Whistlestop SEPTEMBER 2012
The Leading Information Resource for Marin's Active Aging Movement
You Can Help Whistlestop Meet Generous Challenge Grant of $180,000 from MCF B y
s our CEO, Joe O’Hehir, reported in his August column in Whistlestop Express, a rare and wonderful fundraising opportunity is within our grasp. Here’s the situation: The Marin County Foundation (MCF) is offering Whistlestop a $180,000 challenge grant if we can raise $50,000 by September 30. We now need friends of Whistlestop to rally to help us raise the $50,000 to make sure we receive this generous challenge grant opportunity. Since O’Hehir made the announcement last month, donations totaling over $30,000 have come in. So, the goal is very reachable. Whistlestop Express wants to provide stories of some of the many ways your donations are used – all of it to help older adults in Marin County, connecting them to each other and offering social and preventive health services they need to remain active, vibrant members of our community. We are presenting snapshots
From Iran to Teaching Farsi in Marin page 2
J o h n B o wm a n
of seven various services Whistlestop provides here and throughout this issue. ••••• Spanish sounds like singing to Joe Cillo, a volunteer who facilitates Whistlestop’s Spanish Class Tuesdays, from 1 Joe Cillo teaching his Spanish class. to 3 pm. “We like to say, ‘jubilant,’”Cillo says, laughing. make it sing,” Cillo says. “Carve The Spanish class is quite the air with it.” diverse – a doctor, teachers, Spanish class has been an musicians are among the parintegral part of Whistlestop for ticipants and they have lived all about 25 years. It started out over the globe – Mexico, Italy, as a grassroots experiment and Germany, the Phillippines. has had several teachers over There are about 40 people atthe years. Cillo, who has taught tending the class and the averat the college graduate level, age size is between 20 and 25. says he does not consider him Many of the participants are self the teacher of this class, but drawn to the class for some of rather is a facilitator. A teacher, the same reasons that Cillo Carol Costa, comes in to lead decided many years ago to take the class on occasion. a Spanish class at College Cillo, 72, of Kentfield, has of Marin. They realize that been a rocket scientist and California is such a bilingual a company CEO. He does culture and they want to be not consider himself retired. able to speak the state’s second “Retired or retirement in language. Besides, they like the Spanish is ‘jubilado.’ That’s continued on page 5
Myths About Hummingbirds page 11
Multicultural Column Debuts page 12
CONTENTS 3 4 6 8/9 10 11 12 13 15
Whistlestop Wheels From Rocky's Pantry Rocky Packard
PERSPECTIVE by John Bowm an Whistlestop is Important Center For Multicultural Activities
Golf Tourney Sponsors Whistlestop Classes Activities Calendar The Bird's Side of Marin Richard Pavek Multicultural News Vicky Voicehowsky & Sandra Jimenez Whistlestop Board Column Debbie Mills Two Big Fundraisers
Mrs. Esmaili's Persian group gathers at Whistlestop.
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Marin Senior Coordinating Council, Inc. 930 Tamalpais Avenue San Rafael, CA 94901 Chief Executive Officer, Joe O’Hehir Board of Directors President, Dennis Thompson Vice President, Terry Scussel Treasurer, Michael Rice Secretary, Michael Hingson Karen Arnold • Liza Cozad • Eleanor Delaney Venessa Dixon • Jane Lott • Debbie Mills Lori Peterson • Bill Saul • Bob Sonnenberg Whistlestop Express is a publication of the Marin Senior Coordinating Council, Inc. A 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization. The Mission of Whistlestop: Whistlestop believes that we share a responsibility to ensure that all Marin residents have an opportunity to age with dignity, grace and independence. Whistlestop Contact Information Main Number 415-456-9062 Whistlestop Fax 415-456-2858 www.whistlestop.org Information & Referral Office 415-459-6700 • email@example.com Whistlestop Express Editorial, Art Direction & Sales John & Val Bowman Editors 916-751-9189 • firstname.lastname@example.org Missy Reynolds Art Director email@example.com Advertising Linda Black • 415-485-6700, Ext. 306 Whistlestop Express is printed on recycled paper To be added to, or taken off, the email list for Whistlestop Express, please call 415-456-9062. Or send an email, with your request, your name and address to INFO@whistlestop.org. Subscriptions mailed to your home are $10/year.
ehrbanoo Esmaili is a strong advocate and promoter of Whistlestop. “I want everyone to know that this is a second home to many people,” she said. “It is important for people Mrs. Esmaili in the community to support this work with their donations.” Mrs. Esmaili came to San Rafael from Iran after the fall of the Shah. She acquired U.S. citizenship and for the past 15 years has volunteered at Whistlestop to help Persian older adults get acclimated in this community. She has assisted more than 100 people to gain U.S. citizenship. “Whistlestop also has multicultural programs for Russian, Vietnamese
and Hispanic people who come here, as well as Persian,” she said. “Many people spend their day here, 10 to 4, and eat at the Jackson Café. They don’t know anyone when they first come, and this is the place where they meet people like them.” She laughed and said, “Whistlestop is well known in Iran because people come here and then tell their families about it. For me, this is my home. I love everyone who works and volunteers here.” She also teaches children Farsi on Saturdays because, “They are born here, know English, but they want to know the language of their parents, to stay connected with their culture.” F
Whistlestop Wheels More Than a Ride; Drivers Praised for Care
Better Care Starts at Home
had a nice driver on the way to Kaiser. I had a caregiver with me, yet the driver still walked with me all the way up the stairs to the door.” This is typical of the compliments Whistlestop receives on a regular basis about Whistlestop Wheels drivers. In the past year, 85% of all comments received were very positive. Another rider said, “I had a fabulous driver to the Recreation Center yesterday. I have a hard time letting people help me because I want to be independent. I let him carry my bag.” And, “I am very thankful for the service. My driver walked part of the way up the hill and then watched me walk to my door. I have severe sciatica and need the help.” Whistlestop rolled its first buses out in 1969 to provide service to Marin County residents with special transportation needs. Today, Whistlestop Wheels operates in partnership with Marin Access, providing more than 500 trips a day with its fleet of 60 buses. F
Thanks from Girl Scouts Dear Whistlestop:
hank you so much for letting us use your parking lot and rooms in Whistlestop. None of this would have been possible without you! Because of you, we were able to make 10,362 meals for the hungry in Marin. Thanks again, Kathleen Deana
Thanks to Donor
esponse to Paula Ross’s request for labels to sew into chemo caps she has knitted has been heartwarming. Paula, 91, of Fairfax, knits hats for people undergoing chemotherapy. Through Whistlestop Express, she asked for labels to sew into the hats reading, “Love, Paula.” Some generous person had them made and mailed Paula 100 embroidered labels. Whistlestop and Paula extend a heartfelt “Thank you!” for this response. She has already used 25 of the labels. F
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