To enlarge or reduce the font size, hold down the Control or Command key and press the + or - key.
July 2014
A Quarterly Publication
 stl village news

Community.  Connection.  Caring.

Reflections from our new
Executive Director

"If you want to walk fast walk alone, if you want to walk far, walk together!"
African proverb

The position of Executive Director of STL Village is both an exciting and challenging proposition. Having been involved in the development of STL Village for the past year and witnessing its Grand Launch on April 12th and its Opening on June 1st, I have felt exhilarated and blessed.
STL Village Executive Director, Madeline Franklin
STL Village Executive Director,
Madeline Franklin

My role as Executive Director of the first village in Missouri gives me a front-seat view of the exponential growth that is taking place among seniors who are choosing to chart their future in a safe and socially connected manner. Being part of the national "aging in community" movement presents us with a tremendous opportunity for our state and the region.

STL Village, with its current membership of 63, has the opportunity to significantly improve the lives of St. Louisans age 50+ as it continues to grow numerically and programmatically.

I recently had the opportunity to meet with Linnea Tweed, Executive Director of Mill City Commons Village in Minneapolis. She shared her experiences with the Village movement over the past four years. Over the next few months, I will be connecting with senior organizations throughout the region as we work to form collaborations and share resources. I am also looking forward to attending the September "Gathering" of the Village-to-Village Network in Arlington, VA, where I hope to learn more about exciting goings-on in the Village movement and implement these ideas in STL Village.

I encourage you to take full advantage of the benefits that your STL Village membership offers. Join a committee; volunteer your time; attend an activity; but most importantly help us to build community. The sky is the limit.

STL Village Executive Director,
Madeline Franklin

Editor's Note: The STL Village Board of Directors named Madeline Franklin as the organization's Executive Director effective June 1, 20014, She succeeds Arthur J. Culbert, who was Interim Director.

Dates to Remember

The Artwork of
Theresa Disney

July 10, 2014
5:00PM to 7:00PM
Funhouse Gallery
6210 Columbia Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63139
Wine and Cheese
RSVP (314) 802 0275

Movies on the Plaza
August 27, 2014
Starts at Sunset
Maryland Plaza Fountainside
"A Fish Called Wanda"

Village to Village "Gathering"
Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, 2014
Washington, D.C.
"Many Villages, One Vision, One Voice"
October 1st is Village Hill Day on Capitol Hill
Info at

Did You Know?
The first successful parachute jump to be made from a moving airplane was made by Captain Berry at St. Louis, in 1912.

Some Newsletter Photos by
Cheryl Tadin Photography

STL Village News       July 2014     Page 2
Interview with Mary Bruemmer,
STL Village Member

"I was just coming down to meet you!" said the tiny woman wearing the pink knit sweater and the Fleur-de-lis pendant. "I like to greet my guests," she said with a quick smile.

Mary Bruemmer, one of STL Village's oldest members, is indeed a live wire. She is also armed with a steel-trap memory and a gift for sharing stories. Born in the small steel town of Madison, Illinois, she remembers her childhood well. "Madison was really just a village," she recalls. "It was made up of first generation immigrants from Europe.
STL Village Member, Mary Bruemmer
STL Village Member, Mary Bruemmer

It was a hard-working group, one that quickly understood the importance of helping each other. The helpful exchange was born out of necessity. And it worked. The exchange reaped other unseen benefits as well. In Mary's words, it taught her tolerance, support, and inclusion.

Through the years, Mary has taken these lessons to heart. Like her parents, she has worked hard, serving at Saint Louis University in many capacities. Her favorite position was as Dean of Student Affairs. While she's officially retired three times, she still reports in as a fulltime volunteer at St. Louis University's Development office. "I guess I figured that I'd just work for as long as I could contribute. It turns out that's been a few decades," she quips.

Those lessons about tolerance, support, and inclusion have also played an important role in her life. In fact, that's her real reason for joining the STL Village community. "When I was growing up, grandmothers played an important role in the family. If I can offer that kind of support to someone else in STL Village, I'm happy to do it. Plus, while I'm quite independent, I sure would appreciate some help retrieving some boxes that I simply can't reach. I'd like to go through them. I also think it's important to help out when and where you can, especially with neighbors who you may not know."

When the interview was over, the spry 94-year old walked me down the hall and out to the door. She didn't want me to get lost.

By Jane Baker, STL Village Member and Volunteer

Opportunities to Get Involved

Become a Member
Discover the benefits of STL Village membership.
Call 314-802-0275.
Or visit

Find out how volunteers can use their talents and time to make a difference in our neighborhoods.
Call 314-802-0275.
Or visit

Explore how your individual or corporate donation can insure the success of STL village.
Call 314-802-0275.
Or visit

Do You Know?
What was the highest population St. Louis City ever attained, and in what year?
Hover here for Answer.The largest population, 856,796, was reached in 1950.

