WELCOME. Elva welcomed everybody attending and thanked Kathy Wilkinson and Stacy Schooler from Overture Highlands for providing refreshments for our meeting. As is customary, Overture Highlands was given 5 minutes at the mic to tell us about their new luxury independent living senior apartments in exchange for providing refreshments for our meeting. This new complex will be a wonderful asset for many of Arlington's residents.
MUSICAL MEMORY SINGERS. Though not in time to be on the Agenda, Elva introduced Velma Bogart, leader extraordinaire, who has taken over the leadership of the community chorus (now called "Musical Memory Singers") for people with Alzheimer's/other dementias, which we've been discussing in our meetings for over six months. Velma spoke briefly about where we are and what is needed. We need volunteers mostly to spread the word that the chorus is forming. The first public meeting and brief rehearsal (just to give a taste of what we're about) will be held at the Pantego Lion's Club, 3535 Marathon St., Arlington, 9:30-11:00 am on Thursday, October 5 and everybody is invited to come check us out. No auditions. Singing in a group is not scary (and don't worry if you, like me, can't carry a tune in a bucket...we're all about the fun of singing). Please plan to join us. Ambassadors member Kay Reynolds has graciously agreed to be President of the 501c3 Board of Directors that is forming. Dana Lobough is Artistic Director. Questions can be directed to Elva or to Velma's email address which is email@example.com .
KINDNESS INITIATIVE. Elva spoke briefly about Mayor Williams' kindness initiative for our City and how the "Ask Arlington" smartphone app is set up to receive notifications about acts of kindness performed by Arlington citizens. You can download the app on your iPhone from iTunes or your Android phone from the Google Play Store (search for "Ask Arlington"). The City's goal is to log 400,000 acts of kindness and Elva asked all Ambassadors to participate and she passed out a list of 50 small acts of kindness, many of which don't cost anything. Elva is going to do #46 and #50 on the list and will report on "Ask Arlington" when that is done.[Note: No. 46 was done and reported on Ask Arlington.] If you were not in attendance and would like to receive the list of suggestions, just email Elva firstname.lastname@example.org and she'll email it to you.
TRANSPORTATION. Member Peggy Masters gave a quick update on the Mayor's Transportation Advisory Committee ("TAC") which Peggy has been serving on as a representative of the Ambassadors group. She said the final report is expected to be delivered to Mayor and Council in September. She said that there aren't any quick fixes and that the report will focus on solutions that are long-term. All of the Ambassadors members are interested in what the TAC is going to recommend for Arlington.
PROJECT UPDATE. A quick update on the Ambassadors' Top 5 Projects (out of 11 identified Projects) was given by Elva. The Top 5 Projects are:
The balance of the Agenda was not covered because of time constraints but will be covered at a future meeting.
COMMUNITY HOSPICE. Three representatives from Community Hospice (Robin Carter, Karen Godfrey M.D., and Parrish Horton R.N., gave a very interesting talk about hospice in general and about their own hospice service specifically. We learned that Community Hospice is the largest non-profit hospice in Texas and that they never turn anybody away, regardless of ability to pay. They offer in-patient service (at their own facilities) and in-home services. They are the only pediatric hospice in the DFW area. A member from the audience asked the question about what's the difference between a "for profit" and a "non-profit" organization. Remember that "for profit" corporations must satisfy their shareholders and give them the highest return on their investment (returning part of the profit to shareholders). A non-profit does not need to pay shareholders and thus the pressure to earn big profits is much reduced. The only way to earn profits is to charge the most $$ that the market will bear and deliver less service for the same $$.
Elva Roy is the Founder of the all-volunteer group "Ambassadors For Aging Well" which meets in Arlington, Texas.