Director’s Message August 1, 2020

Hi Everyone! I say Happy August. August has always been Volunteer Appreciation Month at the Center. So, even though we are still mostly apart, I want to thank each of our wonderful volunteers who are the Heart and Soul of the Center. You make it what it is. THANK YOU!!!

It’s mid-July as I’m writing this and thinking about how long it has been since we have all been together. Handshakes and hugs were allowed, people could sit 6 to a table, we could see each other’s faces. Well, times have changed and for everyone’s health and safety, we have changed too. We miss you, and hope you and your families are doing well. We are happy to have started a very gradual reopen process that will take months to complete, but, we have a start. As you know, I’m one for silver linings and finding some positives in even the hardest situations.

For many the last 5 months have been extremely difficult and the challenges continue. I was reading an article in the AARP magazine by Sari Harrar on happiness in hard times. Countless researchers have found pursuing and finding happiness in hard times gives us the resilience to get through it. “We need to focus on happiness more now, not less”. “The happiness that helps in great difficulty is realistic. It recognizes fears and anxieties. It looks for meaning. It nourishes and sustains us”. Happiness is not necessarily “fun and laughs” but “positivity, a mix of realism, hope and compassion”. “When you pay attention to how you shape your life right now, you won’t feel victimized by what’s going on.” The experts suggest some ways to help cultivate happiness. (1) Play some songs of hope and happiness; Beautiful Day, What a Wonderful World, Happy, Here Comes the Sun, Somewhere Out There; (2) Connect – Human connection is the chicken soup of kindness, good relationships keep us happier and healthier; (3) Move and breathe – physical activity can boost happiness by reducing stress; (4) Take a moment to savor a wonderful moment, a sunrise or a cherished memory; and (5) People that keep themselves physically, mentally, and socially active focus more on the positive. So, while this is a tough time these tips can help us. Remember the power of that smile for you and all those that see it.

While we are sad we can’t have our traditional in person auction gala, we are excited that we will be doing a fantastic virtual AL Hovland Memorial $pring for $eniors, $eptember 13th Auction Gala. Silver lining, because of the virus we have learned new skills and a way to have our biggest fundraiser of the year which will be exciting, fun, and profitable and allow more guests to participate from anywhere in the country. Please see separate article. We need everyone’s help and support. Get September 13th at 6 pm on your calendars.

We hope that as the weeks move forward we can slowly add more inside and outside services. We are all tired of the “NO’S and YOU HAVE TO’S, but until there is a proven cure and vaccine, all the protocols and safety rules must continue. We will continue our pick-up and delivery lunch services for the foreseeable future. See the calendar for available services now.

Love and remember to smile,

Carlye

August 2020 Newsletter

2020 Director’s Message

Carlye Teel, Executive Director

Welcome 2020 and welcome to each of you, whether a long time or brand new participant at Ballard NW Senior Center. I hope you will join us for a fantastic year ahead. It should be spectacular. Before looking at some 2020 highlights, let me take a quick look back at a wonderful but challenging 2019.

It was a very good year and we accomplished a lot. We are delighted with our new partnerships with SeaMar, and our expanded program with Gen Pride. Our lunch program with Chef Lori is truly outstanding. We’ve offered so many great programs and services to help us all be all we can be.

Throughout the year, we offered 1,604 opportunities for exercise that keeps us all healthy and moving well. Our health and wellness and educational classes and programs are impressive and varied. We have daily activities to socialize and be with other people which is important to aging well. Studies have shown and we now know that positive socialization, exercise, arts, and laughter contribute to our overall well-being and lessen the blues. We have a real community here at Ballard NW and we truly are the “friendly center.” Don’t walk alone. Be part of your center and all we offer.

Our challenge for 2019 was financial as none of the centers received the support from King County that we had anticipated for the year. The rest of our fundraising was right on target. Thanks to all who made a year end donation. We reached our match goal and beyond. Our financials for 2019 will not be finalized until mid-March, so watch for updates in the coming weeks.

2020 holds great promise and we look forward to all we will do together. We continue to reach more and more individuals to join our services and activities. We continue to offer the best of our current programs, while always trying new things that will expand and enrich our participants’ lives.

We have several new classes and groups like, Walk Learn and Cook with Chef Lori, a new Parkinson’s Chair Yoga group and a Parkinson’s support group, and a new fitness class for LGBTQ seniors will start soon. We are excited that the daily Balance Class, and Laughter Yoga Group is so popular. We have interesting speakers, fun and exciting trips, good opportunities for continued educational growth and, of course, you know how exciting Chef Lori’s delicious and nutritious lunches are each day.

Our fundraisers are planned and we hope you will join us for Rainbow Bingo Feb 7th, and the Rummage Sale Fri-Sat, Feb 21 & 22 and of course our spectacular Al Hovland Memorial $pring for $eniors Auction Gala on Sunday, March 29th. This will be our biggest and best yet. Make your plans to attend.

I will continue to present some positive healthy ideas each month as we want 2020 to be our best year yet and being happy, kind, and positive is very important for each of our well-being. In that spirit do remember that “laughter really can be the best medicine.” Sometimes the long days of winter, colds, and gray days can get a person a little down. The psychological effects of laughter are well known but laughter may also have physiological benefits. It stimulates the body’s organs, increases oxygen to the heart, lungs, muscles, and stimulates the brain to release more endorphins which can ease stress and tension, lower blood pressure, relieve pain, and improve mood. Laughter stimulates memories and improves mental acuity in the elderly. Sounds like a great remedy for all of us. Laugh and enjoy and may 2020 be fantastic for each of us.

Love,

Carlye

There Will Be 160 People Performing The Odyssey

The show itself, which Charles Isherwood at The New York Times described as a “brash, funny and heart-stirring” musical that’s “more homage than adaptation” and more populist than classical, is really just the customer-facing product of months of theatrical teaching and training throughout Seattle. For the last year, teaching artists from the Rep have been working closely with five organizations all over town, including Path With Art, The Boys & Girls Clubs of King County, Jubilee Women’s Center, Centerstone, and Sound Generations/Ballard NW Senior Center. Read more on The Stranger

Making Theater Of, By & For The People Of Seattle

Ken Parms stumbled into Public Works Seattle by accident. His neighbor told him he could get a three-dollar lunch at the senior center. “I said great, let’s go, I’ll drive!” Parms says. The excursion happened to coincide with musical theater workshop day, and Parms was delighted with the chance to participate. He was hooked. Parms auditioned for “The Odyssey” in June and was cast as a cyclops. He couldn’t be more thrilled. “Like a school girl, I’m giddy!” he enthuses, although he concedes that, initially, the costume was so heavy the staff had to build a special structure to support it. Read more at KUOW.