In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Word on the Street
Volunteers & Vendors
New Members

Contact Us

2330 Durant Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

(510) 204-9200

On the Web


February 2011




"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead


On January 15th, a lively and committed group of Ashby Village volunteers gathered to claim our history, celebrate our accomplishments and dream into the future.


The Volunteer Forum opened with participants -- including a number of Board and Advisory Board members -- sharing visions of something valuable that Ashby Village has brought to the community. Responses included friendship, community, connection, possibility, a new paradigm for our children, mutual support, caring, and bringing together Berkeley's Northside and Southside.


More than 30 volunteers then spent the rest of the morning creating a history wall, documenting the evolution of the Village movement of which we are a part; the political, economic and demographic trends shaping our reality; and the key events in the startup of our own Village.   


Susan PoorSusan Poor, founder of SF Village who now works for the National Village-to-Village Network, gave  an overview combining national political, economic and aging trends from the '60s through the challenges of Governor Brown's first budget in his current term. Some of the facts and trends she highlighted in her talk were: 


  • There are over 50 Villages in operation across the country, with hundreds more in formation.  
  • The Village-to-Village Network serves as a forum and cyber-resource and hosts  an annual conference bringing together representatives of the Villages.
  • The U.S. population over 65 is expected to double between now and 2050.
  • As of January 15, we have nearly 140 members. (Since then, 12 more have joined.)

Elizabeth Carty

Facilitator Elizabeth Carty at the "History Wall"

The facilitator, Elizabeth Carty, created an organized and robust structure for the meeting, one that encouraged participants to learn, contribute and enjoy each others' company.  The result was a powerful recognition of  the work we are doing as part of a longer time frame and a broader context.  Participants experienced first-hand the intelligence, vitality and commitment of those who comprise our rapidly growing Village.

-- Laura Peck, Co-Chair,  

Community-Building and Events Committee 


* * * 




The Social Services Committee is pleased to announce a free consulting service to help Ashby Village members handle questions such as:.

  • Are things changing at home?
  • Are you or your partner experiencing increased stress or challenges managing tasks of daily living, due to changes in physical or psychological functioning?  
  • Would it be helpful to speak with someone to begin to address these emerging issues?

Starting this spring, members of our Social Services Committee -- all of whom have professional counseling experience -- will be available to meet with Ashby Village members. The purpose of these visits will be to assist  members in define better their problem and, if appropriate, suggest a resource or make a referral to an agency or professional that could help.  All meetings will private and confidential. It is important to clarify that these visits would not involve any formal therapy or even continued visits.   

Meetings can be scheduled for the first and third Wednesdays of the month, from 10 a.m. to noon, starting on March 2. 


Please contact the Ashby Village office at (510) 204-9200  to set up an appointment. If you prefer, you may also call Roberta Pressman, Chair of the Social Services Committee, at (617) 319-9801 to schedule an appointment.


Activities sponsored by Ashby Village

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 12:30-2:30 p.m.



The best way to learn about Ashby Village is to come to a Living Room Chat.  These gatherings, typically hosted by Ashby Village members in their homes, give those interested an opportunity to hear from our Board, staff and members about what it means to be part of the Village. It is an opportunity to ask questions and often leads to dynamic conversations about aging successfully in our community.

  • Northbrae Church, 941 The Alameda, Berkeley
  • This event is wheelchair-accessible
  • Please RSVP here, or call the office at (510) 204-9200


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2:30-4:30 p.m.



Join us for a presentation on one of the universal fears of aging: loss of memory. Leading the discussion will be Donna Schempp, LCSW, who has worked at Kaiser, Family Caregiver Alliance and UCSF's Memory Clinic. She is currently interim clinical supervisor of Older Adult Services at Jewish Family and Children's Services/East Bay.  


Topics to be discussed will include the natural changes in memory as we age and ways to help deal with those changes. Donna will also explain how memory problems might also be warning signs of other medical or emotional issues.  

  • Where: Jewish Family and Children's Services, Suse Moyal Center for Older Adult Services, 2484 Shattuck Ave., Suite 210, Berkeley.  There is 90-minute parking in front of the building and two-hour parking on Blake Street, around the corner
  • Light refreshments served 
  • This event is wheelchair-accessible, with an elevator to the 2nd floor
  • Please RSVP here, or call our office at (510) 204-9200

FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 9:00-11:00 a.m.



Join Audre and Roger Newman, oudoor leaders and members, for a half-mile stroll down Wildcat Creek Trail to Jewell Lake.  The trail is completely accessible, including a little boardwalk loop that goes through the thickets along tiny Wildcat Creek.  Many birds appear there around this time of year. Depending on the weather and other conditions, the Newmans say they might continue on down Wildcat Creek Trail another half mile or so. They expect the outing to take about one-and-a-half to two hours.  It will canceled in the event of rain. 

  • Meet at the Environmental Education Center in Tilden Park near The Little Farm.  Maps, directions and and other information about this part of Tilden Park are available at
  • To RSVP, please contact Audre at audrenew@gmailcom, or call her at (510) 548-0530.
  • See the next Members Digest for further information.


SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2:00-4:00 p.m.



Another in our series of Living Room Chats (see description above):

  • Home of Betty Webster, 55 Highland Blvd., Kensington
  • This event is wheelchair-accessible
  • Please RSVP here, or call our office at (510) 204-9200

MONDAY, MARCH 14, 12:00-2:00 p.m.



Join us for the next of our bimonthly luncheons and connect with other Ashby Village members.

  • Anchalee Thai Cuisine, 1094 Dwight Way (just below  San Pablo), Berkeley
  • Attendees will have the option of choosing a fixed-price meal ($9-$11) or a la carte with a separate check
  • This event is wheelchair-accessible
  • Please RSVP here, or call the office at (510) 204-9200


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 3:00-5:00 p.m.



