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Blog archive

July 2024

June 2024

May 2024

Emergency Preparedness: Are You Ready?
05/28/2024

Farewell from the 2023/24 Social Work Interns
05/28/2024

Gina on the Horizon
05/28/2024

Mark Your Calendars for the Healthy Aging Research California Virtual Summit
05/28/2024

Meet Our New Development Associate
05/28/2024

Putting the Strategic Plan into Practice
05/28/2024

Washington Park: Pasadena’s Rediscovered Gem
05/28/2024

Introducing Civil Rights Discussions
05/22/2024

Rumor of Humor #2416
05/14/2024

Rumor of Humor #2417
05/14/2024

Rumor of Humor #2417
05/14/2024

Rumor of Humor #2418
05/14/2024

Springtime Visitors
05/07/2024

Freezing for a Good Cause – Credit, That Is
05/02/2024

No Discussion Meeting on May 3rd
05/02/2024

An Apparently Normal Person Author Presentation and Book-signing
05/01/2024

Flintridge Center: Pasadena Village’s Neighbor That Changes Lives
05/01/2024

Pasadena Celebrates Older Americans Month 2024
05/01/2024

The 2024 Pasadena Village Volunteer Appreciation Lunch
05/01/2024

Woman of the Year: Katy Townsend
05/01/2024

April 2024

March 2024

February 2024

January 2024

Meet Our New Development Associate

By Samantha Gallasch
Posted: 05/28/2024
Tags:

In my first few weeks at Pasadena Village I have already met so many fantastic people. For those of you who I have not yet met, hello! I am the newest member of the Pasadena Village staff. I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself, share some of my background, and let you all know what I’ll be doing in my role as development associate at Pasadena Village.

 

To start, I want to say that I love Pasadena and have lived here my entire life. My great-great-grandparents on my mother’s side moved to Pasadena from the Midwest in the early 1900s and my father’s parents moved to Pasadena from Copenhagen, Denmark in the 1960s. I understand the desire to stay in this beautiful community in the foothills for as long as possible. Through my role as development associate, I want to help members of this community stay independently in their homes for as long as they wish. 

 

Now, I’ll share a bit of my personal and professional background: I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from California State University, Northridge. Before transferring to CSUN, I spent my very first semester of college studying art history and humanities in Florence, Italy as part of Pasadena City College’s study abroad program. At that time, I was ready for a little break from this lovely little town. After returning, I majored in art for a short time before discovering my love of writing and storytelling.

 

Around this time, I began working at a local veterans’ organization as its newsletter editor and, eventually, webmaster. I utilized the outreach of these platforms to assist the organization in fundraising, gaining business partnerships and promoting events that supported the mission of the organization. I also interviewed members and shared their stories through the newsletter.

 

After graduating from CSUN, I left for Thailand, where I earned my yoga teacher certificate on the small island of Koh Pha-ngan. After completing the rigorous monthlong program, I spent the following month traveling throughout Vietnam with my now-husband, Adam. Upon returning, I used my education in yoga and mindfulness to teach classes at a women's drug rehabilitation and treatment center and initiated classes at the veterans’ organization where I was newsletter editor, among other locations. I used my knowledge of yoga, physical fitness and mindfulness to create an alternative fitness curriculum at a Pasadena elementary school where I was a physical education teacher for four years. There I built community relationships and raised funds for the PE program. I implemented a contract with a local organization so that students could use an indoor gym facility during PE classes. I coordinated a NFL Play60 program where my students met and worked out with players from the LA Rams. I also initiated many DonorsChoose campaigns that resulted in thousands of dollars of donations that were used for new and innovative PE equipment. Following an unfortunate trend, the PE program at this school was the subject of budget cuts during the pandemic and my position was defunded.

 

Looking to the future, my positive experiences in fundraising initiated my decision to pivot from education and focus on development. 

 

After learning of Pasadena Village last fall, I was taken by the idea of aging-in-place. I love the idea of people deciding on their own terms where and how they would like to spend their retirement years. I watched great-grandparents and grandparents grow old in this community and saw the difference that having an active, engaging social circle could make.

 

Through the role of development associate at Pasadena Village, I will be submitting grant proposals, tracking gifts and funding, and reporting back to funders. I will be working to maintain existing community and business partnerships as well as strive to seek new relationships and ways to serve our community of older adults.

 

I see the role of the Pasadena Village staff as facilitators of the interconnectivity of members and the community. We are here to support members, so they can support each other. As the mother of a young son, people often tell me that “it takes a village,” but in my opinion this idea should extend beyond raising children and touch upon every stage of life. We could all use a village, and I am excited to assist Pasadena Village in further actualizing its mission to foster vital independent living in a spirit of mutual support, enrichment and inclusiveness.

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