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

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


In This Issue
News Flash!
Upcoming Events
Giving & Receiving
Programs & Services
What About Villages?
New Members

Contact Us

2330 Durant Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

(510) 204-9200  

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Contributors to our 

2012 Annual Appeal

It Takes A Village 

Membership Fundand Sustaining Members

will be recognized  in the Spring Newsletter.






The Joel and Maria 

Fort Fund



In-Kind Supporters


Northbrae Community




Winter 2013

Executive Director's Report 

Two and a half years ago we launched an innovative community organization. Today we are a community, in every sense of the word. We owe that achievement to the contributions of every single member and volunteer.


What a vibrant and productive year 2012 was:

  • Ashby Village membership grew from 185 to 248, and we welcomed our first neighborhood group which joined collectively from Watergate.
  • More than 130 volunteers were involved in our services and programs by year's end
  • The Ashby Village staff expanded to three, including a new Operations and Volunteer Coordinator who will expand our volunteer community outreach.
  • The It Takes a Village Membership Fund began offering subsidized memberships.
  • The Social Services Committee has grown into a committed group of professionals supporting our members to embrace the transitions of aging.
  • Finally, the first phase of a strategic planning process was completed, laying out a vision for our future.
And these are only the highlights...


Wherever I look, natural connections are occurring. Several recent widows connected at the Holiday Party and, touched by their shared experience, met for brunch and have plans to continue. Nature Walks are coordinated by committed members, and the Armchair Natural History Club has been initiated and run by members.


I received this note from a member following our December 14th Holiday Party and it captures my own feelings about the Village at the end of 2012:

 "Having now attended all three holiday parties, (my partner) and I unanimously agree that last night's was the best. It was great to be left on our own to mingle as we wished and to become acquainted with our table-mates. The music was excellent, the gift exchange good fun, the food wonderful and Andy Gaines at the microphone was fun and jolly."

Director Gaines models the
Ashby Village T-shirt at the Holiday Party

We have many exciting goals for Ashby Village in 2013 including expanding our neighbor-to-neighbor networks, encouraging members to join leadership teams and creating more ways for our members to connect. On the volunteer side, we will be expanding our volunteer network into the community, finding ever-increasing ways for residents to contribute to our vision.


My hope for 2013 is that it will be a year of connection and engagement, a time when "community" will be realized again and again in our Ashby Village. I feel honored to have the opportunity to realize this vision.


Wishing us all a healthy, vibrant 2013!

Andy Gaines

 NewsFlashNEWS FLASH! 

National Village Exchange - "A World of Villages at your fingertips" 

Ashby Village is one of nine villages participating in the National Village Exchange, a pilot program for traveling village members. When members travel to participating villages' locations, they will be able to take part in its programs, trips and seminars at member rates, receive information on restaurants and hotels, and meet new friends in these participating Villages: Capitol Hill Village-Washington, D.C., Cambridge at Home-Cambridge, MA, Gramatan Village-Bronxville, New York, Monadnock at Home-Jaffrey, New Hampshire, Lincoln Park Village-Chicago, IL, Columbine Community Village-Littleton, CO, A Little Help-Denver, CO, and Avenidas Village-Palo Alto, CA. This program applies to visits of less than two weeks per year, and members are asked to make contact with the host village in advance of their travel.


2011/12 Annual Report

The Ashby Village 2011/12 Annual Report has been published for the fiscal year July 2011-June 2012. Many goals and milestones have been reached, including adding a third staff member, establishing a Development Committee and expanding interest and local neighborhood groups. Ashby Village was in the news on several occasions and was featured on ABC and CBS News. Also prominent in the national Village movement, Ashby Village served on the Planning Committee and presented at both national and state conferences.


Food, Drink and Good Company

Written by Sheila Diehl and Barbi Jo Stim  

More than 100 people ate and drank in good cheer at the annual Ashby Village Holiday Party on December 14th. Welcoming music from the Astronauts, a spirited jazz quartet from the Berkeley Jazz School, greeted the arrivals. 

Members Connecting
Photo: Peter Sussman

The organized potluck provided a bounty of colorful and tasty food. Members and guests sat around tables of eight engaged in lively conversation while getting to know others through members' photo from an earlier time in their life. One of the more notable photos was from Herrick Jackson and Jane Fonda while he was on Journalism assignment. Presents were exchanged and door prizes from Saul's, Black Oak Books, Vintage Wine and more were given out.


