Fall is in the Air

Hello Young at Heart Friends and Family;  ūüĆĽūüĆĽ

Fall is definitely in the air, as we experience the cool nights, and the warm afternoon sunshine. It is nice to have crisp. clean air!! Great sleeping weather too!!   I hope you are able to enjoy this time of year, as the leaves begin to show their colors, we bring out the long-sleeved T-shirts and sweaters, and our activities shift back indoors. Tomatoes are winding down as apple season is just beginning…  Campfires and s’mores… Fall is so wonderful!!!

Today was YAH’s last picnic for 2023, and Tuesday morning pickleball will be shifting indoors with the start of October. But, do not fret, we still have several Fall activities planned through-out October! And, our Saturday Morning Walking Club will still be visiting local parks throughout the Fall and Winter, as weather permits. With so much going on, I have attached several flyers. I will let them speak for themselves. But certainly¬†feel free to reach out if you have questions.¬†

NEW PHONE SYSTEM: While I was on vacation, St. Alphonsus installed a new phone system. Currently, it has disconnected the YAH voicemail. So, if you left a message sometime after Labor Day weekend, please either email YAH at info@youngatheartgr.org, or call St. Alphonsus Office at 616-451-3043. As I know more, I will pass along the updates. In the meantime, I apologize for any confusion. 


1) October Calendar

2) October Walking Club Schedule

3) Fall Events Flyer

4) Presentation on Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes


ūüĆĽ Next Week Wednesday, September 27th is Line Dancing and Euchre, both starting at 12:45. Please RSVP if you plan to participate in either FUN activity. Also, let us know if you plan to attend lunch, provided by Senior Meals. Menu: Turkey Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Mixed Vegetables, and Dessert. Cost $5.00.   RSVP by Monday, September 25th.   

ūüĆĽ We are now accepting RSVPs for any of the October Outings as well as the Presentations by Valerie VanHeest on the “Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes” and Michael Curtis on “Motown.” Please see the attached documents for more details. 

Glorious Fall Blessings,¬†¬†ūüĆĽūüĆĽ



Labor Day Blessings

Hello Young at Heart Friends and Family;

I hope everyone is back in full swing after the storms last week. I was reminded of two things: 1) how fast life can change sometimes and 2) the power of nature! May we live grateful lives, and be respectful of the forces of nature. 

Next week YAH will be CLOSED on Monday, September 4th in honor of Labor Day. May you all have a safe and relaxing day… take a break from your labors, and be thankful for the fruits of others’ labors. We all benefit from the farmers, industry workers, restaurant personnel, store keepers, construction crews, and so forth. 

EARLY RESERVATIONS: Holiday’s often throw us off in regards to time. Here at YAH, we lose a day of programming. So be sure to get your reservations in now for the following events: 

  • The outing to Crane’s Orchard and Restaurant before the holiday, so we can assure there will be enough drivers. The outing is Wednesday, September 6th. We will be leaving the Parish Center at 11:00. This is not just an ordinary lunch. This is a lunch where you can order a flight of pie slices for a sweet taste test.  You can also try a flight of wines or hard ciders, whichever is your fancy, with great food to go along with it. Don’t forget to pick up a few orchard goodies for your friends and family back home. Call or email your RSVP.
  • We have three spots left for your FREE Hearing Tests, on Monday, September 11th. Your pick, either 9:00, 10:00 or 12:30. RSVP.
  • Cooking Class on Monday, September 11th at 11:30. Chef Jen, will be featuring Autumn Soups: Come try Chunky Gazpacho, Butternut Squash Bisque, or her own Zuppa Toscana. Cost: $5.00.

The September Calendar and the Fall Events Flyer are attached. 

Save The Date:Thursday, October 5th 10:00-1:00: Kent County is blessed with a plethora of Resources for Seniors and Caretakers. Come and learn more at the Grand Rapids Senior Expo, held at the Frederick Meijer Gardens. See the Attached flyer for more information. If you register on-line your name will be entered in a drawing for hourly prizes. Drop-ins are welcome. This is a FREE event. 

