The Providence Village Newsletter: December 2019
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What is The Providence Village? A grassroots, community-based, non-profit network of mutual support for those of us who want to stay in our homes and neighborhoods as we grow older.
We are inspired by neighbors helping neighbors
We are committed to an inclusive, community-based network of mutual support
We call our endeavor The Providence Village
Behind the Main Action
Providence Village & the Village Common

By Diane Strommer

When we go to a play, we don’t tend to concern ourselves (or even know about) the scurrying about for props or scene changes going on behind the action we’re watching.  Nor do we worry about what the prep cooks in the kitchen are chopping up or how the cashier balances her books at the end of the evening when we enjoy dinner at our favorite restaurant.
The leaders of the Providence Village have recently been telling us about this new entity—The Village Common—and that has some of us concerned. What is it?  What will happen to Providence Village?  How is IT going to change?  
Providence Village is not going to change at all, not if we think of the main action, of what is “center stage” in the lives of our members. The main action of the Providence Village, those services and benefits that we have come to depend upon, will not change.
Center Stage (unchanged): The Providence Village

  • A separate and distinct Providence Village for residents of Providence and Pawtucket of “neighbors helping neighbors”           
  • A distinct Providence Village corps of volunteers who offer transportation and household services, and assistance with other matters like navigating the healthcare system
  • Neighborhood Circles, encouraging near neighbors to meet and support one another
  • Monthly small group activities
  • Village-wide social, cultural, and educational events
Behind the scenes—backstage, so to speak—like most organizations, Providence Village has always had other volunteers, such as the members of the Board, concerned about such practical matters as appropriate ways to organize and sustain the Village.
Out of those concerns the Village Common was born.  That is what is new.
Behind the Scenes (an encompassing organization): The Village Common
  • The Providence Village as a model for additional RI Villages
  • A Rhode Island-wide organization to develop and sustain all villages within the Village Common, including our Providence Village
  • The support of an Executive Director, Village Coordinator and Board leadership
  • Access to Providence Village systems, like financial management, fundraising, and the electronic volunteer management system

The Village movement around the world has emerged as one of the most important developments for older populations.  Our Providence Village has led Rhode Island in that movement and promises to demonstrate the way for other states to develop villages and follow our lead with the Village Common.  Within that goal Providence Village members will continue to enjoy the activities, programs, and services that for us as members are center stage.

Join us
The Annual Meeting
of the
Providence Village/
Village Common
When: Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 2 PM

Where: Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island,
             401 Elmgrove Avenue, Providence, RI

Why: To consider and vote on a proposed slate to fill vacant officer, board and nominating committee positions; and to vote on the Corporate By-laws of The Providence Village of Rhode Island, as established in 2015, and amended on May 21, 2017, February 20, 2018, and May 21, 2019 and as further amended on December 8, 2019, and doing business henceforth as The Village Common of Rhode Island; and to vote on any other business the Board chooses to present.

Nominating Committee slate of candidates:
Anne Connor, 2-year term
Treasurer: Peter Viner-Brown, 2-year term
Board of Directors:
Patrick Mattingly, 3-year term
Bonnie Ryvicker, 3-year term
Nominating Committee
Jim Maxwell (as Past President)
Susan McCalmont
Marilyn Slomba

You may review the proposed changes to the current bylaws using this link:

Changes to current bylaws

You may review the proposed new bylaws by using this link:
New bylaws

There will be a review of Village past achievements and plans for the future following the business meeting. Refreshments will be served.

If you plan to attend, please register by e-mailing:
or by calling 401-441-5240.
In addition, if you need a ride to the meeting, please include that request in your response.

Jo Ellen Mistarz Receives Langevin Lifetime Achievement Award

On November 14, 2019, Executive Director of the Providence Village, Jo Ellen Mistarz, was the recipient of the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Family Caregiver Alliance. The event took place at the Pawtucket Country Club, and was attended by representatives of many social service groups in the area, including the RI Office of Healthy Aging, and the RI Alzheimer’s association.

