March 27, 2017 (San Rafael, CA) -- Marin Senior Coordinating Council, better known as Whistlestop, is thrilled to announce its status as winner of the prestigious Marin IJ Readers’ Choice Award for Best Nonprofit. In addition, the nonprofit’s Jackson Café took home the honor of Best Meal Under $15 and Honorable Mention for Best Soup.
For over 60 years, Whistlestop has helped older adults and people with disabilities in Marin thrive through the power of human connections. Best known for its various transportation programs, Whistlestop takes older adults where they need to go to stay healthy and connected to the community. Whistlestop also runs a variety of nutrition programs such as Meals on Wheels and a free Food Pantry; a vibrant Active Aging Center with a multitude of classes and volunteer opportunities; and information referrals and legal counsel that provide a lifeline when a little extra help is needed. “Whistlestop is really about enriching the lives of everyone in the community,” explained Anita Renzetti, Director of Program Innovation. “It’s where Marin’s seniors and their families come for classes and activities to stay healthy, to connect, to find resources, to make new friends, and to lead rich, vibrant lives.”
Whistlestop’s Jackson Café, located at 930 Tamalpais Ave. in San Rafael, is a collaboration with Homeward Bound of Marin’s Fresh Starts Culinary Academy. Meals are prepared by Fresh Starts culinary students and served by Whistlestop volunteers. “It’s a thrill to be honored in this way,” said Whistlestop Nutrition Programs Coordinator Sophia Osotio. “Our staff is dedicated to creating delicious, nutritious meals at affordable prices, and a warm, friendly atmosphere. We welcome people of all ages to come have lunch with us!”
According to Whistlestop CEO Joe O’Hehir, “There are countless worthy nonprofits doing excellent work here in Marin County. We’re honored to be included with the esteemed nominees in this category. While we all understand the need for social equity, environmental protection, and educational access, we’re truly grateful that Marin’s residents have recognized older adults as another critical community need by voting Whistlestop Best Nonprofit in this year’s Marin IJ Readers’ Choice Awards.”
In a recent survey, Whistlestop clients reported feeling connected, independent, engaged, uplifted, empowered, respected, and loved as a result of Whistlestop’s various programs and services. “This is why we keep doing what we do, said O’Hehir. “Every day, we work to make Marin a community where older adults are celebrated and honored. On behalf of our entire team, including the over 200 volunteers who help us, we thank Marin County for this wonderful accolade.”
Jackson Café is open to the public Monday–Friday, 11:30 am to 2:00 pm. Prices for entrées are $6-$8, with daily menu choices of a hot main entrée, soup du jour and a variety of other favorite lunch dishes. To learn more about Whistlestop, Jackson Café, or to volunteer or make a donation, please visit www.whistlestop.org.
Founded in 1954 as Marin Senior Coordinating Council, Whistlestop promotes the independence, well-being and quality of life for older adults and people living with disabilities in Marin County. Whistlestop’s Active Aging Center provides meals, educational classes, multicultural gatherings and information and referral services. Whistlestop also provides special needs transportation services through Marin Access, a partnership of Whistlestop, Marin Transit and Golden Gate Transit, and operates Marin’s Meals on Wheels program, serving meals to over 250 homebound seniors each week in the Marin community. For more information about Whistlestop and its classes and services, visit www.whistlestop.org