From the Sunday morning in 2006 when Pat Sussman first picked up the newspaper and read an article about Boston's Beacon Hill Village to the day July 1, 2010, when tears sprang to her eyes upon seeing the sign ASHBY VILLAGE hanging in the window, Pat Sussman and close friend Shirley Haberfeld spent  years planning, struggling, hoping, and calling absolutely everyone they knew.  And now...on July 1, 2015, it will be Ashby Village's Fifth Anniversary!


 Read Karin Evans interview with Board members Pat Sussman and Steve Lustig 
as they reflect back on  Ashby Village's journey these last five years.

 Landmarks we celebrate at this five year marker in our journey as a village:
  • Ashby Village has gone from being primarily a service-oriented organization to a full-fledged community offering relationships and shared interests. Membership is about the opportunity to participate.
  • Ashby Village Board has transitioned from a founding board to a governing board, and is has passed leadership of the day-to-day to the Program Leadership Team (PLT).
  • Initially operating under the umbrella of the LifeLong Medical Care, Ashby Village recently became incorporated in its own right as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit incorporation.

What are the exciting challenges our community faces as we go forward?

  • Knitting members and volunteers together into one community
  • Preserving intimacy and connection even as our numbers increase
  • Supporting volunteers in assuming greater responsibility
  • Continuing to broaden the diversity of our community
  • Strengthening relationships among volunteers, e.g., Volunteer to Volunteer (V2V) program which includes Hands & Hearts, Volunteers B'Cause, and Play It Forward.
  • Developing effective ways to interactively communicate within Ashby Village and with those outside our community  
 Tell us what you think (about anything!) 

In This Issue

New Volunteer Orientation
Saturday August 1       (sign up now) 
Click here for more information. 


Ashby Village office closed for July 4th weekend. 



Ongoing Monthly Activities

(10am Thursdays)
(2pm Fridays)


July 14 

Lunch at Danute's

(noon 2nd Tuesdays)

RSVP one week ahead


July 14

Bridge Group

(2-4pm 2nd Tuesdays)


July 20 

Handcraft, Knitting

(2pm 3rd Mondays)


July 7 & 21

(2pm, 1st & 3rd Tuesdays)
(click on event for information)

East Berkeley Hills

July 14 

Creativity Gathering

(2pm Tuesday)




July 10

Coffee & Conversation 

2pm second Fridays)


July 16 

iGroup Workshop 

(3pm Thursday)


July 20

Monday Movie Matinee: Leonard Bernstein



Emery Bunch (Emeryville)

July 1

Water Aerobics 

(11am Wednesdays)


Cancelled this month

Coffee & Conversation


July 16

Trader Vic's Happy Hour 

(4:30pm third Thursdays)


Kaleidoscope (Kensington/

El Cerrito)

July 16, 11:30 am

Lunch Bunch  

(RSVP by Monday before)


(North Berkeley)

July 9

Happy Hour 

(7pm second Thursdays) 


July 19

Cafe Expresso Roma 

(10am Third Sundays) 



(South of Campus)

July 10  

Neighborhood Potluck 

(2nd Fridays, alternating  

lunch & dinner)

Thousand Oaks Hamlet  

July 7 & 21
Mac Users Group
(2pm Tuesday)
(12:30pm Wednesday)

July 13
(2pm second Mondays)

July 20
Handwork Group
(1:30pm 3rd Mondays)

July 21
(5:30pm Tuesday)

July 26

for helping make this Town Hall 
a great success!


Dalia Juskys

Janet Kaplan

Catherine Stern

Arlene Baxter
Thornwall Properties

Raffle Prizes
Elmwood Cafe
The Cheese Board 
Tigerlily Restaurant
Yasai Produce Market

Virginia Bakery


Watch for this Focus on Five logo marking a series of features you'll see during our upcoming year-long celebration  of Ashby Village's five year journey. This logo will be highlighting articles that "focus" on Ashby Village's accomplishments during its first five years as a village, as well as snapshots about where we are now as a village and where we see ourselves going in the future. 


