Welcome to SAAA!

The Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging (SAAA) is a non-profit organization that provides high quality services and opportunities that enhance the dignity and independence of seniors and promote their contributions to the community.

Agency services are designed to assist older persons who wish to stay in their own homes, to provide information for seniors and their families, to protect individuals living in long term care residences, and to facilitate staying active and provide community service.

Join SAAA in one or more of the many activities this month. You may even meet Linda Holtzapple, SAAA’s new Executive Director, when she stops by the Senior Centers regularly.

Click on the links for Services and the Senior Center in your county to view the special activities and menu at each Center. Check out Upcoming Events in a blue box on the right for meetings including Board and Advisory Council. Also be sure you check out all of SAAA’s service to support seniors and caregivers.

Also, be sure you scroll down to the very bottom of this page.  Don’t miss:

  1. The link to the Network for Aging Support (NAS).  NAS is where you’ll find organizations that will do just about anything to help seniors.  Be sure you check out what’s available!
  2. The link to SAAA’s Facebook Page.  Please like us and Share!


Cookies with a Cop


SAAA celebrated the national partnership between Meals on Wheels America and Subaru at the Warren County Senior Center on November 30.  Marsha LeBrecht, SAAA’s Director of HR & Senior Center Operations and the owner of her family’s fourth Subaru offered her vehicle to deliver Meals on Wheels.  Samantha Owens, Senior Center Operations Assistant, rode with her to deliver the meals along with a bunch of donated grapes and a hand-made Thanksgiving card from students at the Warren County Middle School created on “Roar Day”, celebrating their good behavior with fun activities.

Pictured below are Samantha Owens, Marsha LeBrecht and Terry Byrne, Warren County Senior Center Director prior to loading the hotbox and meals for delivery in the Subaru Forester.

In the first picture below Samantha Owens is taking a meal from the Hot Box in the Subaru.  And in the next picture, her hands are full with the hot meal for today’s lunch, a frozen meal, a bunch of donated grapes, milk and a special Thanksgiving Card.

The first delivery of the morning was to Mel Brown who was watching for her lunch.  She used to attend the Warren County Senior Center until her health worsened.  Now, she enjoys a little talk with her meal deliverer and appreciates Meals on Wheels that allows her to continue living at home.

And the last delivery was to Dorothy Baker who has been receiving Meals on Wheels for over 5-years, starting as a caregiver for her husband who was confined to bed.   Meals on Wheels allowed her to have her husband stay at home.  And, now the meal delivery means she too can continue to live at home.  She enjoys the volunteers who bring her meals and a little variety to her day.  “I’ve met a lot of good people; they hand me the meal and give me a hug.”

And, then it was back to the Warren County Senior Center to distribute flyers and talk about the good that Subaru does nationally.  Over the last nine years, Subaru of America and its participating retailers have donated more than $94 million to help those in need.  And, this year’s event will take them over $100 million!  Anyone purchasing a Subaru through January 2nd may designate a cash gift from Subaru National to one of four national charities that includes Meals on Wheels America.

This year, SAAA is participating and will be eligible for a share of the amount donated to Meals on Wheels in Virginia.


Memorial Sponsor Gift

Monday evening several representatives of the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging, met with the Massanutten Fraternal Order of Eagles in Strasburg to thank them for their generous Memorial Sponsor Gift for the Sandi Kirkland Memorial Bowlathon. Pictured in the photo from Left to Right are: Dennis Morris, Past Board of Supervisors Member, Current Supervisor Candidate and a long-time SAAA Supporter; John Ayers, SAAA Board Member for Shenandoah County, Charles Thomas, SAAA Board Treasurer representing Shenandoah County at large; Doug Horne, Worthy Treasurer of the Eagles and father of Jenn Patton who organizes the Bowlathon as a volunteer to support SAAA in memory of her Aunt Sandi; John Pappas, Past Worthy President of the Eagles; and Andrew Clem, Worthy President of the Eagles. With the support of the Eagles, the Sandi Kirkland Memorial Bowlathon raised its highest amount so far – a grand total of $3,688 in August to provide crucial support services including Meals on Wheels and door-to-door low-cost rides to the doctor for persons with disabilities including seniors and veterans. Bravo to Eagle Aerie 4186.



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May 31st was a beautiful sunny day – just perfect for remembering some special participants with an extra-special and meaningful ceremony at the Winchester Senior Center. Participants and staff grow close to each other as they share lunch, programs and activities over the months and years. Sadly, the Winchester Senior Center had lost six participants during the past year.

Some of the family members wanted to do something special for the participants and covered the extra costs for the day. Pictures of the participants brought by family members and friends were lovingly placed on display.

