Qualified Charitable Deductions


Doing income taxes this year for the AARP TaxAide program, I had the opportunity to talk to Panorama residents who were dealing for the first time with having to begin making withdrawals from their IRA accounts due to the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) laws that kick in at age 70½. Many were shocked by the amount of additional income taxes that had to be paid on these distributions and some wondered what they could do to minimize the additional income taxes.

Sadly, the RMD laws can’t be avoided. They are the last phase of the “pay me now or pay me later” choice that was given to everyone back in the 70’s when traditional IRA’s were created with the promise of being able to avoid income tax on contributions and their growth until they were withdrawn. Continue reading “Qualified Charitable Deductions”

Time is eternal…..

That is what we were taught, time is linear and it is in abundant supply, yet, there never seem to be enough of it. The clock ticks away and so do our heartbeats as we forge ahead to beat the clock. The more precious time becomes the greater gift we give when we share our limited time with others.  A gift of time can be one of the most valuable gifts anyone can share; time that can brighten both the life of the giver and the receiver. The gift of time is priceless.

As we approach the Benevolent Fund Patio Sale and all the hectic and fun moments that surround the preparation and activities of the sale days, I want to recognize those who have given and continue to give the gift of their time to support this community-wide effort. The year round volunteers who serve on the various Patio Sale committees making sure that all the details are attended and new changes that improve their activities are implemented.  Thanks to the “guys in the truck” pick-up teams who collect donated goods throughout the year rain-or-shine from Panorama residents.  Kudos to the many Panorama residents and staff members who volunteer for work at the patio sale as cashiers and wrappers and packers, as security, as sales people and stockers in the various areas, to the “book people” who collect sort shelve and sell thousands of books, to the men and women in the food booth who keep the public fed and watered, and to all those who work behind the scenes making sure the sale runs smoothly.  Thanks especially to the dedicated community members who work year-round at the Barn preparing, cleaning, pricing, and packing all the items that will be sold.  These volunteers have become experts in their own specialties, evaluating collectible items, art work, linens, china, silver, purses, cookware, and all the everyday items that are found on the patio sale tables.

Thanks to the Panorama Corporation who provides assistance in preparing the area behind the Chalet and at Encore by making sure the bushes are trimmed, the lighting is efficient and safety concerns are attended to. Thanks also for the donation of the shuttle bus allowing residents to commute to the sale and get back home without taking up a parking space that can be used by a member of the public attending the sale.  Thanks to the parking and traffic team who work to make sure parking and traffic through the campus is efficient and well-managed.  Thanks to the residents of the Chalet who willingly relocate their cars for a week to provide the Patio Sale venue.

Lastly, a big THANKS to Carol Thomas and Ernesta Ballard who took on management of the Patio Sale in this year of transition and change. They have worked tirelessly to give the Patio Sale a new look while expanding the sale to two locations – the traditional Chalet site and the Encore furniture and books location.  There are big changes this year because of their innovations and the ideas that came from the many resident volunteers.  What’s old really is new again at the 2017 Patio Sale – come and see for yourself – and bring a friend!

Gail Madden, Benevolent Fund Vice President


What a great success!!

WOW – If you weren’t there, you missed a great event. The special Saturday sale at Encore Furniture and Books was a terrific success. We certainly sold lots of furniture, lamps, books and miscellaneous furnishings and we had fun and enjoyed ourselves. Many, many thanks to the volunteers who participated in organizing, setting up, selling, cashiering, and taking down the sale site.   We made a little over $3500 for the Benevolent Fund in the one day sale. The wrap-up and evaluation of our activities has resulted in a major change to the organization of the patio sale – furniture and books as well some other items will be sold on-site at Encore rather than transported to the Chalet site. For the first time the Patio Sale will operate at two sites. The Patio Sale Committee is busy working on rearranging the logistics of the Chalet site to provide more room for sales there as well as revamping the logistics for parking, traffic control and directions. Stay tuned as plans develop for this exciting innovation in our traditional annual sale.

I have already thanked the volunteers and staff who worked to make the Encore sale a success, but this should be a season of gratitude for each of us in this amazing community. Novelist Faith Baldwin says “Gratitude expresses itself in a sincere thank you … not for the gifts of this day only, but for the day itself; not for what we believe will be ours in the future, but for the bounty of the past.” Today, I am grateful. Grateful for all I have, for the sunshine, for the flowers that are starting to bloom, for my neighbours, for all of you. Cultivating gratitude begins with cultivating thankfulness for our lot in life — living it in our daily lives. Being grateful means taking nothing for granted. Our life, health, friends, our family, the food we eat, and our body and senses are all gifts which we often take for granted.

