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Pensacola: The next blue zone?

mind your health understanding supplements and the mind diet

100 years strong: an interview with joe brown

Ring in spring

Suzanne Somers An Exclusive Interview www.coawfla.org www.ballingerpublishing.com

Presented by Spring Council Agingmagazine of west for Florida 2016on lifestyle seniors 1


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4 Coming of Age Spring 2016

From the Editor

Rachael Cox

Marketing Communications Director and Editor-in-Chief After all the chaos that often surrounds the holiday season, I always look forward to the slower pace of spring.This season offers the opportunity to stop and smell the roses, taking inventory of how we’re investing resources of time, treasures and talents.This is especially critical for me because I recently got engaged. Eek! Exciting times are ahead for sure, but those who’ve been through this process know that wedding planning is no joke! I’ve been blessed by a solid support system and an awesome network of folks who are getting me through it in one piece, but I’ve definitely had to make tough decisions to step back on some things. Balance is crucial in any stage of life. I remember when my grandpa retired he had every intention of kicking back a bit and enjoying the free time. But out of boredom (and my grandma’s desire to have him out of the house I’m sure), he took on a part time job and got involved in other activities. And soon enough he had become busier in retirement than when he was working. So this spring, take some time to consider who and what you love most, and how you can invest in them before it’s too late!

We are thrilled to feature Suzanne Somers, made famous by her roles as Chrissy Snow on Three’s Company, health spokesperson, and more recently, Dancing With the Stars contestant, on our cover. You can read on about her journey to fame on page 31. Make sure to check out page 15 for more information about a local movement in Pensacola to help community members live longer and happier lives. Meghan McCarthy, Director of Health and Community Wellness for Baptist Health Care, talks about Blue Zones, areas in the world where people live longer. Meghan is on a mission to help apply lessons learned from these Blue Zones that will create a healthier Pensacola. And as always, if you have comments or suggestions about Coming of Age, please don’t hesitate to call me at (850) 4321475. We value your opinion! Until next time – Enjoy life. You’ve earned it!

Speaking of taking time to enjoy life, we hope you’re reading this issue while participating in some of your favorite springtime activities. This issue of Coming of Age will be a perfect companion for a picnic or time out on a hammock.

Readers’ Services Subscriptions Your subscription to Coming of Age comes automatically with your membership to Council on Aging of West Florida. If you have questions about your subscription, call Rachael Cox at (850) 432-1475 ext. 130 or email rcox@coawfla.org. Please do not hesitate to contact Rachael with any questions or comments about your service, and thank you.

Change of Address When calling or emailing us your change of address, please provide Council on Aging of West Florida with both the old and new addresses to expedite the change.

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Back Issues Is there an issue of one of our magazines that you just have to have? Was your relative seen in a recent issue and you lost it? Give Ballinger Publishing a call at (850) 433-1166 ext. 30, and they will find one for you.

Letters Council on Aging of West Florida welcomes your letters and comments. Send letters to Council on Aging c/o Rachael Cox at 875 Royce St., Pensacola, FL 32503, emails to rcox@coawfla.org or contact editor Kelly Oden at Ballinger Publishing, P.O. Box 12665 Pensacola, FL 32591 or kelly@ ballingerpublishing.com.

Writing Opportunities We are always willing to consider freelance writers and article ideas. Please send queries and/or suggestions to Kelly Oden at kelly@ballingerpublishing.com or Rachael Cox at rcox@coawfla.org.

Council on Aging of West Florida 2016 Board of Directors Officers Chair: Caron Sjöberg First Vice Chair: Robert Mills Second Vice Chair: Sonya Daniel Secretary: Councilmember P.C. Wu Treasurer: James M. “Mick” Novota Immediate Past Chair: DeeDee Davis Board Members Lorenzo Aguilar Malcolm Ballinger Rabbi Joel Fleekop Donna Jacobi, M.D. • Lois Lepp Kathleen Logan • Andy Marlette Escambia County Commissioner Lumon May Chaplain Larry Mosley Thomas Pace, Jr. • Tara Peterson Santa Rosa School Board District 1 Diane L. Scott, Ph. D. Monica Sherman • Sue Straughn Edgar M. Turner • Richard M. Tuten Dona Usry • Marie K. Young Members Emeriti Joe Black • Rosemary Bonifay John Brick • Kenneth Kelson Zola Lett • Charles H. Overman, III Malcolm Parker • Ethel Tamburello President/CEO John B. Clark Marketing Communications Director and Coming of Age Editor-in-Chief Rachael Cox Published for Council on Aging of West Florida by Ballinger Publishing 41 N. Jefferson St. Suite 402 • Pensacola, FL 32502 850/433-1166 • Fax 850/435-9174 Publisher Malcolm Ballinger Executive Editor Kelly Oden Editor Josh Newby Art Director Guy Stevens Graphic Designer & Ad Coordinator Anna Hitchcock Editorial Assistant Dawn Gresko Account Executives Stephanie Boyce • stephanie@ballingerpublishing.com Paula Rode • paula@ballingerpublishing.com Disclaimer: Coming of Age magazine is published quarterly by Ballinger Publishing for Council on Aging of West Florida, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction or use of the contents herein is prohibited. Comments and opinions expressed in this magazine represent the personal views of the individuals to whom they are attributed and/or the person identified as the author of the article, and they are not necessarily those of the publisher or Council of Aging of West Florida, Inc. This magazine accepts no responsibility for these opinions. The publisher and Council on Aging of West Florida reserve the right to edit all manuscripts. All advertising information is the responsibility of the individual advertiser. Appearance in this magazine does not necessarily reflect endorsement of any products or services by Ballinger Publishing or Council on Aging of West Florida. © 2016

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What’s inside

Spring 2016



Features Mind your Health 21 An Interview with Suzanne Somers 31






In Every Issue

10 Advocacy 12 Do-Gooders 15 Blue Zones 18 100 Years Strong 24 Power of E3 26 Spring Events 42 Meet the Team

38 News from Council on Aging of West Florida 40 Out & About 44 Members & Donors Stay Connected!

On the cover: Suzanne Somers Council on Aging of West Florida, Inc, is compliant with the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability.

8 Coming of Age Spring 2016

Humam Humeda, M.D.

Edward L. Friedland, M.D.

Ronnie Wiles, M.D.

Christopher S. Reid, M.D.

Maged Nashed, M.D.

Nicholas Nagrani, M.D.

Derek Jimenez, M.D.

Haitham O. Qader, M.D.

Douglas Bunting, M.D.

F. Duncan Scott, M.D.

James P. Martin, D.O.



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Spring 2016 lifestyle magazine for seniors 9

A dvocacy

Sounds of Silence Dealing with Hearing Loss

written by John B. Clark, President/CEO


f all the challenges we will face as we age, the loss of our five senses can be the most striking. We might not want to admit it, and younger people might find it hard to believe, but as each of us age, all five senses (hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch) will gradually diminish. This “rate” will be different for everyone, but happen it will. For many of us, the most frightening loss would be the complete loss of our sight and/ or hearing. To have had something so precious and then to lose it would be devastating to most. I dare to say that most of us could not fathom losing something so precious as our sight or our ability to hear ; and I am talking about the complete loss of our ability to see or hear. However, losing one’s ability to hear can be, in many cases, the most isolating. Let me give you a case example.

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A 40-year-old woman lost her hearing due to an infectious disease. It was gradual, but resulted in a complete loss of her ability to hear. It happened during a time when no one had even the remotest thought of such laws as the Americans with Disabilities Act. The result: you were, in most cases, literally on your own. Even with a family, this woman did not have the resources to seek out “exper t” help, and she had to struggle to learn how to communicate with those around her. Yes, she could talk and people could hear her, but she could not hear or understand others. So she, on her own, gradually learned to read lips. And did quite well at it. She also resor ted to carrying around a pad and pencil so others could write down what they wanted to tell her. That could get old real quick. That person was my mother, and it happened to her in the late 1940s.

Growing up with a hearing impaired parent, I quickly learned to be the “go between,” something I carried through until her death. Oh yes, notice I used the term hearing impaired, but in actuality I would often tell people she was deaf, so they would not think she was ignoring them. Over the years we have heard the terms deaf, hard of hearing, hearing impaired, deaf and dumb, used to describe those with any type of hearing impairment. Regarding those terms, hopefully we have put “deaf and dumb” in the graveyard of terms. My mother used to say, “I’m deaf, but I am not dumb.” One of the things I learned and witnessed over the years is that very few people would ever make an effor t to include her in any conversation. Likewise, when dealing with others, the effor t to communicate with her was almost always through me. I found it strange that even professionals (e.g. medical

professionals) could not take just a few minutes to jot down on a piece of paper some questions for her, versus looking to me for answers. Additionally, there was no way for her to contact relatives or friends unless she wrote to them—this was before Facebook, e-mail, etc. So consequently she became very isolated, except for immediate family. Fortunately, today those who are hearing impaired don’t have to be so isolated, and they have other options for communicating apart from social media and e-mails. One program that is little known is Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. FTRI is a statewide non-profit organization that provides special telephones for hard of hearing, deaf, deaf/blind, and speech impaired Floridians. This program loans special telephone equipment, such as phones that amplify incoming sound, devices that alert you when the phone rings, captioned telephones and Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD/TTY), braille TTY for deaf/ blind individuals and phones that amplify outgoing speech. These devices are loaned at no charge to Floridians who are hard of hearing, deaf, deaf/ blind, or speech impaired for as long as they need it. Using this phone equipment helps people communicate more easily. To apply for this service, you should contact the local FTRI distribution center. In our area that is the Disability Resource Center at 3600 North Pace Boulevard, (850) 595-5566. If you are hearing impaired, you can reach out to your loved ones and friends, thanks to the FTRI service. Contact them and see how this impor tant program can improve your quality of life.

