In This Issue
Quick Links
Upcoming Events
J an. 28 11:30 am
East Bay Villages Lunch 'n Learn

Join Lamorinda Village with our friends from Clayton Valley and Walnut Creek Villages as we kick off a year of programs.

Starting with Linda Fodrini-Johnson we'll help you discover how to navigate your life through the aging process. Check the Village calendar for more information. 

January-February 2016
Anne Ornelas

As we wrapped up 2015, we celebrated together at the Afternoon of Gratitude. Thanks to all of you who came out to Fellowship Hall; it was a lovely afternoon of friends and comradery. It was wonderful to see many familiar faces as well as some new ones.

If you are a Village member, you may have received a phone call from one of our Board members to ask about  your experience with the Village. We are so pleased to receive candid feedback from many members. If you recall hearing from someone and haven't returned the phone call, we do want to hear from you. The feedback received thus far has been quite valuable.

This week, Board President Ruth McCahan, Board member Skip Bradish, and I participated in a meeting of volunteer leaders and staff from 35 Villages in Northern California. The meeting was focused on developing a California Coalition of Villages, as there are now more than 60 across our Golden State. Working with other Villages in the Coalition is an exciting step forward in making the benefits of Villages available to all seniors in California.

Looking for a way to connect with other members? Consider hosting a small group in your home for coffee and conversation. Or help coordinate a small group to have lunch together at one of your favorite restaurants. Give me a call if you're interested in hosting and I'll help get the word out!

Best regards, Anne
Lamorinda Village honors volunteers and members
Enjoying the party
What a nice way to celebrate our community! On December 11 about 75 Lamorinda Village members and volunteers gathered for An Afternoon of Gratitude. The get-together was hosted by the Executive Director and Board of Directors to thank our volunteers for their service and to help members get to know one another.
With refreshments provided by Byron Park, and entertainment in the form of Sinatra- Entertainers channeler Mark Shaw and piano music from Carole Amstutz, the festive event encapsulated the spirit of the Village: service, community, and sharing. Village members and volunteers spoke about their experiences with each other and their hopes for the future of the Village. President Ruth McCahan and Executive Director Anne Ornelas reminded members that the Village is here for them and asked them to let the organization know what services and programs they want to see.
Village celebration
Postcards were scattered on the tables so that attendees could record wh
at they are most grateful for. Their responses included "my grandaughter's smile", "the amazing group of office volunteers", and "my wonderful neighbors who really look out for me."

Photos by William Mosley 
Volunteer Profile: Roni Brodwin
If you contact the Lamorinda Village office on a Monday afternoon, chances are you'll Roni Brodwin find volunteer Roni Brodwin taking care of members, volunteers, and service providers. Her commitment comes from her belief that the Village is a great way for members to maintain independence by using Village services and foster connections through programs and events. "These are really important issues that a lot of us who are getting older will have to think about," she said.
Roni grew up on the Peninsula, later moving to Berkeley where she graduated from Cal in 1976 with a degree in social welfare. She decided to move to San Francisco and landed a job in advertising as a media buyer and later became a media planner.
Of all the work she has done, Roni is most proud of managing her husband's dental practice for 27 years. Roni and Bennett (Buddy) Brodwin maintained a successful practice with "long-term staff and wonderful patients". Together they created a family atmosphere for all patients and staff -- experience that serves her well in meeting the needs of Village members and volunteers.
Traveling has always been one of Roni and Buddy's favorite activities. They have experienced time traveling throughout the U.S., Caribbean, Eastern, and Western Europe. In the future they hope to travel to New Zealand and South America, and are currently thinking of planning a trip to Cuba.
Roni enjoys staying busy and maintaining an active lifestyle by going on walks and  hikes and practicing yoga. She feels that yoga is a time where she can focus on her breath and movement, while strengthening her core and calming herself at the same time. She particularly loves that it teaches mindfulness. She also takes courses at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), a program for adults 50 and older to explore new areas of knowledge through classes and events. She has taken various classes, but her favorite so far is The History of Rock and Roll, taught by Peter Ellman.
Maintaining an active lifestyle, reading, traveling, and exploring new things, Roni simply tries her best to live a "forward-thinking honest life". 
Thanks to intern Alex Lauderdale for this volunteer profile
Orinda Community Foundation honors the Village with a grant
Just in time for the end of 2015, Lamorinda Village received a welcome gift from the Orinda Community Foundation (OCF) in the form of a $2,000 donation.