Prayers for a quiet and safe holiday!  May you have enough clouds to make a beautiful sunset!



Fall Presentations Already!!

Hello Young at Heart Friends and Family;

We are starting our Fall Presentations and Outings early this year! On Monday, August 21st at 12:30, Dan Penny will be joining our picnic at Mary Waters for a presentation on the Civil War, and his hobby as a Civil War Re-enactor. In case of inclement weather, we will hold lunch and the presentation at St. Alphonsus Parish Center. We will be collecting a Freewill Donation to support this group.

On Wednesday, August 30th at 12:30, Brian DeVries from the Plainfield-Grand Rogue Historical Society will be presenting on the history of Plainfield Township- past to present, and answer any of your questions the best he can. We will be collecting a Free Will Donation to support the Museum on West River Drive.

We have only 3 open spots left for our trip to Turkeyville for lunch and the play “Forever Plaid.” This is a fun musical about a pop quartet that performs from the afterlife, after tragedy strikes.  The performance features harmonies, similar to today’s Barber Shop Quartets and A Cappella groups. Sure to be a fun time!! First ones to get their money in, are given the seats. Event is scheduled for Thursday, September 14th. Carpool will be leaving St. Alphonsus at 10:00 AM. Cost: $60.00, although if we sell all the tickets, the price will drop to $50.00. ($5.00 will be collected for the driver.) See the attached flyer for more information. 

Lastly, we had someone offering to pass along a stamp collection that features stamps from the WWII era. If you are interested, please let me know. 

Attached is the September Calendar. Please note that while the calendar states tickets for Turkeyville are sold out, as of this moment we have 3 left. Also attached is the September Walking Club Schedule.

Next week I will pass along a flyer featuring our list of presentations and outings for September and October. We have TONS of Fun in store and lots of fascinating information about MIchigan!!! 

We will be closed Monday, September 4th.

Enjoy all things beautiful as we continue to be fortunate, and get healthy rain and sunshine!



With Gratitude

Hello Young at Heart Friends and Family;

Each week I often feature special events or activities we have coming up. This week I opted to send a few photos that feature some of the classes we offer on a regular basis. Attached are two photos taken recently featuring the Woodcarving class and a special session they had learning more about wood burning. I also attached a few pictures that highlight a couple of salads from our July cooking class

YAH aims to meet each participant where they are at in life, while also striving to challenge you to learn new skills and meet new people. These are just two examples¬†in which YAH reaches out and invites excellent instructors to guide our participants.¬†We are VERY GRATEFUL to our instructors:¬†Dedicated Mary Kaiser who leads Tai Chi; Personal Trainer Colleen Cleves who guides the exercise class; Chit Barker our cheerful Line Dancing instructor; Dale from “Woodcraft” who offers his expertise in all things related to woodcarving, and Jennifer “The Ginger Chef,” who graces us with her down-to-earth cooking tips. We also have many volunteer leaders who help facilitate the Sewing Club- Liz Kohlenberger, Char Snoap- Book Club and Euchre, John LaPorte- woodcarving, Madelyn Pierce-Mellema- Card Ministry; and several other volunteers who make coffee, bring food, set up and clean up for our lunches, organize presentations and outings for all to enjoy, and so forth. Many of our participants also volunteer many¬†hours of their time making cards for the Homebound, sewing items for several Community Programs, put together welcome baskets, help out in the Community Garden… To all the Volunteers, Class Leaders, Instructors, and Participants, YAH offers a¬†BIG”ThAnK¬†YoU!!!”

¬† ¬†Attached is also our Fundraising Flyer. Proceeds from our¬†Fundraiser¬†allows us to offer a stipend for some of these wonderful instructors, as well as keep the cost of our lunches, presenters and other events affordable to all. Come “Sail with Us,” either literally or figuratively as we all work to keep these wonderful classes, events, and activities ‘happening’ and our participants ‘growing.’¬† ¬†Monday, July 31st is the deadline¬†to get your tickets for the Raffle Drawing in which 4 winners and their guest set sail for a 3 hour cruise on the Sailboat “Desire.”

