You’ve Got a Friend in the Village Friends

By Pat Collins

Photographs by Bob Dunham

Are you curious about the green ribbons that some residents wear on their badges? The ribbons identify the Village Friends. These residents cheerfully accept the responsibility of welcoming new residents to their neighborhood and helping them transition to Village life. Every street, court, drive, and apartment wing has at least one Village Friend.

Among their duties, Village Friends plan and host social activities for residents on their street; for example, casual get-togethers and parties to welcome new residents and celebrate old acquaintances. Given that each street and its residents are unique, the number and type of events per year will vary as each team of Village Friends strives to meet the needs of their area.

Two senior men pose for a photo
Village Friends Bill Sharp and Bill Yesse attended the Men’s Lunch Bunch.

The one thing that all Village Friends have in common is their commitment to uphold the guidelines set forth by their governing board. The board consists of seven residents who meet quarterly. Board members are elected to a one-year term, but may serve an additional year. They are chosen for their interest in helping new residents meet their neighbors and smoothing their transition to life at John Knox Village. The board also plans and organizes a number of activities for all residents. This year’s events included a presentation by gastroenterologist Dr. Mihir Patel during Men’s Health Week in June, and an ice cream social in July. The next event for everyone will be the annual Holiday Celebration in December. The current board consists of Tony Artigliere, Linda Allen, Marianne Berkes, Mary T. Clark, Claudia Graham, Bill Mahar, and Jerry Yaris.

A photo of a block party at the John Knox Village senior living community
Westlake and Woodland Drive residents held a block party in May.