Focus on GAF: Hospitality Center by Joyce Vlacic and Anna Derby LW contributors
At the Golden Age Foundation’s annual meeting, Sandra Massa-Lavitt reported that the Hospitality Center has had a successful year, even though it was closed for nine weeks last summer due to parking lot repairs. The center provides residents a valuable opportunity to chat with their friends and neighbors over coffee.
The program that began in 1999 continues to grow. Last year, more than 3,100 people a month were served each month, 37,200 for the year.
They enjoyed the social atmosphere and refreshments that are served in Clubhouse 6 from 9-11 a.m., Monday through Friday, including some special holidays.
Many shareholders bring their own cups, enabling the GAF to greatly reduce the Styrofoam cup orders and streamline its budget. The expectation is that the reduction in Styrofoam cup usage will continue as more and more Hospitality Center visitors bring their own cups.
Sandra, who chairs the center, began her service on the GAF board of directors last year, when she joined the program’s leadership team. The team includes Dee Dickerson and Anat Ben Aziz, who jointly oversee the daily operation at the center.
Staffing requires 30 volunteers who serve as hosts and hostesses each day. In addition to monitoring inventory and ordering supplies, Sandra represents the hospitality program on the GAF board. She attends monthly meetings, reports the status of the program and consults with board members on hospitality concerns.
Sandra lives in Mutual 5, where she has served as president.
Her annual report ended with a statement of gratitude.“Thanks to the volunteers for their efforts and continued support.”
The non-profit GAF was founded in 1973 to provide services to LW residents. The services are provided by tax-deductible donations and bequests from residents and friends.
All programs are staffed by residents.
For more information, to donate or to volunteer call 431-9589.
Letters to the Editor

I found out that the issue of centralized mail delivery is being considered for Leisure World. It would be a hardship if mail was not delivered to our homes and, instead, to scattered outdoor structures with a small slot for every resident.
It would mean that every time there was something that could not fit, or items such as certified mail, registered mail and packages, LWers would receive notification slips and stand in line at the main post office.
Many residents don’t drive and find it very difficult to leave their homes. They would have to depend on friends or caretakers to go to the crowded main post office and spend time waiting in line.
Now we have mail delivered to our homes. Registered mail, certified mail and packages are handed to us at our doors, and we sign for them. We can go on vacation any time we want, long, short, spur of the moment, and not worry about the mail.
It’s in our living rooms waiting for us upon our return. I’m extremely fortunate that I can walk and drive. Many of us, some of my friends included, are not so fortunate. Please don’t let anyone force centralized mail delivery on our community.
Edward Hickman
Mutual 3
The 2014 Navigator, as in past years, includes many little known facts. Specifically, the article “Orange County Icons,” pages 60-61 announces the selection of the Leisure World Globe as one of the iconic landmarks in Orange County as part of its 125th birthday, quasquicentennial, celebration. We owe special thanks to County Supervisor John Moorlach.
As a shareholder who appeared before the Orange County Historical Commission to request landmark status for the globe over a year ago, I spoke for Leisure World and the surrounding communities.
The commission sent a letter to the GRF board of directors asking that they “make every effort to preserve and celebrate this iconic landmark.” The Navigator story ends with, “Many coats of paint later the relief qualities of the map can be seen, but the landmarks are no longer identified.” Many of us remember the original globe. It can be restored and the Main Gate can be updated with the globe as its focal point. Our globe, commissioned by the first GRF board on May 25, 1961 at a cost of $48,000, is similar to the “Unisphere,” the symbol of the 1964-1965 World’s Fair in New York.
The fair dedicated the “Unisphere” to “Man’s achievement on a shrinking globe in an expanding universe.” These words are just as meaningful today. Let’s share in the pride of having our globe named as an iconic landmark in Orange County.
Margie Meigs
Mutual 2
Thanks to the GRF for publishing the name of the parties involved and the general nature of a recent executive session. What was not published was any confidential information that would compromise the foundation, but enough to let us know who is involved in the litigation and its current status.
Gordon Phillips
Mutual 14
I am enjoying the landscaping around the south exit. Thank you.
The Service Maintence Dept. has wonderful, considerate employees. I’m grateful for all that they do for us.
Please do not remove the globe.
I discovered that at night I cannot read the building numbers. Is there any way to get reflective paint or lights to show which building is which?
Liz Myers
Mutual 4
As a reminder to Mutual 1 residents, the white dumpster is for recycle products only. Last week, someone made the mistake of thinking that kitty litter could be recycled.Residents are requested to remind their neighbors to use the correct dumpsters.
Dorothy Geisler
Mutual 1

Les Cohen’s Outsiode the Wall Column

by Les H. Cohen, Mutual 15
Legislative Advocate Emeritus/ OC Ombudsman

Elder abuse, including physical, sexual, and psychological, as well as neglect, abandonment, and financial exploitation affects about 5 million Americans each year. It causes untold illness, injury and suffering for victims and those who care about and for them.
Given the aging population and widespread human, social, and economic impact of elder abuse, a broad range of stakeholders and experts was consulted on how to enhance public and private responses to the problem.
Now the field has an important new resource, a roadmap. Produced by the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services, the roadmap is composed of data mined from national stakeholders at every level.
Among the many priorities identified in it, five stand out as critical to understanding and reducing elder abuse and promoting health, independence, and justice for older adults. They are awareness, brain health, caregiving, economics and resources.
The roadmap is a document intended primarily to be a strategic planning resource to advance collective efforts to prevent and combat elder abuse. It’s just the beginning.