Joining Jo Ellen in the celebration was her daughter Giorgina (Gina) Giampaolo, and her mother, Virginia Mistarz
L to R, Top Row: Venus Buryazadeh, Caregiver of the Year Award Winner; Maryam Attarpour, Project Manager, Family Caregiver Alliance & United Way 2-1-1; Marie DeSimone, Surfers Healing RI; Jackie Ashley, Providence VA Medical Center; Unidentified; John Simpson, Caregiver of the Year Award Winner; Cristina Amedeo, Managing Director of United 2-1-1 and the POINT; Erin Scott, Director of the Izzy Foundation

L to R, Bottom Row: Rose Jones, Director of OHA; Jo Ellen Mistarz; Tara Hayes, RIPIN; Sandra Rivera, RIPIN and Caregiver of the Year Award Winner; Annie Murphy, RI Alz Association
And friends from the Providence Village shared in the celebration.
Volunteer Spotlight:
Steve McAleer
By Rosalind Ladd

He came to replace a ceiling light bulb. He stayed to replace two fluorescent bulbs, as well. And to secure an old door. And to rake some leaves, at his insistence. We talked and a moment of bonding came when we discovered that we each had a family member in the Harvard class of 1937.

Steve and his wife Sheila came to Providence in 2016. They knew they wanted to stay in New England and were attracted to Providence's East Side by the "generosity" (his word) of Brown and RISD, which make available such a wide variety of lectures, music, art, and other interesting events. Steve says he likes that he can walk everywhere and that there is diversity in the population. It was also attractive, he admits, because there is lots of good eating here.

Before retiring to Rhode Island, the McAleers lived in New York City and in Greenwich, Conn. and spent two winters in a beach house. His career was in finance and capital raising. He loves the outdoors, especially hiking and sailing.

Steve volunteers for the Providence Village on the home help team. He practises his self-taught skills on his own 1848 house and admits to learning some new skills recently thanks to lessons on the internet.

Steve has only one complaint about living in Rhode Island: "I wish the winters weren't so long," he says. Don't we all, Steve, don't we all!

Robert M. Dowben, MD
Robert Dowben passed away peacefully on November 11 at age 92 surrounded by his loving family. He was blessed with 69 years of marriage to beloved wife Carla. He is survived by his three children and six grandchildren. Born in Philadelphia, Bob was the son of the late Morris and Zena Dowben.
Bob had a distinguished career as a physician, scientist and academician. As a professor, Bob had faculty appointments at the University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University, and other institutions, including Brown as an emeritus professor. He is the author of more than 150 scientific publications and four books regarding cell and muscle physiology. Bob received many accolades for his contributions to medicine and science including the University of Chicago Alumni Award for Exceptional Service, the National Foundation for Neuromuscular Disease Award, and served as a representative on the Baylor Research Foundation. 
Bob was named on eight patents and was a prolific writer on many topics beyond science and medicine well into his 80’s. Following his retirement from Brown University, he continued to mentor many graduate students, delighting in their successes and following their careers. In addition to Bob’s achievements as a medical research scientist, he had a lifelong appreciation of music and was an accomplished pianist.
A memorial service is being planned for January. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Bob’s memory may be directed to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank (401) 942-6325 or Crossroads (401) 521-2255. 

Excerpted from The Providence Journal, November 13, 2019
Promoting Quality Care for LGBT Older Adults:
  A Resource Model for Cultural Competence

Community Services Workshop - December 04, 2019  
Time: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
The Radisson Hotel
2081 Post Rd., Warwick, R.I. 02886

