In This Edition...
This month, enjoy the Village Breeze Holiday Edition! Read about upcoming holiday special events and club gatherings. The Boards are in the spirit of the season with notes of gratitude to the residents. Plus, the Towers looks back on a fantastic 2017.
Have you seen the New Event Calendar?
It just got easier to learn about all the great things happening in the Village, an online calendar of events and classes was recently launched. Find out about Village Club events, meetings and fun-filled trips! Read all about it on page 6.
The Community Center lobby is decked out for the Holidays. Come by and get a cookie in Resident Services!
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Village Residents Carol and Leon St. Hilaire pose with Santa at the Holiday Celebration
A Joint Publication of the Laguna Woods Village Corporations
Your Golden Rain Foundation wishes everyone the happiest of holidays and a bright New Year filled with wonderful blessings.
This year we have seen many amazing changes here in the Village, including the much-improved Garden Centers, the rise of many popular Recreation activities like the “Dive-in Movies” in the summer and the many different holiday celebrations including the Fourth of July Fireworks.
The programs in the Performing Arts Center have kept us all highly entertained throughout the year. The Old Pro’s, the Theatre Guild, and the Video Club among others have contributed hugely to our pleasure and education.
We have been brought into the 21st Century through the many technical advances adopted – digital TV, faster internet, electronic communication with smart phones and tablets. Work in landscaping and construction, for example, is improving in its efficiency because of such devices and our home entertainment capability has expanded enormously.
Just remember, the Village is like a family of neighbors that often become friends. Like a family, we have our differences, but we care about the Village. So, continue to look out for your neighbor and take good care of each other throughout the coming year. Live long and prosper.
The Golden Rain Foundation Board of Directors
President Thomas Sirkel
First Vice President Beth Perak
Second Vice President Ray Gros
Secretary Joan Milliman
Treasurer Diane Phelps
Annette Sabol Soule
'Tis the Season for Fun
The Recreation Division has planned a fun-filled holiday season!
Kick things off Monday, December 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center. Grab your popcorn and slide into a seat to watch the Holiday Monday Night Movie. Love the Coopers follows the Cooper clan as four generations of extended family come together for their annual Christmas Eve celebration. As the evening unfolds, a series of unexpected visitors and unlikely events turn the night upside down, leading them all toward a surprising rediscovery of family bonds. The movie and popcorn start at 7:30 p.m. and are complimentary.
This New Year’s Eve, the Performing Arts Center turns into “Surf City” with Papa Doo Run Run! Ring in the New Year with the music of the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, and all the rock ‘n’ roll hits from the California beach parties of the 60s and 70s. Have a groovy time with your friends Sunday, December 31. There are two show times, 6 p.m. with tickets for $20, and 8:30 p.m., which includes Champagne and appetizers, for $30.
Enjoy Your Holiday Cheer and Leave the Driving to Us
Plan-A-Ride will be extending hours over the holidays, on both EVES! Enjoy the evening with friends and family without having to worry about getting home on Christmas Eve, because Plan-A-Ride will be running until the last request is made. Enjoy that extra glass of Champagne as the ball drops, because on New Year’s Eve services will be running until Monday, January 1, 2018, at 12:30 a.m. The Easy Rider Bus System will not have service on Christmas or New Year’s Day. Thank you for spending the holidays with the Village and ringing in the New Year safely.
Daughters of the British Empire are holding their annual Christmas Dinner Dance Saturday, December 16 at Clubhouse 2 in the Sequoia Room. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. Choose from Jolanda’s delicious turkey, salmon or vegetarian lasagna, salad and dessert, with an open bar plus complimentary wine with dinner. Tickets are $15 for members and $25 for guests. Dance to the fast, slow and boot-scooting rhythms of Jim Gilman’s Band. Enjoy additional entertainment and a surprise visit from a special guest. Door prizes and opportunity basket drawings will occur throughout the evening. Call Rosemary Topham 714-832-1827 for information and reservations.
Guess who’s coming to town? Not Frosty, Santa, or cute little elves. It’s Tony Rogers, and he’s bringing the best of holiday songs to put you into the spirit of the festive season. Sing along with your ORT friends at the December 14 ORT meeting at 10 a.m. in Clubhouse 5. World ORT is the world’s largest Jewish vocational training nonprofit organization, with past and present activities in more than 100 countries spanning 135 years. An ORT and Laguna Woods entertainment favorite, Tony has had a long career in song-and-dance in Orange County, especially with the seniors. When he gets to Clubhouse 5, he’ll bring the best in Hanukkah and seasonal songs. Arrive for coffee and bagels at 10 a.m.; a short meeting at 10:30 a.m. will be followed by the program.
