Lavender Friends LogoPhoto of SCLH Waterfall


Sun City Lincoln Hills

The Lavender Friends Club is a group of LGBTQ individuals and those in friendship residing
in the beautiful 55+ resort-like community of Sun City Lincoln Hills in Lincoln, California 95648

Archives - 2021

December 2021

Sun Senior News
by Sandi Dolbee

Here in Lincoln Hills, the top prize for our club’s chili cook-off last month went to a recipe that looked nothing like those “bowls of red” sold by the “chili queens” of San Antonio, Texas, back in the 1800s.

Instead, winner Lorena Cabote‘s winning ”creamy chicken chili” recipe featured the irresistible combination of cream cheese and heavy cream. Besides getting the most votes out of four contestants, Lorena went home with the prize of a bright red dutch oven, whose origins actually may predate the first known chili dishes by at least a century.

Lorena Cabote and her winning pot of chili.

The cook-off drew more than 30 club members for an event at Kilaga Springs, which coordinator Denise Webfield has been planning — and patiently nurturing — since before the COVID clampdown.

Besides the chili offerings — which also included a vegetarian option, a beefy soup version and a spicy chicken entry — other members brought a smorgasbord of salads,condiments and desserts. The food was followed by a rousing session of Pictionary.

And now comes even more fun as we plan for a holiday brunch at Meridians, a dinner/dance at Turkey Creek and, in January, many of us will be joining a beginners square dance class here (no partner required).

Lavender Friends wishes you all happy holidays and a pandemic-free new year.

November 2021

Sun Senior News
by Paula Kregel

Our club recently held its second Topgolf event, and a group of members came out to enjoy taking some swings and hitting their targets (a lot of the time, anyway). The weather was perfect, and of course, the food was a highlight. Ability level didn’t get in the way of having a great time, and everyone made some spot-on golf shots.

Meredith Nelson swings at her target at Topgolf.

We have continued with our Saturday get-togethers via Zoom until the Kilaga Café opens again on weekends. On October 15 we celebrated members whose birthdays were in October and November with free beverages for the birthday peeps and free donuts for all members at Kilaga Café.

A Chili Cookoff and Game Night will be held on November 5, our first potluck since the recent shutdown. The Chili Cookoff will be new for our club, while Pictionary and Mexican Train will return as game favorites.

Also, members are looking forward to the annual Holiday Dinner and Dance in December at Turkey Creek, barring any further shutdowns.

October 2021

Sun Senior News
by Sandi Dolbee

For nearly a decade now, Marie Salers has been the face of the compassionate outreach of our club.

As the chair of Lavender Hearts, she’s led us through fundraisers, including providing gift baskets for the Sacramento Women’s Chorus, assembling holiday meals for Stand Up Placer’s shelter and sponsoring college scholarships through PFLAG, a support group for LGBTQ people and their families.

She’s also coordinated volunteer opportunities at such endeavors as Salt Mine’s food distribution program. Not to mention the supervising of sending cards of encouragement to members who are ill or in need of kind words.

Marie Salers: outreach has been a “good fit”.

While Marie recruited other members to help on the committee, she acknowledges that nobody else wanted to run it. So she kept doing it. Besides, for someone who spent 40 years in nursing (culminating with being a critical care nurse for UCD Medical Center), she was used to caring for others. “It seemed like a good fi t for me,” she says.

But now, after holding the post since 2012, she is stepping down — though she’ll remain on the committee for continuity sake. Carolyn Shama is the new chair.

Marie and her partner, Sharon Kurth, are founding members of Lavender Friends, which will celebrate its 16th anniversary with a reunion on October 8.

She also is a passionate master gardener and is vice president of the local gardening club.

A native of New York state, Marie’s been in California since 1970, which she suggests practically makes her a native. She and Sharon moved to Lincoln Hills in 2002.

Marie also is an avid cruiser. She and Sharon are Diamond-level members of Royal Caribbean Cruises. They are particularly looking forward to their next cruise, in February, when they will sail to Mexico and celebrate their 50th anniversary.

Lavender Hearts’ mission statement says it “seeks to reach out to the Lavender Friends community at large, offering members opportunities to contribute themselves as volunteers or provide financial support to worthy organizations.” It was written by someone else, but Marie has lived it — and helped so many of us to do likewise.

