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Today, the program serves about 280 meals a week at three locations in Los Gatos. “Live Oak serves a goodly 14,000 meals a year, over half a million meals since it began,” former Methodist church pastor Dave Wolf said. “Think of these half million meals laid end to end; they would reach to San Francisco and back again.”. The lunches are served at the Methodist Church, 111 Church St., on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays the program moves to the Los Gatos Adult Recreation Center, 208 E. Main St. Also, lunch is delivered on Mondays and Thursdays to the Villa Vasona senior apartments on W. Parr Avenue.
Many of the Villa Vasona “regulars” attended the 40th anniversary party that was held at the Methodist Church, “They make it so nice with place mats and fancy napkins,” Villa Vasona resident Sharon Carlson said, She described her vegetarian meal of Caesar salad, pasta and garlic bread as “superb.” Other lunch choices included beef tri-tip or chicken, Lunch costs $3, but is free for people who can’t afford to pay, Senior Muriel Saro 3/4 shank pointe shoes usually eats at Live Oak five days a week, “They give you everything from coffee to dessert,” she said, “It’s also good companionship.”..
Companionship is what attracted 96-year-old Dae Baird to Live Oak. The former WWII Merchant Marine began coming to Live Oak 10 years ago, after his wife passed away. At that time he told a volunteer he was “lonely.” Not so much anymore. “I go to the monthly dances at the Adult Recreation Center with the 10th Avenue Band,” Baird said. “I usually dance two to three times a week. On the days I don’t go dancing, I pedal my stationary bike.”. Live Oak was initially funded by the Methodist Church, Santa Clara County and the town of Los Gatos. But outside funding is becoming increasingly important, so the chairwoman of Live Oak’s board of directors, Trudy Burling, hopes to build on an existing $180,000 endowment fund. “It’s a challenge to convince potential donors there are needy people in Los Gatos, but many of these people have aged in place,” Burling said.
She added that providing seniors with social activities, such as post-lunch games and holiday celebrations, is just as important as feeding them, “I had one guy tell me if he didn’t come here he wouldn’t get out of bed,” she said, “Also, before we started delivering to Villa Vasona seven years ago, the residents didn’t talk to each other, Now they watch out for 3/4 shank pointe shoes each other and have game nights.”, Transportation is another concern, “We use volunteers to pick up clients for lunch, They also take them to doctor’s appointments and shopping,” Burling said..
There are 38 volunteers–more are always needed–who help keep the program going. “I think seniors are forgotten,” volunteer Linda Iversen said “We’re all headed that way. Someday I won’t be able to drive, and I’m hoping there will be someone to pick me up and take me to lunch.”. Iversen particularly wanted to recognize the restaurants and grocers that contributed to the 40th anniversary luncheon: Willow Street Pizza, Centonove, Blvd Coffee, C.B. Hannegan’s, Gardino’s, Nick’s Next Door, Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company, Lunardi’s, Safeway, Nob Hill and Trader Joe’s.
There, Santa Cruz resident Matt Hardwick runs Drumskull Drums, where he assembles hundreds of the African hand drums every year, Since Hardwick, 41, established the business a decade ago, sales have soared, and people from countries far and 3/4 shank pointe shoes wide are snatching up the handcrafted instruments, “Right now, we’re definitely growing,” Hardwick said, “We have a new website — we’re mostly an online business — and we’re selling drums all over the world right now, to Japan, China, Australia, Israel, even Africa; I mean, just all over the globe, Just anywhere you can throw a dart at.”..
Hardwick grew up in a musical family — his father was a bassist — yet didn’t fall into making instruments until later in life. “In my teen years, I decided I was going to go have some fun instead of playing music,” he said. “My father wasn’t too pleased.”. He realized he had a gift for making instruments, though, so he left Chicago and headed west for San Francisco, hometown of his favorite band. “I was very into the Grateful Dead,” Hardwick said. “I had an older brother who was a Dead Head, and the West Coast was where it was at.”.
He moved to Arcata first, then settled in Santa Cruz in the early ’90s, where he found a community of avid African drumming fans, In addition to hosting drum and dance camps in Africa, he started playing drums for three to four dances per week, specializing in Congolese, Guinean and Senegalese rhythm, “There is a big drum and dance community in Santa Cruz,” Hardwick said, “It started 35 years ago, and it’s still really strong, It’s so community-based.”, While he studied drumming for 15 straight years, Hardwick realized his specialty was really in creating instruments, Thanks to his background, though, 3/4 shank pointe shoes Hardwick has a level of expertise that puts him above others..