The Ashby Village Author Series is pleased to welcome Lucy Scott, Ph.D., who will discuss her book Aging With Grace, Power and a Plan. Dr. Scott is an educator, psychologist and author who has dedicated much of her work to helping people create a step-by-step roadmap for choosing how to age. Her book breaks through the myths of aging and shares seven key elements for building a plan. Her work with women and Wisdom Circles is known and respected  throughout the Bay Area and has been nationally recognized.

  • Where: Jewish Family and Children's Services, Suse Moyal Center for Older Adult Services, 2484 Shattuck Ave., Suite 210, Berkeley.  There is 90-minute parking in front of the building and two-hour parking on Blake Street, around the corner
  • This event is wheelchair-accessible, with an elevator to the 2nd floor
  • Please RSVP here, or call our office at (510) 204-9200

 * * *  


While the following event is not fully sponsored by Ashby Village, a special discount and gathering for members has been arranged by the Events Committee

TUESDAY, MARCH 1, 7:00 p.m

The S.F. Brass Quintet returns for its fourth annual Classical at the Freight concert in a varied program of lively music.  Join fellow Villagers at the Freight and Salvage for performance of top-flight chamber pieces:
  • Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley
  • Wheelchair-accessible; a block from the Berkeley BART station
  • Doors open at 7. Meet in the lobby  to share coffee or a drink and connect before the 8 p.m. performance. 
  • Special price of $6.50 for Ashby Village members
  • RSVP:  Payment must be received by February 26 at the office (2330 Durant Ave., Berkeley)  to reserve special discounted seats.   



WHAT DO YOU TALK ABOUT WHEN YOU DISCUSS ASHBY VILLAGE?  Anonymous responses to member survey, December 2010  

  • "One-stop shopping, insurance policy, expanding my community network, fabulous people I have met ..."
  • "Being part of cutting-edge changes in how we help one another ..." 
  • "My growing sense of community and mutual support that is at the heart of the Village ... a way to remain in your house, a way to maintain your freedom ..."
  • "The interdependent, cooperative nature and potential of Ashby Village ..."
  • "What a good concept, what a terrific group of people are involved ..."



Having few friends or weak social ties to the community is just as harmful to health as being an alcoholic or smoking nearly a pack of cigarettes a day. Weak social ties are more harmful than not exercising and twice as risky as being obese.


Back to Top  



Village needs and opportunities

Communications Committee 

We are looking for several experienced writers and editors to work with Peter Sussman on our Monthly Newsletter and Member Digest. Please contact Peter by email at

Staffing Tables at the Farmers' Markets

Join us in spreading the word on Ashby Village at the Berkeley Farmers' Market ... it's fun.  Two weeks ago, on a glorious, sunny Saturday, Karen Miller (intern) and Barbi Jo Stim (member, Events Committee Chair and Board member) visited with dozens of people from the community who are now prospective volunteers and members. We're seeking volunteers to help during  March. Email Karen Miller or

or call her Tuesdays and Fridays at the office, (510) 204-9200. 



Back to Top     



Volunteerism is a cornerstone of the Village model.  Our "volunteer-first" policy draws upon the untapped capacity of people in our community to support one another. Our aim always is to find a qualified volunteer to fulfill a request before referring members to a commercial provider.We have a thorough and instructive screening and training process for our volunteers, and we provide careful oversight to insure caring and reliable support.

Orientation and Training Report

Volunteer Training, 1-22-11Twenty-five prospective volunteers participated in our January 22 training.  Topics covered included volunteer program guidelines, body mechanics, boundaries, identifying and reporting issues of concern. Ada Burko, Ashby Village Advisory Board member, spoke about issues of aging and how we cope with its challenges.




Appreciation: Betty Webster


After retiring, with children on their own, Betty Webster decided to do something she'd not had time to do very much of -- voBetty Websterlunteer in her community.  Perhaps Betty's biggest commitment at this time is with Ashby Village. She's a member, and she serves on the Board and as Chair of the Membership Committee. Betty describes her role this way:"I feel so privileged to be on the Ashby Village Board.  This is more than a volunteer job.  It is a passion and a dedication to a concept that is personally very important to me and one that I want to work hard to bring to the community around me.Even though I may feel I cannot possibly accomplish all I am supposed to do, all I need to do is go to a committee or board meeting and I come away exhilarated and ready to do whatever is necessary to work on accomplishing our Village goals.  Right now I have the mental and physical capacity to give.  The time may come when I will have to ask for help."

Ashby Village is profoundly fortunate for Betty's support, and we're grateful.   She continues to build important, caring bonds that have allowed the organization to lay its roots and grow.



Back to Top    



  • Ellen Barth
  • Marion Benedict
  • Walter and Patricia Ellis
  • Joan Gallegos (apologies for excluding Joan's name from previous list)
  • Bridgitte Beinhoff and Tim Hamon
  • Janet Kranzberg
  • Tim Gordon and Donna Mickelson
  • Martin and Murial Paley


Back to top 



Committee Chairs


MEMBERSHIP:  Betty Webster, 


                                                                             Barbi Jo Stim, 

MEMBER SERVICES:  Joann Sullivan, 

SOCIAL SERVICES:  Roberta Pressman, 

OUTREACH:  Marcia Freedman, 

FUNDRAISING:  Andra Lichtenstein, 

PERSONNEL:  Patricia Sussman, 












CHAIR:  Patricia Sussman, 

VICE CHAIR:  Shirley Haberfeld, 


Bob Davis, 

Laura Peck, 

Jane Selby, 

Barbi Jo Stim, 

Betty Webster, 


Back to top