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Spring 2016 lifestyle magazine for seniors 11

D o -G ooder


LIGHT on Those Who Make Council on Aging of West Florida Great

by Brandi Gomez, Development Director


I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service...” – Oprah Winfrey Serving as a social worker can be extremely rewarding, especially when you can see a direct impact and improvement in someone’s well-being. March is designated as Social Work Month where we recognize those in the profession and highlight all of their good work. By definition, social work is work carried out by trained personnel with the aim of alleviating the conditions of those in need of help or welfare. Council on Aging of West Florida knows all too well that social work reaches far beyond its definition. Being a social worker or case manager takes a special human being, a person who values quality of life for all and puts others before themselves. Our social services director, Suzanne Jackson, has always known social work was her calling. “When growing up,” said Suzanne, “I had the best grandma and was constantly surrounded by great elderly relatives. I knew by my love for them that I had a passion and connection with the aging. I also liked the idea of helping seniors, and so I went to school and have kept the elderly close to my heart ever since.” For Anna Hubbard, another case manager with Council on Aging, her passion for social work was a complete “happy accident.” “I knew I liked working with people and helping them,” said Anna. “Social work is one of the few jobs where you can see the fruits of your labor on a daily basis and that is truly

12 Coming of Age Spring 2016

rewarding. It became a great fit for me.” Most will tell you that involvement in social work goes far beyond paperwork and service placement. For many clients, our case managers become like family and oftentimes are the only people to check on them. “After a while, you become close,” said Shannon Callahan, a case manager with Council on Aging, “The client and their relatives learn your name and come to accept you as someone that can be helpful in the client remaining as independent as possible.” Clients and their social workers form a close bond and with that comes a lot of responsibility. Those involved in social work must abide by ethics and exemplify core values set forth by the National Association of Social Workers. The mission of the social work profession is rooted in a set of core values. These core values, embraced by social workers throughout the profession’s history, are the

COA’s Social Services Department: Shannon Callahan, Kaitlyn Pass, Suzanne Jackson and Anna Hubbard

foundation of social work’s unique purpose and perspective: • service • social justice • dignity and worth of the person • importance of human relationships • integrity • competence Here at Council on Aging, we are proud to have case managers that ensure local seniors live safe, independent lives in their own home for as long as possible. From distributing adult diapers to setting up Meals on Wheels delivery, we are fortunate to have caring staff members on our Council on Aging team who go above and beyond each and every day.

Council on Aging clients Patricia James and her husband George always have nothing but positive remarks. “Anna, our case manager, is a sweet heart,” Patricia said, “She is always calling and checking on us and seeing if we need anything. She even delivered a hurricane kit to us full of supplies. Anna and all of Council on Aging’s staff are angels in our midst.” As we recognize all involved in our social services department for Social Work Month, we hope you will too. A simple “thank you” goes a long way. To learn more about our programs and services or to see if a loved one is eligible, please visit our website at www.coawfla.org or give us a call at (850) 432-1475.

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Pensacola: The Next Blue Zone? by Meghan McCarthy, Director of Health and Community Wellness, Baptist Healthcare

I want to live to 100. I could see my great, great, great grandchildren.

What makes Blue Zones so healthy? There are many factors, called the “Power 9.”

The average life expectancy in the United States is 78.2 years right now but about 70,000 celebrated their 100th birthday this year. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation scores every county in the United States. Escambia County is one of the least healthy in Florida. One factor is our life expectancy. Any death before age 75 is a premature death. This makes sense if we retire at age 65, when we should have at least ten years to enjoy the fruit of a life of labor.

1. Move Naturally - Don’t think marathons. Think gardening and walking. 2. Have a Purpose - It is the reason you wake up every day. 3. Down Shift - This requires the ability to manage our stress. 4. 80% Rule - Eat until you are 80% full. 5. Plant Slate - Make plants the center of your diet. 6. Wine at 5 - One serving of alcohol daily with food and friends. 7. Belong - Join a faith-based community. 8. Loved Ones First - Invest in family with time and love. 9. Right Tribe - Have social circles that support healthy behaviors.

“Blue Zones” are areas all over the world where people are living to 100 and living well.

These principles center on the idea that our environment is very powerful. If the healthy choice is the easiest choice, we are accidentally healthier.

But you don’t wake up at age 85 and decide you want to start taking good care of yourself. We are all trying to age well. Healthy aging is important when you are 29 to 30 or 79 to 80.

“Blue Zones” were found in Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California.

Some people think the major factor of how long you live is genetics but research has indicated that genetics only account for 20 percent. The other 80 percent is lifestyle.

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going blue Cities all over the world have been identified as “Blue Zones.” Could Pensacola be next?

16 Coming of Age Spring 2016

There is also a “True Happiness Compass” that measures how you remember your life, how you experience your life and the effect of your environment. It takes about five minutes and will provide you with recommendations. If you are interested in how your You can listen to the National lifestyle is impacting how long you Geographic author who discovered the Blue Zones. His will live, you can take a free test name is Dan Buettner, and he called “The Vitality Compass.” It will calculate your biological age, gave a 17-minute lecture on How to Live to Be 100. You can watch your overall life expectancy, your healthy life expectancy it for free at ted.com. and the years that you are In England when you reach 100 gaining or losing because years old, you get a letter from of your every day habits. the Queen. I’m sure that in The tool can be found Pensacola we can make 100th at bluezones.com or just Google “Blue Zone Vitality birthdays just as special. Compass.” Can we make Pensacola a Blue Zone? I think we can. How do we start? We have a shared vision of what a healthier Pensacola looks and feels like. The Blue Zones stories help us to understand that reality.

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100 years strong: joe brown Written by Marsha Wood and Dawn Gresko Photograph by Guy Stevens

For many, the golden years are a time to hang up your working boots and enter retirement, but not for one local barber. Joe Brown of Esquire Barber Shop in downtown Pensacola, has been barbering professionally for 80 years. Mr. Brown will celebrate his 100th birthday on March 11 and has no intentions of slowing down.

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Brown was born in Georgia in 1916, but he didn’t spend much time there before moving to Cobbtown, Fla., with his parents and nine siblings in 1919. He was raised on a farm and helped his parents in the gardens by planting peanuts, corn and other varieties of crop to make ends meet. It was the beginning of the Great Depression, and, though times were not easy, it was not always all work and no play for Brown.

“I enjoyed going swimming in the creek about a quarter of a mile from where we lived,” explained Brown, recalling a memory of his mother with a smile. “In the summer, my mom would get us to fan her while she slept, and would tell us she’d reward us by taking us to the creek when she woke up.” We asked Mr. Brown how he plans to spend his special day, and, it came as no surprise that he has every intention of barbering.

Joe during his time enlisted in the U.S. Army, circa 1943

“I’ve got customers already lined up for a trim on my birthday, I wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Brown. “I care about my customers and it goes both ways. But, after work, my family does have a special service planned for me at our church— First Church of the Nazarene.” He speaks fondly of his large family— from his three daughters and son to his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, who mean everything to him.

Why do I cut hair? Because I enjoy what I do,” said Brown. “People ask me when I’m going to retire, and I tell them when the Lord retires me.”

One thing many may not know about Brown is he served our country in World War II, joining the ranks of the Army and spending 28 months in Belgium. Even then, while he was on occupational duty, he would cut the hair of his fellow troops. Although Brown received his official barber license in 1937, he began cutting hair much earlier at the age of 14 when he started trimming his younger brother’s hair. Eventually, his neighbors received

Joe as a young man enjoying his favorite pastime

word on how good his cuts were and it wasn’t long before he realized he had found his calling. After the war, Brown was in St. Petersburg with a fellow barber friend who told him about Pensacola—a city close to his childhood home in Cobbtown. Not too soon after, Brown moved to the Florida Panhandle and settled down in Pensacola in 1940. Before he started at Esquire, Brown spent 31 years cutting hair for guests at the famous San Carlos Hotel in Pensacola. What he enjoys most about his job is seeing his customers, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. “Why do I cut hair? Because I enjoy what I do,” said Brown. “People ask me when I’m going to retire, and I tell them when the Lord retires me.”

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Mind your health written by Dawn Gresko

The saying is true: too much of anything isn’t good for you, which also applies to the vitamins you’re taking and what you’re eating. In this article, we explore some of the dos and don’ts of vitamin supplements and why you should consider adopting the MIND (Mediterranean-DASHIntervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet, both of which promote the idea that moderation is key to a healthy brain and body.