The Alzheimer’s OC Club is hosting a free special event Friday, December 15, at 10 a.m. in Clubhouse 5. Dr. Dung Trinh, an internal medicine physician will share current information. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP to Sunshine Lutey at email@example.com or 949-278-6454.
“Yule Be Sorry” if you miss the Baby Boomers Club “Peace, Love and Soul,” featuring Soulicious December 16 at Clubhouse 5. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the band starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 for all members and one guest. GRF cash bar, lite appetizers will be served, and you are welcome to bring your own snacks. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 949-415-8030.
The Reform Temple Men’s Club is hosting a Hanukkah brunch and party at 10 a.m. in Clubhouse 7, on December 16. Sabra’s Israeli band will entertain. Everyone will receive a free raffle ticket and each winner will be able to select a gift from the donated gifts. Brunch is at 10 a.m. and the party will continue until 1 p.m. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Call Sid Alpert for information 949-933-5431. Men’s Club members $18, guests $21.
A Hanukkah Happening takes place at Temple Judea December 17 at 2:30 p.m. Enjoy the beautiful voice of Neal Linson. Latkes, salads, doughnuts and coffee will be served, followed by an outdoor menorah lighting. Cost: $5 for children under 12 and $25 for adults. Reservations are required. Call 949-830-0470 or email email@example.com for more information.
The American Italia Club is holding a Gala at Clubhouse 1 Tuesday, December 19 starting at 5:30 p.m. Join the fun, food and dance to music of The Trio. Menu consists of appetizers, vegetable soup, salad and your choice of prime rib or shrimp scampi over angel hair pasta. Cost is $22 for members and $25 for non-members. Call Louise Pampuro at 949-855-4279 for reservations.
The College Club celebrates the holidays with lunch and music Wednesday, December 20, in Clubhouse 6. Doors open at 11:15 a.m., lunch is served at 11:30, and the Harbor Singers’ holiday program begins at 12:45 p.m. Reservations are required, and must be received by December 15. Make checks payable to the College Club, $14 for members, $16 for guests. Program only, $5, space permitting. Call Linda Vargas at 303-704-7007, or Nadine World, Program Chair, at 541-953-7446, with questions and to specify vegetarian entree.
The Dance for Fun Club invites all residents and their guests to an evening of dinner and ballroom dancing Saturday, December 30, from 5 to 10 p.m. at Clubhouse 2. Dance to American, Latin and International music, performed by the Linda Herman band. Enjoy Jolanda’s complete dinner of both filet mignon and salmon. After dinner, professional dancers will entertain you with show dances. Residents and club members, $30, guests $35. Call Patrick Chiu, 949-306-4134 or Chi Tang, 708-267-6055 for more information.
The Handbell Legacy Club welcomes Kathie Fink, handbell artist, who will present a concert of well-known, holiday music Wednesday, December 20, in Clubhouse 7. Doors open at 11:45 a.m. and performance begins at 12:15 p.m. A $5 donation will help support Laguna Woods residents in need through the Foundation of Laguna Woods.
Holiday Lights in the Village.
Photo by Mark Rabinowitch
Have You Checked Out the New Events Calendar?
It just got easier to learn about all the great things happening in the Village, an online calendar of events and classes was recently launched. Find out about Village Club events, meetings and fun-filled trips! Check it out here!
To be included on the calendar, clubs can submit their events through this online form. To be eligible, clubs must be registered with the Recreation and Special Events Department.
GRF Wants Your Pictures of Holidays in the Village!
Holiday season is upon us, and there are as many ways to celebrate as there are residents in Laguna Woods Village! GRF wants to know how you spread and receive joy this season. If you take a great picture at a holiday festivity at home, at a Clubhouse, or even out and about—share it with us by uploading it here. The Media and Communication Committee will choose the best submission at its Monday, February 19 meeting, and the winner will receive a $100 Target Gift Card, happy snapping!
