village volunteers who contributed to this issue of the Village Voices newsletter.
Stay Connected