Word from Executive Director
Fact About Aging:
By 2030, for the first time in history, older adults will outnumber children.

Hello, friends!
We simply cannot say "thank you" enough for all the ways you show up for our community. You strengthen the connections that are essential to the opportunity for everyone to age successfully - rooted in dignity, health, and overall well-being for the most equitable opportunities for all as we age into the legacy years of our lives.

What do I believe is our greatest strength at COA? YOU!
COA's web of support is ever present, growing, and illuminating to the opportunities we have to make a difference.
Staff, volunteers, and supporters - YOU make this happen.

So, our greatest strength is a chain of "You" and "You" and "You" that is unified in our mission. Whatever your role or interest in COA may be, if you are reading this we are talking to YOU.

This coming year COA will continue to provide traditional programs and services and will be expanding upon them with additional focus on our Volunteer Development programming. We will also be increasing our outreach through neighborhood-centric strategies to build community-based supports that have the COA infrastructure and "umbrella" of development, operations, and our 50+ year professional history. If you are interested in a "neighbors helping neighbors" approach to volunteerism for your self or your community, please contact me.

We take a moment - a pause - to breathe and reflect on how we have together demonstrated brilliant and resilient continuity during the pandemic and to recognize just how grateful we are for our network. Special thanks to Land of Sky Regional Council for helping us navigate the COVID relief funding to expand nutrition, volunteer, and caregiver programming!

As I write this, I look out my window and see our state bird, the cardinal. This touches my heart as a reminder that loved ones are near.

Again, THANK YOU, from the bottom of our hearts for supporting aging adults with us, addressing vulnerabilities, and being there with us to serve.

Lastly, I wanted to give a partner shoutout to Wildwood Herbal! Over the last two months, we have provided fresh produce (literally straight from the earth to the dining sites) including fresh kale, spinach, and carrots. We look forward to our continued partnership to provide nutritious options for fresh food in addition to our Moose Cafe hot meals, produce from Mountain Food Products, and shelf-stable foods from MANNA and other providers. Not only does this help us support our clients and local businesses more, but it also reduces food waste and gives us an opportunity to bring Age Friendly principles into community action!!!

Heather Bauer

ps. Participate in virtual and/or COVID safe in-person

Interested in learning more about benefits to save money on food for eligible individuals? Join COA and MANNA FoodBank on Wednesday,
Wildwood Herbal
Weaverville, NC
Moose Cafe
Asheville, NC
Agency News
Pet Therapy Spotlight
When Mary Ann Sharp speaks, you can tell she grew up somewhere outside of Western North Carolina. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she held onto the rich accent of her childhood, before her family moved to Florida when she was thirteen. Mary Ann lived most of her life in Florida and moved to the Vanderbilt Apartments in downtown Asheville three years ago to be closer to her family - her daughter and granddaughter, who live nearby. She chose to live downtown because she enjoys the excitement, arts, culture, and music that comes with living in a city. When the world shut down due to a global pandemic, Mary Ann needed to find other ways to keep herself busy.

Mary Ann is one of those people who will smile even when she is experiencing pain. Even though she can be unsteady on her feet and uses a rolling walker, she enjoys going outside for sunshine and a nice stroll up and down the sidewalk. Mary Ann likes to cook and bake, meet new people (from a distance), and play games with friends who are in her small circle of trust. She likes listening to live music and doing arts and crafts.

Mary Ann participates in every event sponsored by the Service Coordinator at the Vanderbilt Apartments. When Service Coordination brought pet therapy into the building, Mary Ann got to meet Cooki, an adorable and compassionate dog. “I love animals,” she explains, “little Cooki and I… we had an instant connection.” Cooki is a certified therapy dog owned by Lori Meckler and they have been coming to the Vanderbilt Apartments for several months during the pandemic. Residents sign up for a one-on-one appointment for pet therapy, to play, groom, and hold a dog. The dogs enjoy it also because they get extra treats. Disease control precautions are put into place to keep the residents and dog handlers safely engaged. “It makes a difference,” says Mary Ann, “and the animals have an unconditional love - something we all need in this time of crisis.”
Corporate Sponsor Highlights
Parsec Financial
Parsec Financial is a proud long-term sponsor of Council on Aging since we are both focused on helping ensure the well-being of senior citizens throughout WNC. We are a fee-only registered investment advisor (RIA) with $3.6 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2021. We provide investment management, financial planning, tax planning, trust services and business retirement services to more than 1,800 households and businesses in six offices across NC.

