Among Friends masthead 2016


   Kevin Kling 
                   with his homegrown humor
Kevin Kling

You're never too old -- or too young  -- to find humor in this adventure that we call life. That's the message of Laughing at Our Age 3, Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly's special event coming up on Wednesday, May 18, at the Nicollet Island Pavilion.

Now in its third year, Laughing at Our Age has become an annual celebration honoring older adults and their social significance that bridges the generations. The fundraiser's proceeds will support LBFE's efforts to end isolation and loneliness among Twin Cities elders.

This year's event features well-known playwright and storyteller Kevin Kling. A frequent guest on TPT and Minnesota Public Radio, Kevin will share his stories, both hilarious and tender, which draw from his own experiences growing up in the Twin Cities and are interwoven with the reality of his disabilities.

Tickets for Laughing at Our Age 3 are $50 each.Order tickets or reserve a table of 8 for $400 online now, or see below for more options.
featuring Kevin Kling

Wednesday, May 18, 2016
  6:30 - 9:30 p.m.

Nicollet Island Pavilion
40 Power St., Minneapolis, 55401

Hors d'oeuvres  I  Desserts  I  Cash Bar
Silent Auction  I  Door Prizes

Tickets: $50  I  Reserved tables of 8: $400

or contact Michael Haas at 612.746.0726 or
From the Executive Director
Reaching more elders through volunteer leaders
James Falvey     
Executive Director
As baby boomers move into retirement, we're challenged with a burgeoning population of elders who are living alone, isolated and at risk. LBFE is currently reaching only a small fraction of these elders. However, we're finding innovative ways to increase those numbers through volunteer leaders.

Our small program staff has traditionally managed all leadership aspects of elder services -- from conducting assessments, visiting and placing check-in calls and matching elders with Visiting Volunteers, to planning, hosting, and arranging rides for social activities. All tasks, while vital, are time-consuming and limit not only the number of elders we serve but also the depth of services each receives. 

Recently, LBFE initiated a tiered system that places greater responsibility in the hands of volunteer leaders to manage events and coordinate volunteer teams. As a result, we'll be able to serve more elders and ensure more of their needs for companionship and connectedness are met. 

For example, volunteer Rick Ziton organizes our monthly Cards, Crafts and Coffee event, inviting elders and setting up their rides. Another long-time volunteer Kathrine Schafer is now managing our monthly bingo participation at St. Olaf Catholic Church. Working from her home, she invites LBFE elders and arranges volunteer drivers or Metro Mobility rides. Our Friendship and Flowers Program is commandeered each month by Iva Hawkins in Minneapolis and Julie Kraus in St. Paul; Wendell Paulson, Alan Stokes, Madonna Ray and Judy Lykins assemble the flowers and cookies.

We're looking for more volunteers to help manage and assist in other capacities, too, while staying connected to and receiving guidance from staff. Opportunities include volunteer training and mentoring, tracking Visiting Volunteer activity and, for volunteers with social work experience, conducting elder assessments.
Our founder Armand Marquiset had a vision that became his inspiration for LBFE: "I saw little brothers spreading across the earth, igniting little fires of love." As a volunteer in any role, you carry your own special spark that will touch hearts and change lives.

James Falvey
Executive Director


make life changes bearable

"I just want to be nice to people. I have talents to share and I want to make people laugh."
John is an artist and he views much of his life through that prism. 

Born in New York City more than 66 years ago, he moved with his family to New Jersey. However, back then he had extended family in the Twin Cities, so after high school he enrolled at the Minneapolis School of Art. "It was renamed the Minneapolis College of Art and Design while I was there," he said. Two of John's sisters also attended school in the Twin Cities, one at the College of St. Catherine (as it was known then) and the other at Hamline University, so he continued to feel surrounded by family.

After graduation, John applied his artistic talents and skills as a dental technician, starting as an assistant and working his way up. "Basically, I made teeth but much more than that - building crowns and dentures from impressions and measurements, forming appliances, bridges and prostheses. There really is an art to it and a lot of problem-solving. Every day was interesting and different." He remained in the field for 25 years.

John came to LBFE a little over a year ago after his wife passed away from bone marrow cancer. "It was quick -- she had only been diagnosed three months earlier," he said. "I was by myself too much and in a bad space so one of my sisters, who now lives in California, did some research online." She found and contacted LBFE and soon after, Program Manager Chelsea Sander visited John. Working with his sisters long-distance, Chelsea helped John deal with the emotional upheaval of selling the home he had shared with his wife and the transition to a senior living facility. "Chelsea got me to go to events, like the picnics at the house on Lake Josephine -- I love that place. I'm getting out and meeting people a lot now." 