An initiative to improve the quality of care for LGBT older adults in Rhode Island has been made possible by a grant to SAGE/Rhode Island from the Rhode Island Foundation through the Equity Action Fund.  A series of workshops for health care, social service providers and community members will be offered to convey knowledge and best practice skills for meeting the needs of this growing but often invisible and underserved minority. While aimed toward service providers, community members are welcome to register. Individuals interested in learning about issues impacting the lives of LGBT older adults and strategies for creating welcoming environments will benefit from participating. Anyone currently offering services to older adults or conducting trainings focused on the LGBT community is welcome to participate. 
Pre-registration required through Eventbrite.
The registration fee of $35 includes continuing education credits for social workers, nurses and long term care and assisted living facility administrators as well as a full breakfast. For further information, please email SAGE-RI at
One More Week of the NOVEMBER CHALLENGE:
Village Volunteers and Members, refer a friend to become a Volunteer or Member, and you will become part of our RAFFLE, giving you the chance to win a delicious dinner for 2 at Pasta Beach in Wayland Sq., Raffle will be held at Annual Meeting on December 8th - Save the Date!
School One
Intergenerational Activities

Seniors invited to work with School One Teens on Theatre Projects

Call Diana Champa, 401-331-2497
for further information or sign up
Still Time to Register!
School One is recruiting older adults to join their upcoming class,
Intergenerational Performing Arts: Live Radio Show
December 5 - March 3 
(with a winter break December 20-January 6) 
 Thursdays, 12:30-2:00 p.m.
at School One (Providence)
Come to School One! Together with high school students, we will create a live radio show based on old episodes of The Twilight Zone. Performance in March!
Sign up: complete this form  Click here 

Or email Dianaat School One,  

Location: School One, 220 University Avenue, (east side) Providence RI 02906
Cost: Free
PV Small Group Activities
Photos by Jane Adler
On Tuesday, November 19, 10:30am at Hamilton House, we heard poet and writer, Alfred Corn, read from his collection of poems and he was very well received.
Corn has published eleven books of poems, the most recent titled Unions(2014), and two novels, the second titled Miranda’s Book, which also appeared in 2014.He has received the Guggenheim, the NEA, an Award in Literature from the Academy of Arts and Letters, and one from the Academy of American Poets. He has taught at Yale, Columbia, the University of Cincinnati, and UCLA.

This month, we look forward to our third pre-New Years Eve party. This is always a special time with lots of good food, good conversation and good friends. And for our Sunday Dinner Club, we’re going to Jacky’s Galaxy to celebrate a pre-Christmas dinner together. Join us. Let’s end the year with a bang. Hope to see you there!

Just a reminder: inviting a prospective member to a Providence Village activity such as our fabulous Dinner Club or the Providence Art Club lunch is a great way to introduce them to who we are. We have time to sit around the table, introduce ourselves, get to know each other - and let the discussions begin.

Small Group Activities

December 2019
Join us!
Please register for all events
Wednesday,December 4, 2pm
Coffee Time
Meet us for coffee. Let’s get together at a local café and just talk about our day and get to know each other.  (Details on registration.) Dutch treat. 
Register by noon, Sunday, December 1

Sunday, December 8,  2pm
Providence Village Annual Meeting 
See ad above for more details.

Thursday, December 12,  TBA afternoon
Movie Day!
Come with us to the Avon. We will let you know what’s playing when they announce it. Dutch treat. 
Register by Monday, December 9

 Saturday, December 14,  2pm
Music of Soprano - Justyna Giermola
Justyna has performed throughout the United States and Europe including the Aspen Opera Theater, the International Institute of Vocal Arts and New Jersey State Opera West Essex Guild.(Details, address, at registration.) Free. Transportation not available on weekends. Will try to carpool. 
Register by noon, Tuesday, December 10

Sunday, December 15, 5pm
Fabulous Dinner Club

Let’s celebrate a great pre-Christmas dinner together. We are going back to Jacky’s Galaxie, 1488 Mineral Spring Ave, North Providence. This very beautifully decorated restaurant has a reputation for having fantastic food, good prices and good service. It’s special. Check the menu on the website. Dutch treat.  
Providence Village transportation is not available on Sunday. We will try to carpool)
Register by noon, Wednesday, December 11

Friday, December 20,  12:15pm
Lunch at the Art Club
Lunch at the Providence Art Club on Thomas Street. Very reasonable prices. We welcome new people. Very friendly group. Dutch treat. 
Register by Tuesday, December 10

