Valley Program for Aging Services Board members and Local Council Chairs representing the SAW Region have met several times to discuss the importance of building awareness of VPAS services among local elected officials. This process was started as a result of meetings held with local officials regarding the jurisdictional requests. Board Chair Jim Bennett and Vice Chair Lorie Smith got the ball rolling for this focus group.
The first action step took place on April 10 as Staunton Senior Center (SSC) member Laura Luziach and SSC Local Council Chair Michael Thompson spoke on behalf of VPAS at the Staunton City Council Public Hearing on the proposed FY15 budget. Both were speaking in support of the budget and thanking the City for their support of VPAS.
Laura is a 93 year old Staunton resident, and exercise is and always has been important to her. She faithfully attends exercise at SSC every day she can, and Laura highlighted the importance of having exercise classes readily available to her, as well as the fact that she never has to be lonely with the Center close by. Laura shared information on the kinds of programs that are offered at SSC and why it’s important to her and other members. She thanked the Council for supporting VPAS in their budget.
Michael talked about his experience of starting as a Meals on Wheels volunteer and how that led to him becoming more and more involved with VPAS. He also introduced the other people in attendance that were representing VPAS: VPAS Board member Tim Bruce, SSC Local Council member Shelley Bryant, SSC Program Director Lori Pullin, and SAW Regional Director Janice Gentry. City Council Member Andrea Oakes is also on the SSC Local Council and was recognized. Thanks to everyone for the great support!
Staunton’s candidates last week sat shoulder-to-shoulder at the Staunton Senior Center to answer questions from a moderator and the audience in a forum put on by the Valley Program for Aging Services. They’d done so previously at Mary Baldwin College.
Approximately fifty members, staff, volunteers, and visitors screamed and applauded for 15 SSC and Waynesboro Senior Center members who were modeling their favorite colors and styles through dresses and suits adorned with accessories provided by Anna Stell of Interim Home Health, Shelly Lam with Kings Daughters Community Health & Rehab Center, Alyssa Clark of Envoy of Staunton, Jessica Miller of Care Advantage, Amy Boyers of Emeritus at Staunton and Tara Green of Legacy Hospice.
These phenomenal ladies, who provide health programs at SSC, made possible the Fashion Show with their generous donations of hats, scarves, hair extensions, ties, make-up, and jewelry, not to mention the special punch and fruit refreshments and loving care as they assisted each participant in putting his or her best foot forward! Individuals stopped for a photo and then proceeded down the runway to ‘70s music prepared by Anna.
Alyssa was MC, describing each model’s favorite colors, hobbies, accomplishments, and future plans. All in all, it was a wonderfully fun and highly recommended experience for all involved, and the goal of encouraging positive mental health among members through noting dress and color was definitely achieved!
Election Day for City Council and School Board candidates in Staunton and Waynesboro is May 6. The SAW Region of the Valley Program for Aging Services continues its tradition of hosting local candidate forums.
VPAS is once again partnering with NBC29 News on this project. The Staunton City Council Candidate Forum will be held at the Staunton Senior Center (SSC) at Gypsy Hill Place, 300 Churchville Ave., on Wednesday, April 16 at 5:30pm. Doors will open at 5:00. The 8 candidates running for three open City Council seats in this race, all plan to be in attendance. For more information on the Staunton forum, call SSC at 886-4634.
The Waynesboro Candidate Forum has invited both City Council and School Board candidates as there are only four candidates in all. The Ward C and Ward D representatives are to be elected for City Council and for School Board. All four races are uncontested, with a single person running for each position. This forum to be held at Waynesboro Senior Center (WSC) at 325 Pine Ave., on Wednesday, April 23 at 1:00pm. For more information on the Waynesboro forum, call WSC at 942-1838.
Alana Austin from NBC29 will be the moderator at both of these events. Individuals in attendance will have the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates as well.
When Sidney Grahame described why the Meals on Wheels program was important to him, his first words were not about food.
“All these people who deliver, they’re great individuals,” said Grahame, 76, of Waynesboro, “These people are good to me.”
Seventeen Staunton Senior Center members, staff, guests, and volunteers crowded around two tables in the Activity Room on March 12 to listen to motivational speaker Dr. Chip Studwell from the Bridgewater College Speakers Bureau. Wednesday’s visit was the second for Dr. Studwell, who is the Director of Academic Support and Disability Services in Academic Affairs. Dr. Studwell has been blind since his college years, so members can relate to him as he understands loss; he is a licensed counselor who is always ready to lend a listening ear as well.
This speaker’s talk centered around humorous but impacting stories and strategies to handle the personal, emotional, health, economic, and relationship challenges that can be of stress to seniors or anyone for that matter. He provided much great advice for listeners to be able to live in the healthiest possible ways including the following: 1) Act–do something! It is easy to feel helpless and hopeless; 2) Have a goal; be intentional; 3) Start with small changes if you want to make a change; 4) Be positive with words; 5) Be honest with yourself and others; and 6) Leave it and move on (don’t carry things around from the past).
Dr. Studwell’s inspirational encouragement was well received by members, and he was open to questions at the end. All appreciated his sense of humor and open style of leading this fun and interesting session.
Staunton Senior Center proposed four volunteer activities for groups taking part in the United Way Week of Caring in April.
In no special order they are: delivering meals on wheels; painting the entrance doors and adding an SSC logo; cleaning vans, the side yard and the front parking lot; and securing industrial felt pads to all of the Center’s chairs in anticipation of getting all floors stripped and waxed.
SSC looks forward to taking part in this extended volunteer week as it has for the last three years.
After a health program at the Staunton Senior Center and Waynesboro Senior Center on how to spice up the winter months, a new Pen Pal Club has formed.
The thought behind the program was to give Center members the opportunity to make new friends to whom they could write, thus eliminating some of the loneliness experienced by older adults during the long months of cold weather and shorter days. Even though spring is right around the corner now, the hope is that the “matched” seniors will soon be writing back and forth and perhaps even meet each other on March 27 at SSC as the two Centers gather that day for a combined fashion show!
Even though no birds have yet to be spied at Staunton Senior Center’s new bird feeder, there is some evidence of visits, according to bird enthusiast, JoAnn K., a new member at the Center. This avid bird watcher is encouraged that soon these wonderful and interesting creatures will discover the feeder and members will be on their way to viewing and identifying their new feathered friends.
JoAnn is bringing materials and her enthusiasm to SSC, leading group discussions about birds and birding; Friday found eight members gathered around a table, generously spreading peanut butter onto pine cones, rolling them in bird seed, and then attaching pipe cleaner hooks. This inexpensive project will provide protein and nutrients to local birds to assist them through the rest of the winter. A birding hike with volunteer Brenda Bruce is planned for June so that the group can get out into the wild to observe these lovely animals in their natural habitat!
The Center is closed Tuesday, March 4 due to the poor conditions of streets and sidewalks. Center administration does not want to endanger members, volunteers or guests and so closed for the second day after the recent snow that dropped five inches in ice and snow in Staunton.
The Center should be open again Wednesday, March 5 for regular activities.
More VPAS News
- Staunton Senior Center Local Council Met Feb. 20
- Chronic Disease Workshop Slated for Spring
- Combating Financial Crimes Targeting Older Adults
- SAIL Successful at Staunton Senior Center
- Center closed Friday
- SSC closed Thursday in expectation of snow.
- Stone Soup on the Menu at Staunton Senior Center
- Staunton Senior Center Local Council Met Jan. 30
- Eighteen Members Assessed for SAIL Program at Staunton
- Staunton Senior Center Local Council to Meet Jan. 30