What a great year it’s been for our Coalition!
The groundwork was laid for this year’s theme over a year ago: Social Connectedness. It’s something that’s essential to every person, and our work groups have concentrated on influencing positive connections for persons throughout our region:
Our Business for Life work group realized success in planning out their year for Aging2.0. And under this work group’s direction, the Chapter has been recognized as one of the top Aging2.0 chapters in the world! Along with another great year for Richmond’s Aging2.0 Chapter, 2017 will see the Business for Life work group cultivate relationships with the region’s business community, serving as a resource for how to engage older adults as customers and clients, and encourage hiring of older adults, recognizing the great resources they are. Stay tuned for 2017’s slate of events and opportunities!
Aging for Life: This work group has made amazing progress, and the year’s not over! The Being Mortal screenings promoted discussion and education for hundreds in our region. And, 2016 saw the exciting development of our Aging for Life program -- promotional materials, videos, a focus group, curriculum development, and marketing plans. This program for nearly or newly retired persons is almost ready for its close-up -- so look out for the Aging for Life work group’s report at our March meeting! And, there are even more ideas in store for this work group in 2017.
The Neighborhood Livability work group is poised for action. And, I mean literally. This work group is expanding on its foundation of creating its renowned Neighborhood Canvassing Assessment Tool that was created under the GeroTrifecta umbrella. And, now we’ll address what many see as our number one community identified need – reliable, affordable, safe transportation. 2017 will see this group assessing options and opportunities for contributing to this regional effort in a very tangible way. In addition, the Neighborhood Livability work group will assess pending legislation in the General Assembly that affects older adults and their families, and we’ll develop a platform for our Coalition in advance of the 2018 session.
Our 2016 publication, Come Together, has been overwhelmingly well received. The Zine truly celebrates and communicates our Coalition’s new Mission Statement which we adopted just after its publication: Collaborating to create a resourceful, livable community for all residents of the Greater Richmond Region. Many of you have requested extra copies to share with your organization’s staff, supporters, and clientele – and please continue to do so! Sara Link and Gigi Amateau’s vision for this publication was made real with the great contributions of Catherine MacDonald. Catherine also serves as the Business for Life work group’s Ambassador for the Aging2.0 Chapter. And, she’s doing great work on behalf of Age Wave and No Wrong Door. We appreciate her enthusiasm, can-do spirit, and fine quality of work that she contributes to our Coalition.
This year, we have crafted a new logo which beautifully reflects our Coalition’s brand and purpose. And, we continue to fine tune our AgewellVa.com website in order to provide convenient access to news and information on our work groups’ initiatives.
Our CATCH and Healthy Habits for Adults programs have benefited from Sara Morris’ outstanding program coordination. We’re poised to exceed our original 2017 estimates of persons reached with the Healthy Habits for Adults sessions. And, we’re committed to reviving the intergenerational CATCH Healthy Habits program in 2017. We will do it, with your help. I also want to thank Sara for serving as Active Aging Week Chair – it was fantastic again this year and I think it was because of her TV appearance -- and for her dedication in providing essential support to our Coalition’s operations.
We’re thrilled to have all of you here, and welcome those of you who are new to our Coalition. Our progress is a result of the contributions of talent, creativity, and hard work of our existing colleagues and newcomers. And, I want to point out the increasing contributions of our VCU Gerontology students. So please consider this your invitation -- If you aren’t yet a part of a work group, I encourage you to join one that interests you. All of you are terrific resources. I’m enjoying working with each of you, and most of all, getting to know you.
So, hold on to your hats, everybody – as we continue to implement our Regional Plan for Age Wave Readiness – we will make great strides and make lives better in 2017!
Thank you to Deep Run Park Recreation Center