The Navigator is published monthly by The Village Chicago under the direction of Editor Laurel Baer.

December 27, 2023

Dear Friends,

We are inspired by all of our work in 2023 that helped hundreds of older adults and families build support networks, establish new social connections, improve their health and wellbeing, and experience all that Chicago has to offer. 

Looking to 2024, we want to do more.

So as the year draws to a close, we look forward to learning about the hopes and dreams of the Village community for the year to come and what we can accomplish together. 

Warmest wishes for the New Year,

Darcy L. Evon


Village Member and Friends - Hopes and Dreams for the Coming Year

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What are you most looking forward to in 2024? We asked Village members and friends to share their greatest hopes and dreams are for the coming year. Here are some of their responses.

"For the folks in my life, I wish a full measure of laughter—raucous at times--despite all. For myself, give me steadiness of body and soul; a mild winter without slippery sidewalks would be a bonus. And, let me continue discovering things that make me jubilant to be human. P.S. Pressing my luck: Dark chocolate and a few good movies I can walk to would be most welcome." 

Jane Curry, Village Member

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"I dream of peace. A world filled with kindness, concern and respect for others. The Village could be a model for those kinds of communities around the world."

Linda Randall, Village Member

"Peace! ☮️ "

Ralph Walin, Village Member

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"I have so many hopes and wishes it’s hard to narrow them down. I hope for health for my friends and family. I wish for peace in this very troubled world and freedom in our country. Of course, all of this goes beyond 2024!"

Rhoda Reeling, Village Member

"Professionally: to manage a successful one year marketing campaign to highlight the importance of higher education to the Chicago economy. Personally: to watch my grandson learn to walk and talk as he passes his first year on earth."

David Baker, Board Chair

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"Wishing everyone happiness galore in 2024!"

Ira Kohlman, Village Member

"One: that my colleague and I are making great progress on the book we are planning to write together. 

Two: that the family wedding planned for next summer goes off without a hitch - and, if it doesn’t, that we have a great laugh about it. 

Three: that we have some lovely reunions with friends and sibs we haven’t seen since the pandemic. 

Four: That our country comes through the national election next fall clear and strong."


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"For 2024, I would like to see people from different ideologies, nationalities and ethnicities come together in the realization that we have way more in common than we have difference, and that our differences give each of us an opportunity to learn, grow and experience the richness of the world through many vibrant and diverse lenses."

Luke Tannen, President and CEO, Chicago Innovation

"When I think about what is important to me for 2024, it always includes good health and family. I am lucky to be in good health and have my sister close to me in Chicago. This year (2023) I lost a sister-in-law and a nephew. My hope is that I do not lose anyone else."

Maggie Panagakis, Village Member

"This past year has been full of challenges, and we hope and wish that the coming year brings peace and health to all."

Jan Walters, Village Member

"A personal hope of mine for 2024, it is to continue to share my fitness regime, my gains and insights, the reality of how small, sustained, consistent changes over time (the last year and a half for me) have created a new way of living, a new baseline of health and wellbeing that I am working on daily as a 46 year old woman - with the overall goal of dismantling the ageism and sexism women face in the fitness realm. 

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The ageism I experience in the gym, in the fitness world is intense and ever present - from comments about form fitting workout clothing or the weight I am lifting ("she's wearing THAT at her age" or "wow, do you think that might be too heavy for you?”), to imagery of only young people using equipment or advertising workout gear and supplements, to the availability of exercise modification and the lack of experience of trainers working with older adults - the list goes on. It makes you second guess that you belong, that you are welcome, that you are worthy, that you deserve to improve your strength, health, etc.

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I am learning to share my experiences with those interested so they too do not feel alone, so that they feel empowered and encouraged to work on building strength at any age (with support of physician review and input of course) to improve their mobility, balance, bone density, hormonal health, mental health, and overall health status. 

For the Village community, I hope we all take the time to review our 2023 lives and maybe engage in an intentional, thoughtful reset for 2024. Celebrate the positives, incorporate what we learned from mistakes, review what did not go well or what we might be dodging, and truly be thoughtful about supports we all may need in the new year. It could be reviewing and updating advance directives, checking on safety at home, connecting with our family and friend networks about any new health changes or planned surgeries upcoming, noticing how we balance work and fun/play, paying attention to what really refuels us and what we enjoy to build more of that in our daily, weekly lives."

Niki Fox, Village Staff Member

Village News

Welcome New Village Board Members!

Jacie Brandes is an award-winning business leader with over 20 years of experience building teams and developing strategies to drive sales and revenue growth in complex media environments. Most recently, Jacie was SVP of Business Development at Revolution, a Chicago-based sports marketing agency, focused on partnership strategy and revenue diversification. Prior to that she was at Penske Media where she was a member of the executive leadership team. She has also held several leadership positions at Time Inc, Meredith Corporation and DDB Omnicom. Jacie holds a BA degree in Communications from the University of Illinois and has completed a Digital Marketing Certificate Program at The George Washington School of Business. She is a member of CHIEF, a private network supporting female executives, and is looking forward to playing an active role in the Village’s marketing efforts. Jacie loves all things windy-city - sports, lake, food, architecture. She has one daughter Grace, a sophomore at the University of Illinois and an adored cavapoo, Hazel.

