News & Announcements

February 2023 Directors Letter

Directors letter – February 2023

I am excited to announce that we have hired a new Program Coordinator, Carrie Harris! Below is a short message from Carrie, who will mostly be in the office Monday-Thursday.

“I am excited to be joining Sno-Valley Senior Center and Sound Generations! I have lived in Duvall for almost 26 years, with a brief respite of living on Whidbey Island, which was enjoyable and much needed, but I am happy to be back! I raised two kids here, from Cherry Valley Elementary through Cedarcrest HS, they have been living their lives in many locations, but I am thrilled that last fall brought them both back to the PNW! In addition to working here, I am a yoga instructor and I work a couple of days a month at a wine tasting room in Woodinville. I look forward to meeting you all in the coming months, please stop in an introduce yourself anytime!”

We are grateful to have Carrie joining our team, she brings experience at Holy Innocents Food Pantry and has been
jumping in to the position with both feet. If you have questions, Carrie’s email address is carrieh@soundgenerations.org

As we start the new year, our Far East Senior Hub (FESH) programming is expanding!

The Far East Senior HUB (FESH) is a partnership formed in 2019 between Sno-Valley, Mt. Si and Issaquah Senior Centers as a result from joint funding received from the King County Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy. (VSHSL). As the FESH we are very lucky to collaborate with external organizations, including SeaMar, Indian American Community Services, Gen Pride, Age Pride, Pride Across the Bridge, POCAAN, Empower Youth Network, Encompass, WATAP, Asian Ambassadors and more wonderful groups to bring in diverse programming to seniors in Snoqualmie Valley.

Some of the FESH events coming up in 2023 at the Sno-Valley Senior Center include working with SeaMar to provide Spanish speaking programming for seniors from all over the world!  SeaMar has successfully participated in our first Spanish Speaking movie day watching the movie EnCanto in Spanish and enjoyed a lively Drums Alive class as well as monthly lunches.  As a result of our SeaMar partnership we have started beginning Spanish classes once per week! Are you curious about speaking Spanish and learning something from our elders or have a family member that speaks
Spanish? Come visit with SeaMar seniors the third Monday of every month from 10-1pm, and ask us about our beginning Spanish language class!

We are also currently working with Indian American Community Services to plan Chai and Chat tea and social gatherings in person once per month alternating between the three centers in the HUB.  This February Sno-Valley will be hosting its first Chai and Chat with IACS on Friday, February 24th at 1pm – 3:30pm. Come have fun with Bollywood music, games, tea and snacks! All are welcome.

In March we are also co-hosting our first LGBTQ+ Pride Across the Bridge partnership brunch at the Redmond Pancake House to bring seniors together. March 7th at 10:30 am. Come meet new friends! Monthly Pride brunches to be held the first Tuesday of every month.

Finally, every other Monday at 4pm we host a new Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging group to make space for
important conversation. Converse about current events, go on field trips and learn from folks in the community to build bridges and learn about equity, ageism, inclusion, belonging and more. See calendar for dates.

For more information on FESH programming, please reach out to Valerie at valeries@soundgenerations.org

It’s an exciting time at the Sno-Valley Senior Center! If you have comments, questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at kiraa@soundgenerations.org or 425-333-4152.

Kira Avery, Executive Director

January 2023 Directors Letter

Directors letter – January 2023

Happy New Year! I am excited to be writing my first ever Director’s Letter for the Sno-Valley Senior Center Newsletter! First, I want to say thank you to our Director Emeritus, Lisa Yeager. She has been a strong leader and a great mentor to me. Lisa will be at Sno-Valley though June 2023, shepherding the Affordable Senior Apartment project, and working on grant writing.

A little bit about me; I’ve been at the Sno-Valley Senior Center since March 2015 as the Program Coordinator, and then as the Assistant Director starting in June 2021. I live in Auburn with my husband of over 8 years, Ben, and we’re hoping to add a puppy to the family soon. I enjoy puzzles, board games, and True Crime Podcasts (which help me get through the drive to and from work).

As we reflect on the past year and look forward to 2023, I’m encouraged to be sharing with you some of our
accomplishments from the past year, and goals for 2023.

  • In 2022, we served over 11,000 hot, made-from-scratch lunches for dine-in and pick-up.
  • We delivered 3,614 frozen Meals on Wheels, helping 30 local, homebound seniors and their families receive
    regular deliveries of nutritious food (this is more than we have ever delivered, and almost double what we
    delivered last year).
  • 130 individual volunteers have given over 8,000 hours of their time
  • 1,187 individuals have come through the Sno-Valley Senior Center for services or to participate in programming.