Everyone assembled outdoors to join together in releasing butterflies in memory of Lillian Bradley, Virginia Copp, Stanley Fenner, Paul Harper, Webb Jenkins and Brian Merson. After watching the butterflies take flight everyone returned to the Great Room for more music provided by Cathy Kerns, lunch and a special treat – ice cream and cake. Ruth and Barbara, daughters of Lillian Bradley, and Edna, the niece of Paul Harper, were able to attend.

SAAA Celebrates Successful Walkathon

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SAAA celebrated a successful 14th Annual Generations Walkathon on Saturday, April 24th. Despite the fact that it rained again everyone enjoyed a delicious buffet breakfast prepared by Shenandoah Valley Westminster Canterbury and was energized by Tonia Sweeney’s Exercise-a-thon which replaced a soggy and slippery walk through the woods.  Although the event is over, SAAA is still collecting Walkathon Funds.  SAAA is at 97% of last year’s total.  But with some fundraising events planned, we hope to finish in the $40,000 range well above last year’s $36,000.

Frederick County Senior Center has a fundraiser planned for Thursday evening, May 18th at Roy Rogers from 5-8 PM at 1551 S. Pleasant Valley Rd. in Winchester.  In addition to receiving 10% of the sales(You have to say you’re supporting the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging), the Senior Center and staff will be holding a bake sale so you can purchase a sweet treat as well as your dinner and support the Walkathon.  The Frederick Senior Center team is just $239.50 below the amount they raised last year so they are hoping with the event at Roy Rogers to finish higher than last year.   And, the Winchester Senior Center is planning to repeat their wildly successful Spaghetti Dinner which raised over $4,000 for last year’s Walkathon.

Whenever you have a chance, please say a personal thanks to our wonderful Walkathon Sponsors!


Cook can’t leave the kitchen behind

Special to The Winchester Star May 27, 2017

WINCHESTER — Anyone seeking a good, square meal in Winchester between 1972 and 1991 knew to head toward a tiny sliver of a restaurant on Cork Street, called Rustic Tavern.

It seated only 12 at a lunch counter, tightly squeezed into a room nearly too small to stand and wait for a stool. Once seated, it was time to order, and eat, and move on.

Behind the stove was Jesse Curry, whose fresh crab cakes, pork tenderloin and baked squash casserole were legendary. Patrons were glad to accept the wait for a seat to get one of Jesse’s plates.

And from his cramped kitchen he catered meals for some of the largest events in town.

“The last one I did for Shockey was 1,300 people,” he said.

After a few years of cooking at Rustic Tavern, Curry bought it and ran it until the space was absorbed by Cork Street Tavern. Curry moved his operation uptown, to a place he named Jesse’s.

Today, at age 88, he’s still at the stove making versions of those same hearty, simple, delicious dishes, but now he’s doing so in a spacious kitchen in Stephens City. Twice weekly, Curry cooks lunch for the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging senior program at Stephens City United Methodist Church.

“It’s all I know how to do,” he said.

And for the past five years, at his side has been Audrey Clark, 88, who volunteers at the senior center during winters, when she travels from upstate New York to escape the freezing weather and spend the months with her daughter, Denise Phillips.

“Jesse’s a great person, and he’s a great cook,” Clark said. “I like watching him put things together.”

“I’ve always done volunteer work,” Clark said. At the senior center, Clark assists Curry mostly by prepping raw food to be cooked and cleaning up afterward.

“I mostly do dishes, cut up carrots,” she said.

“I enjoy being around other people, especially seniors,” she said. “We have so much in common.”

On a typical Tuesday, Curry assembles stuffing for pork chops from bread delivered earlier as a donation.

“Some Tuesdays we get bread. Some Tuesdays we don’t get bread,” he said.

Nearby, a volunteer is combining crushed oatmeal raisin cookies, Mandarin oranges and two kinds of Kool-Aid, forming a loose mixture that somehow, she insists, tastes good. It will be dessert.

The oranges are a state-mandated item as part of a monthly meal schedule that emphasizes complete nutrition. The goal is to assure that seniors in the program receive essential calories in lunches that might be their main meal of the day. Every lunch has protein, vegetables, starches and fruit.

And Curry makes everything from scratch.

Curry took his first kitchen job as a teenager, missing out on high school to help support his family.

“I started out washing dishes,” he said. “Fifteen dollars a week, 12 hours a day. That kept our family going.”

His work history reads like a history of long-gone Winchester hot spots. Curry started at the Apple Blossom Restaurant, a place on Braddock Street across from Rouss Fire Hall.

From there, he moved to the Triangle Diner. Later, after the building housing Jesse’s Place was sold, Curry moved to the Eagles Club.

“I said when I turned 70, I was going to give up the restaurant business,” he said.

At this point in his life, Curry’s good for two workdays a week. He works for the seniors on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Curry said that cooking for the seniors is different than restaurant cooking. “I can’t use salt,” he said.