John likes the fact that LBFE is convenient for him. "It's nearby so I just take the bus down Lake Street to get here," he said. And while he appreciates receiving the benefits of fun and friendship, he feels he has a lot to give, too. "I just want to be nice to people. I have talents to share and I want to make people laugh.

If you would like to learn how you can enrich an elder's life as a volunteer, please contact Georgia Afton at or 612.746.0732.

"Why I'm including LBFE in my will"  
      by John H. Driggs

Bonnie and John Driggs serve as driver/dinner companions at every LBFE holiday dinner.
Little Brothers has been and continues to be a miracle in my life, as it is for so many of its clients.

Thirty years ago I was going through a painful divorce and feeling that I had failed at love. So I decided to do some volunteer work to help me perk up and get outside of my own suffering. My first experience was picking up elderly folks for the annual Christmas dinner. I didn't know what to expect but was soon amazed at the level of caring and respect that elderly people received, to say nothing of the utter fun we all had at the dinner. The flowers, music, singing, goofiness and good food were outstanding. I was particularly moved by the Little Brother philosophy of affirming the unique strengths and talents of older people. 

Little Brothers treats older people with great dignity and with the expectation that each older person, no matter how difficult their circumstances, has something important to offer. I was so moved by this philosophy that I sobbed for 20 minutes straight at the dinner table with my elderly clients, who comforted me. For I then realized that I too had something essential to offer despite my own adverse circumstances and could forgive myself. I have never forgotten that lesson. It was a major miracle in my life.
My new wife of 27 years and I both volunteer at the holiday dinners each year. It is always a profound privilege and gift to participate. I believe that Little Brothers works miracles in many people's lives. Our clients tell me this again and again and I have gotten to know many of them over the years beyond the dinners. It is the miracle of love. So donating to and volunteering for Little Brothers is a no-brainer for us as a family, as we want the miracles of love to continue for us all.

THE JOHNSONS were among the more than 100 volunteers who served up companionship along with a turkey dinner and all the trimmings to isolated elders at our annual Christmas meal.
Event assistance is just one of many volunteer roles available at LBFE. We're continually looking for elder visitors, office assistants, event drivers and more. 

Whether you join with us as a volunteer, financial supporter or corporate partner, you can play a critical role in ending isolation and loneliness among the elderly in the Twin Cities.
Please contact us today to learn more.

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Please support LBFE's 
work to provide friendship 
to lonely seniors in the greater Twin Cities area.




Become a vibrant part of Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly!


LBFE's ANNUAL REPORT for fiscal year 2015 including our list of donors is now available online. As a cost-saving measure, only a small number of the report were printed. To request a print version, please contact Michael Haas at or 612.746.0726.

Every 4th Friday!


Friday, April 22
Friday, May 27
Friday, June 25

11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
LBFE, 1845 E Lake St.

Our new monthly "cafe" brings 
LGBTQ boomers, seniors and allies together in friendship and acceptance. 
  • A hearty lunch
  • Scrumptious dessert
  • Great conversation
  • Information on senior and boomer LGBT services
Seating is limited: Register today!
or 612.746.0726

LET'S DO LUNCH is a joint effort 
by LBFE and Prime Timers MSP. 
Sponsored by PFund.

The following people we served were remembered at our February memorial service.

Maxine Brown
Joann Dacunha
Solveig Hammerlind
Carol Heinl
Denis Michaelson
Jean Miller
Dennis Rogers
Donna Schadegg
Mo Selim
Lois Tonn
Barb Williams
Yia Yong
Our next memorial service is Monday, May 23, 4-5 p.m. at 1845 East Lake Street in Minneapolis.
We encourage anyone whose life has been touched by an elder we served to attend our memorial services. Feel free to bring any photos or memories to share. Please contact Sandy O'Donnell at 612.746.0724 or
if you would like to attend.

Serve tomorrow's elders with

Your will or estate plan is more than a legal document. It helps ensure the continuation of values that are important to you. With your vision and generosity, the most isolated and vulnerable elders will always have a friend through Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly. 

By setting up an estate gift, you can ensure that your assets are kept available for you and your family's needs. In addition, you can optimize those funds through the use of wise tax-saving and income-producing strategies.
What's more, a well-prepared estate gift keeps you in control. You decide how your assets will be distributed. For example:

You can set up your gift as "residual" (the remaining portion of your estate after other beneficiaries are named); a percentage of your estate; or specific dollar amount or property.


You can designate that your gift will applied toward a particular LBFE program, such as Visiting Volunteers or holiday meals; directed toward overall operational costs; or even "wherever the need is greatest." 


Be sure to contact your attorney for professional advice when drawing up a will or estate plan. For further information about planning a charitable bequest to benefit Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly, please contact James Falvey at or 612.746.0742.

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