We are currently in the process of hiring a new Program Coordinator, and excited to be bringing on a new team member in 2023. We should have more information to share about the senior housing project in the new year as well, in terms of funding and building timeline.

I hope you’ll join us for the Annual Member Meeting on Wednesday, January 11 at 12:30pm. At this meeting you’ll get to discuss with Board Members, your priorities and questions for the Sno-Valley Senior Center, learn about the goals for 2023 and how we ended 2022. This meeting will be held in-person and you can call 425-333-4152 to sign-up for lunch that day. This is also a chance to learn more and meet our newest Board Members, Carole Teshima and Nancy Gass.

As a reminder, we have made the decision to serve Community Dining Meals for dine-in only starting January 3. Serving meals to-go was a wonderful service we were able to offer during the pandemic, however due to the cost of the containers and time constraints as we start to serve more meals, we decided to take this step. If you have a meal ordered for dine-in and an issue arises which will cause you to be late, please let us know and we will work with you.

Thank you for being a part of this wonderful community! The programs and services we offer would not be possible without all of our wonderful volunteers, donors, and participants!

If you have comments, questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at kiraa@soundgenerations.org or 425-333-4152.

Kira Avery, Executive Director

December 2022 Directors Letter

Directors letter – December 2022

Exciting news! The Sno-Valley Senior Center Board approved Kira Avery to be the next Director of the Senior Center starting January 2023! Congratulations to Kira!

I will continue as Director Emeritus half time (20 hours per week until June 2023 when I will retire.) I will focus on seeing the senior housing to its closing hopefully this spring and will assist Kira with fundraising and grant writing.

We are also very excited to hire Eve Chasengnou as our new chef!  Eve grew up in Carnation and is part of the local Hmong farming community. She volunteered in the kitchen with Jennifer. Jennifer encouraged her to apply for the job when she saw what a great volunteer Eve was.

Chef Eve said “I’m a native of the Pacific Northwest. Grew up in the town of Carnation, and graduated from WSU. Lived and worked in Asia until recently (still can’t speak any Asian languages proficiently). Some of my favorite hobbies include cooking, gardening, flower arranging, reading, and pc gaming. I am looking forward to this opportunity and hope to create a welcoming dining hall for all the warriors of life who walk through (can’t wait to hear all your battle stories by the hearth with a bowl of hot soup!).” Welcome Eve!  We already love your cooking!

Let me also introduce you to our board candidates which you will have the chance to vote on this month. Please return your ballot by the end of December!

Many of you already know Nancy Gass as she comes to the Senior Center to provide pro bono legal counsel each month. She is located downtown Carnation at Tolt Legal Services. Nancy comes with a diverse background. She started in the US Forest Service, then became a CPA, then a software developer writing a professional tax preparation software. She
graduated from UW Law School with a Masters in Tax Law.  Nancy is deeply involved in the community and is a board member with the Carnation Chamber of Commerce.  We are thrilled she is providing her expertise to the senior center.

Carole Teshima is our other board candidate and a senior center volunteer! Carole is recently retired from WWU (Western Washington University) where she managed a complex building remodel. She also managed large events and a scholarship program. She has served on many boards and has curated museum exhibits. Carole is new to the Snoqualmie Valley, formerly a longtime resident of Whatcom County. She is an avid reader, knitter and has an interest in local history and her Japanese American roots. She enjoys the Handwork and Brain Fitness classes at the senior center. We are excited she is providing her experience in event management to the board!

Gift Ideas: Christmas is coming! The senior center can provide the gift of experiences! Please consider buying a membership for a friend – $60 for an individual or $75 for a couple or family.  (For December only, you can get $5 off the memberships price!)  Also, consider buying the gift of health with a gift certificate to a fitness class or reflexology appointment. Or buy a meal card for someone for $50 for 10 meals. You will empower yourself, your family and friends to lead a healthy, enriched life through the programs at the Sno-Valley Senior Center. We also have Re-in-Carnation Gift Certificates available for purchase!

Thanks for being part of this wonderful family of people. If you have any concerns or questions, feel free to contact me or Kira at anytime at Lisay@soundgenerations.org or KiraA@soundgenerations.org or call 425-333-4152.

Lisa Yeager, Director Emeritus

November 2022 Directors Letter

Introducing Our New mission and Vision Statements

On September 27, 2022; the dining hall was filled with people celebrating Sno-Valley Senior Center and all we have to offer our members and residents of the valley.  It was billed as a Festival of Fun. Attendees were given the opportunity to experience the programs, activities and services provided by our staff, outside presenters and volunteers. During the festivities, the Programs and Marketing Committee of the board had hoped to introduce the new mission and vision statements.

