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Pasadena Village's Impact

By Karen Bagnard
Posted: 02/27/2024
Tags: karen bagnard

“It was way more than I bargained for,” is what I have always said about my Village membership. Today, more than eight years later, I’m still in awe of all that it offers me.

In a recent anonymous survey taken by the Village and in my own polling of Villagers who I know personally, the responses have been varied and positive. An 81% majority surveyed stated that they feel part of the Pasadena Village community, and 79% said they found connections with peers through membership. Villagers expressed in many different ways how they value the community and friendships they have made. They value the connections made through the Village’s variety of programs, welcoming environment and opportunity to contribute. 

Typical comments cited “meeting new people and making new friends, learning how to grow old and prepare for whatever happens, opportunities to learn and grow while feeling part of a supportive community,” as well as “peers who acknowledge the challenges of aging” as benefits of belonging to the Village.

Jim Hendrick, who has been a Villager for about two years, after moving to Pasadena to be closer to his daughter, told me, “I am now creating a new community for myself thanks to the Village.” In this short time Jim hosted an art exhibit, started a “Jazz at Jones’” coffee group once a month, helped launch “Schmoozendoodle” and other creative gatherings.

Jim also added, “I feel more alive. I’m in better physical and mental shape than I have been in years. I am validated, supported and motivated by my association with the ever-expanding membership.”

Elizabeth Polenzani offered, “When we joined the Pasadena Village in January 2022, we were not lacking in friends and family. But it was time to meet new people, experience different activities, and talk about fresh topics.” Tom and Elizabeth have hosted a number of events in their home, are also involved in the Great Decisions discussion group, volunteer driving and are often seen at other social events.

Al Miller added, “The Village has greatly improved my life! I have not had the need for Village services: Rides, visits, etc. but I understand that those are there. That is comforting as I grow older.”

Lois Heyman, a “transplant” from the East Coast two years ago, said, “Being a Villager changed my life!” She moved here to be closer to her son and always thought she would follow him if he ever moved back there. “But now I don’t think that’s likely, because I have more friends to hang out with here than I do back East.”

After Marv Dainoff’s wife died and he was planning “to move to Pasadena to be with my kids and grandkids,” it was a Wellesley, Massachusetts Village who first “rescued me,” he said, and allowed him to communicate “with people who had gone through what I was going through.” And when he joined our Pasadena Village, he said, “I was quite overwhelmed by the warmth and acceptance” that gave him “a feeling of stability and connection.”

Jim Hendrick summed it all up with “The Village is an antidote to isolation.” For more accounts of what Pasadena Village has done for its members, visit our blog: What The Village Means to Me.

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