The mood was lively, warm and connective. Many said it was the best Ashby Village Holiday Party. Many thanks to the Board for providing the raffle gifts and organizing the party.


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Activities sponsored by Ashby Village and its members

Events are open to all except where specified


Wednesday, Jan 2, 2013, 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM

Office, 2300 Durant Ave., Berkeley

New Member Tea - Welcome to Ashby Village

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


Sunday, Jan 6, 2013, 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM

Home of an Ashby Village member in North Berkeley

Living Room Chat

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


Friday, Jan 11, 2013, 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM

Tilden Park, Berkeley, CA

NATURE WALK CHAT: Inspiration Point-Tilden Park

Hosted by Audre and Roger Newman, Nimitz Way is popular with hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians, and affords spectacular views from the crest of the East Bay hills to the east, west, and north. To read more or to register, click here or call the office.


Wednesday, Jan 15, 3:00 PM until 5:00 PM

Jewish Family and Children's Services/East Bay, 2483 Shattuck Ave., #210, Berkeley
Are You Prepared For An Emergency?

Godfrey Wilson from Alameda County Division of Emergency Medical Services and a representative from the Berkeley Dept of Fire and Emergency Services will present. Discussion of how to best be prepared will follow. 

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


Saturday, Jan 19, 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM

Armchair Natural History Club  

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


Monday, Jan 21, 2013

Martin Luther King Birthday, Ashby Village Office Closed


Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013, 6:30 PM until 8:00 PM

Kehillah Synagogue (Fireside Room), 1300 Grand Ave, Piedmont, CA  94610

Introduction to Ashby Village

Another in our series of Introduction to Ashby Village Events at which we give those who might be interested in joining our Village an opportunity to hear from our representative Board Members about what it means to be part of the Village.

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


Thursday, Jan 24, 2013

Location: TBD

Ashby Village Monthly Luncheon Khana Peena

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


Friday, Feb 1, 2013, 4:00 PM until 5:30 PM

Ashby Village Office, 2330 Durant Ave, Berkeley

NEW! Ashby Village Happy Hour

Join Ashby Village staff for our first monthly opportunity to connect, relax and wind down the week. To read more or to register, click here or call the office.


Saturday, Feb 2, 2013, 8:30 AM until 1:00 PM

Ashby Village Office, 2330 Durant Ave, Berkeley

Volunteer Training & Orientation

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


Wednesday, Feb 6, 2013, 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM

Ashby Village Office, 2330 Durant Ave, Berkeley

New Member Tea-Introduction to Ashby Village

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


Thursday, Feb 7, 2013, 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM

Ashby Village Office, 2330 Durant Ave, Berkeley

Volunteer In Service Training

This in-service with will provide volunteers with the opportunity to explore their very personal thoughts and feelings about the process of aging, death and dying.

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


Friday, Feb 8, 2013, 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM

Middle Harbor Shoreline Park

NATURE WALK CHAT: Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, Oakland

Hosted by Audre & Roger Newman, Middle Harbor Shoreline Park is practically in the middle of San Francisco Bay just south of the Bay Bridge

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


Monday, Feb 18, 2013

Presidents' Day, Ashby Village Office Closed


Sunday, Feb 24, 2013, 2:00 PM

Aurora Theater, 2081 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA 

Aurora Theatre - Our Practical Heaven

Ashby Village Member Event  

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


Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013

Location: TBD

Ashby Village Monthly Luncheon - Shen Hua

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


Friday, Mar 1, 2013, 4:00 PM until 5:30 PM

Ashby Village Office, 2330 Durant Ave, Berkeley

Ashby Village Happy Hour

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


Wednesday, Mar 6, 2013, 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM

Ashby Village Office, 2330 Durant Ave, Berkeley

New Member Tea-Introduction to Ashby Village

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


Friday, Mar 8, 2013, 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM

Cesar Chavez Park, Berkeley Marina, 11 Spinnaker Way, Berkeley, CA 

NATURE WALK CHAT: Cesar Chavez Park

Hosted by Audre & Roger Newman, this year we will repeat last year's successful attempt to take a glimpse at the burrowing owls of Caesar Chavez Park.  

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GivingReceivingGIVING & RECEIVING   

Member Cecelia Hurwich's appreciation of Volunteer Susan Chainey:

"Thank you for sending volunteer Susan Chainey to my home today. She fixed my internet so it works. Although she claims she is not an expert on the Mac, in my opinion she's a pro! She was gracious, bright, quick and personable. Thank you again for your support."


