Distributed to Village members and to others who have expressed an interest.

The Ashby Village Member Digest, published between newsletters, is available to members only.


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


April 2012

The Power behind the Village Movement
Recently published video on the homepage of the Village to Village Network, sponsored by NCB Capital Impact, expresses the commitment of Village leaders throughout the country.

The Power behind the Village Movement

What Drives You (to Volunteer for Ashby Village)?

April 15-21 is National Volunteer Week, and Ashby Village has so many to celebrate! We celebrate the more than 100 volunteers who provide a wide range of skills and abilities over hundreds of hours every month. We are thankful for each and every one of them.

Tom Boyden (volunteer) and
Thea Black (member) 


Because over half the service requests we get from members are for rides our core of volunteer drivers is a key component of Ashby Village's success. Because our members are active people, not being able to drive it highly impacts their independence, and possibly, their ability to age in their own homes. Providing transportation is one of the most important services Ashby Village can provide. Transportation allowsour members to live longer, healthier and independent lives.  


We asked our volunteer drivers:   

"What drives you?"


Sarah Robson 

I started volunteering at Ashby Village, in part, because I want to be able to give people the help I would be giving my parents if they lived closer (they're England). I like driving because I love to be out and about, to be able to help people get out of their houses and where they need to go. The Ashby Village members I have been meeting are incredibly interesting people, and sitting side-by-side in the car seems to lead to some fascinating conversations. For me it's a win-win situation! 


Mark Goldman 

Offering rides is especially rewarding because it gives me the time to really engage with members as I drive them to appointments or errands.  

I particularly enjoy having that opportunity to socialize.   


 Roxanne Borcich

I feel so rewarded at the end of a ride. I love meeting new people, and the people I've met through Ashby Village have been really amazing - their lives, their willingness to share, their graciousness! Volunteering with Ashby Village enriches my life. I'm behind the model and the mission of helping people age in place. 


Joan Strand

Driving is easy for me to do, and I enjoy the people.  We joined Ashby Village because we felt a need.   When I drive, I'm paying it forward.



Tom BoydenTom Boyden

I love meeting new people, especially people as vital as Ashby Village members. I've got a newfound appreciation for affirmation. I get to feel like a knight in shining armor for something as simple as opening a door. And I love the off-the-wall conversations I get into sometimes, like the day Johnny Otis died ...


Pat CarvalhPat Carvalhoo

I feel good about doing something for someone who can't do that for themselves. I like being able to pay it forward, especially when I can work with seniors. It's great to have the opportunity to connect with people, to have a relationship with people my mom's age. And the appreciation - maybe it's more than when you're working with kids? I love listening to the stories and histories people have to share.



Bob Davis

I want to have Ashby Village there when I need it. I think people should help out. Driving contributes to the success of Ashby Village. It's simple to do!

Charlotte Herfeld



Charlotte Herzfeld

Driving is something I can do! And, it's one of the things that's asked for most. Someone's got to do it. I joined Ashby Village with the idea that I'm not just going to take - I'm going help and perform. Being active in the organization is what it's all about.


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Activities sponsored by Ashby Village

For a link to the calendar on the website, CLICK HERE  

SATURDAYS - APRIL 14, MAY 12, JUNE 9 - 2:00-4:00 p.m.   

The Works Exercise and Dance Studio, 2566C Telegraph Ave., Berkeley
Creative Movement with Andy Gaines  

This fun, interactive class will allow participants of all physical levels and abilities to feel, accept and revitalize their bodies and movement...  To read more or register,  click here or call the office.  


FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 10:00 a.m. to noon

NATURE WALK: Redwood Park

We will walk slowly to the end of the paved part of the Stream Trail and those who want to walk farther and faster can continue along the creek. Lunch will follow in a restaurant in Montclair (TBD). Free to members and non-members. To read more or register,  click here or call the office.    


SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Home of Pat (Board Chair) and Peter Sussman, 2636 Woolsey St., Berkeley 

Volunteer Appreciation Tea  

It's National Volunteer Week April 15-21 and Ashby Village is celebrating its volunteers.   We're seeking desert donations from our members.  If you're a volunteer, click here to register or call the office.    


SUNDAY, APRIL 22, 3:00-5:00 p.m.

Cafe Leila, 1724 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley 

Living Room Chat - Introduction to Ashby Village 

Free to members and non-members.  To read more or register, click here or call the office.  


TUESDAY, April 24, 1:00 p.m.

Tomate Cafe, 2265 5th St., Berkeley


To read more or register,  click here or call the office.      


SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 3:00-5:00 p.m.  
2636 Woolsey Street, Berkeley

Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford, edited by Peter Y. Sussman

Peter Sussman, a former Chronicle editor, author and husband of Ashby Village co-founder Pat Sussman, most recently edited Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford. The book received glowing reviews around the world (see( Mitford, dubbed "the queen of the muckrakers" by Time magazine, is perhaps best known in this country as the author of the runaway 1963 best-seller The American Way of Death.

Mitford, a decades-long resident of Oakland and a prominent local activist, was born into an eccentric English aristocratic family, with a brother and five high-profile sisters, including the Duchess of Devonshire, the novelist Nancy Mitford and two notorious fascists. Jessica, the family leftist, eloped as a teenager to the Spanish Civil War with Winston Churchill's so-called "Red Nephew," an adventure that played out in page one headlines across Europe. The letters collected by Sussman range from Mitford's earliest years through her elopement and subsequent international fame to her final days, in 1996. To read more or register,  click here or call the office.