  Lastly, be sure to get your RSVP in for White Caps Baseball. Wednesday, July 19th is the deadline. Cost is $12.00 for the game, Bingo Prizes and parking (if you carpool.). Call YAH if you have any questions. 616-913-4419 or email; info@youngatheartgr.org

With much Gratitude!!!

Virginia Scholten

Juke Box Jive, Tech Classes and Boat Rides, Oh My!

Hello Young at Heart Friends and Family;

HaPpY¬† FaTheR’s¬† DaY!!

MANY THANKS:¬†What an amazing weekend the friends and family of St. Alphonsus had this past weekend for their 135th Reunion. So much fun and lively energy, stories, thank you’s and blessings! A special¬†THANK¬†¬†YOU to Young at Heart Bakers. Your contributions raised $450.00 for the Young at Heart Program. Fundraising¬†money helps us to keep lunch costs down, as well as purchase those extra fun touches for our monthly Birthday Brunches, Cooking Class and Bingo Prizes.¬†¬†

BIRTHDAYS: This week Wednesday we will be celebrating the following June Birthdays. As an extra treat, ELVIS will be in the House!!! If you see any of the following people, wish them a HaPpY  BiRtHdAY: Linda Borches, June Boufford,Irene Franowicz, Mariann Gonsior, Larissa Holmes, Linda Jewell, Carol McDonnell, Susan Mead, Frank Minervini, Carole Nugent, Linda Ortman, Joni Otto, Drew Peters, Leo Polega, Jean Silbar, Jan Shepherd, Virginia Stempien-Dewey, Jim Trewhella, Darlene Truskowski, Maggie Vugteveen, Barb Weaver, and Dawn Powers. 

UPCOMING EVENTS: First Aid Training: Monday, June 26th at 10:30, Casey Quinn from the Plainfield Fire Department will be offering training on CPR and using an AED machine, in case of an emergency. This will be a great refresher class we can all use to be prepared. It can also be used as a certifiable CPR class for anyone wishing to renew their CPR Certification. Please RSVP if interested. This is available for all ages. 

Tour and Lecture at Hindu Temple of West Michigan:Wednesday, July 5th at 10:45-Noon, Fred Stella will continue his presentation with a Tour of the Temple and a lecture on the traditions and customs of the Hindu Religion. You are welcome to meet us at the Temple on Whitneyville Rd, or carpool. The carpool will leave St. Alphonsus @ 10:15. Please RSVP as soon as possible due to the upcoming July 4th holiday. 

Calendar and Flyers:¬†Attached is the July Calendar and Walking Club Schedule. Please note there are many activities coming up next month. I have attached a few supplementary¬†flyers to help explain a few of the activities. For example:¬†What is Juke Box Jive????¬†Lori Taft has helped explain… See the attached flyer.¬†What is the Technology Workshop?¬†See the attached flyer, as presented by Senior Neighbors. This will be a six week Drop-in Course, with each week offering a 20 minute lesson, and 30 minutes dedicated to your questions. Bring in your phones, laptops, Kindles, etc. Stay posted for more details regarding a list of topics to be presented.¬†

¬†FUN-D-RAISER:¬†Captain Alan Littlefair, is once again offering a cruise on the¬†Sailboat “DESIRE.”¬†Unfortunately, we received short notice regarding the date of the sale. So, while tickets are waiting for our license from the State of Michigan, we want to get the word out so you can prepare to purchase your chance to win a three hour Sailing Tour out of Saugatuck¬†for you and a friend. For the 8 people who sailed last year, it was a smashing success!!! This year’s sail will be in the afternoon from 4:00-7:00 on Wednesday, July 26th. We will keep you posted on when tickets will be available for purchase. See the attached flyer for more information. Cost is $25.00.
It sounds as though we are in for another warm and dry weather pattern. Please stay hydrated, and safe! 

