By Tom Knutsen
Despite the lure of NFL Wild Card playoffs, 26 Capital City Villagers crowded into the home of Emy Lou and Drew Sawyer on Sunday, January 10, for an afternoon of song, wine, and canapes. Drawing the audience were singers Paulette McDougal and Sue Bilich (pictured), with piano accompaniment by Greta Gutman. For a little more than an hour, they performed old favorites, including an audience-participation refrain for “Lydia the Tattooed Lady,” from the Marx Brothers’ film “At the Circus.”
Once again, we enjoyed good, local musicians in the casual and welcoming setting of CCV members’ home.
And, we thank the event’s sponsors, Luther King Capital Management and Craig and Felicia Hester.
One of the best things about being a member of Capital City Village is the varied opportunities the Village offers for learning and growth. Just such a chance popped up the third Monday in November when a handful of Villagers gathered at the home of Sue and Mart Hoffman to participate in a University of Texas Community & Regional Planning graduate school focus group on travel.
Organizing the event was Sandi Rosenbloom, a nationally respected expert on transportation and currently a research professor at The University of Texas at Austin. She brought more than a dozen students to meet with about a dozen CCVers.
“The students are enrolled in a graduate seminar in the UT Austin Community and Regional Planning program entitled ‘Creating Intergenerational Communities.’ We chose to take on the challenge of a student design competition organized by the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) of the National Research Council as the class project. The ACRP is looking for student projects addressing crucial airport operations and management problems,” she explained. The class that wins the competition will receive $2,500 and a trip to Washington, D.C.
They asked, essentially, what is good and bad about airports for older travelers. They may not have noticed, but the group of seniors they were with comprised a slew of fitness freaks whose travels include hiking and biking. In other words, not an easily daunted crowd.
Sandi, as Dr. Rosenbloom identified herself, had the participants separate into two groups in adjoining rooms, with spouses split. Right off the bat, Henry McCown, who seems to have been everywhere, said, “The best airport in the world is Changi in Singapore.” He went to explain that it enables travelers to move easily through customs, security, and to connecting flights, and it has useful amenities.
“What features present difficulties?”, the students asked. Among them, members replied variously, are flight displays that often are difficult to read and escalators and moving sidewalks for their unstable access points. “My wife won’t go near one,” one member said.
Liby Beck said one of the most effective travel connections she’s experienced is a “pod” that she and Carl took from their hotel in London to the airport. It is small, driverless car that simplifies getting around in a congested city.
A couple of CCVers added their experiences when they have been ill or injured, that going in a wheel chair is a breeze. The comments led to jokes that perhaps travelers ought to carry inflatable casts to skip lines.
Of course, we hope we helped the class and look forward to hearing about its success.
Many thanks to those who participated on behalf of Capital City Village.
North Meets South
by Tom Knutsen
While the University of Texas was dithering about what to do with its statues of dead Confederate leaders, Capital City Village demonstrated the benefits of reaching out and joining South and North. We celebrated our first “North-South” group luncheon on Wednesday, September 9. About 25 members from both sides of the Colorado River gathered at a choice, neutral spot, Abel’s on the Lake.
What a splendid site for a party! The restaurant reserved its top floor party area, giving us a captivating view of Austin from just 100 yards upstream from Tom Miller Dam.
Determined to make us reach out to strangers, Bonnie Gilson, our savvy executive director, set up a simple parlor game. When each Villager signed in, she put a Post-It note on the person’s back with the name of some famous person. The challenge was to introduce yourself to someone you didn’t know, and each of you tried to guess the identity of the name on your back. All questions had to be posed for a “yes” or “no” answer. “Am I still alive,” was the usual starter. It was totally fun, even for Rick Cloud who needed only five questions to learn his patch carried “FDR.”
CCV staff had negotiated a prix-fixe menu with three choices, fish, chicken, vegetarian, all with Abel’s creative seasonings and presentation. The food was good, and not too much.