We recently created a golf course guide to Medicare that we invite you to utilize as you swing and putt your way through the important “game” of Medicare: https://parsecfinancial.com/whitepapers/golf-course-guide-to-medicare/

Our company always strives to pay it forward to the communities in which we serve. We donate approximately 1% of our revenue each year to the Parsec Prize, our charitable grant program. Since 2005, we have given more than $1.5 million to 84 NC-based non-profits.

Moreover, each year we pursue dozens of charitable sponsorships across North Carolina. In 2020 we supported 42 non-profit organizations with more than $75,000 in sponsorships. 

We have a formal volunteer time-off policy for our employees to be actively involved in the community and serve on numerous charitable boards. All full-time employees receive eight hours each year to volunteer during business hours. In 2020, 23 employees volunteered more than 525 hours.
Parsec generously matches up to 2% of an employee’s salary to support his or her personal philanthropic endeavors. In 2020 we donated $56,000 to 60 organizations via matching employee donations.
Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community
Deerfield is faith-based, open to all, and provides a continuum of services to empower residents to live life to the fullest. "We enrich the lives of those who live and work at Deerfield and commit to be a leader in the field of aging services."

Deerfield is a not-for-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community, also referred to as a Life Plan Community, established by the Episcopal Church in 1955. This beautiful 125-acre campus serves over 600 residents and employees and over 300 amazing staff. In addition to 378 Independent residences, 62 Assisted Living apartments, and 62 Skilled Nursing suites, Deerfield offers an array of community spaces, amenities, and programs. Residents enjoy three Dining Venues; Arts Studios; a Fitness Center; an Aquatic Center; a Woodworking Shop; Wellness, Educational, and Entertainment Programs; a Spa and 2 Hair Salons; Walking Trails and a Community Garden; a state-of-the-art Croquet Court; 2 chapels, St. Giles Chapel on the grand lawn and a chapel in Simonds Healthcare Center, and much more!
You can see and learn more at www.deerfieldwnc.org.

Deerfield and the Deerfield Charitable Foundation are enthusiastically supporting local non-profits in their efforts to do good and provide services to WNC. We have chosen multiple causes to support - sponsoring Habitat for Humanity’s eight Aging in Place homes, MAHEC’s Center for Healthy Aging (particularly with their Home-Based Primary Care program for low-income older adults), MemoryCare, Calvary Episcopal Food Pantry, and the Janirve SUN (Sudden and Urgent Need) Fund at CFWNC. Most recently we led a gift match campaign with the residents to raise a total of $104,000 to support Pisgah Legal’s Homelessness Prevention program. And now that things are “opening back up” we are slowly resuming our community-wide volunteer efforts with Habitat for Humanity and Meals on Wheels.

Council on Aging is such a valuable resource to our community’s aging population and Deerfield’s mission is all about serving aging adults. Having your organization on our campus is an honor and we love knowing that you are working to connect our region’s elders to resources that support their health and happiness.
Meet Our New Staff
Tricia Wilson, Volunteer Coordinator
My name is Tricia Wilson and I am the new Volunteer Coordinator at COABC. In 2015 my family and I moved to Asheville after spending 7 years in the Metro DC area. During my time in Maryland, I was the Assistant Director for Interages, which is a program of the Jewish Council for the Aging. Interages programs are focused on bringing seniors and youth together. I recruited volunteers, all of whom were age 50 or better, to serve as tutors and mentors to students in need. It was a joy to work with hundreds of volunteers who gave so willingly of their time and talents. 

For the last six years I worked for Women for Women (WFW), a local women's giving circle which is an initiative of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. Women for Women works to improve the lives of local women and girls through advocacy and grantmaking. I managed the giving circle's membership and grants programs and am proud to have overseen WFW's 2019 grant to COA to support its elder justice work. 

When I'm not at work, I can often be found at the soccer fields cheering on my two children or running the beautiful trails that surround my neighborhood. I look forward to meeting the COA volunteers and getting to know all of you. I know the seniors you serve are grateful for your support! 
Volunteer Shout Out
Marge Ottofy, Medicare SHIIP Counselor
This edition's Medicare Volunteer Superstar is Marge Ottofy! Marge has been volunteering with COA's Medicare program for over ten years. She is one of our most skilled and experienced Medicare counselors.