However, in the excitement of demos, dancing, and drumming, we only mentioned that there were banners displaying this information. We are taking this opportunity to present them to you now.

The mission of SVSC is to cultivate a welcoming and inclusive gathering place that supports, inspires and uplifts our Snoqualmie Valley community to lead healthy, enriched lives through participation in diverse programs.

A couple who are new members commented that their friends in Snoqualmie refer to our center as the place that has “all the cool things”. When asked what makes our center special, another member responded that the high quality of leadership is reflected in the kindness and encouragement of staff, volunteers and participants. These observations are examples of our mission statement at work.

As we look toward the future, we imagine SVSC described as a learning center, a hub of activity, a place to play, connect and belong. In this ever-changing world, we recognize that diversity means growth. SVSC is a senior center, but we welcome participation by all ages. Our revised vision statement reflects our hopes for the future.

The vision of Sno Valley Senior center is to provide a multigenerational community that supports you as you age.

We have a mission and a vision. Now we need your help to get the message out to our communities. When talking to family, friends, and neighbors about the SVSC, what is the message you convey? We know that many of you are already doing an amazing job spreading the word about our center. To help with specific talking points, the board has developed an “elevator speech” that follows.

The SVSC is dedicated to inspiring valley neighbors to lead engaged, healthy, and meaningful lives at any stage of their journey. We believe that each person has worth, and all are welcome to join in the activities and services here. We encourage you to create your own adventure! You can explore your creativity, get some exercise, see a health professional, lead a class, volunteer, or find and build your community. We’re here to nurture joyful friendships and positive growth through the aging process.

The board and staff look forward to hearing your ideas. In the meantime, continue to participate in activities and promote the growth of our center.

Cecelia McCorkle, Board member & Chair of the Programs & Marketing Committee

P.S. Special thanks to King County Councilmember Sarah Perry for a $5,000 grant for emergency preparedness!

October 2022 Directors Letter

Directors letter – October 2022

Sno-Valley Senior Center is so excited to welcome two new staff people!

Mik Little joins us as the new Hyde Shuttle driver. He lives in Duvall and has experience driving heavy equipment like dump trucks and flatbed trailers but also provided transportation for people at a treatment center.  He is friendly and willing to help. Mik joins Lorri Engbaum as a driver so if you ever need a ride in the valley, definitely call the Hyde Shuttle at 206-727-6262.

At the time of printing this newsletter, we hope to offer the Community Dining chef position soon to a candidate but it is not confirmed yet. Look forward to an update soon.

Chef Jennifer is retiring mid-October, after training our new chef, to enjoy being a grandparent.  But she wanted to remind you all that it is important to reserve your meal in advance but just as important to cancel your meal if you can’t come. Recently we were sold out of chicken salad croissants because we just order what we need. We turned people away that day, but then six people were just no shows. That means that we had leftover food and people who wanted to eat couldn’t because we thought the sandwiches were sold. So please cancel if you can’t come.

On a personal note, I am planning to retire in June of 2023. I promoted Kira Avery to Assistant Director and have been mentoring her in the duties of a director. I will be out of the office but working from home in November. I will care for my sister in Colorado who is terminally ill and prepare our condo in Arizona for rental. I’ll be back in December. Then from January to June, my hours will reduce to 20 hours per week. All this puts more burden on staff so we plan to hire a part time program coordinator to assist Kira soon. This person will help schedule and support all the programs we have here!

I really want to thank you for contributing and supporting the Sno-Valley Affordable Senior Apartments. Together, we will make the world better for seniors who will now be able to stay in the community they love. 185 donors gave $172,500. Along with a grant for $50,000 from the Norcliffe Foundation, we are at $222,500 and so close to our goal!  We have asks in to other private foundations and we will still be open to donations from individuals until construction begins next summer. But YOU, your pledges and gifts made it happen. I am so proud of our community and grateful for you!

We applied for our final funds from King County and the State of Washington in September. Our applications brag on your generosity and support of this project. We are mostly funded so these government grants will get us to the finish line. They have indicated their support so we are hopeful. We will know for sure if we are fully funded by the end of December. We will then continue work on permits and the final closing in April, then we can break ground in summer 2023! There is more information with architect drawings, budget and timeline on our website at https://snovalleysenior.org/about/affordable-senior-housing/

As always, feel free to contact me by e-mail at lisay@soundgenerations.org . I rarely check voicemail but if you leave a message at reception, I’ll get it.  Thank you for being part of the Sno-Valley Senior Center family. Lisa