Member Marian Whitehead's appreciation of Luciano Corazza:

Thank you so much for rescuing me, Luciano.  I had no idea what to do with the antenna now that my husband cannot cope. Your help was certainly a great example of volunteerism and an example of the virtue of Ashby Village.


Member Patricia Brucker's appreciation of Marian, Bill, George, Roxanne, and Milt:

I can't tell you how wonderfully I have been served by so many different services, especially Marian as my Med-Pal. She has taken me to Kaiser twice, come to see the Doctor with me, reminded me of questions I needed to ask and taken notes. That is a really valuable service and so reassuring to have an outside observer. I have had the pleasure of being driven to Kaiser every time I needed a ride, being housebound my life is made so much easier, and the company is delightful. Bill, George, Roxanne, Milt etc. Thank you for your hard and friendly work.


Audre Newman's appreciation of Ashby Village volunteers:

We are grateful for you, all your hard, loving, caring work, encouraging us, enabling us, making us feel like a family, making us smile and laugh, and feel happy about our lives!


Member Clare Cooper Marcus's appreciation to Ashby Village and its volunteers:

I want to express my thanks for all the help I had from volunteers driving me to many medical and dental appointments after I broke my arm in September. All is mended now and I am able to drive again. I hope to join some social events in the near future. 


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ProgramsServicesPROGRAMS & SERVICES 

Operations & Volunteer Coordinator Hired!

After an exhaustive search, including two rounds of advertising, review of 270 resumes, and 11 in person interviews, Ashby Village found that we had the perfect candidate, 

a volunteer who was sitting right here in the office! Pat Carvalho began volunteering in our office in the summer of 2011.


Equipped with strong working relationships with our staff and knowledgeable of our administrative systems, Pat has actively stepped into improving our Operations.  We are very pleased to welcome her and know that our volunteers and members will be touched by her competence, inspired by her humor and motivated by her go-gettum enthusiasm.


Andrea Mok

New Program Manager for Ashby Village

With the arrival of our new staff person, the responsibilities of Andrea Mok have been shifted to those of the first Program Manager for Ashby Village. At the outset, Andrea's primary goal will be building community and connection between our members. Some of her specific activities will include supporting the formation and dynamic engagement of neighborhood groups and inviting new leaders to join us in the development of Ashby Village programs and services.


Making A Big Difference Video Project

Written by Debby Levy

Ashby Village, through a mini-grant from the Coming of Age Bar Area Organization, is creating a video that will highlight Ashby Village and be used to attract both members and volunteers.  The Video Projection Team of about 12 is comprised of volunteers recruited from both Ashby Village and Coming of Age.


Coming of Age Bay Area targets the 50+, baby-boomer population in this region as a valuable resource in the Bay Area communities. Coming of Age helps volunteers find organizations where baby-boomers can volunteer as well as learn new skill sets.

Through this grant, Ashby Village has been able to purchase quality video recording equipment. The team is currently learning to use this equipment, as well as how to interview and produce a video that will showcase Ashby Village. The goal of this grant is to produce a three minute video by the end of March 2013 which will be accessible through the Ashby Village website. However, our long-term plans are to continue to create videos for the Village that can serve this organization in myriad ways.

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Village Needs and Opportunities

Volunteer Orientation and Training

Saturday, Feb 2, 2013, 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

Ashby Village Office, 2330 Durant Ave, Berkeley - Wheelchair accessible

Our next volunteer training is coming up! Members are increasingly calling for support and, to effectively fulfill their requests, it is essential that we continue to grow our volunteer community. Some of the areas where volunteers are especially needed are transportation, home handy work, support of members at medical appointments and communications (writers, HTML website support). To read more or to register, click here or call the office.

The office corps squeeze into the current office 
at our 2012 office holiday party


Seeking Office Space

Do you own, work with, or know of a building with extra space? Ashby Village has outgrown its current space and is actively seeking a larger office. We would like three or more rooms (600-800 sq. ft.) and, ideally, access to an optional large meeting room. We would like to be located in an easily accessible site in our service area. As a small nonprofit, cost is a strong consideration. Please contact Andy with any leads or with an offer to help with the search. 


