Senior Resource Foundation of Ocala


These videos, podcasts, and other media of Ocala older adults will enrich you and make you appreciate their accomplishments.

Enjoy and share with others!

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Senior Resource Foundation of Ocala's Overview

This short two-minute video describes the Senior Resource Foundation of Ocala’s describing our mission, ongoing projects, fundraising ideas, and so much more. More than that, you can uncover what a worthwhile our  organization is by being a volunteer!

SRFofOcala's Video and Podcasts

Our host, Jeff Borger, Program Director, interviews Phyllis Silverman and Herb Silverman from the Senior Resource Foundation of Ocala. In the conversation, they highlight all the programs and fundraising projects so far. Specifically, these individuals tell how they are working to help seniors stay active and vital in our community.
Andrea Proeber, Broker and Owner, discusses with Phyllis Silverman and Herb Silverman all the fresh ideas and innovative fundraising suggestions in a lively conversation…

“Tapestry of Life”

Enjoy Ocala spirit of older adults as they magnify their story and make you appreciate their fulfillment to everyone!

Tapestry of Life
Betty Jones

In the next Tapestry of Life, Phyllis Silverman, the Founder and President of the Senior Resource Foundation of Ocala, will a conversation with Betty Jones. Ms. Jones orchestrates and coordinates a “food warehouse” with lower and fixed income individuals right here in Ocala.

Tapestry of Life
Jan and Allen Abbott

In our next “Tapestry of Life” series, Phyllis Silverman will convert with Jan and Allen Abbott. Coming from Alaska, they will talk about not only traveling, but volunteering experience for the American Red Cross emergency division, and other involvement.

Tapestry of Life
Mary Anne Lynum

Phyllis Silverman, the Founder and President of the Senior Resource Foundation of Ocala, took a seat with Mary Anne Lynum, Director of Resident Experience, at On Top Of The World Communities. Ms. Lynum will speak about impact and growth of older adults overall, and how On Top Of The World Communities is focusing with optimistic ways for Ocala.

Tapestry of Life
Dr. David Elliott

Phyllis Silverman, Founder and President, from the Senior Resource Foundation of Ocala, chats with a fascinating interview with Dr. David Elliott from Hospice of Marion County, for our continuing series, Tapestry of Life.

Looking back, Dr. Elliott doesn’t think he could have been anything BUT a hospice doc. “Even in my early residency,” says the native of Bournemouth, England, “I could see that not enough was being done for the terminally ill. Essentially, they were left alone to die. I wanted to change that.” Everything he has done in his career since that moment has led to the enormous contribution he has made to the hospice movement in our community.

Very few have had the privilege of studying directly with Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the modern hospice movement. She has been called one of the most significant social change agents of the 20th century. While on a Geriatric Fellowship in 1976-77, Dr. Elliott gained invaluable personal experience by rounding with her in the mornings at London’s St. Christopher’s Hospice, and attending her afternoon IDT sessions. “She was passionate about making hospice standard care,” he says. “Once, she stood in front of a group of all male physicians and confronted them about what she characterized as their negligence toward dying patients, challenging them to take up the gauntlet of this patient population. She certainly got their attention. The strength of her personality and advocacy for the dying was tangible in the room!”

He retired at the end of 2018 and is now a volunteer.

Tapestry of Life
Robert Parsons

In our next “Tapestry of Life” series, Phyllis Silverman will interview Robert Parsons. Robert was born in Akron, Ohio in 1931. He has two children, nine grandchildren, and five great grand-children. He has been married to his wife Maidee for 67 years.

He moved to Florida in 1950 with the USAF and was honorably discharged, got married and started in college at the U. of Florida all in the same week in 1954. He graduated with a Chemical Engineering degree in 1958 and began working at Cape Canaveral, Fl. with the Space Division of the Chrysler Corp. He designed and operated the first liquid hydrogen facility at the Cape (-423F) and loaded rockets used in preparation for the moon landing.

