At 77, Luis Monge puts community first. He was raised by his grandmother, who told him that if he ever had property, to use it to grow his own fruits and vegetables. Today his backyard is full of fruit trees such as mangos, guava, lemons, pomegranates and vegetable beds galore, which he shares with his community. He also participates in his grandchildren's school, helping to run and grow a community garden on the campus.
At 69, William "Bill" Kelly advocates for all seniors. He helped bring the first LGBT senior housing community to San Diego—only one of three in the country. He knows how important living and being comfortable in your own environment is to the senior and he is working for all seniors to age in place and maintain affordable housing. With the passing of Measure M in San Diego to provide more affordable housing in San Diego, he is working to help seniors find housing they can afford.
At 69, Carmen Bianchi is a maverick among her peers. Always told she couldn't do it and wouldn't get far, Carmen found a way to success both personally and professionally. She moved to America from Johannesburg, South Africa, when her children were small and helped her first husband grow his business in El Paso, Texas. She went back to school at 40 and participated in creating the largest Family Firm Institute education programs at two universities. Today, she runs her own successful business.
A profile of 71-year-old Fred Davis, who talks the talk and walks the walk. He says of his retirement that he is working harder now than when he had a job. He helps serve the underserved at the West Center in Downtown San Diego and also with his boots-on-the-ground ministry in San Diego.
A profile of octogenerian Richard Williams, who runs nearly 40 races a year and has been a competitive runner for 40 years. His home is filled with medals and awards that he and his wife have accrued throughout the years. He is also an active participant in the Coronado Historical Association and has been named Best Volunteer Tour Guide of the Hotel del Coronado two years in a row.
The series about vibrant older adults opens with 71-year-old Sharon Russakoff. Although she can no longer drive due to a chronic disability, she volunteers for the San Diego Symphony and the San Diego Opera as an usher; and serves as a volunteer seamstress for the Cygnet Theatre. Her love of music extends to her participation in the Pacific Coast Chorale, a choir sponsored by the San Diego Public Library, which sings throughout the county all year.