Elder Speak: Connecting Generations

Each year on Grandparent’s Day, The Ripple Foundation hosts Elder Speak at the Snowy Owl Theater in Leavenworth. This is a multifaceted event featuring the introduction of each Elder, a 10 minute sharing from them about their life experience, and an open period for your questions.

Elder Speak was created to foster a positive connection between Elders and younger generations. Elders have the opportunity to share their wisdom and realize their own value in society. They are heard, honored and supported as they share their unique life experience. By bringing together different generations, members of each generation have the opportunity to be seen as distinct individuals, far beyond the stereotype we often project onto those with whom we are unfamiliar.

On Grandparent’s Day 2015 we celebrated our first Elder Speak. We spent an afternoon with five local North Central Washington Elders, who shared their stories and wisdom in a gathering of many generations. Supported by art, film, oral history, and discussions, we began with honoring the value that each generation has to offer. Everyone has value and every life matters. Our Elders have lived experiences in different times that offer younger generations a chance to ponder a different way of looking at the present day. We explored this opportunity to get to know our Elders and deepen community.

In daily life, we invite everyone to take the opportunity to honor, share and reflect on the experiences of our Grandmothers and Grandfathers. Ask questions for which you long for an answer or understanding. Every generation’s experience contains immeasurable value, so bring your own experiences with you, too. How have Elders in your life affected you? We invite you to share your stories. 

After the program, there is an opportunity for further mingling and conversation with the Elders in the lobby as we conclude the evening with wine and hors d'oeuvres.

We invite you to join us. Refreshments and admission are by donation. Proceeds benefit Mountain Meadows Senior Living Facility in Leavenworth and The Ripple Foundation.

Click here to donate to Elder Speak.

2018 Elder Speak Participants:

Dennis Carper was born July 28, 1939 in Spokane, Washington where he lived until joining the Navy at the age of 19 and remained in service until September 1978 and returned to Seattle in 1985. Dennis is the father of two daughters, Julie and Gayla and one adopted daughter, Jackie. For 25 years he owned Redmond Cable and is now retired; kind of.  He volunteers during the summer with the Forest Service and at a computer shop.
Pat Moyer is 88 years old, the youngest of four daughters and was raised in Charleston, South Carolina. She has six children and her husband passed away in 2005. She moved to Washington State in 1964 and to Wenatchee in 1998, finally settling in Leavenworth in 2005 and residing at Mountain Meadows.
Jane Hensel was born to Lloyd and Bess Martin King in Boise, Idaho, in 1926, where she spent her childhood , with her mother's huge family and many friends.
Jane went to the University of Washington where she met returning veteran, Robert A. Hensel. They were married in 1947, moved to Waterville where 
Robert practiced law for many years. Four splendid sons were born during the 1950s. Robert wanted his sons to "know how to work", which they all did learn! They were all active in Scouting and each in run became and Eagle Scout. The "son rearing" years were exceedingly active!
In 1976, when the youngest son graduated from high school and left for college, with Robert's encouragement, Jane began studying real estate. 
She was fortunate to have almost twenty good years in the business before retiring in 1995. 
That year, Jane and Robert moved to a condominium in East Wenatchee which allowed them the freedom to travel all over the world, which they did!
Otto Ross was born in Wenatchee, Washington on January 27, 1926 and lived in Orondo with his older sister, Lois and mother and father. He attended school in Orondo and graduated from Wenatchee High School in 1944. He enlisted in the Navy in November of 1943 and deployed for schooling in the Navy before attending graduation ceremony. After leaving the Navy in 1946 he earned a degree in Agricultural Science at Washington State College (now WSU) and worked at his father’s orchard after graduating in 1949. He took over the orchard after his father’s death. Skiing has been his life passion since the age of eight. He was one of three National Ski Patrol volunteers from Washington State who worked at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley. Otto has taught skiing full time since 1961. 





Thank you to 2018's Corporate Sponsors for supporting this year's event.



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Your financial support is optional, by donation, and very much appreciated. Click here to donate to Elder Speak or our other programs.

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Icicle Center for the Arts
Snowy Owl Theatre
7409 Icicle Road
Leavenworth, WA

The Ripple Foundation, a 501(c)3 Not For Profit WA State Corporation, 2012 - 16©
Design and Production by 3Sherpas.