Blue Skies, Good News at Georgetown Village Gala

The cool rains of a mild late spring morning turned into sunny breezes and blue skies, perfect for the outdoor annual gala of Georgetown Village June 14 on the terrace of philanthropist and real estate agent Nancy Taylor Bubes’s penthouse that encompasses a vista of more than 180 degrees of the Potomac River, sweeping past the Watergate and Kennedy Center, past the Rosslyn skyline and Key Bridge and over to the spires of Georgetown University and the rest of the town.

“It’s just what we ordered,” laughed Georgetown Village Executive Director Lynn Golub-Rofrano, as she talked to 100 donors, board members, supporters and volunteers about the aging-in place assistance nonprofit. “We have so much to celebrate.”

She listed the “game changing” accomplishments of the Village over this past year with the move to its new, spacious and professionally decorated headquarters at the former Fillmore School on 35th street — and thanked Sachiko Kuno and the S&R Evermay Foundation for donating the space.

The new headquarters led to the re-invention of the mission and focus of the Georgetown Village, Golub-Rofrano said. The village could expand as a service organization that aids those 55 years and older to stay in their homes as they age if they so choose.  There is a large reception area that became a furnished and equipped multipurpose lounge called “the Village Square.” It enables the nonprofit to offer a friendly and accessible, isolation-busting gathering place with stimulating activities and excursions.

“Every one of the other some 13 neighborhood ‘Villages’ in Washington D.C., is talking about us,” she said. “We have become a model of an expanded Village mission that incorporates staying in place and also addressing what Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has described as the top health issue in America: loneliness and isolation.”

The gala was focused on honoring founding member, Q street neighbor and well-known CBS News correspondent and anchor Bill Plante, who died last year. Robin Smith, his wife of 23 years and herself an award-winning (including an Emmy) film and documentary maker through her own non-profit organization Video/Action, described a new program that will begin in the fall and be called “The Bill Plante Conversations.”

“Bill loved three things,” Smith said. “Politics, journalism and wine.”

When Plante would interview people, Smith explained, it became more than questions and answers and turned into a conversation where views and motivations were shared and everyone came out with a better understanding of the topic at hand.

“That is what I would like to do every few months in the Village Square — have conversations with leading figures in news, such as Lesley Stahl perhaps, politics and wine where everyone can participate and learn,” Smith said.

Ward 2 Council member Brooke Pinto has on hand to congratulate the group and say that she wants more “Villages” throughout her ward and would do all she could to help. She mentioned she had an important announcement but would save it for another time. Still, most knew she meant that she had just announced her reelection bid for the Ward 2 seat on the D.C. Council.

Among the honors given at the gala was a lifetime membership in Georgetown Village to Nancy and Alan Bubes, whose generosity was recognized and whose penthouse always delights any crowd. (By the way, it was the site of the June 14th Georgetowner cover photo.)



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