As we grow older, our bodies gradually lose the ability to absorb essential vitamins like D, B12 and B6, as well as calcium. For this reason, we also become more susceptible to diseases like osteoporosis, which is why multivitamins that contain calcium, vitamins D, B12 and B6 are recommended for those over the age of 50.

Spring 2016 lifestyle magazine for seniors 21

MIND-recommended foods are also rich in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are important to synaptic proteins in the brain.

Before you begin taking vitamins, it is impor tant to know what your body is lacking and to purchase your supplements accordingly. This way you do not waste money on supplements your body isn’t missing, and you avoid adverse reactions from mixing cer tain supplements and medications. For example, high levels of iron can cause nausea and may damage the liver, while mixing vitamin K with Coumadin (a blood thinner) could alter the clotting abilities of the Coumadin.

to help improve brain health, or prevent cognitive decline, there is no silver bullet and the evidence does not suppor t that supplements will improve brain health.”

As a side note, calcium supplements should be taken separately from other vitamins because calcium can block the absorption of other supplements. Your body can only take in so much calcium at one time, which is why you may need to take at least three pills a day, especially if you require bone supplements for diseases like osteoporosis.

“Physical exercise combined with eating this type of diet should be a lifestyle for all Americans, as it has many benefits to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and helps maintain brain health.”

“Diet and exercise are impor tant as we age,” said Mindi Straw, registered dietitian for the Council on Aging. “Vitamin supplementation is only necessary if the diet is lacking, or one has a condition that would hinder absorption. While ginko, vitamin E and fish oils are commonly used

recommendation that adults over the age of 65 who do not live in assisted living take 800 IU of vitamin D daily, your best bet is to talk with a trusted physician, wellness manager or dietitian.

22 Coming of Age Spring 2016

Vitamin supplementation is different for each person, so you should first consult your doctor, or registered dietitian, for a rundown of what and how much of a vitamin you should be taking. While there are general recommendations, such as the

“Some seniors buy a lot of individual supplements, or one a day vitamins, and that concerns me,” said Lyn Sparks, wellness manager at Ever’man Cooperative Grocery and Cafe. “Because they could be taking too much of one vitamin, or too little. Most multivitamins are balanced very well and sufficient for most people’s needs, as long as they have a good diet. One-a-day vitamins may not give you all you need and you may not get the results you’re looking for.” While multivitamins are perfectly acceptable means of vitamin supplementation, it is impor tant to avoid mega doses that exceed 100 percent of the daily value (DV), and monitor your eating habits. If you consumed several bananas throughout the day, then you might want to avoid taking a multivitamin with over 100 percent of the daily value for vitamin B6. “I always suggest taking one new item at a time to see how a person’s body responds to it,” said Lyn. “We are inclined to load up on a bunch of new supplements and if something disagrees with us we stop taking everything, but we may be missing out on something that would work really well for us.” When choosing a supplement, you should also check expiration dates because supplements can lose potency over time, especially in hot and humid climates. If a supplement doesn’t have an expiration date, don’t buy it. The majority of vitamins we need should be gathered from our diets, but there are cases in which a person might have extra difficulty absorbing vitamins because of an intolerance, illness or restrictive diet. However, if your body does not have problems with vitamin absorption, and you


eat a high variety of for tified foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats), then you most likely do not need supplements. The topic of diet brings us to a specific eating routine that includes foods and nutrients that medical data has shown to be good for the brain called the MIND diet. These foods include berries, whole grains and leafy vegetables. “The MIND diet is very similar to the Mediterranean diet, and it promotes the consumption of lots of fruits and berries, veggies, nuts along with lean meats and fish,” said Mindi. “Physical exercise combined with eating this type of diet should be a lifestyle for all Americans, as it has many benefits to reduce the risk of hear t disease and cancer, and helps maintain brain health.” Studies have shown that people who stuck to the MIND diet lowered their risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 54 percent. What may be even more impor tant is another study found that adults who followed the diet only par t of the time still cut their risk of developing the disease by close to 35 percent.

You do not have to be predisposed to either Alzheimer’s or dementia to consider following the MIND diet. In fact, everyone would benefit from sticking with the MIND diet, because it helps the brain’s neurons cope with normal aging. Why does it work? The diet not only suppor ts vascular health, which protects against vascular dementia, but the foods listed in the MIND diet are directly linked to improved neurological function, or reduced Alzheimer’s biomarkers in the brain. MIND-recommended foods are also rich in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are impor tant to synaptic proteins in the brain. The diet also includes plenty of B vitamins and vitamins C and D, which have been found to help neurons cope with aging. Berries like strawberries and blueberries have also been shown to decrease neuron loss and improve memory performance. Now is the time to star t MINDing your mental and physical health with the right regimen of supplements, diet and exercise.

• Green, leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach and kale): six servings a week • Other vegetables: at least one a day • Nuts: five servings a week • Berries: two or more servings a week • Beans: three servings a week • Whole grains: three or more servings a day • Fish: once a week • Poultry (e.g. chicken and turkey): two times a week • Olive oil: use it as your main cooking oil • Wine: one glass per day

don’t eat: • Red meat: less than four servings a week • Butter and margarine: less than a tablespoon per day • Cheese: less than one serving per week • Pastries and sweets: less than five servings a week • Fried or fast food: less than one serving a week

Spring 2016 lifestyle magazine for seniors 23

Powering Your Way

to Financial Freedom

The annual E3 conference is coming soon to Sacred Heart, and promises a day full of fun and education to empower women to take charge of their financial futures. BY JOSH NEWBY


Joining together for the betterment and education of women over the age of 55, more than 150 area residents and professionals will network, learn and be empowered at the annual E3 conference on April 30 at Sacred Hear t Hospital, from 8 am to 4 pm. An event that focuses on the education, enlightenment, and empowerment of women, E3 star ted three years ago when

24 Coming of Age Spring 2016

financial advisor Annalee Leonard realized that many of her aging friends and colleagues were illprepared to face their coming fiscal challenges. Leonard was inspired by a conference she had gone to outside the area and quickly realized there was nothing specifically for aging women in the Pensacola region that could serve as a resource for education,

fun and networking. By bringing together decision-makers and inspirational speakers in the community, she could reach a heretofore-ignored segment of the population—and one that was in desperate need of sound advice and long-term planning options. “What I hear from women nowadays is that many of them have never had to handle money,” said Leonard. “Now, whether


Often, people retire and they stop learning; they stop trying to improve themselves. We’re hoping to inspire continued mobility.” because of divorce or the changing economy, they have to manage their finances, often after receiving a windfall of insurance money from a deceased spouse.” Unfor tunately, these women soon become bait for financial predators, and often their own families. The need that is out there—and their means to alleviate that need— intimidates them, and they are soon left with nothing. “Women are naturally nesters and givers,” said Leonard. “They want to make an emotional decision to help. But they need to make a decision based on fact. So we help them budget and plan for the future in a way that maybe they are unfamiliar with.” But the conference helps with more than just financial advice. The theme of this year’s event is “Wise Women Keep Learning” and focuses on holistic education of all elements in one’s life. “Often, people retire and they stop learning; they stop trying to improve themselves,” said Leonard. “We’re hoping to inspire continued mobility through the guest speakers we have coming in.” And what a list of guest speakers it is. Renowned novelist Kathleen Logan will speak on the value of paying forward the wisdom we accrue. Leonard herself will discuss the value of financial wisdom. Dr. Suzanne Bush will speak on health

and vitality. Laticia Jackson, lifestyle and fitness exper t, will remind women that it’s never too late to love yourself. And as always, WEARABC3 news anchor Sue Straughn will emcee the fun day. There will also be a host of female-owned businesses at the event as par t of the vendor expo. Leonard encourages people to ask questions about any range of topics and not feel stupid in their pursuit of knowledge. “I think women can feel intimidated when asking men for what they think should be routine knowledge,” said Leonard. “These women go through life not knowing what they should just because they are afraid to ask. By speaking to their peers who also happen to be exper ts on a variety of subjects, we’re solving that problem one woman at a time.” The conference does tangible good, as well. No one who volunteers their time or knowledge gets paid a dime; instead, E3 contributes 100 percent of funds raised to the Sacred Hear t

Foundation for women’s healthcare. The first year, they donated $385. The second year, that amount ballooned to $5,000. Leonard is hoping to do even better this year. “In 2015 we had about a hundred par ticipants,” said Leonard. “This year we’re ready for between 160 and 170. We’re hoping that we’ll soon grow too large for the Greenhut Auditorium at Sacred Hear t and move into their main auditorium.” They are well on their way to that success. This year, the event will feature a fashion show with Chico’s, as well as breakfast, a buffet lunch, and snacks throughout the day. All this empowerment and fun is available for the price of admission, which is $50 up until April 1, and $60 after that date. The price is $65 for tickets at the door. “When I work with my clients, I truly believe in a holistic approach to life’s many decisions and challenges,” said Leonard. “This day delivers that and more.”

