Ashby Village street sign photo

Inaugural Community Meeting Well Attended -- and Lots of Fun!


The Inaugural Ashby Village Community Meeting on Sunday August 8 was a lively and productive event.  From 2 - 4 pm, over 40 AV members gathered in a wonderful space at the Northbrae Community Church. The room was set with café tables so that members could meet their "neighbors" and hear each other speak!

Next, members introduced themselves at the tables and then shared their reasons for joining and the benefits they imagined would come with their participation. Many ideas were generated including:

Getting educated about important issues before there is a crisis.

Transportation options are becoming increasingly important.

How can the Village help with providing a medical appointment buddy to take notes?

How about an Ashby Village partnership with the UC Berkeley Retirement Center?

How to keep in touch with other members: phone trees, email list servs, etc.

We would like to know the types of services offered and have a list of the confirmed providers.

What if we used the logo to make decals or window posters that identified us as members of Ashby Village?

How to share our community resources with each other

How about a list of attorneys who provide services for older adults?

We need an Ozzies, a friendly neighborhood hangout.

How can Ashby Village be a resource for our adult children?

Setting parameters for what Ashby Village volunteers will do.


Members then signed up to provide an exciting list of volunteer services and generated lists of workshops and seminars they would like to see Ashby Village provide. The AV Staff and board are hard at work in making these come to fruition. Watch future issues of this newsletter for more information, more Members' Forums and ways to shape our community.


Ashby Village's New Executive Director - Andy Gaines


The Board of Ashby Village is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Gaines as its executive director.

In her letter of welcome to Andrew, Shirley Haberfeld wrote: "We interviewed some excellent candidates and feel with you we have the perfect fit for AV.  We have a wonderful team of folks who have been working very hard to get Ashby Village where it is today and now, with your leadership, we know we can grow the organization we have been dreaming of for so long."

Andrew brings demonstrated capacity in the establishment of healthy nonprofit organizations.  He brings a unique expertise in nonprofit leadership, real estate management and development, counseling and training.  "The energy, vitality and conviction of the founding members of Ashby Village is clear," Andrew said.  "I feel honored to build upon these efforts to establish a well founded, financially sound, and publically applauded program that enables people to age in community with support and peace of mind."


In his undergraduate thesis, Andrew examined the changing wants and needs of people over 65, and he currently provides volunteer mediation and facilitation services through SEEDS Dispute Resolution Center in Berkeley. Recently, Andrew founded and served as the first executive director of Earthdance, a workshop and retreat center for dance and creative expression in the Berkshires.  While Andrew is a certified administrator for Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE), he is deeply committed to changing the culture of aging in this country.  His knowledge of the wide range of options for how people can live in the most healthy, joyful and safe environment will prove valuable in his service to Ashby Village members.

Andy is dynamic, personable, energetic and fun person who likes to make things happen.  Please help us enthusiastically welcome Andy to the Ashby Village community.


Your Social Life Can Be A Risk Factor!


Looking for validation on why you joined Ashby Village? A new research study concludes that having fewer 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, the researchers found. See the study results at


Volunteer Program Update

As Ashby Village has officially launched, so has our Volunteer Program. The inaugural Volunteer Orientation & Training took place Saturday, July 31st. There were 17 participants, which included prospective volunteers (AV members and non-members) and AV board members (aka already active volunteers). Topics included in the training were: Issues of aging, mobility assistance, cultural diversity and the history and development of Ashby Village. These prospects are completing the screening process and are transitioning to "Active" status, which means a minimum commitment of four-hours-a-week.

