Before we opened the doors last October 22nd at St. Anne of the Sunset, we had hoped 15 people might attend our our Monday and Thursday afternoon exercise/community building program. Instead 35 appeared, ready to enjoy the Always Active exercise program. Though most of us lived in the neighborhood, few of us knew one another. The number of participants, and our friendships have only grown from those early days.
But we don’t only exercise when we come together. About a month into the program, Marina Lazarra, the community connector from the Community Living Campaign, began offering after-exercises activities. The first classes were on gardening and healthy herbs – Marina’s interests – an ongoing memoir writing class, classes on “finding your style,” earthquake safety, how to get most out of your cell phone, a three-session series on Stroke Awareness, and an evening meeting on Loneliness and Social Isolation engaged participants and brought in new members. More than 10 of us participated in a letter exchange with the fifth graders at the SF Friends School, and were thrilled to attend the children’s dramatization of our life stories.