Expressing our gratitude to someone directly is a wonderful way to give back. So let me take the time on behalf of the Benevolent Fund Board to thank, in advance, all of those who have volunteered to step-up in this year of change to reinvent the activities at the Stiles-Beach Barn, Encore, and the planning for the upcoming Patio Sale. Your efforts are at the heart of gratitude – working to make life better for others. To be grateful, or to offer thanks, is to confess dependence, to acknowledge that others have the power to benefit you, to admit that your life is better because of their efforts. That is true for all of us here.

Please, as you read this column, take a moment to think about volunteering for the Patio Sale. There are lots of opportunities to help from security to stocking the tables to helping to wrap packages. Two-hour shifts are available throughout the week of the sale and especially on Friday and Saturday July 14th and 15th. Take the time to sign-up and help the Benevolent Fund and your neighbours make this year’s sale a success for all of us. You can sign up on June 21st or June 26th between 10:00am and 1:00pm in Pan Hall. Thank you in advance for taking the time to be a working participant in the Patio Sale – your generosity is much appreciated. While saying thanks is never enough, thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. While thankfulness consists of words, gratitude is shown in acts. We look forward to working with you.

Gail Madden

Benevolent Fund Vice President

Mark Your Calendar

In this month’s Pan News, you’ll see a box advertising a new sale day to support the Benevolent Fund. As you know, the Barn was recently named in honor of Diane Stiles and JoLove Beach to recognize their contributions to the Benevolent Fund – the Barn is now the Stiles-Beach Barn.  At the same time we decided to rename the 14th Street Warehouse to better indicate its purpose and to let people know what was inside.  Thus the Encore Furniture and Books appellation was born.  This is a good thing.  While many residents knew that they could buy furniture, rugs, and lamps there, I’ll bet not so many know that used books are also available on a year-round basis.

On April 29th from 9:00am to 3:00pm we will be having a special sale at the Encore location.  Furniture, file cabinets, shelving, lamps, rugs and books will all be available at very reasonable prices.  This sale will be open to residents and to the public.  We will provide delivery service for residents for a graduated fee so you don’t have to worry about how to get that sofa into your car!  We will accept cash, checks, or VISA/MC in payment.

We urge you to reserve and use resident transit which will be available throughout the sale day. Reservations for transit must be made on Friday April 28th as there will be no dispatcher on duty on the sale day itself.  Limited parking will be in the clinic lot and also at the area around the warehouse, or, if it’s a sunny day (we deserve one), take a walk over and check out merchandise. We hope you will invite your families and off-campus friends to come as well.  Many of you will say –“I don’t need any more furniture!” But remember, Encore is a great place for folks just starting out to purchase low-cost gently used furniture and items for that first apartment or that college dorm room.  Perhaps a grandchild would love to see what we have for sale.  If you have a church group that supports refugees or immigrants or just folks down on their luck – Encore is a good place for your organization to find  a sofa, or a rug, a desk chair, or a set of shelves.

If the rainy weather has kept you inside and you’ve read all those books and you’d like some new material – We have it. Come and browse the books and pick up a mystery, or some historical fiction, a garden book, or a classic you always promised yourself you’d read.  Books old and new, cook books, novels, biographies or travel stories – we have them all.

You can keep up with the happenings of the Benevolent Fund Patio Sale on out new Facebook page – Patios at Panorama – take a peek, like us and follow us – you’ll get the latest about the Encore Sale and the 2017 Patio Sale.

Mark the date on your calendar and join us at Encore for this new sale idea – help us make the Encore Sale a success – be a neighbor and help a neighbor. See you at the sale!


Service, Transition, & Innovation

Thank you for your support of the Panorama Benevolent Fund this past year. Your commitment, dedication, leadership and hundreds of volunteer hours are deeply appreciated. Please be assured that your efforts make a fantastic difference in lifestyle quality for Panorama residents.

Your efforts have made my job remarkably easy, and a lot of fun this past year. I fully believe that the opportunity to serve as President of the Panorama Benevolent Fund is the best volunteer job on campus. It has been extremely rewarding to see the wonderful accomplishments of all the great people who volunteer and work in this endeavor.