Tom Pasker is the Vice President & Branch Manager at Wintrust Bank – Old Town. He has been with Wintrust for about eight years and previously worked at JPMorgan Chase for 15 years. Originally, he is from a small town in Iowa–Dyersville, “Home of the Field of Dreams.” Tom completed his BA at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. He lived in Chicago for about 20 years and currently resides in Evanston. He is an involved member of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce Illinois and Ambassador for the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce. He is excited to get more involved with The Village Chicago.      

There’s Still Time to Make the Match for the Village Year-End Appeal!

As we approach the end of 2023, we find ourselves reflecting on the incredible year we've had together as a Village. Your engagement and commitment to our shared mission has made a significant difference in our lives, and for that, we extend our heartfelt gratitude.

As we strive to continue enhancing the quality of life for all older adults, we are reminded that our year end appeal is underway. There is still time to contribute and have your gift matched, allowing your generosity to have an even greater impact!

Every dollar you contribute between now and December 31 will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $15,000, doubling the power of your donation. This means your gift will go twice as far in providing essential programs, services, and support for one another, our Village, and our community.

To make your tax-deductible, matched gift contributing to our key initiatives and the health and wellbeing of our members and Village, simply donate here or contact the Village office at 773.248.8700 to make your donation over the phone.

Thank you for considering this special opportunity to amplify the impact of your generosity. Together, we can continue building a community where we feel purposeful, supported, and connected as we age. And to those that have already given, we thank you for your generous support!

Village Event Calendar

RSVP today for our upcoming in-person and virtual events! For full descriptions and registration, visit

  • (12/30) Saturday Afternoon at the Movies - In Person!
  • (1/2) Exercise at Home with Jill Stein
  • (1/3) Great Books, Great Conversations
  • (1/4) Coffee Chat BYOC
  • (1/5) Short Story Intergenerational Discussions
  • (1/6) Saturday Afternoon at the Movies - The Holdovers
  • (1/9) Brain Connection Cafe
  • (1/9) NEW! Happy Hour with the Life 3.0 Committee
  • (1/10) NEW! The Present & Future of AI - Presented by the Men's Group
  • (1/10) Village Play Reading Group - The Importance of Being Earnest
  • (1/15) NEW! Chicago Sinfonietta MLK Concert
  • (1/17) Death Cafe: An Informal Conversation about Death & Dying
  • (1/17) New Member Happy Hour
  • (1/18) NEW! Understanding Alzheimer's & Dementia - Presented by the Alzheimer's Association
  • (1/22) NEW! Winter Memoir Writing
  • (1/24) Online Sound Meditation for Healing & Relaxation
  • (1/25) Prospective Member Coffee & Pastries
  • (2/1) NEW! DePaul Symphony Orchestra - Presented by the Life 3.0 Committee
  • (2/11) NEW! Super Bowl Party - Presented by the Life 3.0 Committee
  • (2/14) Reading the Rainbow - Lot by Bryan Washington
  • (2/17) NEW! Anything Goes, The Cole Porter Musical - Presented by the Life 3.0 Committee, LGBTA Committee, and Tiny Theatre

To RSVP for any event, please visit our web calendar or email us at!

Village Member Pastime Groups
Join the Village!
Are you...

Looking for a new career, about to retire, wondering what's next? Seeking companions that share your interests? Searching for a way to utilize your abilities? In need of occasional help? New to Chicago? Worried about changing needs? An adult child with aging parents?

Village members are part of an inclusive, multigenerational community, connected to others and to the resources that support growth and well-being as we navigate life after 50 together.

Learn more about the Village by calling us at 773.248.8700 or click here to download the membership application form.

Village Sponsors
Leadership of The Village Chicago

Board of Directors

David Baker, President 

Judith Gethner, Secretary

Joan Goldstein,


Kathie Kolodgy,

Vice President

Karen Terry,

Vice President

Don Bell

Jacie Brandes

Stefanie Clark

Carol Hitchie

Angie Levenstein

Molly Matthias

Liz Metzger

Gail Moss

Tom Pasker

Carol Stein

Lois Stuckey

Vamse Kumar Subbiah

Carlos Terrazas

Jan Walters

Joyce Winnecke

Advisory Council
Neelum T. Aggarwal, MD
Robyn L. Golden, LCSW
Joanne G. Schwartzberg, MD
Mary Ann Smith
Darcy L. Evon
The Village Chicago is a social network of friendship, engagement and services for people over 50. We support all aspects of well-being through social engagement, an extensive services and referral network, lifelong learning, health and fitness, intergenerational relationships, work and purpose.

2502 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60614. 773.248.8700
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