Well, we’ve spent another year in a unique retirement community growing young together. During the year the Third Board worked hard at improving the quality of life of residents by improving and maintaining our infrastructure. We installed better lighting, fixed plumbing, increased parking, and routed out dry rot, all while keeping tight control over spending. Furthermore, we put solar panels on the roofs of some of our three-story buildings to generate enough electricity to cover about 80 percent of our needs in the common area.
Next year we aim to do even better, by also improving our landscaping, communicating more effectively with residents and investigating new technology and approaches to solving problems, so hang on.
We want to thank all of our residents for their understanding and cooperation throughout the year. We like to hear from you and appreciate your comments and ideas.
This is a wonderfully diverse and caring community of residents, who understand that we are all in this together. Now is a good time to reach out to friends, relatives and neighbors, particularly those in some sort of need. We will all benefit from it.
Happy Holidays and have a safe, joyful, and fulfilling New Year! Remember to take care of yourself and eat an apple every day.
The Third Board
President Rosemarie diLorenzo
First Vice President Bill Walsh
Second Vice President James Tung
Secretary Burt Baum
Treasurer Steve Parsons
Garden Villa Association News
By Lynn Jarrett, President of the Garden Villa Association
There are Recreation Rooms in 53 of the Garden Villa 3-story buildings. All were originally equipped with a billiard table, four game tables with six chairs each, a heat pump, a water heater, a small kitchenette and restrooms for both ladies and gents. Also, they were decorated with carpeting, flooring and blinds. Residents of each building furnish the rooms with additional furniture and accessories. A monthly surcharge is added to the HOA dues for residents of these building to help maintain these rooms. Each year the employee who is charged with the maintenance of these rooms must follow the budget that was approved by the Third Board. He/She determines what needs to be replaced or repaired by performing an inspection of each room in December and grades each item in those rooms to help prioritize maintenance work. That work begins in January and continues until all the approved work is completed. If additional work is determined to be needed where costs exceed the budget, Third Board determines whether or not supplemental funds should be approved. One of the problems that can occur is when a building captain requests a change in an approved project, i.e., replace or add something that is not in the budget. This puts a strain on the staff member who now has a conflict between doing his/her job and satisfying the residents. This problem occurs because some captains do not know how budgets work. The GVA is going to incorporate a module into the Building Captain Workshops in 2018 to help captains better understand how maintenance budgets work.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, January 11, in Clubhouse 5, Room 1.
Third Projects: December, 2017
Prior to Paint Program
Buildings 5521, 5543, 5542, 5541, 5540 and 5537
Elevator Improvement Project
Program will resume in 2018.
Gutter Cleaning/Roof Debris Cleaning
Buildings 3212-4024 and 961-2378
Flat Roof Debris Removal
Red Curb Reset Program
Gates 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 14 areas to be painted red will be addressed.
Weeding and Pruning
Buildings 2231-2266, 3498-3532, 4012-4015 and 5460-5471
Buildings 2185-2245, 3022-3056, 3274-3275, 3277-3281, 3298-3301, 5055-5108 and 5298-5317
Buildings 3121-3122, 3126-3131, 3134, 3233 and 3242
For the comprehensive Third Capital Project Log, click here
If you would like more information, contact Resident Services at 949-597-4600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
United Directors wish every resident a happy holiday season of families, friendships and memories, and a new year of increased neighborliness and cooperation.
We are happy you chose to reside in United where we live elbow to elbow in mini-neighborhoods that are ideal for building lifetime friendships. This is a good time of year to check to be sure you are an appreciated neighbor.
We share walkways, staircases, hallways, parking and landscaping. Some residents decorate for the season, and everyone should evaluate their presence in the neighborhood.
Exterior: Are personal plantings and exterior accessories in good condition, so they bring a neighbor’s smile rather than a frown? Are personal materials limited so as not to intrude on a neighbor’s space or the common area?
Interior: Is TV volume moderate? Is kitchen fan used for smelly cooking? Is there presence of clutter? Are phone conversations on balconies or outside kept quiet? Are dogs kept quiet? Are potentially annoying guests asked to mind their manners?
A valuable neighbor calls Security (580-1400) when something just doesn’t look right and Compliance (268-CALL) so that nuisances lessen rather than increase in the neighborhood. Let’s keep United quiet, safe and clean.
Here’s to a more cooperative United neighborhood in 2018! Give your neighbor a thumbs-up, and see them smile.