“They’d fire me in a minute if I used the stuff I used in the restaurant.”

On a Tuesday, more than 40 people are seated in the church social hall well before lunchtime. Curry has been in the kitchen since 8 a.m. By 11 a.m., the pork loins have been cooked and sliced into portions. The meal will also include sweet potato casserole and peas.

In addition to the meals served at the church, Curry also has prepared more than 40 more that were packaged and delivered as Meals on Wheels.

On his days off, Curry volunteers with Congregational-Community Action Project (C-CAP), and for 19 years, he made his family’s Thanksgiving dinner on the day before the holiday, so that he could cook the Thanksgiving meal at the Salvation Army.

“Everybody knows Jesse,” said senior center Director Pala Schrader. “I think he really enjoys it, too. You can see that he loves to be here.”


Meals on Wheels:
Program offers a lifeline
to homebound senior citizens

By Kaley Toy
Northern Virginia Daily

Frances Johnson, 69, uses her walker as she works her way to her Meals on Wheels meal she received Thursday morning at her home at a motel in Front Royal. Johnson receives a hot meal Tuesday through Friday and a frozen meal to use Monday that is prepared by Front Royal’s Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging.

Frances Johnson, 69, of Front Royal, receives Meals on Wheels deliveries Tuesdays through Fridays from the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging.

Johnson said she receives five nutritious meals each week. They consist of fresh, hot meat, vegetables, milk and sometimes a dessert.  One meal delivered on Friday was a microwavable frozen meal that could be eaten before the next visit on Tuesday.

“It’s really good food,” she said.

Johnson has been getting the meal deliveries for about a month now to her room at a Front Royal motel.  The Meals on Wheels food is important to her, she said, because she only has a refrigerator and microwave in her room. She added that due to some health issues, she has to eat three healthy meals each day.

Johnson agreed to speak about the Meals on Wheels program because she wants the public to be aware of its impact on her life as well as on other homebound residents.

“It helps me out when I’m trying to keep a balanced diet because I have diabetes and high blood pressure,” she said.

Johnson has been retired since she was 63.  She has Medicare and receives Social Security benefits each month, but she said that only covers her rent and a few groceries and medications. Her son, who lives in Fairfax, brings her a fresh supply of groceries on a regular basis, but she said that if funding for Meals on Wheels is cut in President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget and she could not receive the hot meals, “it would make it a lot harder on me.”

She added that she couldn’t ask her son to pay for anymore of her needs because he already does so much for her.

“I couldn’t make it” without the program, she said.

Johnson added that the volunteers who make the home deliveries try to make the lives of the people receiving the meals a little brighter, and she even received a Valentine’s Day card from one volunteer.

“They’re all nice,” she said.


SAAA’s WellTran Provides A Community Service & Meets Celebrities

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For the past 8 years, WellTran has provided transportation for the VIPs of the Apple Blossom Festival on both Fridays and Saturdays of the Parade events, etc. For the second year, Brenda Hawkins has been our driver. She is a great representative of WellTran and the entire Agency. And she also has a lot of fun in the process. This year she met and had her photograph taken with Larry Robinson, NBA, Hines Ward, Pittsburgh Steelers and Jim Belushi, Actor & Comedian. If you see Brenda out and about, just ask her to show you her Apple Blossom pictures. She has even more!


SAAA’s Rubbermaid Sales Results

Despite a 100% chance of severe thunderstorms, SAAA and the United Way with the generous support of Rubbermaid had a great sale Saturday morning Feb. 25th.   There were only a few raindrops, and the sun even peeked out for a bit.

With lots of brave shoppers not heeding the ominous weather forecast and a good assortment of merchandise, the grand total was just over $10,000.

After credit card merchant fees, SAAA will be receiving $4,884.01. This money will help provide aging support services including Meals on Wheels. Thanks to the community for your generous support and thanks to the awesome team of SAAA staff, spouses, Advisory Council member and Shenandoah University students for unloading the truck and staffing the sale.

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In Loving Memory

Frances Adams Unger
January 26, 1917 – February 18, 2017

Beloved Member of the Frederick County Senior Center
Photo from her joyous 100th Birthday Celebration held on January 25 at the Frederick County Senior Center



Shenandoah University Psychology Students in Professor Scott King’s Adult Years’ Class held a Rent a Pet Fundraiser for the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging.

Click on the link to watch WHAG TV’s coverage of the fun.


Valentine’s Day Celebrated at Frederick Senior Center

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On Valentine’s Day, the Frederick County Senior Center celebrated with beautifully decorated tables created by Mary Beth Powell and the local Lions Club.  Staff and volunteers had prepared a bountiful display of cakes and cookies decorated in pink and red.  Center Director Pala Schrader called Bingo, and there were some spirited games including some witty comments when B4 and B9 were called –  “Be 4 you break my heart and Be 9 forever.”  And somewhere in the midst of all this fun, the secretly selected King Paul and Queen Patty were crowned.

