What do you do for the City?
Carol Jacobs-Courtz began working with the City in 1971/72 as a Recreation Leader with the Parks and Recreation Department, now the Community Services Department. Carol has a degree in Sociology and an Associate Degree in Gerontology. Soon after she began her work with the City, she was put in charge of the San Rafael Goldenaires, a 501C3 organization that operates within an Agreement with the City for older adult programming. The Club started in 1968 as a response to the need for more services for seniors after the passage of the Older Americans Act of 1965.
Recently Carol “retired” from the City asfter 35 years and now is the contracted Program Director for The San Rafael Goldenaires focusing on managing Club programs at the San Rafael Community Center and the Terra Linda Seniors. In addition, she manages grant funded Multicultural Senior Group at the Al Boro Community Center. This spotlight focuses on Carol’s work with the Goldenaires Club. According to Carol, “This is a real devoted population and core members step up to make all the activities happen.”
What do you enjoy most about working with volunteers?
Their devotion and loyalty! I enjoy their true appreciation of being needed and their consistency. They are always willing to help.
How have volunteers helped your program?
Without volunteers we would not have a program! The San Rafael Goldenaires sponsors various activities (classes, luncheons, membership meetings, bingo games, dances, special events and trips) and we also cosponsor many programs/workshops with other non-profit agencies. These activities give adults over the age of 62 an opportunity to meet other people and stay informed on services for older adults. The Club members (volunteers) are very active. I am supported by an executive board of 10 individuals and various committees. Currently Club membership is 1,200 with about 80-100 core members who make it all happen. Many of these individuals are 80 + years old and have been involved in the Club for over 25 years.
Describe an event or activity that would not happen without your volunteers?
One annual event that most people do not realize had its origins with the San Rafael Goldenaires is the annual Marin Senior Information Fair that takes place each October. This year it will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 26th at the County Exhibition Hall-Civic Center. It was spearheaded by the Marin County Health and Human Services Aging Dept. along with the Marin County Library. San Rafael Goldenaires was one of the 1st agencies invited to play a key role in the development of the Senior Fair and currently, we coordinate all of the volunteers for this event. It attracts thousands of attendees. It is a big undertaking. Another fun event for the Goldenaires is the annual Luau in the summer. Years ago it did include a roasted pig! Now there is Hawaiian style menu and music, including dancing – it is a lot of fun!
What would you suggest to those considering volunteering?
There are numerous areas where one can participate in a volunteer role. Being a member of the Goldenaries, we rely heavily on our volunteers-it’s a great way to stay active, energized and social. We always need someone somewhere to help with an event, office duties, kitchen activities and fundraising aspects of the Club. Everyone is welcome over the age of 62! Come on down to the San Rafael Community Center and check us out! For more information about upcoming events see our Newsletter for the Goldenaires Club.
Carlene McCart, Director, San Rafael Community Services says of Carol, “Carol is a highly organized manager. Her skills allow for volunteers in the Goldenaires Club operations to be productive and receive validation for their efforts. She is also gifted in relating to individuals in the later stages of life, providing the personal attention to participants and volunteers that keep all connected and supported. It is gratifying see the self-esteem and other healthy benefits enjoyed by Carol’s active seniors.”