The Golden Age Foundation (GAF), Leisure World’s philanthropic arm, honored its volunteers at a luncheon on June 27, sponsored by Superwire Telecommunications.
The GAF sponsors several annual and continuing services for all residents of Leisure World that are financed by the generous donations from LWers and their families and memberships.
The Hospitality Center is one of the most popular services provided by the Golden Age Foundation. During the past year the center served 29,643 guests and was open 258 days. The center serves guests between 9-11 a.m., Monday-Friday. This year the center began providing monthly entertainment.
This past year the center was open Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The holidays were a huge success and enjoyed by over 100 people each day. Many hugs and thanks were given.
It was a real treat for lonely neighbors on the holidays. Treats served were expanded to include healthier foods and in March Starbucks at Ralph’s began donating free ground coffee. The coffee has proven to be quite popular and is saving the program money. “We couldn’t have accomplished any of this without our wonderful volunteers,” says Chair Carl Kennedy.
For more information or to volunteer, call him at (661) 810- 9410 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The center asks guests to bring their own cups for coffee, which saves the GAF money and more importantly saves the environment.
The Mobility Aids program is another year-round program that services many shareholders. The program loaned out 465 pieces of equipment, 66 wheelchairs, 138 transporters and 261 rollators, or deluxe walkers from June 2018-June 2019.
Beginning in June 2018 there were 33 wheelchairs, 19 transporters, 21 rollators and 52 walkers on hand. Repairs remain inexpensive with a few parts here and there, but the stock is aging.
Recently the program received a grant from Run Seal Beach for $1,219, which will be used to purchase 20 rollators so that some of the older rollators can be retired. The Golden Age Foundation sincerely appreciates the grant.
The tax man comes each April and the GAF was kept busy completing 758 federal and state tax returns prepared and e-filed and 11 amended returns completed plus 114 tax questions answered from residents.
More than 1,000 telephone calls were fielded. In addition to the site coordinator, there were 17 tax counselors, seven greeters and seven telephone appointment makers. The program used was no longer compatible with the Windows 7, so five new computers were purchased and a separate Internet connection was installed to improve WiFi service to the center. AARP and the IRS provided another three computers, training and reference materials.
Although the tax program operates for only a couple of months, volunteers begin training in November for the upcoming season. The biggest challenge is recruiting tax counselors. Many of the current counselors have been volunteering for 10 years and are ready to retire. The tax center was open Monday-Wednesday, Feb. 4-April 10.
The GAF sponsors and pays for the shredder truck to come to the parking lot in Clubhouse 2 three times a year. Over 90 barrels of shredding was collected this year from 750-800 residents.
The GAF also pays for recycling projects in LW, including batteries and light bulbs. Residents recycled 1,097 pounds of batteries, including alkaline, lead acid, lithium and Ni-Cad. Over 2,506 light bulbs were collected.
The Golden Age Foundation hosted the Centenarian luncheon on April 19 that was attended by 24 shareholders who were 100 years or older. The event was attended by approximately 215 people, including representatives from the City of Seal Beach and family and friends of the centenarians.
A buffet luncheon was served and certificates were given to all centenarians from the City of Seal Beach.
Lou Lipschultz, Superwire vice president, sponsored the event.
Golden Age Foundation Board of Directors, 2018-2019 Outgoing Golden Age Foundation President Anna Derby received a plant from Ren Villanueva as a thank you for all of her hard work.
Heart2Heart was started with 40 people volunteers reaching out to individuals in the community who needed companionship.
In April Margaret Gillion updated the foundation’s website, www.GoldenAgeFdn.org. The website was physically moved to a new web host and a new format and additional pages were added.
Some of the larger projects such as Hospitality and Mobility Aids have their own page.
The GAF is enrolled in two rebate programs that give a percentage of qualifying purchases back to GAF. They are AmazonSmile and Ralph’s Community Rebate.
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way to support GAF every time the registered person shops, at no cost to them. To participate visit smile.amazon. com and choose Golden Age Foundation as the charitable organization, then log on to smile. amazon.com and begin shopping.
Golden Age has set a goal of 500 people to sign up for the Ralph’s Reward program by the end of the year. To assist shareholders in signing up Lillian Kennedy is at the Hospitality Center on Tuesdays from 9-11 a.m. To participate in the Ralph’s program, go to Ralphs.com to register or call (800) 443-4438. Participants need a Ralph’s Reward Card number to register.
Shop at Ralph’s and be sure the bottom of the receipt references Golden Age Foundation. Golden Age Foundation contributed $200 to the Rollin’ Thunder Golf Cart Club to purchase flags and water for its cart maintenance events.
It also donated to Long Beach Meals on Wheels for scholarships to feed needy LWers and purchased 40 five-gallon plastic buckets for the maintenance yard.
At the conclusion of the luncheon Social Chair Ren Villanueva presented President Anna Derby with a past president’s pin and an orchid. He said, “If she were the captain of a ship in a turbulent ocean, she would guide you out. No problem!”
A mailbox is located in the GAF Hospitality Center, Clubhouse 6, to simplify becoming a member, to renew current memberships and to donate to GAF programs. Memberships are issued annually. Basic membership is $10; bronze membership, $100; silver membership, $250; and gold membership, $500 per year.