Vital Aging Network

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Evolve in Golden Valley

Use your lifetime
of experiences to make
a better Golden Valley

gvcfcolor250_250Do you care about Golden Valley and want it to thrive? Do you have skills, talents and/or passions to share?

The Vital Aging Network’s Evolve: Re-igniting Self & Community will help you discover your unique path to making a contribution, focus your energies and connect you with others to achieve more than you can do by yourself. 

Increase your leadership skills and learn to design and implement projects that turn your ideas into action. Evolve participants call the class “transformational,” “a most valuable experience,” “stimulating,” and “a great opportunity.”


Dean Penk, chair of Golden Valley Community Foundation
describes the value of the Evolve program

Eight Wednesdays
8:30 am to 3:30 pm
January 4 to May 3, 2017

Golden Valley, MN, (location TBD)

Cost: $250
Special reduced pricing for people who live, work, volunteer in Golden Valley or have recently retired from a Golden Valley business or organization. $750 value. Sliding fee may be available.

Fees include proven curriculum, course facilitator, materials, lunches and refreshments

Download a flyer | Download the application and return via email: Fillable PDF

Want to learn more? Join us for a taster workshop and an information session

About Evolve in Golden Valley

alva-18forforum_238“As a first-ring suburb twenty percent of Golden Valley’s population is age 65+, putting us on the leading edge of one of the most dramatic demographic shifts in history,” says Dean Penk, chair of the Golden Valley Community Foundation. “This generation of older adults is highly educated, skilled and experienced and they are interested in using their skills, remaining relevant and making a difference. They represent a tremendous opportunity for our community. That’s why we are excited to partner with the Vital Aging Network in bringing the Evolve: Re-igniting Self & Community program to Golden Valley this fall.”

Golden Valley has been working for some time to position itself for the future. “The citizen-led community initiative, Envision Golden Valley, was an important step forward for our community. We see this program as an excellent way to continue to implement some of the ideas generated in that process,” says Penk.

About Evolve

communityleadership_288Evolve classes offer a mix of exposure to new ideas, in-depth discussions, guided reflection and hands-on designing and implementing projects. According to one participant: “I continue to be amazed by and grateful for the people in this class. Their collective experience, knowledge and vision give me confidence to forge ahead with my project and life in general.”

More that 315 individuals have completed the eight-month, one-day a month Evolve course. The program aims for both personal transformation and community transformation.

Past Evolve participants have produced impressive results:

  • Cathy DeSutter helped a food shelf buy and install refrigeration units so that more than 200 families now have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. According the Cathy, after the class “I continue to work with the food shelf as a member of their Development and Events committees and I joined the board of the Inver Hills Community College Foundation. Ready for something bigger than me is still my motivating motto!”
  • Dick Kavaney, a retired civil engineer and attorney, worked with the state of Minnesota to help rewrite state building codes to include universal design. Dick took the leadership course after his wife told him, “you’re bored and you’re becoming boring”. Since the class, Dick has remained involved as a pro-bono consultant for the state Department of Human Services, has served on several boards and was a key advocate for keeping sound walls from I-35W in downtown Minneapolis.
  • Don Heinzman, Mary Markham, Michelle La Beau teamed up to bring “a modern YMCA-Community Center [to Bloomington] that enables all generations, especially the 55+ population access to exercise, interact with others, have a higher quality of life, and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.” The team successfully made an impact on the City of Bloomington’s planning process for the center, raising awareness for the needs of older adults.


Golden Valley Community Foundation
GVCF is the community conduit for philanthropic giving that receives, manages, and distributes funds to benefit the Golden Valley community. GVCF’s constituents are people who live in Golden Valley, organizations and businesses located in and serving Golden Valley, and neighborhood or other community groups that support activities, developments and ideas that benefit our geographic area.

Vital Aging Network
The Vital Aging Network is a network of individuals and organizations that promotes self-determination, civic engagement and personal growth for people as they age. The organization provides older adults with education, leadership development and opportunities to connect.



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