Club president Marilyn Kupcho praised her impact. “Under her leadership, she has spearheaded activities that have enabled the Lavender Friends club to have an active presence in Lincoln and the surrounding communities,” she said.

September 2021

Sun Senior News
by Paula Kregel

Our club continues to bring back old activities and plan new ones. This summer we renewed our birthday celebrations. In July we met for coffee and donuts outside of Kilaga Springs Cafe for birthday wishes and good conversation. We’ll continue the birthday gatherings every other month.

Also in July, we held our semiannual General Meeting. A quorum of members met via Zoom and approved an update to our Policies and Procedures. And Steering Committee members Mary Jo and Lynde were approved to continue their terms as Vice President and Secretary, respectively.

Another club activity has also restarted: Adventures in Dining. As of this publication, members will have gathered at La Fornaretta restaurant in Newcastle. This was a return trip to the Sicilian eatery, which was a hit with members on their first visit.

Coming up later this month is a Topgolf event, to be enjoyed by golfers and non-golfers alike. There’s no need for any golf experience to have a blast swinging away and enjoying lunch in the golf bay!

August 2021

Sun Senior News
by Sandy Dolbee

We — Are — Back!

With those words, our club — on the afternoon after Independence Day — held its first in-person social gathering in more than a year.

People’s noses and mouths never looked so good.

A whopping 43 people attended the bring-your-own-lunch picnic held at the Sports Pavilion — that’s about two-thirds of our membership. To be safe in this new normal, people brought their own entrees and the club furnished canned and bottled beverages and individually wrapped frozen desserts.

Our thanks to the Strummin” Sistas, a local ukulele group, for coming out for a guest concert at our picnic.

A few of the 43 club members who attended our “we”re back” picnic at Sports Pavilion.

The crown jewel in the program — except perhaps for seeing each other up close and personal again — was a concert by the Strummin’ Sistas, a Lincoln Hills ukulele group that entertained us with oldies hits from Beach Boys to Carole King. Then they got us on our feet in an out-of-practice dance line for the finale song, “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Louis Armstrong would have been proud. They were such a hit that a pickleball player came by afterward to report that the courts were entertained as well.

Lavender Friends represents the LGBTQ community here with social events, supportive care and community participation.

The Activities Committee, which like so many other club committees has been harnessing online platforms to keep us together while staying safely apart, had one final message:

More — To — Come!

July 2021

Sun Senior News
by Paula Kregel

A recent Lavender Friends “Show and Tell” Zoom showcased some creative ways members kept busy during the COVID isolation this past year.

Meredith spent time on her hobby of five years — playing the ukulele. She serenaded the club with a Blues song — “Beautician Blues” by B.B. King. Who knew the blues could be played on a ukulele?

“The ukulele is a beautiful instrument, I fell in love with it,” said Meredith. She plays with a group called the “Strummin’ Sistas,” which continued playing during the pandemic. “We played outside, with frozen fingers in December,” she said. “We were dedicated.”

Photography, ukulele playing, and castle painting have been some of Lavender Friends members’ pandemic pastimes.

Lavender Friends member Wayne presented his pandemic project — model castles painted with fingernail polish. He discovered that fingernail polish would stick well to the porcelain finish. Colorful, jewel-like castles are the result.

“What I like about painting the castles is that I can use bright, vibrant colors, plus colors with glitter,” said Wayne. “I like making them very colorful, because manufacturers don’t make them that way.”

Joan presented some of the watercolor paintings and quilts she did during the pandemic. The two mediums are very different, she said. “Quilting is about precision, the opposite of watercolor, which is more unpredictable.”

During the social restrictions, images were from photos or things around her home. She was finishing quilting projects so quickly that she decided to work on a colorful, intricate 3D pattern. “I needed something complicated that would take more time.”

Photographer Kate also kept busy during the slowdown. “I couldn’t travel so I did a lot of local settings and processing of some old photos that I hadn’t gotten around to,” said Kate.

Kate helps others with photo processing as part of a photo processing group and teaches photography for people with learning disabilities at Sierra College.

Mary Jo was immersed in her vintage cat collection this last year, plus acquiring two REAL cats! She has been a collector for a while. “I started with teacups, then perfume bottles, and segued into cats,” she said. “I have a houseful.”

