Sages Host Membership BBQ, October 5

The Canyon Sages, Topanga’s only social and service organization for seniors, will hold its Annual Membership BBQ Friday, October 5, starting with appetizers at 3:30 p.m., followed by a full-on barbecue with all the fixins’.

Randy Just will man the grill, as he has for many years, and Lisa Villasenor, Karla Morrison, and Karen Dannenbaum will lead the kitchen crew of amazing volunteers.

The Topanga Community Club (TCC) gives financial support for all our dinners, supplemented by volunteers’ side dishes, salads, and drinks. Last year, L.A. County showed its support for the dinners and the Community House by awarding the Sages a grant for new appliances and kitchen supplies. All this support allows us to offer our dinners free to the public.

This year, as a special treat, the Topanga Youth Services kids, under the direction of Karen Cooke, will put on a Motown show. At a Sages dinner last spring, the talented kids wowed the crowd with their production of “The Sound of Music,” and we’re delighted to have them back.

Get Active with the Sages

Canyon Sages charges no dues and wants to welcome all newcomers to sign up as Sages at the BBQ. If you are already a member, feel free to bring a friend. Members receive e-mail alerts about our monthly dinners, low-cost classes, free clubs, outings, and lecture series.

This fall we are kicking off a host of classes, new and returning. Currently running are Tai Chi, Qigong, Buff Bones Pilates, watercolor painting, and Writing Your Memoir. Starting soon will be Spanish class and classes in acrylic painting. For information about fees, times, places, and how to sign up, go to the Sages calendar at

In addition to paid classes, we have several free clubs, including a weekly fiber arts group, a meditation class, and a monthly book club, also detailed on our website. We publicize activities that run by others that might be of interest to seniors, including a free weekly tango class hosted by Barbara Webb and Oscar Spear, and a twice monthly song circle run by Linnea Richards.

This fall, we have two important events at Topanga Library. On September 22 from 10:30 a.m.-noon, CHP officer Leland Tang will host a special program, “Age Well, Drive Smart,” with tips about how to continue driving safely as a senior. Therapist Connie Zweig will be back with a holistic approach to aging: “Conscious Living, Conscious Dying” on Saturday, October 13, from 2-5 p.m.

Sages Senior Classroom Update

The ground is now broken for our new Sages senior classroom at the Community House. This amazing space will allow us to expand our programs as never before. Robin Soper is the contractor leading the effort, following Franka Diehnelt’s beautiful design. The Sages wants to thank the County, Topanga’s American Legion Post, and dozens of private citizens who have given so generously to make this happen for the seniors of Topanga. You can still donate here.

Connect to Services

Since its inception in 2009, the Sages has always prioritized helping seniors in need in the canyon. To that end, we’ve connected them with county services and assisted directly with problems as varied as fighting scammers and helping them pack up to move. If you are someone, or know someone, who needs any senior assistance, contact Michele at (310) 455-1319. We have lists of locally referenced drivers and home healthcare aides that we offer to anyone who asks. If you are an experienced caregiver with local references, we’d be happy to add you to our list. If you’d like to drive, for a fee or for free, please call to be added to that list.

Volunteers Welcome!

There are many volunteer opportunities for all ages with the Canyon Sages. Currently we need someone to lead our outings program—planning fun trips to venues in Southern California. We need a computer guy or gal who can update our website. We are also building a services committee to help seniors in crisis. We especially need an experienced grant writer. If you would like to volunteer, please call Michele or come to our next volunteer meeting Wednesday, September 26, starting at 2 p.m. at the Topanga Library Meeting Room.


By Michele Johnson


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