Spring 2016 lifestyle magazine for seniors 25


Apr. 15


May 20

June 17

Seasonal Events, Festivals and More By Kayla Glaze

One of the best things about living in Northwest Florida is the weather, and springtime is arguably the very best time of year to enjoy all that the season has to offer. Stroll the streets of downtown for Gallery Nights. Enjoy a variety of food and art festivals.You can even throw some fish across state lines if that piques your interest. The Pensacola area has packed many exciting events into the spring season this year. So, shuck off those overcoats, grab a light scarf and head out to into the sunshine.


Every Tues.


Marcus Pointe Baptist Sonrise Service Marcus Pointe Baptist Church will bring a resurrection message in a unique way this Easter. The community is invited to attend this service in the Pensacola Wahoos Stadium at 6:30 am. There will be great worship music and a powerful message delivered by Marcus Pointe’s Pastor Godfrey. Shuttles will be available to help guests make their way from their parking spots to the service. This event is a great way to kick off Easter Sunday. More info at SonRiseService.com

26 Coming of Age Spring 2016

Bands on the Beach Bring your lawn chair and picnic to the Gulfside Pavilion overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and listen to a variety of music. Bands on the Beach features regional artists performing a wide variety of music. Enjoy the beautiful scenery, hot music, and lots of good times. Bands begin playing at 7 pm every Tuesday beginning in April. More info at visitpensacolabeach.com/events/bands-on-the-beach

Jazz Fest

Gallery Night Experience an eclectic array of music, art, and cuisine as you stroll the charming brick walkways of downtown Pensacola. Enjoy local galleries and businesses displaying works of local artists, musicians and local cuisine. Admission is free and many businesses provide light refreshments. The streets come alive at 5 pm. More info at downtownpensacola.com

This two-day music festival is held in Seville Square Park. Bring your own lawn chair and picnic supplies and enjoy great music, food, drinks, arts and crafts, and jazz merchandise. This family event has something for everyone, from arts and crafts for children to fun jazz music and dance for adults. Admission is free for all so bring the whole family and enjoy a full day of fun in beautiful Seville Square Park. More info at jazzpensacola.com

Apr. 1-3

Apr. 29 May 1


22 -24

Interstate Mullet Toss The Annual Interstate Mullet Toss is a three-day event that involves a mullet throwing contest. These more popular indigenous fish will be tossed, from a 10-ft circle, across the Alabama-Florida State line. This year at noon each day, there will be a local celebrity who will try their hand at tossing these slippery fish. The event will include a lot of activities, great music, and awesome food. Parking is limited and will cost $10, so there will be a Flora Bama Bus that people can ride for $5. There is a $15 fee to join the contest. For every mullet that is thrown a contribution will made to local youth charities. More info at florabama.com

Crawfish Festival Bring the whole family and spend the weekend enjoying the world’s freshest crawfish. This festival features 16,000 lbs of fresh spicy crawfish, authentic live bayou country entertainment and plenty of art and crafts that feature local and regional artists. Admission is $5 for adults and children 12 and under are free. Enter multiple contests like the crawfish eating contest and crawfish race. More info at fiestaoffiveflags.org

Spring 2016 lifestyle magazine for seniors 27

Fiesta Children’s Treasure Hunt


May 14

Children 10 and under hunt for toys and treasures while learning about Pensacola’s rich history at this local-centric event. In addition to hunting treasure, children will enjoy face painting, dancing and musical entertainment. There will be prize drawings for each age group. This free event will be held at Bayview Park in East Hill. Free lunch begins at 11:30 am, registration begins at noon, and the hunt begins at 2 pm. More info at fiestaoffiveflags.org

Bill Hargreaves Fishing Rodeo

May 21

The Bill Hargreaves Fishing Rodeo began in 1971 on Mother’s Day as a way to steer youth away from drugs. This four-day event was moved because many mothers wanted to spend the day with their husbands and children. Now this event begins the Thursday before Father’s Day. There is a $40 entry fee for contestants 13 and over, and all contestants under 13 are free. There are prizes every day with a grand prize and fish fry on Sunday. This event features lots of fun for all ages along with door prizes and a silent auction. More info at billhargreavesfishingrodeo.com

Escambia Football Car Show A fundraiser for Escambia High School’s Quarterback Club, this expansive car show features free public parking and admission, as well as a full day of food, music, vendors and door prizes. The show promises many classic cars of all makes and models. As the weather warms up, this is an event that’s as perfect for the gearhead as it is for the festival aficionado. If you want to enter your own car into competition, the cost is $20 for early registration and $25 on the day. The show starts at 8 am and ends with the awards presentation at 3 pm.

28 Coming of Age Spring 2016



Grand Fiesta Day Parade The 67th Annual Grand Parade and Celebration, sponsored by Pen Air Federal Credit Union, celebrates the founding of Pensacola. The parade will begin at Garden and Spring streets and will travel east on Garden to Palafox. Bring the family to catch beads and watch the beautiful floats cruise down Garden Street to celebrate our unique heritage and historical attractions. More info at fiestaoffiveflags.org

June 3

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Spring 2016 lifestyle magazine for seniors 29

30 Coming of Age Spring 2016

Suzanne Somers

An Exclusive Interview interview by Kelly Oden

Born on October 16, 1946 in San Bruno, California, Suzanne Somers is best known for her role as the quintessential ditzy blonde, Chrissy Snow on the hit television series, Three’s Company. The model, actress, businesswoman and writer has had both a successful and turbulent life: an abusive, alcoholic father, a pregnancy at a young age, a controversial exit from a hit show, breast cancer, and a home-destroying fire. But through it all, Somers has remained upbeat and determined to make the best of life. A prolific COA:Tell me a little bit about your childhood. What kind of little girl were you? What were your interests? Suzanne Somers: I’ve written extensively about my childhood, initially in my first big bestseller, Keeping Secrets, about growing up the child of an alcoholic. It was the first time anyone had told the story from that perspective. We always heard about the saga of the alcoholic but this gave another angle as to what happens when you live with the disease. What does it do to you? For me, my childhood was filled with fear; the nights were extremely violent and we had a closet upstairs that we locked on the inside so we could hide to keep safe. What does that do to you as a child, huddled together trembling? What kept me sane was my mother who was the sweetest person that ever graced the planet, but I hated seeing her so upset all the time. It’s

author, Suzanne has more than 25 books under her belt on topics including memoirs, cookbooks, health and wellness and more. Her latest book TOX-SICK, confronts the many chemicals our bodies are faced with in the modern age and offers solutions to avoid them.An advocate of healthy living, Suzanne’s company also offers a line of organic skincare, supplements, health and wellness solutions, fashion, and, of course, the iconic Thighmaster. Turning 70 this year, Suzanne Somers is living proof that age is just a number.

traumatic for children to see their mothers cry and I didn’t know how to help her. Doing the “work” and in my case due to a traumatic life event, I found myself face-to-face with a therapist who essentially helped me to save my life.You never know when you’re going to find yourself face-to-face with an angel. Through her and a lot of emotional unraveling I was able to heal. Today even though my father is no longer alive, I have nothing but love and gratitude for him. I focus on all the good parts; what I learned as a result of his disease, what I learned about me, in this “work.” I realized I loved him and admired his good qualities; his quick wit, his charm, his savvy and smarts, all the gifts that alcohol tried to bury. My father got sober for the last 20 years of his life and allowed me to write the book, bravely allowed me to take our family on the Phil Donahue Show and the Oprah

Winfrey Show and discuss our family disease. I know that book helped a lot of people and all the intense emotional work I had to do leading up to finding the answers for myself has brought me to a place in life where it all makes sense. I don’t dwell on negatives, I don’t have anger and I truly found that forgiveness is a gift I gave to myself. My interest as a little girl was cooking. I loved it. I was given a book called Susie’s Cook Book and I thought it was written about me. It taught simple little recipes that a child could concoct and feel that satisfaction of presenting something that not only looked beautiful but that made people make wonderful sounds like “mmmm...” It was a Golden Book and it was golden in many ways. It gave me confidence that there was something I could do well. Looking back, it makes sense that I have written nine or ten cookbooks.

