Click on an image to read the person’s statement.
Suzanne Rooney, Volunteer
Suzanne Rooney held political jobs for members of Congress before her retirement. Their combined skills made Suzanne and Carolyn Kulisheck natural volunteer co-chairs of the Village Membership Committee. They recruit and interview new members and keep in touch to offer services, noting results of each event. The two live near each other in Woodley Park and coordinate often. “Aging in place is a wonderful concept,” Suzanne says. “As the Village continues to grow, the word will get out more and more about the many nice things we have to offer.” Suzanne has recently added the moniker Village Board Co-chair to the growing number of hats she wears in service to Cleveland & Woodley Park Village.
Carolyn Kulisheck, Volunteer
Carolyn managed ESOL teachers (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and taught in the Fairfax County public schools before her “retirement.” She has combined her formidable skill set with Suzanne Rooney to co-chair the Village Membership Committee. Together they recruit and interview new members and keep in touch to offer services, noting results of each event. The two live near each other in Woodley Park and coordinate often. Carolyn is beginning to interview members and volunteers for Village publications and outreach efforts.
Anne Jarman, Member
Village member Anne Jarman wanted her yard raked, but when volunteer Cornelia Orr called to schedule it, Anne “couldn’t imagine spending an hour with a person named Cornelia,” she said. “Such an old-fashioned name!” But when the two got together they discovered they had both just lost loved ones: Cornelia’s husband Richard had died a month after Anne’s wife Barbara. Now they have regular tea together and plan to try out every burger joint in DC. Anne said she didn’t really need new friends, but “What I do need is to grieve, and Cornelia helps,” she said. “This is a blessing that the Village has given me.”
Janet Cyphers, Volunteer
Years ago, Janet Cyphers got groceries and did laundry for a neighbor in her 90s, and later read for an older woman whose sight had gone. “I’ve always had an old lady in my life,” said Cyphers. After a career as a procurement agent and analyst, she now volunteers at the Village office, doing various administrative tasks such as making sure all required documents are on hand for each volunteer. "I don't need Village services at this point, and I hope I die before I do," she said, "But if not, I know the Village will be there for me."
Martha Baron, Member & Volunteer
Martha moved to DC (McLean Gardens) to be near children and grandchildren after retirement, but found it difficult to make friends. “Even though I have lived here for eight years, it is through the Village that I gave started to feel that this is really my “home’ neighborhood. Martha connects to friends and neighbors by organizing events for the Communications and Outreach and Membership Committees and attending Lunch Bunch and museum outings.
Peggy Nalle, Member
A journalist and then a writer and editor for the CIA, Peggy Nalle later traveled with her husband to USIA postings in Syria, Iran, Jordan and Moscow. In Washington she became a speechwriter and aide to Sen. Charles “Mac” Mathias (R-MD), and then DC representative for the American University in Cairo. She joined the Village early “because it was my patriotic duty to support the local civic associations” and for transportation services. She has volunteered to send out flyers, but writing is her first love. “I am looking forward to be useful doing that for the Village at some point,” she said.
Jean Van der Tak, Member
She hates to admit it, but Jean van der Tak is slowing down. At 87, she no longer goes up and down the 50-plus Embassy Hill steps off Tilden Street eight times in a row. Now she only does them three times in a row. She’s very fit, but she joined Cleveland Park Village “because I was reaching an age when I should decide what to do with the rest of my life.” Although one of her three sons lives in Bethesda, “I don’t want him to have to worry about the old lady,” she said. “And this is ideal—I can stay right here!”