Friday, December 27, 4 - 5:30pm
Happy New Year!
Celebrate with us at our third annual Pre New Year’s Party, meet and greet. Start the New Year by saying hello to old friends and meeting new ones. Last year’s party was a big success. Lots of good food, wine, soda – something for everyone. JOIN US.Free. Feel free to invite your friends and neighbors to this fun party.Details at Registration.
Must Register by Thursday December 19
Invite a Friend
Friends interested in learning more about the Village are welcome to join Member Activities; please contact Jane Adler in advance.
A Note From Jane:
If you’d like to go to any of these activities, please register promptly to avoid being put on a wait list. Also, some of us have waited until the last minute to register and discover something we wanted to attend has been cancelled because of a lack of response.
Please register as soon as possible so we know how many are coming, and please let us know if you will not be attending after you do register to make room for another person. Thank you.  
All events are subject to rescheduling. Must register for all events.  
Please r
eply to: 
Music, Theatre & Art for December

A New Feature of Arts Listings
happening in our region
by Vivian Malloy

Thank you Vivian!
11/7-12/22       Noon to 6 or 8pm, closed Tues., Studio-Gallery Z
                        259 Atwell Ave. 401-454-5884
11/9-12/21       Noon to 5pm daily, Prov Art Club “Little Picture Show,”  
                        100 Thomas St.  401- 331-1114
11/7-12/29       Trinity Rep “A Christmas Carol”   401-351-4242
11/14-12/8        Burbage Theatre Co.  “Hand to God,” Pawtucket, RI  401-484-0355
12/5-12/15        Little Theatre of Fall River “Starting Here, Starting Now
12/5-12/21        Artic Playhouse  “Gift of the Magi,”  
                         West Warwick, RI  401-573-3443
12/5-12/22        Gamm’s Holiday Show “It’s a Wonderful Life: Radio Play,”
                         Warwick, RI   401-723-4266
Sat. 12/7           7:30 pm & Sun. 12/8  3:00 pm  Chorus East Prov “Winter Concert,”
                         Seekonk High School  
Tues. 12/10       7 pm   Ocean State Pop Orchestra, St. Kevin’s Church, Warwick
12/5-12/13         9am-9pm  Mad Dog Artists & Studios,  Holiday Sale,
                          65 Blackstone Ave., Pawtucket
12/6-12/15         Providence Players  “Lion in Winter”  Benefit Street  401-273-0590
12/7&12/8         10am-4pm Kraft & Kitsch Winter Mart,
                          560 Mineral Spring Ave, near Lorraine Mill Outlet
12/12-12/15       7pm  Sun at 4pm   Prov Gay Men’s Chorus,
                          Beneficient Congregational, Prov
Sat. 12/14          RI Philharmonic and Prov Singers “Handel’s Messiah,”  
                          Vets Memorial  401-248-7000
12/5-1/5             Trinity Rep  “Fade”    401-351-4242
Sun. 12/15         3 pm   Aurea  “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,”  
                          St. John’s Episcopal Church, Barrington

Fri. 12/20           7 pm   Aurea  “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,”  
                           St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Providence

Home Safety Checks Available Soon

Staying in our own homes that we love is a goal most of us share. The Providence Village wants to give you tools to do that. To avoid falls in our own homes, we will be offering a voluntary Home Safety program. Physical therapist Joy Twelves is offering to visit your home for free, to point out potential safety hazards, especially things that might cause a fall, and offer suggestions to correct them. There will also be a checklist that you can use yourself. Joy Twelves has 20 years of experience in this area and would like to help you clear your home of tripping hazards and any other safety concerns. The program is free and will be available to all members soon. Please call the office for more information: 401-228-8683.
Providence Village Services

Learn More About Our Offerings
Call our Service Coordinator - Eliza Sutton
Ways to Volunteer!
The Providence Village needs you!

There are many opportunities to volunteer. Training is provided for each job, and the schedule is under your control. Here are the job descriptions:
Home Help:  Household Chores and Handy Help

Social Events Committee: Support and plan social events for the larger PV community, members, volunteers and friends.