The next Volunteer Orientation and Training is scheduled for Saturday, September 25, 2010 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Ashby Village office in Berkeley.  To learn more about the volunteer program (either to become a volunteer or to know what volunteer services are available to you as a member) please contact us at
Thrilled as we are to bring aboard this new group of volunteers, we're just as thrilled with the steady force of volunteers who have already been putting in many hours in the office and out in the community. Over the past few years, and especially these past few months, the numbers have been so great there are too many to acknowledge individually in this newsletter. But we're thankful to every, single individual who has played a part in the development of Ashby Village.
 In future editions, we'll introduce our newest volunteers as they transition from prospect to active status. For now, we'll introduce the first volunteer from the training to complete the screening process (including reference and background checks): Renu Ray was born and raised in Nepal, where she assisted women with literacy. Renu comes to Berkeley by way of Minnesota. She's interested in building her administrative skills and will be volunteering in the office, though is also available for help with food prep and gardening. We hope to include YOUR name in future introductions. Call (510) 204-9200 or e-mail to receive an application and get started on the screening process.

It's Fall Prevention Awareness Week -- Here's How to Avoid Slipping and Falling

Every year, one in three adults age 65 and older falls. Twenty to 30% of those who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries that can threaten their ability to live healthy, independent lives. The following web page can help keep you from falling 


Mark your calendars for these upcoming fun events!

Friday, September 3rd - Oakland Museum from 11:45 AM - 2:00 PM. Come join AV members and enjoy a delicious lunch in the Blue Oak room at the museum and view their new exhibit - PIXAR: 25 Years of Animation. Admission to museum is $9 plus cost of lunch. We will meet at the restaurant. Please call the AV office at 204-9200 or email by Wed, September 1st to let us know you are coming or if you need a ride.

Wednesday, September 29th  from 7-8:30 PM - Wine Tasting at Vintage Berkeley. Come join a team and discover your favorite wines...this will be lots of fun! Vintage Berkeley is located at 2949 College Ave. near Ashby Ave. Please RSVP to the AV office, 204-9200 or email by Monday, September 27th if you will be coming or need a ride. This is a free event for Ashby Village members.

Sunday, October 3rd, 5:00 - 7:00 PM - Potluck & Poetry at the home of Jane Hoberman and Bob Kelley, 2836 Ashby Ave. Please call Jane and Bob at 843-6047 to RSVP. Please bring a poem and dish to share. Please call AV office 204-9200 or email for additional information. Please RSVP no later than Thursday, September, 30th. Ashby Village members only, please!


Tuesday October 19th, 8:00 PM - A Pensive Spring; A Portrait of Emily Dickinson. Music by Gordon Getty, performance by Kathryn Roszak (daughter of AV members Ted and Betty) at the Berkeley City Club at 2315 Durant St, Berkeley. Limited tickets so call soon to reserve. Call AV office 204-9200 or email  to reserve a ticket. Tickets are $20. 


And a few interesting events in Berkeley (not sponsored by AV but interesting none the less!). See for more information. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - Introduction to New Music, Gabriela Lena Frank, Composer/Musician/Anthropologist. 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM, $10; Location: University Hall, Room 150 (University Hall is 2199 Addison St.)


Wednesday, October 20, 2010Music and the Brain, Chloe Veltman, Journalist/Broadcaster/Musician, and David Wessel, Professor, Music, UC Berkeley. 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM, $10. Location: University Hall, Room 150 (University Hall is at 2199 Addison St.)


Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - Post-Impressionism Painting: Symbolizing the Private, Dreaming the Collective, Joni Spigler, Post-doc, Art History, UC Berkeley, Location: David Brower Center, go to for more information 


Still Thinking about Becoming an Ashby Village Member? A House Party Can Answer All Your Questions.

We hope you can join us to learn about the benefits of membership in Ashby Village. Volunteers and other members will be on hand to chat with. Feel free to bring a friend.

Sunday September 19, 2010 - At the home of AV member Marj Wolf in Emeryville/W. Oakland from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. Location: 2858 Helen Street Oakland 94608 (near the border with Emeryville). Please email or call the AV office at 510/204-9200. The location is wheelchair accessible.

Sunday September 26, 2010 - At the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley at 1 Lawson Road, Kensington at 12:30 to 2:30 PM. Please RSVP to or by calling AV at 510/204/9200. The Church is wheelchair accessible.

Sunday October 3, 2010- At the home of Nancy Bardacke (South Berkeley) from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. Call 510/204-9200 or email info@ashbyvillag.orgto RSVP and get the exact location.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our events!