Ashby Village Birthday Blowout

Almost 200 people (a record attendance at for am Ashby Village event) came together on Sunday afternoon at Northbrae Community Church to celebrate Ashby Village's Fifth Anniversary. There was music, balloons, banners, booths and birthday cake, raffles and prizes.
Executive Director Andy Gaines and Board President Andra Lichtenstein regaled the crowd with stories of Ashby Village's past and its hopes for the future. An exciting announcement was made about the new Founders Fund (below).
Shiela Diehl, Joan Cole, Alison Colgan

The majority of folks faithfully completed their Passports by visiting each booth to get their booklets stamped (and sample tea cakes!). At the raffle, two names were drawn to award persons for RSVP'ing early, and more prizes were given just for being on hand to celebrate.


With music in the background and accompanied by Ashby Village Board member Laura Peck, videographer Howard Kirsch interviewed many, asking what Ashby Village meant to them personally. Click here to see (almost) EVERYONE you know, as portrayed by photographer Alan Stein.


Carol Takaki

The highlight for many was the appearance of City of Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and U.S. Representative Loni Hancock who were on hand for the ceremony at which the Mayor presented a Proclamation from the City of Berkeley to honor Ashby Village ... "in recognition of and gratitude for the integral role Ashby Village plays in the lives of the older members of the greater Berkeley community." 

The congratulatory video from Judy Willet, founding executive director of Beacon Hill Village, was not to be missed.


Eleanor Lew, Linda Bryant,
Kristina Holland


After the speeches, everyone loved the parade of folks bringing in the birthday cakes (no less than 15 cakes!) which were lit by a burst of sparklers shining brightly, if briefly.



Sunday's event prompted lots of photos and videos, which were posted on Facebook, bringing a record-breaking number of hits to the Ashby Village Facebook page.


For more photos taken at the event, click here. 


       Shirley Jowell - Events Team Co-Leader


The months of planning paid off as the multiple activities were well coordinated, and even the clean up at the end was quickly done. As is Ashby Village tradition, many handwritten thank you notes will be flying out the door in the coming days to express appreciation to all who made this spectacular event such a success.

Scroll to end for DragonMax boat paddling


Author Cynthia Bix
         Nancy Rubin

Uncovering the secret lives of members and    volunteers

Click here to find out what happens when a volunteer is asked to read The Physician, a 650-page colorful historical novel on 11th century practice of medicine. 


Discover the magic of personal chemistry, as member chemist/painter Danute Nitecki and volunteer/member Daniel Sabay share their amazing story (great photos!).



Friday July 24

4:00 - 6:00pm

AshbyVillage Office

2330 Durant Ave


Members and volunteers kick back at the end of the week to enjoy good food and good company. Bring your favorite dish or bottled drink, and share.


For more information, click here. RSVP to or (510) 204-9200


Seeking Members

and Volunteers!

Community Presentation:
Sunday July 12 

Unitarian Church of Berkeley 

1 Lawson Road




Ashby Village is an East Bay community of 50+ East Bay citizens, united as we age by a desire to remain socially active in the vibrant, culturally rich, multi-generational neighborhoods that we know and love.


For more information, click here. RSVP to
or (510) 204-9200.  


Free          Computer Help


July 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29

2-4 pm  (drop-in, additional times available)  


Center for Accessible Technology at the Ed Roberts Campus (Ashby BART), 3075 Adeline, Suite 220., Berkeley


Want to get better at using your email? Connect with your doctor? Make reservations online? Find out what Skype and Facebook are, and how to use them.

Bring your own devices, smartphones or use the PC's in the classroom.
Free hands-on training, including 1-on-1 assistance for seniors in

small classes and open lab times.  


For more information call (510) 841-3224, or click here:

Senior Connects 


Free Bone
Density Scans

Saturday July 26 & 27 

8am - 3:30pm


American Bone Health

1814 Franklin Street, 

Suite 620

Oakland, CA 94612


Get a free bone density test ($220 value). The Foundation for Osteoporosis Research and Education trains technicians, who are required to perform bone density scans as part of their clinical training.


