Thanks to a new $4,000 matching grant from Friends of Southwest DC (FOS), Waterfront Village hopes to launch a 12-month seminar series focused on health and wellness topics for seniors.

The 35 sessions would take place at a local church and would be open to the public. Presenters would include George Washington University Hospital, Georgetown Home Care, Georgetown University Hospital, Sibley Senior Association, and others.

Topics for the Senior Wellness Series would include understanding the process of aging; living with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia; support for caregivers; nutrition/exercise/obesity; orthopedic issues; managing pain; self-care and awareness; smoking cessation; aging in the LGBTQ community; identity theft protection; understanding hoarding and its causes; medication safety; life care and estate planning; home care-versus-senior village support; oral health; home modification and organization; and more.

Over the course of the year, free screenings would be offered for blood pressure, cholesterol, fall risk, glucose, hearing, memory loss, skin cancer, and vision. Classes in seated yoga, meditation, grief counseling, and more would be provided by the Center for Contemplative and Healing Arts at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church. Safeway Pharmacy would discuss vaccinations and provide them for attendees.

To bring these ambitious plans to fruition, Waterfront Village needs to raise $4,000 to match the $4,000 grant offered by FOS. The matching grant is really a challenge; the Village must match it by raising another $4,000.

Waterfront Village is a neighborhood-based membership organization of paid staff, volunteers, and referred vendors, dedicated to helping seniors “age in place.” FOS, a 501(c) (3) organization funded by tax-deductible donations, supports many nonprofit organizations in Southwest that conduct educational, community development, and charitable programs. Since its 1998 creation, FOS has awarded more than $200,000 to more than 30 local organizations. In 2016 FOS was instrumental in creating Waterfront Village, via a matching grant quickly matched by 11 generous Southwest residents now recognized as Waterfront Village’s Founders Circle.

The hope is that FOS’s new grant will be matched by contributions from a new, permanent group known as the Friends of Waterfront Village. Each year, the Friends will support an initiative to “significantly expand the role or services of the organization.” The 2017 initiative is to launch the senior health and wellness seminar series. Contributors of at least $250 will be acknowledged on the Village website, in the print edition of its 2017 Annual Report, and at the group’s annual meeting. The fund was launched with a donation by Katherine and Hans Crump-Wiesner who have been joined by Susan Axleroad, Chris Beck, Bob Craycraft, Geoff Griffis for City Partners, Harlow Pease, Carroll Quinn, Bob and Joelle Rudney, and the Southwest Business Improvement District. As of press time, a $2,250 funding gap remains to launch the series.

To help support the launch of the Seniors Wellness Outreach Series, visit the Waterfront Village website at www.dcwaterfrontvillage.org/donate or call 202-656-1834. To learn more about supporting FOS, please see www.friendsofswdc.org or email friendsswdc@yahoo.com.

By: Bob Craycraft

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