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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 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 on the right. Don’t miss:

  1. The link to SAAA’s Facebook Page.  Please like us and share!   Please make or keep these links live to Faebook and NAS at the bottom of he blue boxes on the right.
  2. 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!

An Evening of Good Fortune & Cheer!

SAAA Cash Bash with top payout $1,500 at the Winchester Moose Lodge

Saturday, September 21, doors open at 5 pm, dinner served at 6:30, drawing begins at 8 pm.

Tickets $30 – Contact Tina Landis, Winchester Senior Center Director at 540-662-5433 or Terry Byrne, Warren County Senior Center Director 540-635-8652.

Funds raised add to the Winchester Senior Center’s already impressive Walkathon Total and provide direct Agency Services to help older persons continue to live at home.

Raising money for supportive services for seniors (Winchester, Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah, Warren and Page) including Meals on Wheels, Senior Centers, transportation, Medicare insurance counseling, and much more.

Special thanks to Aetna – Cash Bash Sponsor 2019


SAAA Receives a Most Generous Gift from American Woodmark

SAAA was faced with replacing an outdated and failing computer server (over a decade old) in its main office plus updating software and some computers at the Senior Centers as well as the main office. Turning to the community for help, SAAA approached American Woodmark Foundation (AWF) requesting 25% of the total update cost.

On August 15, Brenda Dupont, AWF Chair presented Linda Holtzapple, SAAA Executive Director, with a wonderful surprise – a generous check for 50% of the total cost ensuring that SAAA can purchase the much needed server six-months earlier than expected. Shown L-R in the photo are SAAA Staff Roberta Lauder and Bob Haas, AWF Committee Members: Denny Baker, Christy Foltz and Sandra Mahoney.

Thanks to everyone at American Woodmark for their incredible community support.



Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging (SAAA) celebrates the arrival of a New Van

The van received under a grant from the Virginia Dept. of Rails and Public Transportation arrived just in the nick of time.  Scheduled to be presented to the Shenandoah County Senior Center on Friday, June 22nd, the van it replaces, a 2006 with almost 136,000 miles on it, broke down Wednesday while transporting the Shenandoah County Center participants to the Agency’s 41st Annual Senior Picnic in Berryville.  Descriptive of the sounds they heard when riding in it, the Senior Center participants had been calling their old van “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” for some time.

The brand new 2018 15-passenger wheelchair accessible van was rushed into service two days early.    On Friday morning, the Shenandoah County Senior Center participants were still talking about how much smoother the ride was and how quiet their new van is.  They were excited to welcome their special guests for the official presentation of the van keys.

Linda Holtzapple, SAAA Executive Director introduced Dennis Morris from the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors.  She thanked the Shenandoah County Board for their $10,000 increase in allocations to SAAA for the year beginning July 1st.  Mrs. Holtzapple pointed out that these funds helped tremendously with the 20% local matching funds required for this almost $60,000 vehicle.  SAAA Board Members representing Shenandoah County, John Ayers, Finance Committee Member, and Charlie Thomas, Board Vice-Chair, and Bob Haas, SAAA Director of Transportation joined the celebration.

The fleet of vans SAAA maintains provide the lifeblood of the Senior Centers bringing participants who would be isolated from others because they no longer drive to and from the Senior Centers in 6 counties 4 times a week.  The vans in almost all counties do a Meals on Wheels run delivering lunch to homebound seniors before returning to the Center to drive participants home.


Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging (SAAA) Needs One More New Van

Unfortunately, the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging had a period when it could not afford the 20% match and was unable to replace any vans.   Now, the state is awarding a smaller number of vans each year.  SAAA received only one van this year and will receive two under the state grant program next summer (a year from now) or early fall.  In the meantime, SAAA’s van fleet averaging 2 per senior center (11 total) is aging out with mostly 2010 vans with over 100,000 miles being used 4 days a week.

SAAA will repair the 2006 van that Shenandoah County Senior Center had been using, and it will expand the back-up fleet to two vehicles when any of the other 12 Senior Center vans are out of service for routine maintenance or repairs.  However, with an aging fleet and a year before two new vans are available under a state contract, SAAA needs the community’s help to raise funds to purchase one new van early in FY 19.  SAAA already has started a fund to raise the $60,000 needed to purchase an accessible van.

With the help of the following, SAAA has already raised $11,098 toward the cost of the new van and $8,000 in matching funds for the vans we will be receiving in 2019 through the DRPT grant:

  • Meals on Wheels – Share the Love Grant
  • Shenandoah Valley Electric Coop Round Up Grant
  • Joe Biggs, SAAA Board Treasurer
  • United Way of the Northern Shenandoah Valley

Donations may be made online or mailed to SAAA, 207 Mosby Lane, Front Royal, VA 22630.   Please write Van Fund on the Notation Line.