Spring 2016 lifestyle magazine for seniors 31

suzanne somers AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW COA: How did you get into acting? What drew you to pursue it as a career? Suzanne Somers: I never had a plan for my life. I used to dream of being on a stage as a child, but it was escape into a fantasy of a life that I saw in magazines that others were living. My biggest fantasy was that Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher would have car trouble and would come to our house for help and would meet me and ask me to come live with them. I never connected the dots that I had talent and that was why I always got the leads in all the school plays and musicals. In high school, I played Adelaide in Guys and Dolls and Walter Winchell (a famous columnist at that time) heard about this performance and attended closing night. When the show was over, he came up on stage and singled me out and said; “You’re going someplace sister”! I received a scholarship to college as a result of that performance but only two months into college I found myself pregnant (the first time I had ever had sex if you could even call it that), and I was forced to leave school and get married and have our baby. I couldn’t stay with him because I was too young (17 years old) and didn’t even know what love was other than what I felt for my baby. I was the first person among my peers in my hometown to get a divorce

(quite the scandal), and I needed to make money. I did not receive child support, and I had too much pride to ask for any assistance from the state so I eked out a living by making chocolate desserts for the local restaurants and sewing little girls dresses. Then I heard you could sign up to be an extra in movies and so I did that. The extra work led to getting a speaking line here and there, which allowed me to get a legitimate agent and one thing led to another until I was cast as the mysterious blonde in the Thunderbird in the movie American Graffiti and that was pretty much what launched me into this unbelievable life. COA: You played “the most perfect dazzling creature” in American Graffiti. It was a small, but memorable role. Did you have any idea how iconic it would become? Do you still keep in touch with the other cast members? (We interviewed Cindy Williams last year and she mentioned how stunningly beautiful you were!) Suzanne Somers: Honestly, for me American Graffiti was just another job (ironically it was one night’s work) and I had no idea that this one line and this one shot of me in the car was going to hand me a career that I never would’ve dreamed possible. Johnny Carson discovered me sitting in the commissary at NBC Burbank. I had written a small

I do feel and will always feel that being fired for asking to be paid what the men were being paid was unfair and that I deserved the respect of a negotiation rather than immediate termination. 32 Coming of Age Spring 2016

book of poetry called Touch Me (1973) and I was waiting to see if I got a gueststarring part in a sit com. I nervously gave the book to Johnny on a Wednesday and on Friday of that week I made my first national TV appearance on the Tonight Show. It wasn’t until then that I realized the impact of American Graffiti. I thought the Carson people loved my poetry, but really it was because my credit was on the back flap (my only credit) as the mysterious blonde and that’s how I was introduced: Johnny said we’ve all been wondering who she is, well we found her. I walked out from behind that famous curtain and the audience reacted wildly and it was one of the most shocking moments of my life. COA: Your iconic role on Three’s Company really catapulted you into the public eye. Tell me a little about your experience working with John Ritter and your other cast mates. Suzanne Somers: I studied John Ritter when I first was awarded the part of Chrissy Snow on Three’s Company. Other than school productions, I had never studied acting. I knew from the first instant I set eyes on him that I was watching a genius comedian. John Ritter and Dick Van Dyke are the two greatest physical comics of our time. He choreographed those flips over the couches, as any great dancer would do. I’m a fast learner. I know the “good stuff ” when I see it and clearly John Ritter had what they describe as “it” so I watched him and learned from him. The chemistry between Jack and Chrissy was one of those magical things that rarely happens and I find it tragic that he left the planet so early, so unfinished, I believe we only touched the surface of what John Ritter was capable of bringing to us.

Coming of age

Suzanne Somers as the loveable, ditzy blonde, Chrissy Snow, from the hit television show Three’s Company.

COA: Your exit from Three’s Company was controversial. How do you feel about it now with the benefit of time? Suzanne Somers: I was fired from Three’s Company for asking to be paid commensurate with the men at that time. I was on the number one show with the highest demographics of any woman on television between the desired advertising demos of women 18 to 49, yet all the men including John were making a minimum of 10 times more than I, and in some cases 15 and 20 times more. I felt going into the negotiation that I was in a power spot, but they decided instead to use me as an example; that if they could fire the number one woman on television that all the other women would be terrified to feel that they,

too, could get paid the same as the men. Interestingly, as dramatic as it was losing this incredible weekly opportunity, the controversy propelled me up and beyond the show itself and in many ways all these years later it still gives me notoriety. The person I have become and the career I have had with all its facets might never have happened had I just stayed on the show and then went on to another and another. I was literally blackballed from all of TV, incapable of being hired, but out of all negatives you have to find the positives. Las Vegas welcomed me with open arms. The audiences wanted to see more of “that girl from Three’s Company” and in 1987 I was named “Female Entertainer of the Year” along with Frank Sinatra as

male entertainer. Imagine how that felt. I do feel and will always feel that being fired for asking to be paid what the men were being paid was unfair and that I deserved the respect of a negotiation rather than immediate termination. It was as though they wanted to punish me, as well as fire me and they did it in a way that was humiliating. I was forced to finish out my contract or they threatened a lawsuit. So they would write me in at the end of the show for a one-minute appearance. I was given no contact with anybody else in the cast, I would be met by a security guard at the back gate of the studio and he would walk me in like a criminal. They concocted a little “side set” with a wing chair, a floor lamp, a telephone and bad lighting, and for one minute at the end of every show, Chrissy would do a one-way dialogue as though she was speaking with Jack and Janet saying how much she missed them but that her aunt was still sick and she hoped that the aunt would get better soon (which was never going to happen). I would leave every week crying because it was so humiliating. I finished out that season, no one ever said goodbye, and none of the cast members interacted with me again. Many decades later and one month before John died, we talked and began the healing process, but so much had been missed and wasted. Then there was a reunion I arranged with Joyce DeWitt to appear on my Internet talk show, which was wonderful and very healing. That’s life.

Spring 2016 lifestyle magazine for seniors 33


Suzanne Somers as a 2015 contestant on Dancing With The Stars.

COA: You are an intelligent, wellinformed woman. Did it bother you that you were often cast as a “ditzy blonde” in many of your early roles? Suzanne Somers: As I said before, my impetus for work early in my career was to make enough money to provide the basics for my son. I never did anything I was ashamed of and I’ve always held my head up high. When you are broke, you have got to do what you’ve got to do order to survive. If that means dressing up as a squirrel and passing out nuts for the American Walnut Association on Market Street in San Francisco, then that is what I had to do. I believe I did quite well. Many years later my son Bruce said to me, “I never knew we were poor, mom.” Kids only understand love. COA: How do you feel the television sitcom has evolved (or de-evolved) since your Three’s Company or even your Step by Step days? Do have any current sitcom favorites? Suzanne Somers: I come from an era of Norman Lear, James Burroughs, and Garry Marshall, writers of such genius and impeccable timing that I am biased. The talent always finds its way to the top and there are different vehicles for comedy today then there were in the ‘70s and ‘80s. I was on television at the perfect time; there were only three channels— ABC, NBC, and CBS—so if you were on the number one show, pretty much everybody was watching you. Today is so diffused with the Internet and Netflix and Hulu and Showtime and DirecTV that the choices are so vast, no one person can ever get the kind of focus that I was able to get. But there are many comics I love watching: Steve Carrell, Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Sandler, Kathy Griffin (just off the top of my head) and are all genius. I thought the cast of Friends was spectacular as was Two and a Half Men. Right now I don’t have a favorite but it’s really because I spend more time watching movies, documentaries, and way too much news. 34 Coming of Age Spring 2016

COA: Tell me a little about your experience on Dancing with the Stars. I understand you had a bit of a wardrobe malfunction on your last night?

how I thought I was going to be able to do Dancing With The Stars by day and a 90-minute show in Vegas every night, so the universe took care of me. Again you have to look at all negatives as positives.

Suzanne Somers: That wardrobe mishap was pretty frustrating; of all the dances I did during the entire series that was the one that wrapped around me the best. Its theme was from the movie Lady and the Tramp and the song was called “He’s a Tramp” and its rhythm is the way I move and the way I sway and sing (in fact I added that song to my Las Vegas Nightclub Act). Right before the show, the producers decided that my dress should be a little shorter so it was brought up one inch hurriedly and the hem was not finished in a way that clamped down tight. I did a flip and a turn with my leg raised and my heel got caught in that hem and I could not extricate it. It was so frustrating because I lost seconds trying to gather myself. We did finish the number but I knew it was going to seriously affect my scores (and it did) and that was my swan song.

COA: You are a prolific author with at least 25 books under your belt. Many of your books deal with health and wellness. What led to your passion for healthy living?

But anyway I’m glad I did it. My body got into great shape and got me prepared for my opening in Las Vegas, which was only a week away. In looking back I wonder

Suzanne Somers: Let’s go back to that theme of finding the positives in negatives; my diagnosis of breast cancer 15 years ago was a disguised gift. It forced me to look hard at the role I had in playing host to this terrible disease; what was in my diet and lifestyle habits that allowed my body to degrade to the point where a “new self,” which is essentially what cancer is trying to do, was beginning to grow? I am proud I was able to think clearly enough to say “no” to standard of care treatment. The idea of pumping my body full of chemical poisons felt absurd. When I turned it down I was told that I was most likely going to die and I said, “I honestly believe I will die if I do what you tell me.” So I changed my life; I decided I would eat as though my life depended upon it (which I believe it does), I

