Monday, July 4, 2011

Tuolumne County Commission on Aging: Updated July 11 / Happy FOURTH OF JULY / Calendar 2011

Welcome to the Tuolumne County Commission on Aging blog: it’s our ongoing effort that we hope will bring information to help and inform seniors in our county.

The commissioners, with their extensive and varied experience and expertise, are all volunteers and without exception are primarily concerned with doing whatever they can to improve the lives of our county’s seniors in and around the Motherlode.

Happy FOURTH!  

“Jots & Thoughts”
“Jots & Thoughts” is a new feature designed to bring you information that might not come to your attention otherwise.
by editor Roberta Goodwin, email me at:

  1.  From Roberta: A prose piece by an old tennis friend of mine, Susan Anawalt, entitled “Woman Feeding the Birds”.  I think it is most beautiful. You might enjoy it too. The picture (below) that she took herself - of the old woman in the piece - inspired it all...
    If I may suggest: Read it when you have a contemplative mood going.
  2. From Ira Uslander: "...a belated thanks to, and appreciation for, his Senior Expo efforts goes to former commissioner Jim Grinnell. His idea years ago for a fledgling “Senior Fair” has become the full-grown annual Senior Expo.  Where would it have gone in those early days and beyond, without his inspiration and guidance and “pounding the pavement” for people interested in booths and sponsorship.  Thanks Jim!"  Ed. Note: Jim still continues to help the Senior Expo committee.
  3. From Roberta (Ira Uslander gave me the heads-up): Lenore Rutherford wrote a very nice article with a great picture in the UD the other day on the Commission's Senior Volunteer of the Year Awards ceremony in front of the Board of Supes.  It won't be posted online, so I wrote a synopsis: The Commission's Senior Volunteer of the Year Awards ceremony was held in front of the Board of Supes on June 22.  Audrey Sweat, longtime volunteer at the Sonora Senior Lounge, was named Tuolumne County Senior Volunteer of the Year.  She and other nominees for the honor were presented with certificates and plaques by board chairman John Gray. Sweat was honored for 26 years as a volunteer at the Sonora Senior Center at North Washington and Elkin streets, where she greets people.  Audrey has done a number of volunteer jobs. When presented with the award, she said “I'm kind of embarrassed, I don't like to be in the limelight too much. I didn't even realize it had been 26 years.” Congrats to Audrey!
  4. From Laurel Utecht: The Sonora Emblem Club will hold its annual "Snoopy Indoor Flea Market" on Saturday July 9th, 7:30am to 3:00pm at the Sonora Elk Lodge, 100 Elk Drive, Sonora.  Proceeds will be used for local community service projects. Call Sally Dios at 586-4323 for information.
  5. From Roberta: I'm thinking we ARE getting the word out. One morning last week, I got a call from “US Gov’t” (Caller ID) 559-998-6922. Turned out to be the “The Navy Legal Services Office” (NLSO) in Lemoore looking to help someone from Sonora, a vet, who came to - or called - their office for legal help.  So I gave “Nicole” the names and phone numbers for both Bill Dorffi (vets) and Bill Loring (legal).  I asked the young lady how she came across my number or our group and she wasn’t sure, but she said she had done some searching on Google.  Interesting and gratifying that we could possibly help. Bill Loring, a former Commissioner and retired attorney, called me back and he is following up.  BTW, Bill relays the info that the Catholic Charities Senior Legal Advocacy Program staff could use another volunteer legal advocate.  For more info or to volunteer, call 209-588-1597. The office is open for seniors to come in on 1) Tuesdays 10-12pm at the Catholic Charities office 14855 Mono Way, Sonora, 2) At the Sr. Center Weds. 10-12p and 3) Wednesdays back to the Mono Way office from 1pm-3 pm.  Again, call 209-588-1597.
  6. From Roberta: Cathie’s recent Ruby Award "Women Helping Women" means a $5000.00 cash award for her favorite charity if she wins at the regional level.  (This detail comes from Soroptimist of Sonora's president, Sally Dios). We will root for her to win, and will update this blog if she does. Look for it.  Again, congrats to Cathie.  She took the opportunity at her awards ceremony to thank the community for its encouragement and support in the programs in which she is involved, as she feels that since she has experienced “gifts of others”, it therefore became her motto to pass along those “gifts”.  As I said, she was very humble and gracious. 
  7. From Roberta: I stumbled across an article "How Safe is Your Home?" by George Feder on March 31, 2010 in something called “Neighborhood Crime” I think it's very valuable information for the seniors in this county and I would like to share it. Please go to:
    and let us know what you think.  And by the way, is this something you'd like to see more of?  Call 209-588-0505 or email us at
  8. From Carleton Penwell: "Past Commissioners! The Tuolumne County Commission on Aging (COA) wants to let any former COA commissioners know that we’d like to contact you to get your input on senior issues and concerns, then and now."  If you see this appeal, and want to participate, please contact Carleton Penwell at 209-532-8583 or by email at:
  9. From Roberta: Good info and interesting reading Joan Aragone (columnist for the San Mateo County Times) writes a column aimed at seniors entitled "The Time of Your Life" ...
    to view:
  10. From Sandi Romena: “I have a contract with Catholic Charities for a pilot program.  This survey is different from most; it is concentrating on seniors and their community.  The link to the survey:  A public link is now functional.  Click -->
The COA encourages all seniors to enter their input.
Did you know?
by editor Roberta Goodwin, email me at:

That Google is a treasure trove of information.  If you go, as I did, to:
you'll be able to view the history of the “Old Sonora-Mono Road – Highway 108" - Enjoy!
Year of the Family Caregiver: 2011 has been designated as Year of the Family Caregiver by the U.S. Administration on Aging in honor of the 10th anniversary of the federal National Family Caregiver Support Program.
Area 12 Agency on Aging offers a “Minor Home Repair” Program for eligible county seniors “designed to assist seniors over 60 who have home repair problems they cannot resolve which threaten health & safety”. To be eligible, you must:
  • be 60 years of age or older; Reside in Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa Counties; Live in your own home...
    Typical repairs include... (among others)
  • hard to turn faucets; leaky toilets; door knob repair; install grab bars; repair doors and windows; ramp repair
    Call Area 12 Today for more information on how you can arrange for needed home repairs 209-532-6272... or go to:
    Also, you can view their website at:
    or email them at:

     Interfaith has a wood donation program.  Their crews can come and cut it, load it and haul it off as long as the tree is on the ground and “easily accessible”.  They give it away in August to their low-income and no-income clients to heat their houses the following winter.  To donate your tree or wood, call Cathie Peacock or Barbara Woodward at Interfaith 532-0905.  And to sign up for the program to receive ½ cord free firewood, call Interfaith in August.

    Centenarian Society Event is October 19. The Commission on Aging is seeking information on local centenarians, those who have reached or surpassed the age of 100 years.  A special recognition and honoring event is planned for Wednesday, October 19th, 11AM, at the Senior Center on Greenley Rd., in Sonora.  The Commission is asking eligible individuals’ family members, friends, churches, residential care and skilled nursing facilities to submit names.
    In addition, anyone who has reached the ages of 96, 97, 98, and 99 yrs will be honored as well, in recognition of their status in Tuolumne County’s Centenarian University of Life. Those who are aged 96 years are freshman, 97 years are sophomores, 98 years are juniors, and 99 years are seniors.  Upon reaching the age of 100 years, those individuals will be inducted into the Centenarian Society of Tuolumne County.  Their name will be placed on the Centenarian Society wall plaque at the Senior Center on Greenly Rd.  Each name submitted will receive a personal invitation, including their families, and a certificate of recognition of their status in our communities.  The Senior Center will provide lunch free to the honorees, and $3.50 to all others, to be served by community leaders and Commission on Aging members.
    For additional information, contact Cathie Peacock at 586-4802 or JoAnn Rascon at 588-9004. You may also download a nomination form here:
Tuolumne County Commission on Aging... encourages and welcomes not only visitors to our meetings but we have vacancies at the moment, and so we always welcome any interested parties to apply.  Attendance at our meetings is a prerequisite. Please come to our meetings and see what we’re about! And remember to always....

"Practice Random Kindnesses and Senseless Acts of Beauty"

Commission on Aging Events Calendar 2011
*      Commission on Aging general meetings 1:30PM, 2nd Monday each month, at Area 12 Agency on Aging, Standard Rd., Conf. Room C
 Commission on Aging Executive Board meetings 1:00PM, 1st Monday each month, at the Senior Center
*     NOTE, NEW: The Commission on Aging will begin a series of quarterly appearances before the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors in order to update them on Commission activities.  Dates TBD and will be posted after the July meeting
*      Commission on Aging Public Relations committee meetings, 12:00PM, 1st Wednesday each month, at Interfaith 
*   Commission on Aging Education committee meetings, 9:00AM, 3rd Tuesday each month, Starbucks, Sonora Crossroads Shopping Center, Prudential 2nd Floor Conference Room
*      October – Former COA Commissioners Reunion Event
*  October 19 - Centenarian Awards Ceremony 11AM Senior Center Sonora
***2011 Speakers’ schedule***
(to inform the commissioners on senior related issues)
o        August - Kathy Toepel, Catholic Charities Diocese of Stockton
o        September – Evan Royce, County Board of Supervisors
o        October – no speaker due to ex-COA members "Reunion" Event
o        November – speaker pending
o   December – 2011 year-end wrap-up
All COA meetings are open to the public. Please come and give us your ideas, concerns, and information regarding senior issues!
In future, we will be blogging with more information on matters of interest to county seniors so stay tuned!  And please feel free to let us know YOUR ideas for events or forums that you want to see! We actively solicit your comments.  You may contact the Tuolumne County Commission on Aging by email

To go to the Little House website, go here:

To go to Friends and Neighbors website go here: To go to the San Francisco Institute on Aging website, go here:

Blog Editor: Roberta Goodwin
What thoughts have YOU?  Email them to me at: aging2010@gmail.comRoberta