Wanted - Office Help

Office assistance Tuesdays and Fridays from 1-4 p.m.  Computer person proficient in HTML to work on updating our website. Computer person to assist with Constant Contact Newsletter and Digest inputting and formatting.


Wanted - Historian

Ashby Village is seeking a historian to record significant events and recognize our turning points as we grow. This important position will attend and chronicle both large and small activities. The information gleaned from the historian will be used in a variety of ways including in the Quarterly Newsletters, monthly Member Digests and for the benefit of Ashby Village's future programs and planning. To volunteer, please contact the office.


Wanted - Writers

Attention wordsmiths! Ashby Village is seeking talented individuals who enjoy writing articles for use in informational and marketing publications. Please contact the office, and we'll put you to work almost immediately on a variety of fascinating topics.


Wanted - Statistician

The Ashby Village annual survey will be conducted this month using Qualtrics, an online survey tool provided by the Center for the Advanced Study of Aging, UC Berkeley. Please contact Andy if you can provide assistance with data sorting and analysis.

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Ashby Village featured in the Japanese press

Following his visit to the Ashby Village annual picnic in August, Takeshi Yabe, a Japanese journalist, wrote articles about Ashby Village and the U.S. village movement which were carried in his Nikkei BP columns in December under the headline"'Village Movement' new social movements of the elderly." Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill Villages were also introduced. Click the following links to read this article:

In Japanese

In English


Mr. Yabe has written that the articles are getting a good response from his readers and that Japan "is the world's No.1 super-aging society and we really need to set up our community supporting system."  

2012 National Overview of Villages Study Released

Ashby Village participated in a Rutgers State University, School of Social Work, survey released December 1, 2012. The report is a national survey of villages in the United States and documents the makeup, characteristics, services provided and organization of the village movement. 


Village Movement on The California Report

The Monterey Bay Village and the Village movement were the subject of a segment of KQED's The California Report on December 26, 2012 - Virtual Villages Provide Seniors With Support.  The report highlighted the benefits, as well as some of the history, of the fast-growing Village movement in California. 

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Spotlights SPOTLIGHT


Written by Marion Benedict  

A happy man - vital, fulfilled and personable - the kind of man everyone likes. That's a first impression of Steve Lustig. Then, when you learn more about him, you uncover the variety of adventures, jobs and social causes that have woven through the fabric of his life. You see the central motivation of his life, his dedication to helping others, especially those who are less able to help themselves.


Photo: Yasmin Anwar
Photo: Yasmin Anwar

A child of the '60's, he met his wife of almost 50 years when they were on their way to jail during the free speech movement in Berkeley. Then his adventurous and egalitarian spirit led him through the 60s protest and civil rights movements to a group of families hoping to live collectively on a vast patch of land in New Mexico. And then back to Berkeley to carry on his work in the public sector for community agencies and school districts, among others the Berkeley school board, community organizing on Chicago's Southside, and 27 years at U.C. Berkeley. He has added an array of health and counseling services at the Tang Center, University Health Services, including eldercare programs, health-and-safety programs and expanded student mental health programs.


Since 1994, he has served on the board of Stiles Hall which supports mentoring of underrepresented students in the community. Bringing disparate constituents together has been an ongoing thread in his work, a reflection he says of  "the value I place on multiple points of view, empowerment, inclusion and getting people engaged.''


And now all this talent and expertise is ours for six hours a week. He has, in his own words, "been leading sustainability planning efforts for Ashby Village, helping to better articulate services and helping to evolve the Village concept to incorporate broader community building efforts." He meets regularly with Andy Gaines and the Executive Committee and continues to explore ways to link Ashby Village with partners in the East Bay.

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    Joan Alexander

    Kathy Barrows

    Joyce Bird

    Thomas Backos

    Bob Compton

    John Elliott

    Peter Franklin

    Eva Kertesz

    Margery Rendahl

    Mary Mortimer

    Laura Rifkin

    Malka Weitman


Committee Chairs


MEMBERSHIP:  Betty Webster, 

DEVELOPMENT: Andra Lichtenstein,


SOCIAL SERVICES:  Roberta Pressman, 

NOMINATING: Patricia Sussman,










PROGRAM MANAGER -  Andrea Mok - 





CHAIR:  Patricia Sussman

VICE CHAIR:  Shirley Haberfeld

SECRETARY/TREASURER:  Andra Lichtenstein

Bob Davis

Marcia Freedman

Laura Peck

Roberta Pressman  

Betty Webster


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