In 2010 the population was 319,294.

Source: US Census Bureau

STL Village News       July 2014     Page 3
Supporting Community Organizations
The following organizations have offered their support and endorsement of STL Village and its mission.

Sage Metro St. Louis
Aiding in the enhancement of the quality of life among LGBT older adults through service, advocacy, and community awareness.
Grand Oak Hill Community Corp.
4168 Juniata St.
St. Louis, MO 63116

Better Family Life
Community Outreach / Housing and Asset Development / Missouri Work Assistance (MWA) Region 9 / Youth, Family, & Clinical Services.
5415 Page Blvd.
St Louis, MO 63112

Central Reform Congregation
CRC represents the coming together of a diverse and inclusive group of individuals and families who accept the responsibility of maintaining a congregational community of respect and friendship.
5020 Waterman Blvd.
St Louis, MO 63108
Spotlight on Village Volunteer
Diana Gualdoni

Diana Gualdoni is a major leader in the STL Village Activities Committee which is charged with creating and organizing activities that Village members have expressed an interest in joining. View the STL Village Event Calendar

STL Village Volunteer, Diana Gualdoni
STL Village Volunteer, Diana Gualdoni
The title "master of many trades" would suit her well. Over the years, Diana has taken many paths and enjoyed a wide variety of experiences. Born in Salt Lake City, she grew up in Falls Church, VA. Then, equipped with a degree in Sociology from Mary Washington College, she served as a Vista volunteer in Portland, OR, a social worker and volunteer organizer in Los Angeles, a bus driver up and down the hills of San Francisco (yes, using a stick shift), a tour guide/librarian at a marine facility, and the wife of mixed media artist Dan Gualdoni.

Since moving to St. Louis in 1975, Diana's been a classic Italian pastry chef, a co-owner of Bar Italia, a mother of two children, and spent 24 years as a Business Manager at the Washington University School of Medicine.

She retired from there in 2012, but is still deservedly proud of the scope and level of work that her department handled: 18 labs, dozens of grants under study at any given time, and 20-30 graduate students and post docs who were constantly on the move. She especially liked working with the international students whose different cultures and experiences made life both interesting and challenging.

When she retired, she and Dan spent the first year traveling. That continues. In the few months that I've known her, she's gone to visit her daughter (and granddaughter) twice. Perhaps as a result, her 2-year old granddaughter now knows how to bake biscotti. Diana also enjoys gardening and knitting.

Diana's one of those wise people. As many of the things she enjoys are solo activities, she recognizes her tendency to become isolated. To balance her life, she wanted to find an organization that would give her more of a social outlet. Combine this self-awareness with an insatiable willingness to pitch in and full commitment to the Village concept, she's certainly found a home at STL Village. Diana is a tremendous support in all that she has done for STL Village, especially in the areas of Activities and Volunteers. For that, and for her kind spirit, we are grateful.

By Jane Baker, STL Village Member and Volunteer

STL Village News       July 2014     Page 4
Update on STL Village

  • The Village began full operation on June 1, 2014.
  • The Village has 63 Active Members.
  • The Village has 35 Active Volunteers.

Strategic Partners
We wish to acknowledge and thank our Strategic Partners for their generous support.

St. Andrew's Resources for Seniors
6633 Delmar Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63130
A faith-based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving seniors in the St. Louis, Missouri area helping Seniors and Caregivers in St. Louis with Senior Living Options and Communities as well as resources for care.

Kuhlmann Leavitt, Inc.
7400 Pershing Ave.
St Louis, MO 63130
A nationally known and certified woman-owned, multi disciplinary design firm located in St. Louis that creates fresh, intelligent, appropriate design solutions. Their services include identity, orientation and information design for the built environment as well as the highest quality print and new media design.

Sign Up and Get Involved

Anyone 50+ living within the boundaries of our service area may join for a yearly membership fee of $600 (or $50 per month) for an individual and $840 (or $70 per month) for a household. Low income subsidies are available.

If you would like to be on our list to receive an application or have additional questions, please contact our office at 314-802-0275 or by email at

STL Village Leadership
Madeline Franklin, Executive Director    
Board of Directors
Jennifer S. Kovar, Co-Chair
Sally Nikolajevich, Co-Chair
Arhtur J. Culber, Ph.D. Vice Chair
David S. Weber, Secretary and Treasurer
Gail A. Brown
Gloria C. Gordon, Ph.D.
Mary Alice Ryan
Ron H. Smith
Natalie Galucia, Ex Officio

STL Village News
A quarterly publication of STL Village
6633 Delmar Blvd. 2nd Floor, St. Louis, MO 63130
Copyright ©2014 All right reserved.
We invite comments and suggestions:

STL Village does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, veteran status, marital status, familial status, disability/handicap, or sexual orientation.