Coming of age decided to eliminate all chemicals as best I could from my food, from my personal products, from my household cleaning products, and that I would begin to value sleep as the repair mode it was designed to be. I was young and I thought that staying up till 3 o’clock in the morning writing my books gave me an edge; what it did was degrade my body and gave it no time to do the necessary repair work that happens in a seven to eight hour sleep cycle. One book organically led to the next; for most women when they reach their fourth decade they start experiencing unexplained weight gain. I had figured out at that point that eliminating sugar and most grain, leaving only a diet of protein, fats, and vegetables was not only a healthy protocol but that the weight would literally fall off (and it did). I sold over 10 million of my nine SOMERSIZE books and had a devoted and loyal following of people who bought my food products and appliances. We had SOMERSIZE conventions and cruises and it was really a wonderful experience. The next venture was tackling hormonal imbalance which nobody (particularly doctors) knew about and I found myself on a search going from doctor to doctor being offered everything but what I needed; antidepressants, sleeping pills, cholesterol-lowering pills, and antianxiety medications. I refused all of them and I do recall saying to one doctor, “Are you joking? Is this the best you have to offer women?” When he had no suitable answer, I decided I had to find an answer for myself. I heard about an endocrinologist in Santa Barbara, California, Dr. Diana Schwarzbein, who was working with something called bioidentical hormones. The day I met with her my life changed. I’ve written several books on the joys of replacing lost hormones not only for quality of life but also for optimal health. I feel so strongly about the positive effects of natural hormone replacement we’ve started a website, a free service to women of vetted qualified doctors who

understand the new approach to aging. It’s called Foreverhealth.com. My next series of books started dealing with the epidemic of poor health due to toxicity. We are under the greatest environmental assault in the history of humanity; our food has been degraded with pesticides and herbicides, our soil is damaged from all the chemicals, add to that polluted air and we are living in dire conditions at this time. My latest book TOX-SICK brings to the reader the top environmental doctors in this country who understand that the conditions that we are experiencing today—autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, skin problems, bloating, constipation, gas, and yes, cancer—are all related to the unbelievable assault of toxicity on human beings. The good news is if you start today and you want to be well you can turn your health around, but it takes a lot of work to “green your life.” I’ve done it; I eat organic food, I only eat organic and grass-fed meat protein, I grow as much of my food as I can, I use no chemicals in my house for cleaning, and no pesticides outside. I live in the mountains and we have mice and I put peppermint oil around the base of each room so when mice even think of entering my house they hate the smell and they run away as fast as they can. It’s humane and nothing about peppermint oil is harmful.

COA: How did this topic become important to you and what are some of the simplest ways the average person can avoid chemical exposure? Suzanne Somers: The answer to eliminating toxins in your body is to detoxify. Each of the environmental doctors in my book TOX-SICK explains their approach to detoxification; it’s a lot of work and it’s a pain in the butt, but in order to thrive and survive today we must take the initiative to heal. By the way, it’s a lot more work to be sick. We have to do what we have to do in our lifetimes to make it; we’re not going to be able to undo the damage already done to the planet. I am mostly concerned about the degradation of our food; the body requires fuel to operate at optimum. Food is fuel. And yet I see people take better care of their cars than they do to their bodies. If you owned a

We are in control, we can “turn the ship around” but it takes commitment and diligence. I am in super health today. I have none of the conditions my friends are battling; I sleep eight hours nightly without drugs, I take no pharmaceutical or over-the-counter drugs. Instead I eat clean, good organic food, organic butter, cream, sour cream, olive oil, and coconut oil. I don’t clean my home with any toxic cleaners and my skin care of course is a given using SUZANNE Organics. Spring 2016 lifestyle magazine for seniors 35

suzanne somers AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Remember what it was like when you were younger when you went to bed and you knew you were going to sleep eight hours? Remember when gaining weight wasn’t the issue it is today? Remember when your moods were stable and your skin did not have rashes and your hair was silky and lustrous, and your libido was operating at maximum? If you want all that back, then bioidentical hormones are your answer. They will restore quality of life (maybe for the first time in your life) and they will keep you healthy. Women who are reproductive usually do not get cancer (unless it’s environmental) because nature has provided hormones in a balanced way that protects us from getting cancer. In today’s world they’ve extended life to 90, 100, even 110 years but science has not thought about quality of life. So what’s the point Maserati you would never consider to live longer but end up in a nursing putting inferior fuel into that car, yet home? It’s never too late to star t our body is a much more magnificent bioidentical hormone replacement. It machine than a Maserati and we fill it will eliminate so many (and maybe all) with inferior fuel; crap such as chemicals of the pharmaceutical drugs that you and processed foods. And then are feel you must depend upon. From the surprised when the doctor says you day I star ted replacing my hormones have cancer. with bioidenticals I’ve never looked back. I’ve never felt better and I don’t COA:You are also an advocate for the use of bio-identical hormones think I’ve ever looked better. It’s a secret and the benefits of their use, I didn’t want to keep, I wanted to be particularly for menopausal able to share it with all women—that women. How do bio-identical we deserve the last half of our lives to hormones differ from other be vibrant, healthy, upbeat, and juicy. It’s hormone treatments and what all possible. are some of the benefits? COA: You had some negative S u z a n n e a S o m e r s : a B i o i d e n t i c a l pushback from The American hormones are biologically identical to C a n c e r a S o c i e t y a a n d a o t h e r the human hormone, an exact replica organizations in the mainstream of what we make or once made in our medical community about your belief in, and advocacy of, natural bodies. It’s like filling the tank; through therapies. How do you handle the lab work you put back exactly your criticism? personal deficiencies so that your body can operate at full speed again. Rather Suzanne Somers: You have to than taking a sleeping pill to sleep, get consider the agenda. Cancer is a $200 your hormones balanced; rather than billion a year business and yet progress taking drugs to eliminate water and to has been slow and in most cases a dismal lose weight, you balance your hormones. failure. The cancer business doesn’t want the answer to be simple but hear me on this: I do not fear cancer. I doubt 36 Coming of Age Spring 2016

that I will ever get it again because of the daily diet and lifestyle choices that I make. If for some reason I get hit by some massive chemical assault I now understand that detoxing my body and whatever that takes be it daily coffee enemas or colonics and far-infrared saunas and enzyme therapy, that I could handle it and heal myself. I never tell people what to do; all I try to do is offer another “option,” another way. When you’re diagnosed with cancer it’s as though there’s only one way to do it, standard of care: chemo, radiation and harsh aftercare drugs. What if you didn’t have to do that? What if it was about making the changes I write about and not allowing for a terrain in your body to be so vulnerable that cancer would have a shot at growing again. I also believe my beliefs and my ability to handle this lousy disease is a big par t of my healing. COA: You and your husband have been married for nearly 40 years. What’s your secret to a long and happy marriage? Suzanne Somers: I have great pride about our marriage. We’ve been married almost 40 years but together almost 50 years. I think often about how it has remained a love affair this entire time (and it is). We give each other a lot of attention; the reason you’re initially attracted to someone is that they shower you with attention and then for so many, once married, with the responsibilities of children and work, etc., you forget about that. We didn’t. It wasn’t that we were so smar t, it’s just that it felt good. I tell him he’s beautiful almost every day. I feed him unbelievable food every night at dinner, food that elicits great compliments but also I know will keep him strong, healthy, and vibrant. He brings me coffee in bed in the morning and gives me so much attention and tells me I’m beautiful. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, it just makes me feel good. Then I star t every day happy.

Coming of age

I turn 70 next year and I am determined to make 70 a cool age. COA: You’ve also spoken in the past about the difficulty (at least in the beginning) of a blended family. Tell me about that struggle and about your relationships with your children and stepchildren now. Suzanne Somers: When we fir st blended our family there were no rules; it was a new terrain and it was painful for all of us. There are no children who want new parents; it doesn’t matter how nice you are to them (in fact, the nicer you are, the more they resent you). At first I tried to “parent” and that is absolutely the wrong thing to do! It’s met with resentment and who could blame them? My son felt threatened that I now had a husband and it wasn’t all about him. His children felt loyal to their mother and threatened by our relationship. It took years of everyone trying their best but then, finally, in family therapy where we all ended up, including ex-spouses, we were all able to have the opportunity to unload and express our feelings. It allowed each of us to be “heard” and from then on it just got better and better. I would say today that we are a real family and the greatest things that happened are our grandchildren. They don’t know about “blood,” they only know about love. The grandchildren were the final “glue” that brought us all close together. We have six grandchildren and I love them all with all my heart and I love when we’re all together as a family, which we are often.

Suzanne Somers: I turn 70 next year and I am determined to make 70 a cool age. I never thought I could feel this good, be this healthy, or look this good. Because of bioidentical hormone replacement I have a great libido and the desire. My goal is to help others who have bought into the negativity that surrounds aging to know that we are the lucky ones; you see, we older people have something that no young person can have or buy and that is wisdom and perspective. And those of us who are not all clouded up on pharmaceutical drugs are clear thinking and able to be a vital force. What does this planet need more than anything else at this time? Yes, wisdom. We need to be that person that the younger people can come to for advice in the way it used to be with the “elders of the tribe.” The problem today is that our “elders” are so “pilled up” that the wisdom has gotten locked inside someplace deep in their brain that they will never be able to access. This is the tragedy and this is why I talk about using natural remedies for healing and for aging because in the end, you will be the lucky beneficiary in every way. At 70 years old, I am not a drain on society. I am a productive member of society and that’s how it should be. I’m planning on celebrating my 80th onstage in Vegas in a wildly successful show. I plan on still having my “juice” in every way, and I believe it’s going to come true.

COA: Our readers are mature adults and you are an excellent example of aging not only gracefully, but healthfully as well. What are your secrets and what advice do you have for those entering their mature years?

Spring 2016 lifestyle magazine for seniors 37

News from Council On Aging


West Florida

COA Development Director Named Rising Star

Seville Rotary Donates to COA

Brandi Gomez, COA’s development director, has been recognized by InWeekly as a 2016 Rising Star. Though she was already a star to us, it was no surprise that the community is recognizing her talent and hard work! We are quite fortunate to have her on our team. Congrats, Brandi!

