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October 2014
A Quarterly Publication
 stl village news

Community.  Connection.  Caring.

Reflections from our Board Co-chair

Dear Friends,

I'm honored to greet you and give you an update on our first four months of operation. We are now 72 members strong and have over 30 dedicated volunteers. We are meeting one another, joining in on events and activities, and even engaging some service requests.
STL Village Board of Directors Co-chair, Sally Nikolajevich
STL Village Board of Directors
Co-chair, Sally Nikolajevich

My favorite Village story so far is about the couple who recently moved to St. Louis to be near family, and left their car behind. Several of our eager volunteers have already provided transportation for these new residents, to grocery shopping and doctor's appointments. Not only are Frank and Phyllis getting out and about, but they are meeting people and making new friends.

As a life-long St. Louisan, I've known lots of folks and thought my life was pretty full, until a year and a half ago when I got involved with STL Village. Since then, my life has been enriched by meeting so many thoughtful, interesting, smart and caring people who are part of the Village. Clearly the community building and social interaction are every bit as important as the service support of a Village.

At the Board level, we continue to develop STL Village, focusing on creating more community partnerships, increasing our membership, fundraising and advancing our core value of diversity. And most importantly, always looking for ways to add value for our members.

STL Village is forming before our eyes-into a functioning, caring network clearly benefiting our members, while also helping to strengthen and sustain our greater community.

All the Best,
Sally Nikolajevich, Co-chair, Board of Directors

Dates to Remember

USO Canteen Party
November 8, 2014
7:00PM to 11:00PM
Mahler Ballroom
4915 Washington Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108
Live Dance Band, Light Refreshments, 50/50 Raffle
Purchase Tickets Here

Aging 2.0
Tues. October 14, 2014
4:00 PM
Bar Italia
13 Maryland Plaza.
Join us for this cutting edge presentation from innovators in the development of products and services for seniors.

Third Thursday Happy Hour
Thurs. October 16, 2014
5:00 PM
Salt + Smoke
6525 Delmar Blvd.
(in the Delmar Loop)
Join us for a fun evening of food and liquid refreshment. Visit their website at

Some Newsletter Photos by
Cheryl Tadin Photography

STL Village News       October 2014     Page 2
Interview with STL Village Member, Hedy Epstein

St. Louis police arrested STL Village member Hedy Epstein during an August 18th demonstration related to the Michael Brown killing in Ferguson. She was protesting against the militarization of the police who were using tanks and other weapons more suited to wartime than to suburban policing.

Media around the world picked up the story and referred to her as a "90 year-old holocaust survivor." Even though she is 90 and a holocaust survivor, she dislikes the label because it focuses attention on her and not on the issues in Ferguson.

STL Village Member, Hedy Epstein
STL Village Member, Hedy Epstein
Her childhood in Germany during the rise of the Nazis fueled her lifelong passion for protesting against injustice. As Hedy says, "I know firsthand what persecution is." She learned a part of this lesson in the classroom. One of her instructors wore an SS uniform and held a gun or pointed one at her when he asked her to recite. She was kicked out of school on Kristallnacht, the Nazis' first massive act of aggression against the Jews. Her instructor shouted at her, "Get out, you dirty Jew."

At fourteen she took part in the Kindertransport. This massive rescue effort took Jewish children from Germany and other countries to England by train just before World War II broke out. Hedy appears in the Academy Award winning documentary about this event, "Into the Arms of Strangers."

She moved to New York in 1948 and to St. Louis in 1961. With a smile she says, "I chose to come with my husband when he was transferred here." In 1989, she bought a condo in the Waterman/DeBaliviere neighborhood.

As a member of the Village, she participates in the Slow Walking Group, which meets every Tuesday and Thursday in front of her home. She joined the Village because of its central mission to enable people to stay in their homes as they age. She also appreciates the support system the Village provides. For example, a volunteer recently gave her a ride to the dentist because she no longer drives.

In the photo she is wearing what she calls her "protest uniform," the "Stay-Human" t- shirt. She wore this t-shirt when she was arrested, and it sums up her point of view. She also holds the handcuffs that bound her wrists.

She expects to remain an activist because, "There will always be other things," meaning injustices, to keep her going. Given her history of protest, one might expect her to be a firebrand. Instead, she is cheerful, soft-spoken, and, pleasant. As she points out, "There are things I'm for as well as things I'm against. I'm for peace, justice, and equality for everyone, everywhere."

By Larry Skinner, 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?
1. How many Nobel Laureates have done research at St. Louis' Washington University?

2. St. Louisan, Susan Blow is famous for creating the first of these in 1873?

See Answers.

STL Village News       October 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,
Michele Sakamoto

It isn't often that you run across a kind-hearted gal who is also determined, smart, and beautiful. But Michele Sakamoto embodies all of these attributes.

Take kind-heartedness. She just completed a 30.1 mile XTreme Hike along the rugged Ozark Trail in an effort to support her friend's son, Charlie, who has Cystic Fibrosis.
STL Village Volunteer, Michele Sakamoto
STL Village Volunteer, Michele Sakamoto
Determined. Consider her decisions related to her family. Divorced at age 38, Michele decided that the best way for her to ensure her family's financial future was to return to school. She is currently in the throes of completing her MSW degree with a specialization in Gerontology and a concentration in Health and Mental Health. She's on track to earn that degree in August 2015.

Keep in mind that she's doing this at the same time that she's raising her two younger children, holding down a demanding practicum schedule, continuing to work part-time and, yes, being a mom. Her weekends are happily taken up cheering on her kids at sports games. "I just kinda did things backwards. Sometimes I don't know if I'm coming or going." she quips.

Smart and beautiful. Well, just take a look at the picture for beautiful. The smart part is reflected in how she has managed her life. She found her career focus early on by watching and admiring how her grandmother aged gracefully in a community that she served for so many years as a cook and cleaning lady. When the time came, her grandmother's South St. Louis neighborhood checked in on her, making her life at home both workable and enjoyable.

Michele took these lessons to heart and has created her own system of community support. Her 24-year son, Jordan, helps provide transportation, coaches his siblings' teams, and helps with math homework. Her 13-year old daughter, Tiffany, and 15-year old son, Alex, keep her life balanced with life outside serious academics. Her 27-year old son, Michael, phones regularly from Arizona where he is working on his PhD. Her mother lives nearby and has helped with co-parenting the kids for years. Last but not least, Jordan's dog, Mamba, reminds everyone that there's sheer pleasure in just wiggling around.

Michele sees this same sense of community developing at STL Village. "My internship at STL Village this summer was the best job ever," she reports. "I got to meet most of the members and they all impressed me as such a dynamic and active group. I learned so much from everyone!" She is especially grateful that she got to witness a program in its infancy and to watch things morph into something even better. "I feel like I've come full circle," she says. "It started with watching my grandmother's neighborhood take care of her. Now I see once-strangers uniting for a purpose and starting a community with the common goal of loving and sharing. It's awesome."

By Jane Baker, STL Village Member and Volunteer

STL Village News       October 2014     Page 4
Answers to Trivia Questions

1. Eighteen Nobel Laureates have done research at Washington University in St. Louis, including five who received the Nobel Prize for research they conducted there.
2. Susan Blow of St. Louis created the first kindergarten in the United States in 1873.

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. Culbert, 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
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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.