Women must be over age 45 (or postmenopausal). Men of any age are welcome.

  Contact:  or 510 832-2663.


Why a bone density scan is important:


Osteoporosis and low bone mass are currently estimated to be a major public health threat for almost 44 million U.S. women and men aged 50 and older

The 44 million people with either osteoporosis or low bone mass represent 55 percent of the people aged 50 and older in the United States.

What was it like to celebrate Ashby Village's first anniversary?  

                      FOUNDERS FUND 

  Ensuring our Dreams Stand on Firm Financial Footing


Shirley Haberfeld and Pat Sussman at Yasai
Shirley Haberfeld and Pat Sussman

As we mark Ashby Village's five year anniversary, we want to honor Pat Sussman and Shirley Haberfeld, our founders, whose initial dream and hard work inspired their neighbors to build a community that now includes several East Bay cities.


Every member of Ashby Village's current Board has pledged to contribute to the Founders Fund to not only show their appreciation to Pat and Shirley, but also to ensure that their vision will thrive into the future. 


Membership dues cover only about 65% of Ashby Village's operating budget, and we count on the generosity of our members, volunteers, and friends to fill the gap.


To honor the spirit of inclusiveness that is so deeply a part of Pat and Shirley's vision, the Ashby Village Board is earmarking 10% of all Founders Fund contributions to our "It Takes a Village" subsidy fund, enabling eligible community members, regardless of means, to become members of the Village.


Be on the lookout for the kickoff of the Founders Fund Campaign this fall.  We hope you will give from the heart and add your appreciation to Pat and Shirley.

                        Play-It-Forward  DragonMax Paddling

Last Month on Saturday, May 30 at the Berkeley Marina, the Volunteer Play-It-Forward Dragon boat races were in fine form!


Visualize two dragon boats both filled with 30 Ashby Village enthusiastic volunteers paddling as hard as they can, racing to the end of the pier which served as the finish line. Each boat was headed and steered by a DragonMax expert, (one being Mary McDonald who is also a AV volunteer!) who set the pace by calling out "one, two, one, two" so that rowers stayed in sync as they sliced through the water for the entire 500 meters (the length of official dragon boat races).

Pat Carvalho

Making it even more fun, one boat was led by Volunteer Manager Pat Carvalho and the other was led by Program Manager Andrea Mok.  With much laughing, hollering and smack talking, the winning boat pulled ahead (twice!) to the congratulations of all the teams.  No need to imagine the boat races if you weren't there: watch the video!


Mary McDonald

Still ready for more action, the two Ashby Village dragon boats rose to the challenge made by two other dragon boats filled with rambunctious high school students eager to show what they could do. Imagine the surprise of the challengers to find that the Ashby Village dragon boats (named Ruby and Max) matched them stroke for stroke to cross the finish line in pretty good time! (OK, they might've given us a BIG head start, but who's counting)

This Play-It-Forward activity was especially fun since the range of participants was broad, from the youngest (Director Andy Gaines five year old son Jaren, who came dressed as a pirate and sat at the helm of Andrea's boat) to the oldest at 82 years. Sadly, Lola (Pat's Maltese mix dog) had household chores at home and was not able to join as a rower in Pat's dragon boat.

Rachel Kahn-Hut, 
Jaren and Andy Gaines


When the races were over, everyone relaxed in the grassy areas of the Berkeley Marina, after filling their plates with light lunch from the spread kept in the shade underneath the canopy.


Click here to see lots more fun photographs showing the adventures of the whole Dragon Max day, including warm up stretches, suiting up, shoving off, paddling wildly, returning to shore, ending with relaxing in the sun.


Thanks to all the volunteers who joined us for this activity! Special thanks to DragonMax for hosting and to AV volunteers Peggy Malley, Don James and Lula Green who helped with organizing the logistics of the day!


Stay tuned for more of these Play-It-Forward Volunteer Events!

Ashby Village | 510-204-9200 | |
2330 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94704
Publications Editor
Sarah Hawthorne