SAGES Thank Tessa Charnofsky!

Flavia PotenzaBy Flavia Potenza

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SAGES Thank  Tessa Charnofsky!
Photo by Flavia Potenza SAGES president James Grasso presents native plants to avid gardner Tessa Charnofsky, as volunteer Tam Taylor looks on.
The November Senior Dinner at the Topanga Community Center was delicious and included one little surprise: a thank-you presentation of native plants to Tessa Charnofsky, West Valley and Mountain Communities Director for Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. Shortly after she was introduced as Kuehl’s District 3 representative for Topanga, she showed up at almost every Town Council Meeting at the Topanga Library (on Zoom during the pandemic). During her tenure, she familiarized herself with the essential volunteer organizations created and developed by the community over decades, especially in fire prevention and protection. She listened, learned and responded to the concerns of community leaders and residents whose confidence in her leadership grew. An avid and informed gardener at home, Charnofsky is also a current board member of the Theodore Payne Foundation and seemed almost to embrace the potted plants handed to her by SAGES president James Grasso and SAGES volunteer Tam Taylor.​​ Charnofsky thanked the group saying, “The uniqueness of Topanga, the passion and volunteerism of organizations in the canyon that focus on public safety, address fire danger, support older adults, and those incredible volunteers who stepped up during the pandemic, is like nowhere else.” With mid-term elections just three days away, she also urged everyone to vote and “not to necessarily believe what some say are in a promise book. They should advocate for their needs, sit down with the next Supervisor and her/his staff to talk about these needs.” The group responded with a standing ovation. ​The dinner was a hearty meal of roast pork with applesauce and/or horseradish, baked sweet potato with cinnamon and ginger, green beans with sliced almonds, red cabbage with onions and cornbread, all planned and prepared by Joe Grassi with the help of volunteer sous chefs and servers, and a homemade dessert of chocolate pumpkin cake by Karen Dannenbaum. It was perfect for a chilly late afternoon repast...outside in the parking lot because the hall was already set up with voting machines for election day on Tuesday. ​Sadly for us, with Supervisor Kuehl’s retirement, Charnofsky will also be moving on. We can only wish her well and be grateful for her service to Topanga. ​As we are to the SAGES. ​SAVE THE DATE! The last Senior Dinner of the year will be on Sunday, December 4, 5 p.m., as part of the Community Center’s holiday festivities.
Flavia Potenza

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