The United Board of Directors
President Juanita Skillman
First Vice President Janey Dorrell
Second Vice President Don Tibbetts
Secretary Maggie Blackwell
Treasurer Gary Morrison
United Projects: December 2017
Buildings 35 and 36
Roof replacement will resume in 2018
Flat Roof Debris Removal
Gutter Cleaning/Roof Debris Cleaning
Weeding and Pruning
Buildings 20-28, 98-125, 382-390 and 728-756
Buildings 29-37, 98-118, 498-528, 663-685 and 774-804
Off schedule work as needed
Annual Storm Drain Cleaning
Community-wide, including inspections of the flood gates, Aliso Creek and Ridge Route Security Gates will be conducted.
For the comprehensive United Capital Project Log, click here.
If you would like more information, contact Resident Services at 949-597-4600 or email@example.com.
2017 Year-end Review
By Ryna Rothberg, Towers President
This is my opportunity to review for our residents the events of 2017.
Sodexo Senior Services began its first full year as our food purveyor. The much anticipated “points system” was introduced in September and with it our residents’ ability to carry over a maximum of half of their unused monthly allotment to the following month. To residents who have been frustrated by the “use it or lose it” policy under the former company, this is a major improvement - and a welcomed change. The longstanding policy prohibiting removal of food from the dining rooms was also rescinded. After three weeks of intensive work, our completely remodeled dining rooms reopened in April, complete with ribbon cutting and fanfare. In October the dining service was expanded to include lunch served in the California Dining Room.
After several weather-caused delays, the laborious process of painting the exterior of our two buildings began. Now The Towers is sporting an updated look, with warm colors replacing the nondescript 10-year-old beige and white.
In June, after extensive investigation and planning, including securing an owner-approved loan, a property-wide revamping of the energy management systems was undertaken. New energy-saving LED lighting with motion detection was installed in the common areas, including all hallways and carports. A ceramic film was applied to all windows and glass areas building-wide, resulting in a 10 percent reduction in air conditioning consumption in the hot months and an anticipated similar saving in heating in the winter. Beginning the end of 2017 the new Honeywell thermostats will be installed in all units.
Our finances are sound, even with an approximate $600,000 shortfall accumulated from previous years. The increase in assessment for 2018 is 5 percent and reserves are funded at 53 percent.
Mutual No. 50 continues to own over 40 units, with an average 82 percent occupancy rate. This December all but two Mutual-owned units will be occupied, a first in four years! By the end of the year there will be a total of 40 sales in 2017, both Mutual and private-party owned.
The Entertainment Committee under the guidance of Activities Coordinator, Kristin Orr, planned a full calendar of events. Fun was had by all who attended the monthly birthday parties, the annual Halloween costume party, summer patio parties featuring a variety of performers, 12 presentations by Larry Maurer (all at no charge to our residents), holiday barbeques featuring Tony Rogers, 12 day-trips and weekly bingo and movie nights, to boot!
Under the heading of special events three activities were held: a volunteer tea with a tribute video for 55 of our volunteers; a veterans’ dinner honoring the 80 residents in attendance; and an annual Seder dinner for 105 resident and guests. Over 5,000 letters were written to USA service men and women by the members of Operation Gratitude group. Still to come this month are the traditional Holiday and Hanukkah parties, nightly lighting of the Hanukkah (the holiday 8-branch menorah), and we will close out the year with the popular New Year’s casino night and Champagne.
In addition to the committees already mentioned, it is important to acknowledge Orientation and Finance. Other residents who contributed their time and talents are: Marian Schultz (ukulele), Mark Licha (billiards), Jack Hammen who cultivates our orchard collection, Saretta Berlin (Village Breeze), Anita Martin (resident interviews for our Tower Tales), floor captains and the Tower librarians. On behalf of the Board, a BIG thanks to everyone. Without participation and dedication, The Towers would be a far different place.
Laguna Woods Village Community Center
24351 El Toro Road
Laguna Woods, CA 92637
This newsletter is put together by all of the housing Mutuals and GRF. If you have comments about this newsletter, please contact Joan Milliman, GRF Secretary, at firstname.lastname@example.org, Burt Baum, Third Secretary at email@example.com, Maggie Blackwell, United Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Katy Howe, General Manager at the Towers at email@example.com.
Village Breeze Editor-in-Chief: GRF Secretary Joan Milliman
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