May 2017 Magazine - Page 39

Meet the Neighbor By Callie Thomas trendy restaurants and “What happens here, stays here” taglines to attract tourists from around the world, Las Vegas is also a popular retirement destination. According to the last census, the increase of seniors is fueling the city’s continued population growth, with many looking to start the next chapter of their lives in our city. However, as our residents continue to age, other needs arise. Through an organization called Foundation Assisting Seniors, Karl Vonderohe, is doing everything he can to help the senior citizen population maintain the services and help they need to flourish. Karl is also a great example of starting anew— many times over. While he attended the Winona, Minnesota Technical School back in the late 60’s, shortly thereafter he joined the Naval Reserve and in 1970 found himself on active duty to the Fire Control School at Great Lakes Naval Training Center. He graduated second in his class and went on to active duty on the aircraft carrier USS Hancock CVA-19 and served two tours in Vietnam. After being released from active duty, Vonderohe earned his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse and taught in the Watertown, Wisconsin area for 26 years. He later earned his master’s degree in Education-Professional Development and retired from teaching in 2004. Thereafter, Karl turned another page in the book of his life and started a business in custom elec- tronics. In 2008, he and his wife Pam made the Foundation Assisting Seniors is a non-profit organization that was formed because its founders saw first-hand how their parents and neighbors struggled with things like transportation and normal household chores during their golden years. Their mission is to assist, at no charge, seniors in times of illness, recovery, confinement at home, coping with the loss of a loved one and other challenges. Since its inception, the Foundation’s community service volunteers have responded to more than 85,000 requests of assis- tance services ranging from counseling, providing durable medical equipment, limited home mainte- nance and transportation services, and funding for senior support groups. “It’s the ultimate goal of the Foundation to improve the overall quality of life for seniors by ensuring that they remain as safe and comfortable as possible in their own home as they age,” said Vonderohe, who is also the chairman of the Foundation Assisting Seniors annual Golf Tournament at Aliante Golf Club. This year’s tournament will take place on November 11. In the meantime, the 14th Annual Charity Golf Tournament at the Revere Golf Club in Sun City Anthem takes place on May 29. Proceeds from the tournament provide funding for the Foundation’s core programs. “I take great pride in the community in which I live, and I enjoy the people that I work with. When we staff a tab