For the “Show and Tell” Zoom she showed off some unique cat items, including a mustard pot from Germany in the shape of a cat and two kissing papier-mache cats with rhinestone collars.

June 2021

Sun Senior News
by Carolyn Shama

June has been recognized as LGBTQ+ Pride Month in the United States. It is celebrated in other nations where the months may vary. Andy Rooney always started his editorial comments with the question “Did you ever wonder?” Did you ever wonder where the rainbow flag came from? Who designed it? What the different colors signify? Wonder no more. The rainbow flag was designed by a San Francisco artist, Gilbert Baker, at the urging of his friend Harvey Milk. It was to be a visible symbol for what was then known as the gay community. It was first flown at the San Francisco Gay Pride parade on June 25, 1976. The original colors were hot pink, red, orange, yellow, turquoise, indigo and violet. The hot pink and turquoise were eventually dropped because of difficulty getting a consistent dye.

The flag today has six colors. Red is for life. Orange represents health. Green celebrates nature. Yellow is sunshine. Indigo (now a royal blue) celebrates harmony and violet signifies spirit.

The Gay Pride movement was spurred by repeated police raids of peaceful gathering places in NYC. The Genovese Crime syndicate purchased the Stonewall Inn, renovated it and reopened it as a gay establishment (BYOB). On June 28, 1969 police raided the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village and the patrons fought back. A year after the “riots”, thousands gathered in Central Park NYC to remember the travesty of that day. They called it the “Christopher Street Liberation Day”. This is the 51st year when towns and cities all over the world celebrate LGBTQ+ pride. In 2016 the Stonewall Inn and its local surroundings were declared a national monument.

When you see a rainbow flag displayed this month, it is a visible reminder that LGBTQ+ citizens across the globe are finding courage to resist physical, economic, social and religious persecution. They are standing shoulder to shoulder and declaring as they did in first San Francisco Gay Pride parade, “Say it loud, gay is Proud.”

Over the past five decades, the gay pride movement evolved to include may other groups. Today the rainbow flag represents those who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning and others who align themselves under the rainbow flag.

We continue our Saturday morning coffee gathering via Zoom; along with dog walks (dogs are optional). We look forward to the day when we can meet again, face to face, continuing to practice safety guidelines from the CDC and our personal preferences.

We welcome anyone in the LGBTQ+ community and allies residing in Lincoln Hills. Our goal is to create opportunities and support for social gatherings, giving back to the community and sharing our life experiences. We believe that a strong community is built on personal experiences that create a sense of belonging.

May 2021

Sun Senior News
by Paula Kregel

Our ACE Committee (Activities Committee Extraordinaire) continues to offer Lavender Friends Club members fun, COVID-safe activities.

April started out with an Easter Sunday Bunny Hop — an idea borrowed from the club’s yearly Turkey Trot. A group of eager club members met on Easter to “hop on down the bunny trail” and walk the Oaks Canyon and Elderberry Trails. As one participant said, “It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood!” Members then enjoyed some backyard treats and social time.

Then on April 10, the club held its third Zoom Bingo event, with 24 people participating. Cards were free for members and prizes totaling $100 were given out, including a grand prize of $25. Everyone had fun filling in their bingo cards in different patterns while learning some interesting Bingo trivia. Did you know that a bingo card has 1,474,200 possible winning combinations?

Next up for the Lavender Friends Club is Show and Tell Zoom party on May 7. Members will be able to share the different ways they have spent their COVID clampdown time.

April 2021

Sun Senior News
by Sandi Dolbee

As it turns out, not everyone has spent this COVID clampdown binge-watching Schitt’s Creek or scouring YouTube for Randy Rainbow parodies to post on Facebook.

Several of our club members have spent their isolation doing some pretty incredible things — like learning to play the blues on the ukulele, painting with fingernail polish, baking bagels and sewing elaborate quilts. The activities committee will be featuring some of this talent in a special show-and-tell extravaganza via Zoom at 6:30 p.m. May 7.

Joan Lacktis painted this howler monkey from a photo she took during a pre-COVID visit to Belize.

And back by popular demand, we’ll also be hosting Round 3 of our bingo games on Zoom beginning at 6:30 p.m. April 10. Remember: Dollar Tree sells packs of buttons that are the perfect size for covering the numbers on your bingo cards.