So Much to Do… so little time

Hello Young at Heart Friends and Family;    ūüĆłūüĆľūüĆ∑

Time sure is going at lightning speed! Next weekend is Memorial Day Weekend, time to get the gardens in, and attend to all of our fun outdoor activities, and a few indoor ones with YAH, too. ūüėČ

HELP: YAH and St. Alphonsus’ pantry are looking for a few extra hands to help in the Creston Community Garden, We will be planting flowers and vegetables on Friday, May 26th at 1:00. We will need a few people to help water the garden during the week over the next couple of months, and watch for the fruits of your labor. The vegetables will then be donated to YAH, and the pantry for distribution. 

SCHEDULE: Please note Line Dancing will be meeting both this week Wednesday, May 24th as well as next week Wednesday, May 31st. Both days class will start at 12:45. Also note, on Wednesday, May 31st, we will be serving Pizza, Salad, and dessert before the class. Please get your RSVP in by this week Friday, May 26th.

FREE:  Brennan Kartes from Beltone will be back on Monday, June 5th to offer Free Hearing Tests. RSVP: Please call or email to schedule your exam. It is highly recommended you get a baseline exam, to assist with measuring any changes in hearing over time. Half hour time slots are available between 9:00 – 1:00. 
FREE SALE and RESOURCES: Frontline Community Church on Plainfield will be offering a Free Sale to folks in need. It will be held on Sat. June 3rd from 10:30am-1pm. Folks using the service will need to provide their ID and proof of need such as WiC, bridge card, SS or SSDI income. They will also have some vendors there to share resources. See the attached flyer for more information.

JUNE CALENDAR: The June Calendar is attached. Due to the holiday, we are asking that you make your RSVP‘s for the Senior Meals lunch on June 5th, as soon as possible. Likewise, please place your RSVP for the lunch outing to Brann’s Restaurant in Grandville on Wednesday, June 7th, and the Tour of the Grand Castle as soon as possible. 

Calling All BAKERS: YAH will be holding a Bake Sale on Saturday, June 17th from 9:00-11:00. There will be a free Pancake Breakfast. Please consider donating a Bake Sale item. We are also looking for a few people who can help collect the donations and answer any questions about Young at Heart. See the attached flyer for more details. 

UNDERSTANDING HINDUISM: Monday, June 12th at 10:00-12:00, Fred Stella from Hindu Temple will be offering a presentation on Hinduism, followed by a Hindu- Cultural Lunch. Please get your RSVP‘s in early to help us with planning. Please RSVP for either the presentation, lunch or both. See the attached flyer for more information. 

FIRST AID TRAINING: Casey Quinn from the Plainfield Fire Department will be offering a training for CPR, using an AED, and answering any other first aid questions you may have on Monday, June 26th at 10:30-12:00. Please RSVP for planning purposes. 

ROAD TRIP: Join YAH for a Thursday out…. on June 22nd at 10:00, the gang will be heading to Loafer’s Glory in Blanchard, MI. See the attached flyer for more information. Please RSVP before Sunday, June 19th.

REUNION PLANS: Because St. Alphonsus has so many Alumni all over the city, many of whom attend YAH, I have attached another flyer this week, emphasizing the Saturday night, June 17th  Chicken Dinner. I hear this is a legendary tradition, well before I knew about St. Alphonsus. It sounds like a lot of fun!!! Get your tickets in advance!

I hope you are all well enough to enjoy the beautiful Spring Weather!    ūüĆ∑ūüĆľūüĆł


Call Out for Volunteers

Greetings Young at Heart Friends and Family;

The busy season is upon us. I think they named it Spring, because it is like we have all sprung out of the ground! It’s like something has turned a switch, and those of us in the cooler climates, especially have all sprung to life… weddings, graduations, baptisms and other Religious events, Mother’s/Father’s Day, vacations, reunions and weekend get-aways…. 

