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Member Spotlight on “Sir” Robert Antonini, WWII Vet & Witty Raconteur

  By Laurie Mason, program coordinator Everyone calls Robert Antonini “Sir Robert,” a moniker he gave himself. “It’s because I’m above and beyond the ordinary,” he jokes, but his self-deprecating manner suggests he doesn’t really believe that. Yet it’s true. At 94, Sir Robert is fit, sharp and always quick with a witty retort. Someone says, “You made up the…

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Laughter Heals: Therapist Carol Metcalf Uses Humor to “Reframe the Ironic” 

  By Laurie Mason, program coordinator Friendship Center knows Carol Metcalf for the time she volunteers running a Veteran’s Support Group. What members might not know is that Carol, in addition to being a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and adjunct professor at Antioch University, is a SAG actor, comedian and documentary filmmaker. Her award-winning documentary “It Only Hurts When…

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‘Love Is in the Air’ for Friendship Center’s Festival of Hearts Virtual Fundraiser

“Head heart wrangler” Sharon Morrow collects, coordinates and catalogues the heart art for Friendship Center’s Festival of Hearts. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo) By Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose Link here for original article. Reposted with permission.   Friendship Center recently wound down its 22nd annual Festival of Hearts virtual event themed “Love Is in the Air” to raise funds for its…

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Queen of Hearts to Attend Sweetheart’s Drive-In

Thursday Feb. 11, 1 – 2 p.m. Family therapist, veteran’s advocate, and comedian by day, Carol Metcalf who moonlights as the Queen of Hearts will grace us with her majesty in full royal regalia 1:30 p.m. at Friendship Center’s Sweetheart’s Drive-In, Thursday 1-2 p.m.  From the safety of their cars, members will enjoy treat bags, social interaction, a Valentine’s Day…

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Valentine’s Gift Baskets Help Fund Virtual Programming 

  by Laurie Mason, program coordinator Valentine’s Day is Sunday, and if you don’t have a plan you’re in luck! Friendship Center will pack you a delicious Valentine’s Gift Basket complete with all the trimmings. Created with an eye toward decadence, Friendship Center’s Valentine’s Baskets include a bottle of wine, gourmet chocolate cupcake baked fresh, and a bouquet of mixed…

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Bid Early, Often and Big! Festival of Hearts Auction Is Live!

This year Friendship Center’s biggest annual fundraiser, Festival of Hearts, has gone virtual, and it’s live now! You have until February 6 to bid on a beautiful original artist’s heart, Valentine’s Day basket—did somebody say wine and cupcakes?—or unique experience. In so doing, you help us continue supporting isolated older adults with financial need. Covid 19 negatively impacts all our…

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Every Place Needs an Esther Kratz

  By Laurie Mason, program coordinator Every organization needs an Esther Kratz, Friendship Center Goleta’s program site manager. Here’s a story that shows why. A few years back, Friendship Center threw an Oktoberfest, bringing together members from both the Goleta and Santa Barbara sites. The event included a feast, dancing and best of all, the nostalgic tunes of a big…

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Q & A with Program Manager Kathryn Cherkas, MIPH

  By Laurie Mason, program coordinator Social, Emotional, Cognitive and Physical: Friendship Center’s program is designed to exercise four facets of healthy human life … every day. Glance at a typical day on Friendship Center’s agenda and you might think, “That’s a pleasant way to spend time.” A closer look reveals a carefully crafted plan that exercises four primary facets…

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Socializing—Even on Zoom—Is What’s Best for the Brain

  By Laurie Mason, program coordinator We all know doing crossword puzzles is a great way to exercise our brains. But neurosurgeon and author Sanjay Gupta, M.D. says crossword puzzles are nowhere near as healthy as talking to a friend. “Crossword puzzles are great, but they’re no substitute for everything else you should be doing for your brain,” Gupta told…

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