Village Friends:  Provide regular check-in calls, longer friendly phone calls, or in-person visits to members.

Small Group Activities:  Help plan and assist small group social, cultural and educational activities.

Technical Support:  Assist members with computers, phones, TV remotes, i-pads, and other devices. 

Driver: Take members to and from doctors’ appointments, shopping, and errands. The schedule is flexible.

Service Coordinator:  Take phone calls from members to coordinate services for them. This can be done from your home. 

To volunteer, please call us at 401-441-5240.
Amazon Smile Program
The Providence Village now belongs to the Amazon Smile program. This program donates a small percentage of sales to various charitable organizations. Shop at and a percentage will go back to the Providence Village. See link for further information. 
Link for INFO
Meals on Wheels 
For Seniors over 60
Do you have an injury, an illness, or are a caregiver who doesn’t have time to cook nutritious meals? Try Meals on Wheels of RI! Meals on Wheels provides daily nutritious meals, safety checks and socialization for seniors and other homebound adults across Rhode Island. 
 There is no financial eligibility requirement or client cost for this program. A $3.00 donation per meal is suggested. Individuals must be at least 60 years old. 
Call 401-351-6700 for more information.

Meals on Wheels of RI also has Volunteer Opportunities! For more information on volunteering, call (401) 351-6700.
 Merchant Discounts for Village Members & Volunteers 

All Providence Village members are eligible for merchant discounts from restaurants and stores on the East Side of Providence. Please show your member card in order to receive the discount.  Participating merchants are listed below. If you take advantage of the discount, please let the merchant know that we appreciate their support!  Thank you.
With Your Village ID Card
You Get 10% Discounts at the following locations

click on name for website details


268 Thayer St
Kabob & Curry
261 Thayer St
Meeting Street Café
220 Meeting St.
Pasta Beach Restaurant
195 Wayland Ave
727 East Ave
Venda Ravioli Grocery & Restaurant
265 Atwells Ave


D’Ambra Sunoco
438 Hope St
(Discount on auto servicing and tires)
East Side Shell
1100 Hope St
(Discount on auto servicing and tires)
(Can be added to a AAA discount for greater savings)

Evolve Apothecary & Spa
769A Hope St
Henry Bear's Park
736 Hope St
Stock Culinary
756 Hope St

Support our
Participating Businesses!

Age Friendly RI
Check out the website for Age Friendly RI.They have lots of very helpful information about us “older adults” in RI.
click here
Providence Village
Board of Directors 
Jim Maxwell, President
Suzanne Francis, President Elect
Pat Mattingly, Past President
Anne Connor, Secretary
David Francis, ActingTreasurer

Jane Adler, Tony Allen, Lenore Bunting, Deborah Dunning
Joe Fisler, Bonnie Ryvicker, Terry Percelay, Peter Viner-Brown
Phil West, Laura Young

Providence Village
Advisory Council

Deborah Dunning, Barry Fain, Patricia Gifford, Jay Glasson
Beverly Ledbetter, Lynette Lopes, Marcus Mitchell, Herbert Rakatansky
Corinne Calise Russo, Dan Siegel, Barbara Sokoloff, Bill Twaddell, Phil West
Newsletter Staff:  Editor: Wendy Oliver    
Writers:  Jane Adler, Sue Bayley, Rosalind Ladd, Vivian Malloy, Wendy Oliver, Diane Strommer, Eliza Sutton, Phil West 
Photography:  Phil West, Jane Adler
Obituary Assistance:  Anne Connor, Amy Webb, Phil West
Design:  Amy Webb - Mockingbird Design

visit our website: 

phone: 401-441-5240

We welcome your tax-deductible donations
Please make your checks payable to The Providence Village.
The Providence Village is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Our mailing address is: 276 Angell St. Providence RI 02906 

For more information on the Village Movement, visit the Village to Village Network:
Copyright © 2016  The Providence Village   All rights reserved.
The Providence Village Newsletter
Copyright © 2019 Providence Village RI, All rights reserved.

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