Except where noted, Ashby Village events are free for members and open to non-members for a small fee.  


Two-Pronged Approach  

I had been attracted to Ashby Village because several years ago I read an article in the New York Times about Beacon Hill Village in Boston and I thought "Wow, that's really meeting a need, and I would want to be a part if one were here". Ours has exceeded my expectations, and my hat's off to all who have made it so fine.


I've been surprised at what seems to be a need I hadn't associated with its potential and that is the pure sociability. Obviously, book groups, temples, churches , AAUW and political groups are not meeting the social needs of many, and we all know that a sense of community is one of the great lacks in our present society. So I can see how a two-pronged approach to members' needs  is called for: How can I get support to stay in my home, and how can I get a feeling of community to support me as an individual in that home. You are doing the two-pronged approach beautifully. Thanks for listening. In spite of my very severe hearing problem, I will be at the session reporting on the outcome of the survey  (as I was last year). And Andy, I have never been in any organization where communication is clearer and more open and responsive. A good new year to Ashby Village. 

--Janet Messman    

Volunteer with the Italian operatic name

Last weekend, Luciano Corazza and his wife stopped by on one of their walks (they are near- neighbors) to evaluate my computer-table needs -- I had requested that he do so, via Ashby Village.  He spent a good deal of time scratching his head, measuring, trying different tables of mine, etc.  I don't recall knowing a person more patient, more concerned, both for my needs and his accomplishing the task at hand, more kindly, more generous of his time than Luciano. 


How comforting it was to have him at the helm of my rather perplexing problem, that, at least for now, we have resolved - not perfectly, but acceptably well.

--Jacqueline Bandel  

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Village Needs and Opportunities

Seeking bakers or treat donors for the Volunteer Appreciation Tea

Janet Messman, one of our members, has kindly offered to bake a sherry cake -- her way of letting our volunteers how much she has appreciated the assistance they have provided.  If you like to bake, please do.  You can also show your appreciation by buying a cake to donate.  We would very much appreciate your dropping the cake or cookies off at the office on the 20th or, if that is not possible, we can arrange a pick-up.  Call Irene Marcos at 841-4709 or 5202920 to let us know if you will be baking or buying. 


Projects. Projects. Projects...

As a Village in formation we have an ongoing list of projects.  Whether you're a fully vetted and trained service volunteer, or just interested in helping, we need your help. Current projects include: 

  • Office: Data entry, telephones, internet, projects.
  • Special Events: Planning, researching venues, press releases.
  • Fundraising: Leadership and committee service.
  • Community Building: Assisting in formation and development of neighborhood groups.
  • Marketing: Branding, raising awareness, soliciting volunteers/members, locating marketing event opportunities.
  • Website: Member training, moderating forums.
  • Transportation: Options, researching, outreach.
  • Safety & Accessibility Home Assessment.
  • Publications: Manager/writer/designer.
  • Outreach: Coordinate Living Room Chats.
Please contact Andy or Andrea if you're interested in helping out.

Seeking office space

Do you own, work with, or know of a building with extra space? Ashby Village is now outgrowing our current space and is actively seeking another office. We would like three or more rooms (600-800 sq. ft.) and, ideally, access to a large meeting room. We would prefer it be located in an easily accessible site in our service area, with parking too. As a small nonprofit, cost is a strong consideration. Please contact Andy with any lead.  


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Imagine being 9 years old, working in your parents' business, and loving it. That's what Sandy did during school breaks until it was time to go off to college. Imagine the confidence that would give you, the assurance with which you would survey the world. So it is with Sandy Simon, a woman who strikes you upon first meeting as someone who can do most anything.


"Who I am is reflected in what I've done," she says. Sandy is a certified paralegal, a notary public, a certified professional coach - and basically an organizer of almost anything you can think of. She's been president of the board of directors of her homeowners association since 2002. She founded the Conflict Resolution Program of the Central Coast in San Luis Obispo. Her commitment to community involvement has taken her in many directions, including being the campaign manager of the successful elections for both a Superior Court judge and a sheriff.


When she first started volunteering in the office, Andy knew he had a pro. In his words, "Handing over projects to volunteers is often challenging as it often takes more time to explain, support and otherwise supervise their efforts. When I met Sandy I knew this would be different. Even before she had finished her orientation I began handing her projects. I asked her to send me weekly reminders of her availability and identify a long list of to-dos. With every assignment Sandy would return thorough, complete and impressive results."


And now, sad to say, Sandy will be moving to San Luis Obispo where her children live. She assures us that she will remain in touch, always helping, always ready to do more. But for Andy, "It continues to baffle us how we will manage Sandy's departure."

--Written by Marion Benedict 

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  • Florence Barnsdale
  • Mary Beth Burnside
  • Elizabeth Crews 
  • Barbara and Howell Daly
  • Arlene Dunn
  • Lisa Esherick
  • James and Elizabeth Ferguson
  • Rose Fox
  • Lynn Landor
  • Andree McGiffin 
  • Charles Ware and Rondi Saslow  

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Committee Chairs


MEMBERSHIP:  Betty Webster, 


                                                                             Barbi Jo Stim, 

SERVICES:  Joann Sullivan,  

                       Judy Boe,

                       Shirley Haberfeld, 

















CHAIR:  Patricia Sussman

VICE CHAIR:  Shirley Haberfeld

SECRETARY/TREASURER:  Andra Lichtenstein

Bob Davis

Marcia Freedman

Laura Peck

Roberta Pressman  

Jane Selby

Barbi Jo Stim

Betty Webster

Marj Wolf 


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