A life that touches others goes on forever

A Flowering Plum Tree
Given to the Page County Senior Center
In Memory of Ellie Cross

  • Margie Banach
  • Stacy Carter
  • Teresa Carter
  • Walt & Nancy Gordon
  • Shirley Griffith
  • Meredith & Dale Houff
  • Luray High School Class of 1956
  • Gert McDaniel
  • Susan Rothgeb
  • Marty Schiller
  • Virginia Smelser
  • Debi Spinner
  • Martha Watkins
  • Pat Whipple

Memorial Gifts
Given to the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging
In Memory of Elsymar (Ellie) Cross

  • Jennifer Cross
  • Amy Ellington
  • Roberta Lauder

On Wednesday, June 12 staff, participants, family and friends met at the Page County Senior Center to plant a flowering plum tree in Ellie’s memory.   Walt Gordon led a meditation.  Daughter Heidi Campbell and then several friends placed soil around the tree’s roots.  A plaque honoring Ellie’s work with SAAA was presented to hang on the Center’s wall.  A very special luncheon followed featuring Ellie’s favorite chicken salad and hot dogs from the grill donated by Walmart.  See the pictures in the slideshow below.

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Colorful Caps Donated by Winchester Senior Center

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Representatives of the Winchester City Police Department and Valley Health System gathered at the Winchester Senior Center on Monday to receive hand kinit caps made by members of the Winchester Senior Center.  It all started when Janet Bender gave newcomer Anna Needy a warm hand knit cap, and Anna decided she wanted to learn how to make them.  Anna Needy donated soft yarn in a variety of colors and money for knitting looms.  Janet not only taught Anna, but she did a program at the center where everyone made a cap.  After that, five women had continued to make caps.  They sold some at their Center yard sale but there were still hundreds of caps.

SAAA’s Winchester Senior Center Director Tina Landis brainstormed with Center participants, volunteers and staff with a final decision to ask the Winchester City Police and Valley Health System if they could use caps sized for small children to adults and even a few tiny ones for favorite dolls.

Mark Lahman & Jason Poe with the Winchester City Police Dept. received their caps first, along with some Ty Beanie Babies donated by Anna Needy.  They expressed their appreciation for the gifts to share with children caught in difficult situations.

Mary Vorous, Supervisor with Wellspring Oncology, part of the Valley Health System, stated that the caps will be awesome for patients dealing with cancer.  Hats are almost the first thing new patients request.   She complimented the volunteers on their choice of soft yarns that will make the knitted caps both warm and comfortable for the patients.   And, she gave a hint that shawls or small blankets would be well loved too.

Tanya Armstrong, a Child Life Specialist with Valley Health System, was also delighted to receive the caps for the children she works with.  Describing the knitted caps as a flower garden, she shared with the Center members that children are often frightened, and there are not a lot of choices they can make for themselves while they are in the hospital.  However, when she brings out a bag of colorful caps, they can make a decision and choose a favorite.

The Winchester Senior Center is open to persons aged 60 and older Monday through Thursday with programs beginning at 10 AM and lunch served at noon.  For more information, contact Tina Landis at 540-662-5433.

SAAA serves persons aged 60 and older throughout the counties of Shenandoah, Warren, Frederick, Clarke, Page and the city of Winchester.  For more information on the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging, the Senior Centers, Meals on Wheels, Our Place Respite Center, WellTran rides, VICAP (Medicare Insurance Counseling), Live Well, Virginia Workshops or other aging support services, call (540) 635-7141 or 800 883-4122 or visit


SAAA Awarded Andersen Foundation Grant

Tina Mann, HR Coordinator from the Andersen Storm Door Division in Luray, came to SAAA’s May 25th Board meeting. Tina presented a check for $13,000 from the Andersen Foundation to Board President Tom Throckmorton for the Our Place Respite Program in Luray.

This is the second year that SAAA has received Andersen funding for Our Place in Luray. The grant helps cover about half the annual costs for providing respite care on Fridays for persons with early to mid-sage dementia. Attending Our Place is just as valuable for the person with dementia as for the family caregiver. Call Amy Courtney at 540-743-1241 ext. 1021 for information.

SAAA is grateful to the Andersen Foundation for over a decade of funding support that helps SAAA make lives better for seniors and their families in Page County.


Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) Students Sighted at the Frederick County Senior Center

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Recently, Stacy Ellis, LFCC Associate Professor brought 4 Recreation Program Planning students to the Frederick County Senior Center. Students: Jacob Sanders, Zachery Weaver, Ryan Link and Travis Marchand planned, prepared and implemented activities at 4 stations. These activities included a Roadblock/Gridlock activity, a Photo Booth and Photo Puzzle, Jeopardy and a Flow/Maze Puzzle.

Center Members moved in groups of 5 or 6 from table to table completing the activities or running out of time before moving to the next. While the students directed their activities, their professor had her own group activity which included an old-fashioned game of gossip. Seniors were involved and actively participating in all the activities.

The morning program ended, much too soon, with a Sing-Along and the treat of freshly popped popcorn from a popcorn machine. Everyone – students, professor and center participants had a blast. Stacey Ellis, Associate Professor & Program Lead of Health, Physical Education & Recreation promised Center Director Pala Schrader that she would return with next year’s class.

If you haven’t visited a Senior Center, maybe you should. They seem to be having a lot of fun! Find your local Senior Center at Here are pictures of the morning’s activities.


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.


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!


Warren County transportation system makes getting around easier for senior citizens


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.…/rent-a-pet-fundraiser…/668360886


Artistic Fun!

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!

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