Friends of the Lexington COA President's Letter

June 17, 2021

It was a year unlike any other. Covid 19, virtual meetings via Zoom, Community Center closed to the public, masking and social distancing requirements for indoors and outdoors, social isolation, limited travel due to state and national mandates, and fear of contagion—all of these factors were part of our lives over the past year. And yet the FCOA has survived and even thrived under these trying circumstances. Though we could not meet in person, our virtual communications worked well and the OWLL program flourished on Zoom with its highest attendance.

As stated so well by past president Janice Kennedy, the FCOA is a volunteer board of residents who work closely with the Town’s Human Services Department and Council on Aging to enrich the quality of life for the more than 8500 Lexington seniors. The FCOA helps fund critical senior services provided by the Human Services Department such as special lunches, age-sensitive counselling and recreation, health and wellness programs, and affordable transportation. FCOA also provides the OWLL classes and courses and the Lexington LifeTimes literary arts journal.

Some highlights of the year include:

  • Over 400 meals distributed to seniors on nine occasions through the Grab and Go lunch program
  • Over 300 seniors were provided LexConnect taxi transportation
  • Over 4300 seniors were provided subsidized bus rides on Lexpress
  • Over 440 seniors participated in 10 courses offered in the Older, Wiser, LifeLong Learners (OWLL) program
  • The Lexington LifeTimes literary arts journal published two editions, with increased submissions and growing financial support from businesses and individuals
  • Installation and maintenance of the Furnstahl Sensory Garden

Thanks to our generous donors and the success of the OWLL program, our finances have improved. The FCOA increased our annual support of the Human Services Department to $20,000 from $16,000 annually. These additional funds provide discounted Lexpress passes for seniors.

Our board experienced some transitions. We note the passing of long-time member Dan Fenn who was a strong and consistent voice for senior development. We thank Rebecca Morris for her service on the board and welcome new member Emery Wilson.

There remains some unfinished business including the need for FCOA to increase our public relations efforts to communicate to the broader community our considerable and varied services to the Town and its seniors. We also need to add new members to the board, and we want to continue to search for new and creative ways to serve Lexington seniors.

The FCOA has benefited from the energy, enthusiasm, and bright ideas of our members: Suzanne Caton, Sudhir Jain, Janice Kennedy, Mickey Khazam, Lorain Marquis, Shirley Stolz, Jane Trudeau, Emery Wilson, and Chris Worcester. Thanks are extended to Melissa Interess, Hemali Shah, and Michelle Kelleher of the Human Services Department and Christine Dean, Community Center Director for their support and encouragement. The FCOA is very grateful to Marion Kilson and Kerry Brandin for coordinating the successful OWLL and LifeTimes programs, respectively. And we express a special thanks to Donna Moultrup for her work in maintaining the Furnstahl Sensory Garden. We also thank Betty Borghesani and Julie-Ann Shapiro, co-chairs of the COA whose work we support.

To We need your help to continue our important work and bring forward new initiatives. Please make your tax-deductible contribution today via check to the FCOA mail address (PO Box 344, Lexington, MA 02420) or with your credit card.

On behalf of Lexington’s seniors whose lives will be bettered by your support, Thank You!

Peter Holland, President
Friends of the Lexington Council on Aging