The announcement was a sweet moment for the Burchards who were surprised and touched to be chosen by the Center members.  The Burchards have been coming to the Frederick County Senior Center for about a year usually a couple times a week.  They had taken a break when Paul had to have surgery.  And, that’s when they realized how caring the center is.  The royal couple mentioned that they have a great time at the Center, enjoy the good food and the fact that everybody gets along.  Patty mentioned that they were new to the area and coming to the Senior Center has brought a lot of new friendships to their lives.   King Paul and Queen Patty talked about the love that everyone shows – a perfect way to share Valentine’s Day.


Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging Hosts Annual Senior Picnic

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Two hundred and twenty people gathered at the Clarke County Ruritan Building on June 22nd representing the seven Senior Centers operated by the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging. They Joined together for the annual tradition of barbecued chicken, summer fun and the honoring of special volunteers.

Recognized for their volunteer service at the Senior Centers were Marilyn Foster from the Fort Valley Center, Sylvia Keane from the Page Center, Teresa Suttle from the Shenandoah Center, Pearl Bell from the Warren Center, Margaret and Mike Linster from the Clarke Center, Geneva Campbell from the Frederick Center and Barbara Shaw from the Winchester Center.

Cathy Kerns with New City Entertainment served as the DJ and provided musical entertainment that had seniors on their feet clapping and dancing.


Adult Years Video


Artistic Fun!

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Carol Erickson with Creative Entrepreneur visited the Frederick Active Living Center this week to teach a painting class, generously donating her time, talent and supplies.

She did a marvelous job teaching and working with the participants to complete their wonderful paintings. You can see by the pictures how much fun everyone had! The Center staff even had to delay lunch at the painters’ insistence so they could finish their masterpieces!


SAAA Recognizes Distinguished Volunteer Scott King, PhD

SAAA honored Scott King as a Distinguished Volunteer during the Association of Fundraising Professionals National Philanthropy Day Luncheon.  Barry Lee, WINC, as Master of Ceremonies read the following tribute to Scott with the presentation of his certificate.  “Imaginative – It takes an inventive mind to create a very special program successfully pairing seniors with Shenandoah University Psychology students.  Beginning its sixth year, Professor Scott King brings youth and age together every spring in a process of mutual discovery.  In addition he introduces students to the elements of fundraising – since 2012, raising almost $10,000 for services supporting seniors.”  We at SAAA are grateful for Scott King’s imagination, enthusiasm, commitment and support.  And, we are truly grateful for the amazing students (in his Adult Years and the Aging Process Classes)he has introduced to our seniors!

Scott’s guests for the event were fellow professors at Shenandoah University – Dr. Wendy Carlson  and Dr. Jeff Coker.  Bob Haas, Director of Transportation represented SAAA.


SAAA Receives Donation to Meals on Wheels

Carol Bellinetti, Care Manager and Joe Babcock, Senior Center Director, with the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging, gratefully accept a donation check for Meals on Wheels from Gary Hines, Shenandoah County Thrift Store Manager. Last year, SAAA provided 15,176 meals to homebound seniors in Shenandoah County. A big thank you to the Thrift Store for all the community good they do in Shenandoah County!

Thank You!

The Warren County Senior Center presented Officer Robbie Seal from the Front Royal Police Department with “Thank You” Snack Bags for the officers on his shift including the dispatchers to show appreciation for all they do in the community. We Support the Blue!! Pictured with Officer Seal is Misty Alger, Warren County Senior Center Cook.


Special Gifts for Meals on Wheels

Ms. Amanda Ebenal and her second graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School are preparing special gifts for SAAA’s Meals on Wheels recipients in the Strasburg area. They recently planted “Tickle Me” seeds. Now they are tenderly watering and watching them grow. The leaves of “Tickle Me” plants close when touched so they’ll be fun for both the children and their recipients. Thank you Ms. Ebenal and her Second Grade Class for a wonderful project. Here are some pictures from planting and watering.


Mary & Linda Making Grinch Candle Holder

Terry Byrne, Warren Active Living Center Director, shared this photo of Mary Marlin & Linda Gilespie making a “Grinch” holiday candle holder to keep or gift for Christmas! The Warren Center is one of seven that SAAA offers throughout our service area. There’s no reason to be bored or lonely, check out their locations, hours, programs and menus under the Active Living Centers tab. And share this information with older neighbors and friends.


Healthy Visits

Magda Bullock, Clinical Dietitian for Valley Health, regularly visits the Shenandoah County Active Living Center to demonstrate something healthy and delicious!


Thanks to Our Bowlathon Sponsors


Posted by Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging on Wednesday, August 19, 2015