There is no exception at Young at Heart, except there is generally less planning and less expense. In fact, we have a few FREE events coming up. Everyone is invited. BUT, we are looking for a couple of Volunteers that might be willing to help a bit. Here are the opportunities:

Monday, May 15th 12:00-2:00, is the Spring Tea and Baby Shower. Come join the fun, play a few games, donate a gift to Lighthouse for Teen Mom’s, and enjoy a light lunch with tea, petit four sandwiches and sweet treats. All for $5.00!!!   https://lighthouseforteenmoms.org/   See the attached flyer for more information. 

Saturday, May 8th 8:00-11:00 AM is the Creston Neighborhood Pancake Breakfast. YAH will have a promotional, informative booth. Stop by and say “Hi.” It will be held inside and outside at Creston Brewery at the intersection of Plainfield and Buffalo. If you have time, take a few moments to relieve one of our volunteers, so they too can enjoy the pancakes and look at the other booths.  https://www.crestongr.com/event/pancake-breakfast-3/?instance_id=29705

Wednesday, May 17th 9:00 – 1:00 is the Area Agency on Aging Senior Rally Day and Open House. Demonstrations, Resource Tables, Games and Give Aways… RSVP for your free lunch! ASAP!!! YAH will have a Resource Table at this event also. Come, enjoy the fun and learn more about programs and issues impacting your life today. Again, if you have the chance, stop by, say “Hi” to our Volunteers. If you can stay for a few minutes, our Volunteers would love a short break to eat and see the action, also.  https://www.aaawm.org/event/open-house-senior-rally-day

Would you like to be a part of a Community Garden??? For the past couple of years, Young at Heart Volunteers have helped plant, water and harvest the produce at the Creston Community garden. The produce is then passed along to YAH participants, or donated to the Food and Clothing Pantry at St. Alphonsus. Once again, we are looking for Volunteers to help plant, water and harvest. It does not take much time. The rewards are beautiful, flavorful and fruitful!!!  

Lastly, are you willing to help bake, sell, or staff History Lane???  St. Alphonsus will be celebrating 135 years!!!!  There will be a weekend of fun activities starting Friday June 16 – Sunday June 18th. Proceeds from Saturday, June 17th,  Bake Sale 8:00-11:00 (during Breakfast) will help support the Young at Heart Program. We are looking for people who are willing to donate a few baked goods and/or help collect the donations at the sale. We are also looking for a few individuals who can visit with participants in the classrooms that will have memorabilia, videos, and old photos from the archives. We have a variety of time slots on Saturday and Sunday for the History Lane memorabilia. (The attached flyer will tell you about Friday night’s campfire event.) 

Whew!!!! Think I got it all!!!

Hoping you will Spring into one of our events and help us out. The more the merrier….  Many hands make light work… you all know the cliches. Hope to see ya soon!!!



Anticipating Spring

Hello Young at Heart Friends and Family;

These cool and damp days, sure keep us longing for some predictable warmer weather. In a culture where so much is instantaneous and at our fingertips, it almost seems foreign to have to wait for anything. Perhaps it is good discipline for us. 

Young at Heart has two Community events coming up, and we would love to see you there!!!  

  • Saturday, May 13th, we will be at the Creston Pancake Breakfast. This is an annual event where you can meet familiar faces and a few new ones, join in a few games, learn about some neighborhood resources, relax and have a drink. The weather prediction looks decent! See the attached flyer for more information. 
  • Wednesday, May 17th, we will be at the Area Agency on Aging of West Michigan for the Senior Days Open House and Resource Fair.  This is a three-part event focusing on wellness, advocacy, and senior resources! Please see the attached flyer for more information. You can attend any, or all three, but please note the RSVP for a free lunch!  We anticipate a fun and informative day!