The Foundation's mission - "Enhancing the Quality of Life in Orinda" - fits perfectly with the Village mission of engaging and supporting Lamorinda residents who wish to remain safe and independent in their homes. From its earliest months of development, the Village has aimed to provide membership opportunities to all, including those who may not be able to afford the standard membership fees. The OCF funding will support Orinda residents who meet the criteria for subsidies.

Lamorinda Village membership is open to residents over age 55 who are living in Lafayette, Moraga, or Orinda.
The Village is pursuing grants for subsidized membership for residents of all three communities, in addition to funding to support the growing portfolio of programs and services offered to members. In December the Village was fortunate to receive matching funds from two generous donors, so that donations received in that period were doubled.

For more information about membership or donating to the Village, please see our website at You can contact our office at 925 253-2300 or

Questions and Answers About the Village
Q: My children all live in the Bay Area.  Why would I join the Village when they can help me with household repairs?

A: The Village offers much more than access to service providers.  Many members tell us they enjoy the cultural programs and member get-togethers even if they don't use any other services.  Some members have also found the Village helpful when they experienced a medical emergency; family members aren't always available to drive to the hospital or unplanned doctor's appointment. Your children might find it reassuring to know that you have the Village as a backup to their assistance.

Health and Fitness: Creating a family health history
How much do you know about the health histories of your parents, grandparents, and other blood relatives? Having a written record of their illnesses and conditions may help you and your family be healthier.  It may also streamline the process of filling out those pesky forms at your doctor's office.

A written family health history contains information about a family's medical conditions, lifestyle habits (such as smoking), and where and how family members grew up. It's like a family tree for health.

People can't change the genes they inherit from their parents, but they can change things like diet, physical activity, and medical care to try to prevent diseases that run in the family. This is good news because many diseases result from a combination of a person's genes, lifestyle, and environment.

You can find more information about family health histories, including a toolkit to begin building your own, on the National Institutes of Health website.  

More resources for seniors: 

Are you a caregiver? Check out the advice, resources, and tools at the blog Better Health While Aging, developed by Dr. Leslie Kernisan, a board-certified geriatrician. 
The National Council on Aging held a video contest last fall to help raise awareness of preventing falls. You can see the contest winner on YouTube.    

"Nine to Ninety"
The new PBS Caregiving Documentary will air on KQED on  February 3 at 4 and 9 pm.    This is the love story of an Italian-American couple who at 89 and 90 years old must make some difficult decisions about how to let their family care for them in their old age. This short documentary (29 minutes) premiered in Toronto at Hot Docs Film Festival 2013, won First Place Non-Fiction at USA Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Short at the 2013 IDA International Documentary Awards. 
You can help us improve this newsletter
Village members and volunteers create this newsletter for you every other month. Our goal is to provide you with information, stories, and resources that support the Lamorinda Village mission: Actively building a community that embraces connections, caring, and choices in how we live and thrive.
We want to know how we're doing. Do these newsletters provide you with useful information about the value of Village membership, links and articles that help you stay healthy, and entertaining profiles of your neighbors who have joined or volunteered for the Village? What's missing? What else would you like to see in the newsletter? Which articles do you read, and which ones - if any - do you share with others?

We have produced a brief online survey so that you can give us your feedback anonymously. Answering our nine questions will only take a few minutes; please go to  and complete the survey.
Our Village is all about its members (and those of you who may become members someday), and we want our newsletter to be your newsletter.
Lamorinda Village | |
P.O. Box 57
Lafayette, CA 94549