We were thrilled to have received a $1,000 grant through Seville Rotary Club’s annual “Unsolicited Grant Program” on January 26. Thank you to all the Seville Rotary members for your commitment to making our community a better place for all – and your contribution to help seniors who need it most!

Grants Fund New Foster Grandparent Project Council on Aging of West Florida was so grateful to have received two grants to fund a new project for our Foster Grandparent Program.The grants from International Paper Foundation and the Pensacola Rotary Club totaled $3,000, and were used to purchase materials to support an environment composting project. The project was launched in fifteen elementary schools throughout Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, where 36 Foster Grandparents participated. The Foster Grandparents assisted in educating the children about the importance of composting and its environmental benefits. Among the participants were Foster Grandparent Ms. Essie Maxwell, her teacher Ms. Jennifer Shoupe, and their kindergarten class at Oakcrest Elementary School in Pensacola.

COA Named Chamber’s Nonprofit of the Quarter

Signup for Our E-newsletter

In December, COA was named the Greater Pensacola Chamber’s Nonprofit of the Quarter. This recognition would not be possible without a committed team of employees, board members, donors and volunteers. Thank you to everyone who continues to support us and share our mission with the community!

Enjoy the COA updates in Coming of Age magazine? Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter and stay current on all the news and happenings! Visit coawfla.org and click “e-newsletter” to sign up today!

38 Coming of Age Spring 2016

Longtime COA Volunteer Remembered for Her Service

Local Firefighters Donate Over 500 Adult Diapers Local firefighters generously donated 700 adult diapers to Council on Aging of West Florida in January. “We wanted to go above and beyond,” said Dusty Merritt, Vice President of Pensacola Professional Firefighters Local 707. “We know there’s a need.” Adult diapers and underwear can cost up to $40 a pack, and can be a cost burden for many seniors. This donation will allow Council on Aging to help the clients in our community who need it most. “Every day firefighters serve our community selflessly,” said John Clark, president/CEO of Council on Aging. “They already do so much for others, and we are grateful that they chose us to be the recipient of another selfless act.”

In January, we mourned the unfortunate passing of our dear friend and beloved volunteer Barbara Sands. Barbara had been a COA volunteeraaforaa15ayears, accruing more than 1,000 hours of service. Barbara was actively involved in several capacities including fundraising, aaclerical, disasteraapreparedness, Santa for Seniors, File of Life and many marketing and outreach activities. She brought so much joy to our team and her presence in the office will be deeply missed.

Barbara Sands, 1931 - 2016

Tune in to Coming of Age TV

COA Board Member Earns NAI Halford’s Top Producer Award NAI Halford, a commercial real estate firm, announced in February that COA board member DeeDee Davis was named 2015’s Top Producer. Davis’ combined deals resulted in a transactional value in excess of $18 million. She specializes in leasing and sales of office buildings, historic commercial buildings and retail properties. Congrats DeeDee! We are so fortunate to have your continuous support of our mission!

Similar in concept to Coming of Age magazine, Coming of Age TV also covers a wide variety of senior-related topics. Each 30-minute program consists of interviews with three local experts. New programs are recorded monthly and air on WUWF-TV, Cox Cable Channel 4 (Escambia County) Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7 pm and Tuesday and Thursday at 9am. For individuals in Santa Rosa County and beyond, each segment from the program is uploaded to youtube.com/coawfla. Coming of Age TV is proudly sponsored by Baptist Medical Group and their more than 100 caring physicians serving the Gulf Coast. Meet a caring doctor in your neighborhood at www.BaptistMedicalGroup.org.

Spring 2016 lifestyle magazine for seniors 39

Out & About


Baptist Health Care Wellness Events

Caregiver Support Groups


Colorectal Cancer: Prevention, Screening and Treatment MARCH Thurs., Mar. 24, 11:30 am lunch; noon to 1 pm seminar Presented by Shohrat Sho Annaberdyev, M.D., Colorectal Surgery, Baptist Medical Group - Surgery Baptist Medical Park Nine Mile, 9400 University Parkway, Azalea Room


Getting the Most Out of Your Diet Wed., Apr. 13, 11:30 am lunch; noon to 1 pm seminar Presented by Kevin Schopmeyer, M.D., Family Medicine, Florida Blue Health Care Services Baptist Towers, Medical Meeting Rooms, 1717 North E St., Avery Street Entrance


Common Gastrointestinal Problems Fri., Apr 15, 11:30 am lunch; noon to 1 pm seminar APRIL Presented by Ming Zhang, M.D., General Trauma and Surgery, Baptist Medical Group - Surgery Andrews Institute Athletic Performance & Research Pavilion, 1040 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Conference Room B


Shoulder Pain: Causes and What to Expect When You See Your Doctor APRIL Thurs., Apr. 28, 11:30 am lunch; noon to 1 pm seminar Presented by Michael Milligan, M.D., Primary Care Sports Medicine, Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Baptist Medical Park Nine Mile, 9400 University Parkway, Azalea Room Seminars quickly fill up making it necessary to require reservations. Please call (850) 469-7897 and let us reserve your seat today!

40 Coming of Age Spring 2016

As part of COA’s mission to serve seniors and their families, we offer caregiver support groups in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. These groups are available to all caregivers regardless of the condition or illness of the person being cared for, including grandparents caring for/ raising grandchildren or relatives caring for a disabled adult. Attendance is free and new members are always welcome. • M  ilton Caregiver Support Group First Thursday of each month at 5:30 pm Santa Rosa Health and Rehabilitation, 5686 Broad Street. Light supper provided •

Century Caregiver Support Group Third Thursday of each month at 6:00 pm. Century Care Center, 6020 Industrial Blvd. Refreshments and door prizes provided

Pensacola Caregiver Support Group Last Thursday of each month at 6:00 pm. Council on Aging of West Florida, 875 Royce Street, Pensacola Refreshments and door prizes provided

Pensacola Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and other Relatives. Second Thursday of each month at 6:00 pm. Council on Aging of West Florida, 875 Royce Street, Pensacola Refreshments provided. FREE Child Care provided. Reservations requested to (850) 432-1475

Navarre Grandparents Raising Grandchildren First Thursday of each month at 8 am Holley Navarre Intermediate School, 1936 Navarre School Road Light refreshments provided Reservations requested to Tammie White at (850) 936-0620 or whitem@santarosa.k12.fl.us

Out & About

Day on the Go Day on the Go, a program of COA’s adult day health care center, The Retreat, is an exciting off-site experience for higher functioning participants who can follow directions, have good endurance and are capable of attending area attractions and events with limited supervision. Schedules are planned to allow for a full day of activity for participant as well as extended respite for caregivers. Day on the Go includes breakfast, exercise time, an outing and lunch. Dates and locations to be visited are planned quarterly. For more information, call (850) 266-2503.

Biloxi Casino Trips

Volunteer Orientations Council on Aging conference room 875 Royce Street Pensacola, FL 32503 Thursday, 5:30 pm March 17 May 19

One Day Trips to the Casinos in Biloxi, Mississipi Must be 21 years of age or older


Thursday, 10 am April 21 June 16 For more information, contact Betty McLeroy at (850) 432-1475 or email bmcleroy@coawfla.org.

www.goodtimetours.com 2112542 2113317

Spring 2016 lifestyle magazine for seniors 41

Meet the team licensed adult day care center), 17 senior dining sites, two rural senior centers and much more. John holds numerous positions in local and state organizations including: past president of the Florida Association of Aging Services Providers; vice president of the Escambia/Santa Rosa Partnership for a Healthy Community; board member and secretary of the City of Pensacola Veteran’s Memorial Park Foundation; member of the Escambia County Transportation JOHN B. CLARK Disadvantaged Coordinating President/CEO Board; member of the Escambia John Clark has held the position County United Way Directors’ Association (UWADA); and Paul of president/CEO since 1974. Harris Fellow in the Pensacola Under his leadership, Council Rotary Club. He is a former on Aging has experienced president of the Florida Council significant growth in home and on Aging and, in 1997 and community-based services to the older population of Escambia again in 2013, he received the Outstanding Florida Council on and Santa Rosa counties. Today the agency administers programs Aging member of the year award. such as case management, senior companions, foster grandparents, Meals on Wheels, The Retreat (a

LAURA GARRETT Executive Vice President Laura has been with the agency since 2002. She oversees financial operations and is responsible for managing the agency’s grants. Under her financial leadership, the agency has maintained a solid reputation throughout the community as good stewards of the funds entrusted to them. Laura serves

Laura is active in the community, serving as a United Way loaned executive, Florida Respite Coalition board member and Milton High School Soccer Booster treasurer. She has also volunteered as manager for the Futbol Club of Santa Rosa Boys Revolution Select soccer team from U-12 through U-18. Laura graduated from Leadership Pensacola (LeaP) in 2007. She served two subsequent years on the LEAP planning committee coordinating community service days for incoming LeaP classes.



Rosa is a native of Pensacola and has been with Council on Aging of West Florida since 1984. Prior to her promotion as vice president of human resources, she worked in the agency’s adult day health care and community services programs and also held the title of executive assistant.

