Last Thursday May 31, 2012, more than 120 members of Experience Corps Marin and their guests came together at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross to celebrate the successes of the 2011-2012 school year. It was the fifth continuous year that the dedicated “boomers” aged 55 and older have volunteered their time and talent as early literacy tutors for students in grades K-3 at five elementary schools in San Rafael.
From 11:30 a.m. until just before noon, guests gathered on the sunny patio at the welcome reception, greeting one another as they nibbled on delicious hors d’oeuvres prepared and passed by Comforts Catering of San Anselmo.
Among the notable guests were Gary Anspach, Managing Member of Anspach Financial Group, a longtime sponsor of Experience Corps Marin; Mary Jane Burke, Superintendent, Marin County Office of Education; and Patty Garbarino, CEO of Marin Sanitary Service. Also attending were Susannah Clark, Aide to Marin County Supervisor Susan Adams, and Jenny Callaway, District Director for California State Assemblyman Jared Huffman. Clark and Calloway both came bearing Board Resolutions from their respective offices recognizing the contributions that Experience Corps Marin has made to local communities.
The staff of Experience Corps Marin was well represented at the event by Diane Krantz, Director of Community Engagement Programs for Northern California Presbyterian Homes and Services (NCPHS), which sponsors Experience Corps Marin; Judy Loura, Executive Director of Senior Services for Northern California; NCPHS Director of Community Services Ramona Davies; Experience Corps Marin school site coordinators Pam Franklin, Jennifer Lee-Maes and Robin Levy; plus administrative assistant Linda Campbell and communication consultant Susan Sharpe. Sadly missing was NCPHS Program Manager Susan Kraemer, who was called out of town on a family emergency a day earlier and whose inspiring leadership of Experience Corps Marin was gratefully acknowledged. Also attending with key staff members was Paul Olsen, Director of Experience Corps Bay Area.
By 12noon, all the guests were seated for lunch in the Art and Garden Center’s Livermore Pavilion to hear welcoming remarks from Diane Krantz, followed by volunteer field specialist and site coordinator Pam Franklin who presented a program snapshot listing the year’s accomplishments.
The crowd was visibly moved by a presentation from ECM member Doug Brown, a former Morgan Stanley employee who recounted what inspired him to join Experience Corps. “I was on the 70th floor of Two World Trade Center the morning the planes hit a few floors above me on 9/11,” he said. “After surviving that day, I knew I wanted to do something in my life for which I’ll be remembered.” As he closed, Doug added that, “There’s no way to measure the impact we have on kids’ lives, but they certainly have an amazing impact on ours.”
Next, school superintendent Mary Jane Burke paid tribute to the vital role that Experience Corps volunteers play in supporting teachers and children at San Rafael elementary schools, after which Gary Anspach said a few words to introduce his longtime friend and fellow baseball fan, Marc Freedman.
Much-anticipated keynote speaker Marc Freedman inspired the crowd with his enthusiasm about the growing importance of “encore careers” in a nation where 10,000 people a day are turning 60, many of whom can expect to live past the age of 90. He spoke about the intersection of “passion, purpose and a paycheck” – one of the driving concepts behind his latest venture, Encore Careers, part of Civic Ventures, a visionary think tank founded by Freedman to explore the connection between America’s growing population of baby boomers with work and social purpose.
After brief and emotional closing remarks from Ramona Davies, NCPHS director of community services, the crowd moved outdoors where Freedman stayed on to sign copies of his latest book, The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife.
About Experience Corps Marin Experience Corps Marin was established in 2007 as part of Experience Corps Bay Area. Experience Corps has since grown to become one of America’s leading nonprofits with more than 2000 members serving children at schools in 19 cities nationwide. While the national Experience Corps came under the umbrella of AARP in early 2012, Experience Corps Marin continues to operate as an independent affiliate operated as a community service of Northern California Presbyterian Homes & Services.
For press inquiries, contact Susan Sharpe, Communications Consultant for Experience Corps Marin, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-451-4730.
For additional inquiries and information, contact Susan Kraemer, Marin Program Manager, Experience Corps, at email@example.com or call 415-464-1767.