Watch your inbox for the weekly club emails, which will provide details and the Zoom links for both these events.

Meanwhile, be sure to mark your calendar for the return of our Holiday Dinner and Dance on Dec. 11. More information to come as we get closer to the annual gathering (which we had to skip last year because of the shutdown).

March 2021

Sun Senior News
by Deborah Turnor

Oh, to talk about love, the choice to love, the ability to choose, the reminder that we all get to choose.

The president of the Lavender Club stated, “I am what I am. So take me as I am. No one can escape from their individuality.”

Love is love and as a culture we need to move forward, irrespective of gender. Not all romantic love occurs between straight women and straight men and there are so many alternative forms of love that are important and beautiful, including love for our children, grandchildren, pets, partners and friends.

Freedom can only be true where all communities possess equal rights. We may have a long way to go, but we certainly have come a long way from where we once were.

Lavender Friends Member
Jack Fallin

September 30, 1937 – February 16, 2021

Jack and his late husband, Howard Friedman (d.2009), were longtime members of Lavender Friends. Jack passed away at his home and requested no services. It was noted in visits by friends prior to his transition that he loved wearing his Lavender Friends t-shirt.

February 2021

Sun Senior News
by Sandi Dolbee

One day, the owners of a house here in Lincoln Hills will decide to remodel their bathroom and they will tear open a wall behind the shower and find a Ziploc bag with mementos from the great pandemic of our lifetime.

Stuffed inside are masks and a first-person account of the impact of COVID-19. “I wrote a personal journal of what it has been like with stay-at-home orders, long waits for remodeling my bathroom, shortages, unnecessary deaths, positive aspects of Zoom,” says Dawna Hawksworth.

A self-fashioned memoir of COVID-19 is buried behind a shower makeover.

She got the idea for this self-fashioned time capsule from another renovation project years ago. “When we tore out a wall in our 100-year-old house in San Jose, we found old newspapers with dates and interesting wall paper. I was looking for anything of interest (here) when the walls behind my shower were exposed, but there was nothing but garbage that the original workers were too lazy to carry out.”

Dawna shared her story on a recent club get-together over Zoom. Other members were enthralled — and we were reminded that, like it or not, we are living through history and should all be thinking about how we can pass it on for future generations.

Lavender Friends is a club for LGBT residents here. We are looking forward to a time later this year when we may be able to safely get together again and do things like celebrate the 16th anniversary of our club’s founding.

January 2021

Sun Senior News
by Sandi Dolbee

Meet the three club members who have been put forth by the Nominating Committee to become our new officers for the next two years: Darlene Barbieri for president, Marilyn Kupcho for vice president and Pat Murphy for secretary.

The election will be held at our biannual business meeting, scheduled for 10 a.m. Jan. 23 on Zoom (members are reminded to watch for the Zoom link in your weekly emailed communications). Once elected, the three will join Nancy Sartor, who is continuing as treasurer.

Darlene, a retired school psychologist, has been a Lavender Friends member since 2017. When asked why she agreed to be nominated for the president post, she talked about providing a community for our LGBT residents that is supportive, caring, accepting — and fun. “I believe people need each other and we need each other to get through life’s ups and downs and, sometimes, crazy times. We can be that for each other.”

She has spent much of her life living by the ocean in San Francisco, Half Moon Bay and Capitola. While she misses the water and is saving up to buy a boat to spend time back on it, she adds: “I have adjusted my sails and am looking forward to enjoying retirement here in this community.”

Marilyn, a retired technology support manager at San Jose State University, has been a club member since 2013. She likes to walk and play pickleball. Recently she’s begun dabbling in making bread, bagels, pizza and pretzels while also maintaining her weight. “Hence,” she adds, “the pickleball and walking.” She borrows a line from the smash hit play “Hamilton,” when asked why she agreed to run for vice president. “I want to be ‘in the room where it happens.’”

Pat is one of our newest members, having moved here this past summer. She is a semiretired HR business partner and manager and loves to garden. She agreed to stand for election as secretary because “the best way to understand the culture and embrace my new home is to engage in areas of my interest. Being secretary allows me to learn about the group, its focus, challenges and goals in this community.”

They will replace the current president (Joan Lacktis), vice president (Elaine Kalani) and secretary (Sandi Dolbee).

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