We are in the “Peace of Mind” business. A resident may never need to call on the Benevolent Fund for financial assistance, may never make a call or an appointment with one of the Social Assistance staff, and may never have the occasion to push their SARA button. But just knowing that such assistance is available, and just knowing that the Social Assistance staff can help with a host of issues involved in the aging process, provides that all-so-important “Peace of Mind.”

Almost no one ever knows about some of the most important accomplishments of the Benevolent Fund on behalf of individual Panorama residents. Some of the critical problem solving work in providing home care and home health care for individual residents and for solving all kinds of problems and crisis situations is some of the best work that we do. A great number of people who never need financial assistance and who never become qualified “clients” are your most grateful and appreciative supporters.

For those individuals who are part of our financial assistance programs, there is frequently a great team effort with our Social Assistance workers, i.e. Adele, Corrine, and Sara, and the Benevolent Fund financial assistance volunteer as they work through joint problem solving to make life easier, more rewarding, and regularly, on an almost daily basis, smooth out the bumps in the road as we advance in age and decline in ability. Most folks never hear these stories, but they represent some of our most important work. Thank you all for what you do!

You all have some remarkable accomplishments during this past year. For most of these, I have enjoyed watching your achievements and the improvements you have made.

We changed investment brokers and financial advisors. After sixteen years with Morgan Stanley, we moved our accounts to US Bank Charitable Services. This was the culmination of two years effort on the part of the financial committee under the  leadership of Gail Madden and Norm Wohlken. This resulted in an annual savings in brokerage fees of more than $20,000.

We followed the recommendations of the Patio Sale Sustainability Team and made major changes in the annual Patio Sale leadership. The Benevolent Fund moved from relying on a single patio sale leader to a distributed leadership structure. This involved the leadership of a great many patio sale volunteers. I cannot thank everyone enough for their willingness to assume the leadership and responsibilities involved. This simply could not have been achieved without many, many Volunteers in Charge making it happen. I will always be indebted to the support and cooperation of Diane Stiles. Without her willing participation, this would not have been possible.

The Benevolent Fund established a new website: Norm did a remarkable job of making the website happen in a very short time and at limited expense.

Lastly, the Benevolent Fund responded to a request from Panorama that we expand our financial assistance to residents by providing support for residents who live in, and/or who may want to move to Assisted Living (AL). We created a limited, one year trial program for AL assistance. The trial is limited to a maximum of three people, with a maximum monthly assistance of $1,500. It has been a great year!

Thank you all for making it happen.

Dale Vincent


Mardi Gras Masquerade Madness Gala and Silent Auction 2017


February 9th, 2017
3:00–5:00 p.m.

The Benevolent Fund Board wants you to mark 3:00– 5:00 p.m. on the afternoon of February 9th on your calendar and come to the Annual Fund Drive Kick-off Silent Auction. This year the theme is Mardi Gras Masquerade. Please join us for a glass of wine, appetizers and a 50/50 raffle as well as a silent auction of goodies, services, and treasures you can bid on through the afternoon. And don’t forget to wear a Mardi Gras masque and perhaps win a prize. What about a sailboat ride or a catered picnic, movie tickets, some cookies, or a spring garden basket? Individual items as well as small and large baskets of items will be up for auction. The 50/50 Raffle is a chance to buy a ticket where one winner will split the proceeds of the raffle with the Benevolent Fund––certainly that’s worth a chance or two. Continue reading “Mardi Gras Masquerade Madness Gala and Silent Auction 2017”

Holidays at Stiles-Beach Barn


Friday, December 2, 2016
10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Saturday, December 3, 2016
10:00 am – 2:00 pm

The activities at the Stiles-Beach Barn are integral to the success of the Panorama Benevolent Fund. An especially festive event is Santa’s Shop, celebrating its 12th year. Mark your calendars! Santa’s Shop is a special sale for Panorama residents, staff and merchants. Santa’s Elves greet visitors, hot apple cider and cookies add to the holiday spirit and, of course, there are items to help decorate your home, inside and out, and gift items suitable for family and friends. You will find wreaths and Christmas trees of all sizes; some of these have already been decorated for you. Holiday décor items including scores of ornaments will add cheer to your home. Gifts include pictures and beautiful hangings, collectibles of all kinds…cut glass, crystal, table decorations, figurines, and linens and tablecloths with delicate embroidery. And don’t forget the famous Santa’s Shop Mustard!! The Panorama Benevolent Fund wishes you a wonderful holiday season. Join the fun, and let it begin with your visit to Santa’s Shop at the Stiles-Beach Barn!