Karen has served as Council on Aging of West Florida’s community services director since October of 2014. Karen is directly responsible for the oversight of Meals on Wheels, senior dining sites, transportation and caregiver support programs.

VP, Human Resources

Rosa has earned two professional designations as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) in 1997 and Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) in 2015. She is a member of both the national and local Society for Human Resource Management and has served on the local board of directors. Rosa is a three-time loaned executive for United Way of Escambia County.

42 Coming of Age Spring 2016

as the agency’s primary grant writer receiving several coveted grants on behalf of the agency; including the Pensacola Bay Area IMPACT 100 grant in 2013 and International Paper Foundation Grant 2011-2015.

Community Services Director

Karen has always been actively involved in the communities she has lived in, from her work in the non-profit field to volunteer positions. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa, teaching health education, and completed her service in 2012. Karen has been a member of Pensacola Young Professionals for two years, and serves as the co-chair of the Quality of Life team. She is also a member of Baptist Healthcare’s Women’s Board.

Meet the team


Marketing Communications Director

Rachael has served as Council on Aging of West Florida’s marketing communications director since August 2014. She serves as the agency’s spokesperson, editor-inchief of Coming of Age magazine and executive producer/host of Coming of Age TV.

A Pensacola native and former director of marketing and communications at United Way of Escambia County, Rachael has developed strong relationships with community leaders and local media. Rachael holds numerous positions in local organizations including: member at large for the Community Drug and Alcohol Council’s board of directors, member of Five Flags Rotary Club and member of Pensacola Young Professionals. She served as secretary for the Pensacola chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) in 2013-14, and also won two FPRA judges’ awards for her work at United Way. Rachael is also a recent graduate of Leadership Pensacola (LeaP) class of 2015, where she served as the class project marketing chair, and now serves on LeaP’s curriculum committee, helping coordinate Quality of Life day.

business development goals. Brandi is involved with the local community as a board member for the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Pensacola Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) and member of Pensacola Young Professionals.

BRANDI GOMEZ Development Director Brandi joined the Council on Aging of West Florida team in July 2013. Brandi is responsible for developing and maintaining ongoing professional relationships with major donors, coordinating donor recognition initiatives and events, and participating in the establishment of measurable fundraising and

Under Brandi’s leadership, Council on Aging received a judges’ award, image award and grand all image award for the 2014 Rat Race 5K. She was also the recipient of the Scott R. Harrington APR, CPRC student scholarship in 2012 and was nominated by the Pensacola chapter of FPRA for the Joe Curley rising leader award in 2015, and named InWeekly Rising Star in January 2016.

SANDIE HOLTRY, R.N. The Retreat Director

SUZANNE JACKSON Social Services Director

Sandie joined the Council on Aging of West Florida team in September 1996 as the Foster Grandparent supervisor, and later moved into a nursing position at The Retreat adult day health care center. In 1998 she was promoted to director of the adult day health care center.

Suzanne has served as Council on Aging of West Florida’s social services director since October 2014. Her previous roles with Council on Aging have included intern, case manager, home care director and social services director for a total of 12 ½ years with the agency. Suzanne has more than 30 years’ experience serving the elderly including social work case manager for Providence Hospital in Mobile, Ala., and care manager for American Eldercare. Suzanne is a member of the Florida Association of Service Providers and Florida Council on Aging. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of West Florida, and a master’s degree in social work from Florida State University.

She graduated from Coatesville Hospital School of Nursing in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1975. Her past nursing experience includes head nurse of the skilled nursing facility at West Florida Hospital, and director of nursing at a 172-bed rehabilitation and skilled nursing facility in Norfolk, Virginia. She was employed at Council on Aging in Jacksonville, North Carolina as a home health nurse.

Spring 2016 lifestyle magazine for seniors 43

Meet the team of the National Senior Corps Directors.

ROBIN STEPHENS Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion, RELIEF Director Robin is responsible for the operations of the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion/R.E.L.I.E.F. programs. She holds local positions on the CAPS Head Start Committee, the Escambia County Immunization Coalition and also serves on the board

Robin is a native Floridian and has worked in the nonprofit community for the past several years as the foster grandparent supervisor for Council on Aging of West Florida. She has worked in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in a variety of social service, educational and customer service settings since 1996. She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of West Florida and was a former kindergarten teacher as well as an assistant director of a daycare in Santa Rosa County. These experiences gave her a deeper understanding of how important seniors and community involvement are to improving the quality of life in our region.

BETTY MCLEROY Program Manager, Office of Volunteer Management Betty began her career at Council on Aging of West Florida in the social services department. Soon after, she moved into the role of Foster Grandparent supervisor and was later promoted to director of Council on Aging’s volunteer program, which included the Corporation for National and Community Service’s retired and senior volunteer program (RSVP).

This Spring, Make Some New Friends Adopt -AManatee


Call 1-800-432-5646 (JOIN) savethemanatee.org 44 Coming of Age Spring 2016

Photo © David Schrichte

Thank You.

Many thanks to our donors. We appreciate your generous support. Gifts received from December 8, 2015 through March 1, 2016. Mr. and Mrs. John Ard The J.H. Baroco Foundation Ballinger Publishing Baptist Health Care Bisayan Connection Inc   Pensacola Chapter Mr. and Mrs. John Bolyard Florine Bredesen-Black Franklin Bryan Linda Burke Charity Chapel John B. Clark Cox Communications Dr. Lance Coy Sonya Daniel Patricia Douglas Drs. Joe and Patricia Edmisten Jessica Everett First United Methodist Church of Pace Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos of the   Annunciation

Mr. and Mrs. Jim Green, Jr. William Gureck Mr. and Mrs. Robin Herr Homewood Suites Ideaworks Dr. Donna Jacobi Mr. and Mrs. Carl Johnson Mr. and Mrs. George Jones June Kassahn Landrum Family Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Ed Law CAPT Flack and Mrs.   Kathleen Logan Deborah Mays Rhonda Mazeika Mr. and Mrs. Terry Meyer Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mills Chaplain and Mrs. Larry Mosley Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Murphy Jeff Nall Navy Federal Credit Union Mr. and Mrs. Jim Neal Laurie Neeb

CAPT and Mrs. Lauren Nelson The Honorable Linda Nobles Northminster Presbyterian   Church Mr. and Mrs. Jimmie O’Neal Carol Otts Mr. and Mrs. Jack Pearlman Tammie Penegar Mr. and Mrs. Jim Pennington Mr. and Mrs. Travis Peterson Dr. and Mrs. Nat Rickoff Rotary Club of Pensacola Seville Dr. and Mrs. E.J. Sacks Rosa Sakalarios Sinclair Broadcast Group Eric Stevenson Barthalia Thurman Glenda Triemer Frankie Van Horn Harris Dr. and Mrs. Norman Vickers Capri Welch

Gertrude Wilson Mr. and Mrs. Ken Woolf In memory of Frances E.   Franklin By Herman L. Franklin In memory of Rose Marie   Baloga By Maria L. Townshend In memory of Katharine Lenore Houser Ballow  Hurlburt By John B. Clark In honor of Dr. Ron Evans By John B. Clark

Council on Aging of West Florida is a local independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that has served seniors and their families since 1972. Council on Aging of West Florida helps seniors in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties live healthy, safe and independent lives in their own familiar surroundings by providing community-based, in-home programs and services such as Meals on Wheels and Alzheimer’s respite care. For more information, call 432-1475 or visit www.coawfla.org. A COPY OF THE OFFICAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING 1-800-435-7532 TOLL FREE WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. THE REGISTRATION NUMBER ASSIGNED TO COUNCIL ON AGING OF WEST FLORIDA, INC BY THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL AND COSUMER SERVICES IS CH817. COUNCIL ON AGING OF WEST FLORIDA DOES NOT USE A PROFESSIONAL SOLICITOR OR PROFESSIONAL FUND RAISNG CONSULTANT FOR THE PURPOSES OF SOLICITING FUNDS. 100% OF DONATIONS GO TO COUNCIL ON AGING OF WEST FLORIDA, INC.




Spring 2016 lifestyle magazine for seniors 45

Have FUN! LEARN something new!

continuing EDUCATION Recreation and Leisure Courses for Adults and Children

Art • EntErtAinmEnt • LifEstyLE


Pensacola State College offers Recreation and Leisure courses in a variety of locations. 850-484-1797 pensacolastate.edu/ce Registration open for new classes


Pensacola State College does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, gender/sex, age, religion, marital status, pregnancy, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or genetic information in its educational programs, activities or employment. For inquiries regarding Title IX and the college’s nondiscrimination policies, contact the Associate Vice President for Institutional Diversity/Title IX Officer at 850-484-1759, Pensacola State College, 1000 College Blvd., Pensacola, Florida 32504.

Requires no structural change to your home Other stairlift options available Affordable and reliable Folds away to allow easy access to stairway Automated Stairclimb Systems, Sales & Service Locally Owned Certified Acorn Dealers 850-994-5726 • www.acornstairlifts.com automatedstairclimb@gmail.com

46 Coming of Age Spring 2016

48 Coming of Age Spring 2016

Profile for Ballinger Publishing

Coming of Age spring 2016  

Coming of Age spring 2016