Marge has been a rock-solid support for COA over the years. During this pandemic she easily adapted her counseling skills to the new methods of remote counseling. Marge says that she continues to volunteer for COA because she is, "someone who cares about our senior citizens who are overwhelmed by Medicare and all the choices they need to consider. I understand the clients' concerns of getting the coverage they need while still saving their hard earned money whenever possible. The satisfaction of hearing, and soon seeing, the relief when a client can finally sort things out is my reward and it is huge."

We are so grateful for the service that Marge is able to provide our clients and the difference she is making!
What Clients Are Saying
"Recently Susan Wilson reapplied for my BCBS health insurance and my monthly payment went from $131.52 to $19.52 a month - how wonderful. This American Rescue Plan is such a big help to me and my wife. I can use the extra money to help catch up on other bills. Susan is so good to work with and very polite and professional. Thanks to the both of you for doing such a great job."
-Affordable Care Act Client

"Deborah was so kind and intent to listen to our needs. We appreciate her kindness and representation of your company."
-Resource Coordination Client

"This service means a lot to me. It is very nice for you to do this for seniors and others. I am really grateful for the food. Thank you thank you. Your kindness will never be forgotten."
-Senior Dining Client
Upcoming Events
Free "Introduction to Medicare" Webinar
The Council on Aging of Buncombe County is presenting virtual classes on Medicare!

We explain how Medicare works,
the enrollment process, how to avoid penalties,
and ways to save money.

Pre-registration is required and you must provide an email address. A Zoom link will be sent to you prior to the class with further instructions.

"Excellent webinar, very informative, and helpful."
- Medicare Webinar Participant

Upcoming Classes:

May 27, 2:00PM - 3:30PM

June 9, 2:00PM - 3:30PM

June 24, 2:00PM - 3:30PM

Not All Heroes Wear CAPES
Caring for Aging People Education & Support
CAPES has gone virtual!

3rd Tuesday of every month,
5-6:30pm via Zoom.

Meeting ID: 848 6164 0427
Password: 125598

Whether you are a long-distance caregiver, a working family caregiver, living with or nearby your loved one, we recognize that you need support, education, and
information that can help you navigate this journey.

Due to the pandemic, our monthly meetings have gone virtual.
While we look forward to the time where we can meet again in person, please join us!

Speaker 5-5:30 pm; Support Group 5:30-6:30 pm

June 15th: Tips for Dealing with Family Dynamics and Setting Boundaries (Kim Moore)

Start the conversation by contacting Jennie Pressley.
(828) 277-8288, ext. 1308
Walk the Track for Aging
May 21, 9:00am - 1:00pm
Join us for a walk!

Spring Mountain Community Center

807 Old Fort Road
Fairview, NC 28730

Come celebrate the Fairview area Community of Strength in honor of Older American’s Month. Get out your walking shoes and join us at the beautiful Spring Mountain Community Center in Fairview.

We encourage people of all ages to attend! Participants will receive a Communities of Strength Certificate of Appreciation.

Registration begins at 8:30am and the Walk begins at 9:00am.

Bottled water will be provided. Pre-registration is not required. There will be Council on Aging staff on-site with local resources available.

If you would like further information, contact Cory Reavis:

828-277-8288 x1313
SNAP Basics for Seniors
May 26, 10:30am - 11:30am Via Zoom (CLICK TO JOIN)
Join us to learn more about an easy to use card for purchases online, at local markets, and other retailers; Save big on groceries - extra money in your pocket!

Join COA and MANNA Foodbank staff and volunteers for a short, interactive information session via zoom to learn more about why SNAP is an important benefit to reduce hunger, improve savings, and build community.

Want to get started? Determine eligibility and receive application assistance:
There's Still Time to COABC
(Come out and buy a cocktail)!

Cocktails for a Cause at Tupelo Honey South, May 2021

Tupelo Honey South (1829 Hendersonville Rd., Asheville, NC 28801) has partnered with us in honor or our resilient community for the month of May to offer discounts on your full purchase as well as $1 donated per select cocktails and mocktails that support Council on Aging programs and services.

Donors, staff, volunteers and supporters can use our special promo code: 10% off their ONLINE order! CABC10

Tupelo Honey has a beautiful indoor and outdoor space to dine in and they also offer takeout! View their menu online.

While the Cocktails for a Cause event will be promoted by them for Thursdays, the deals are available every day of the week for the entire month of May! (COABC - Come Out And Buy a Cocktail!)





Thank you to our Corporate Sponsors