Let’s do this again. Given Austin’s afternoon traffic, when “rush hour” lasts from 3 to 7 p.m., lunches are a good way to get together.
CCV Expands Membership at Second JCC Open House
by Tom Knutsen
July 8, 2015
One more Capital City Village open house, two more members. On the last day of June, the Dell Jewish Community Center and WellMed partnered with CCV to sponsor an open house in the JCC’s meeting room. It was the second time the JCC has opened itself to CCV, the first was in December.
Despite a sudden and sustained late afternoon downpour, 21 people including nine first-time visitors showed up for the information session. Following a half-hour social hour where CCV members greeted guests, the center’s program coordinator, Annie Skelton, kicked off the program, welcoming all to the JCC. She introduced Executive Director Bonnie Gilson, who explained the purpose of CCV and then illustrated it by showing the CBS video about aging the Village Movement.
Next was a great surprise. George Mading, who joined CCV after the South Austin Open House in May, stood up saying he wanted to speak. “I didn’t clear this with Bonnie,” he began. George went to say that he is a profession skeptic — he is a retired fraud investigator for the Internal Revenue Service. When his wife, Betty, told him about CCV, he said he was deeply suspicious of its intent. Having looked into it, though, he stated the organization truly helps people and he is glad he joined.
“He is going to be helping us with our background checks,” quipped Bonnie.
Former president Sue Hoffman and then current president Kay McHorse detailed the development of the village movement and creation of the virtual community here in Austin.
Once the formal presentation ended, Sam and Beth Williams joined on the spot. Several other visitors asked for the flyers explaining membership costs and benefits.
A useful note is that two visitors said they heard about Capital City Village on KMFA! Our advertising works!
CCV Expanded Southward with an Open House at WellMed
by Tom Knutsen
June 8, 2015
Capital City Village welcomed June with three new memberships drawn from the crowd attending its Open House at WellMed’s Senior Center on Ben White. It was CCV’s first foray into South Austin, and, owing to terrific organization and planning by members and volunteers, it was a great success: Two new memberships on-site, the third less than a week later.
More than 50 visitors attended on Friday, May 29, for an afternoon of socializing, refreshments, and a formal presentation about CCV. The event was slated to open at 1:30 p.m., but folks had begun arriving before 1 p.m., waiting for the CCV ambassadors who were to supposed to greet them!
After half an hour of informal conversations among the visitors and CCV members, all gathered in an exercise room for an information program. Executive Director Bonnie Gilson began by talking generally about CCV and showing the short video telling our story. Former president Sue Hoffman related the evolution of the “village movement,” beginning with the first group in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. They were the cake to durable, comical Stan Brooks, who told the group about how much help he received from CCV when he broke his femur two years ago.
Bonnie closed with an explanation of the membership fee structure, emphasizing the discounts CCV offered for the event: $50 off the initial joining fee for full price memberships, and 10 percent discounts on all other memberships until June 12.
Visitors then began asking questions, focusing on the cost, but some also asking about benefits. Soon the assembly broke into small groups where CCV members asked and answered questions about the organization. To enable sign-ups, Development Director Susannah Erler moved into a private area where she could discuss membership with those wanting more information. She remained busy past 4 p.m., the time the event was to close.
The South Austin Open House was the brainchild of member Joanne O’Neill, who helped with arrangements with WellMed and called on friends from the area. Helping her were volunteers Pam and Joe Farley, South Austinites who invited their friends and neighbors. Thanks also to member LK Keeling for her work.
Thanks to everyone who participated on the CCV Walking Team, sponsored by The McHorses. Check out the great pics on Facebook!
Check out a recent article on KXAN about it:
“AUSTIN (KXAN) — They call it the silent suffering. Arthritis may be thought of as an old person’s affliction but that’s wrong. It can afflict men, women and children of all ages. A painful inflammation of the joints, with 100 varieties, there is no cure. 340,000 Central Texans suffer from arthritis, and 2,300 of them are children. It is the most disabling disease in America. Thousands on Saturday joined in the Walk to Cure Arthritis sponsored by the Seton Healthcare Family.”