Meanwhile, on¬†Monday, May 15th,¬†to celebrate Mother’s Day, Young at Heart will be hosting a¬†Spring Tea and Baby Shower.¬†We will be serving Lunch, and collecting donations for Lighthouse for Teen Moms. Board Members from Lighthouse for Teen Moms will be offering a presentation on their program, and accepting donations of goods, cash and possible services. Lighthouse for Teen Moms provides¬†a “home based on Biblical Principles offering shelter to teen mothers, ages 13-19.¬†We provide healthy meals, prenatal care and assist in getting a High School diploma or GED.¬†There are classes in parenting, adoption, childbirth, budgeting, and building healthy relationships.¬†There are life skill classes in household management, employment skills and personal goal setting.”¬† Cost for lunch is $5.00.¬†RSVP. Also bring a donation for the babies and their young mothers. See the attached flyer for more information. We are eagerly anticipating a fun and heartwarming day!¬†

Looking forward to seeing you at these wonderful Spring events!

Virginia Scholten



Snowbirds and Spring Beauties

Hello Young at Heart Friends and Family;

WeLComE¬† BaCk home snowbirds. We miss you when you are gone! We have seen an increase in some of our classes and at some of our events. That brings fun and excitement!!¬† Just a reminder to all as some of the activities get busier…. be sure to submit your RSVP’s¬† in a timely manner.¬†

Just a few changes regarding Yoga: Pat P, our Yoga instructor, is still home recuperating. Therefore there will be no Yoga class this week. She also indicated she bought a Summer Home up north, and will be spending her time getting the new home in order. So, sadly, Yoga is back on hold. I am following a couple of leads, with hopes for a good match in the near future. Stay posted!  We are aiming to have a Tuesday morning class as that was one of the most popular requests when we did our survey.

ThAnK¬† YoU! The most recent group of¬†Calvin Nursing Students¬†will be graduating soon. They would like you all to know they greatly enjoyed working with so many of you… taking blood pressures, glucose testing, socializing, presenting on important health-related topics, and even getting in a little pickleball. A new class will start in the Fall.

Attached is a recent newsletter from New Development. Many of you have inquired into the grants for home improvements. See the attached flyer or contact New Development. 

I have also attached the May Events Calendar in case you missed it last week.

 The May Walking Club Calendar is also attached. Come join the beautiful Saturday Morning Walks at our local parks. Spring Flowers are popping up everywhere!

I hope everyone has a healthy last week of April! As the cool air continues, it prolongs the Spring Blooms. Enjoy the beauty!!!

Virginia Scholten


May Flowers

Hello Young at Heart Friends and Family;

 ūüĆ∑ Hopefully the warmer temperatures will slow down and the cooler temperatures will rise a bit, so we can enjoy May Flowers…. Where is that perfect balance??? 

I apologize for getting this email out to you a couple days later than normal. Life has been busy planning some fun summer activities. We are fast approaching May, so I want to forward some information about upcoming Spring events, as well as the May Calendar! 

  • 1) Saturday, May 13th from 8:00-11:00 is the Creston Neighborhood Pancake Breakfast. Enjoy meeting your neighbors and learning more about your neighborhood resources. See the attached flyer for more details. 
  • 2) Saturday, May 13th at 7:30 at the East Grand Rapids Performing Arts Center, come and listen to the Schubert Male Chorus Spring Concert. See the attached flyer for more details. Cost: $20.00 in advance.
  • 3) Monday, May 15th, 12:00-2:00 Young at Heart will be holding a Spring Tea Luncheon and Baby Shower. Join us for games, entertainment, tea, sandwiches and more. Please bring a Baby Shower Donation. Lighthouse for Teen Moms will be doing a Presentation and donations will be made to help support the Teen Moms in their program. Cost is $5.00 for lunch. Please RSVP at 616-913-4419 or email info@youngatheartgr.org.  ūüź¶ūüź¶
  • 4) Wednesday, May 17th, 10:00-1:00 is the Area Agency on Aging of West Michigan (AAAWM) Open House. This will be held at 3215 Eaglecrest Dr. NE, Grand Rapids. There will be countless booths highlighting many of the resources available to residents in Kent County that are funded through the Kent County Senior Millage. I am still waiting on a flyer with more details. Cost: FREE.

Hope you all enjoy the remainder of the week!