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A LOOK AT 2022 FROM THE BOARD CHAIR

By Susan Kujawa
Posted: 11/30/2022
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2022 in Review

 

Here we are at the end of another year, a year filled with gains and losses. At Pasadena Village, 2022 saw the rebirth of in-person gatherings as Covid protocols lessened and fears of contagion receded (somewhat). Zoom was a gain, but also a loss. It did allow members with limited mobility to participate in engaging presentations and supportive discussions. And yet, many of us admit that we are “sick of Zoom.”

 

A major gain this past year was the influx of new members. Our membership has grown  from a low point of 135 during the pandemic to today's total of 146. Several factors contributed to this growth. Our Outreach Team set up information tables at health fairs and other community events. Katie Brandon, our Executive Director, made it a priority to visit local Chambers of Commerce, health care coalitions, and other community organizations. At these gatherings, Katie, accompanied by a Village member, extolled the benefits of aging in a supportive community.

 

A familiar story I heard from a new member exemplifies another element behind our growth. This newcomer recently moved to Pasadena from Brooklyn to live closer to her children and grandchildren. She loved being with her son and his wife and becoming a part of her grandchildren’s lives. But after a few months she began to wonder what to do with her spare time. 

 

One day she attended a South Pasadena health fair where she met and talked to a member of Pasadena Village. As a result she attended a “Meet Me at the Village” event, where she heard several Villagers share their experiences as part of the Village. She recalls, “As members took turns around the table, it hit me - These are my people!”  

 

But with the gains come the losses. When you are part of a community of older adults, it doesn’t take much to remind you of the passage of time. I especially carry in my heart the memory of our Pasadena Village co-founder Mike Babcock. I believe that without Mike, there would be no Pasadena Village. His enthusiasm, optimism, and persuasiveness created the momentum we needed to launch this great experiment. He valued authentic relationships. He had friends from years ago, and friends he met at the Village more recently. Mike would be thrilled to hear of our growth, and he would completely understand what our new member meant when she said, “These are my people.” That’s what he wanted to build: an inclusive, inquisitive, inquiring, inspiring, and enduring community.

 

As this year comes to a close and makes way for the New Year, I hope that you, too, can be with your people. And if not, you are always welcome at Pasadena Village.

 

Warmest regards,

Sue Kujawa

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