Read the full article.
We were recently featured in the Allandale Neighbor, the official newsletter of the Allandale Neighborhood.
Here’s an excerpt:
Capital City Village
“Keep Aging Weird” in Austin
by Ericca Long
Austin faces a unique challenge: the highest growing rate of seniors, ages 65–84, and a fast-growing population over 50 . With this “silver tsunami” comes the opportunity to significantly change outmoded concepts about aging and what senior populations are “supposed to” look like. Whether seniors are healthy and active or have ongoing medical issues, no one living situation fits all . And as our senior services sector expands across govern- ment, nonprofits, and businesses, Austi- nites have more choices. One choice is
“aging in place.” Check out the full feature here.
Want to make a difference? Spend 15-20 minutes and complete this survey!
“On behalf of AGE of Central Texas and the Basic Transportation Needs Fund Board, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) is conducting a survey as part of a project that will result in a plan to maximize community transportation assets specifically to address the needs of older adults in the Capital Area Region.
This survey will assist in identifying agencies that currently provide transportation for older adults (ages 60 years and above), the transportation assets that are available, and opportunities to leverage these services in the future. The first half of the survey is specifically directed at those agencies providing services for seniors. The second half of the survey is intended to be an “asset” inventory, where we may glean more knowledge on current vehicles in the region that are or could be available for senior transportation. Even if your agency only has one or two vehicles, we would appreciate it if you would fill out this information so we can complete an inventory of all resources in the region.
We would appreciate it if you would take 15-20 minutes to complete the following survey: http://s-bb26b0-i.sgizmo.com/s3/i-100075758-843620/?sguid=100075758. The results and outcomes of the survey and the overall project will be shared with you, the Basic Transportation Needs Fund Board, the St David’s Foundation, policy makers, and other local funders.”
If you missed last week’s meet and greet for Cari Clark, realtor with Kuper Sotheby’s International, never fear as we’ll be showcasing her again.
What sets Cari apart is her dedication to helping seniors downsize and age in place. She has an entire team of professionals who are on hand to declutter, organize, landscape, repair and assist in the process. We have a folder of information from Cari, and if interested, please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org to request the folder.
Cari also provided us with a terrific link to some information you might not be aware of. Check out Property Tax Form 50-126 Tax Deferral Affidavit for 65 or Over or Disabled Homeowner. For more information, check out this doc.
Visit Cari at http://cariclark.kuperrealty.com/eng. We’ll have more information coming soon on a future program with Cari.
Welcome to the full text version of this month’s first newsletter: January 2015 Newsletter
Visit the Full Calendar of Events
The Year 2014 in Review
2014 was a banner year for CCV! We had an unprecedented rate of growth in member requests and volunteer hours, plus we were all over the city! Here are some highlights from the year:
– More than 24,000 contacts–this means that through emails, phone calls, meetings, visits, events, programs, services, volunteer hours and more, we have kept in touch with our entire base of support more than 24,000 times.
– Over 270 member service requests with over 500 volunteer hours to fulfill them–we have more than quadrupled last year’s services to members.
– Over 40 programs and events with over 600 attendees–we had a great time and we hope you did too.
– We were in the New York Times! This is a huge deal for any organization, and we’re so grateful to get the exposure.
– These are just a few examples of what we’ve accomplished. Are you involved yet?
We heard from you, our donors, on why you supported CCV in December. Here’s a sample of your responses:
– in recognition of a kindness received
– in honor of Dyana Thomas, Kathy Wohlert; in memory of Nancy Winfield, Jim Mayfield
– in memory of Nancy Winfield, a friend of 64 years
– in honor of Jim Morriss, who was a former missionary to Bolivia and Honduras and is remembers by many people
– in memory of Nancy Winfield and Jim Mayfield
Visit our donate page to support us in 2015.
Buy a CCV T-Shirt for just $15!
These t-shirts look and feel great. Contact us to buy one!