After the moon landing, Robert resigned and moved to NC and became vice president of the Mearl Corp. in the mining and processing of wet ground mica used in nacreous pigments for cosmetics and paints. He retired in 1994 and began extensive writing and teaching of Biblical studies, especially for men and fathers.

In 2021, at age 90, he wrote a book entitled, “We Don’t Blush Anymore,” and after observing the ill manners and incivility of people everywhere. Hopefully the suggestions in his book will bring civility back to our people in the USA and around the world. Today, Robert is an active deacon in his church, teacher of small groups on Zoom, children’s Bible teacher in schools, and active in multiple tasks at his church and community.

Tapestry of Life
Edith (Eadie) Pulkkinen Sickler

Phyllis Silverman, the Founder and President of the Senior Resource Foundation of Ocala, chats with Edith (Eadie) Pulkkinen Sickler, who is a second-generation Finnish-American. Having lived in northeast Ohio most of her life, she now resides in north central Florida. Her background is in the field of journalism, having been a reporter, columnist, and editor. She retired as an administrative assistant.

Eadie enjoys writing, reading, home decorating, cooking, canning and entertaining. Her true joy, though, is in being a child of God and in being a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, and in her cherished family and friends.

Her book, FINLAND TO AMERICA: One Family’s Journey of Courage and Hope, describing the Sippola family’s courage as they immigrated in early 1900s from their homeland of Finland to America. Their 13 children’s lives are highlighted in this interesting book, written by one of their granddaughters. Finnish recipes included!

Tapestry of Life
Dean Johnson

Phyllis Silverman, the Founder and President of the Senior Resource Foundation of Ocala, sit down with Dean Johnson, General Manager for K Country and WIND-FM, former owner of Ocala Style Magazine. As Dean said, “I have built my life around my family and my work. My wife and I have created a publishing career that employees dozens of highly skilled professionals, that provide quality, upscale lifestyle magazines to our communities.”

Tapestry of Life
Carl Schneider — Chapter 2

Phyllis Silverman, Founder and President, from Senior Resource Foundation of Ocala, welcome back Carl Schneider, Director of Quality and Reliability at NASA (retired.)

In this “chapter,” Carl will talk about his father, Sam, born in Poland in 1907. As we will discover, his escapades will have interesting twists and turns talking about flying, World War II, the form of Israel, and so much more.

A heartwarming story for everyone!

Tapestry of Life
Bill Shampine

Phyllis Silverman will discuss a unique perspective about strategies of water and quality assurance with Bill Shampine in our next “Tapestry of Life” series.
Mr. Shampine is a U.S. Geological Surveyor for over 43 years and, specifically, worked for the Multilateral Middle East Peace Process (MAPP). In specific, he was in charge of coordinating with the Israelites, Palestinians, and Jordanians in projects including water quality, training, and quality implementation technology expert of the team. Bill’s knowledge and expertise both in the international diplomacy and implementation and recommendation on water quality essentials will be enthralling to you!

Tapestry of Life
Harry Boyajian

In our next “Tapestry of Life” series, Phyllis Silverman will interview Harry Boyajian, musician, crooner, photographer, salesman, and so much more.

Learn how Mr. Bojajian turns a touch of gold to any situation with his work and hobbies. Indeed, Harry will recall touching stories to amused and delight!

Tapestry of Life
Dr. Florence Pritchard

In our next “Tapestry of Life” series, Phyllis Silverman will interview Dr. Florence Pritchard, President of the Friends of the Freedom Public Library. Their mission is to promote their public library and the patrons it serves over the last 20+ years.

“The Friends find real joy in helping library staff reach out to share Freedom Public Library’s remarkable resources with our community,” said Dr. Pritchand.

“We are an independent non-profit 501(C)(3) charity and members are not library staff. We are an all-volunteer support group that sells used, donated books to help fund library programs and services, and to help equip the library building expansion when it occurs. The Friends’ purpose is to raise money to help support services, programs, and facilities.”

Tapestry of Life
Paul Blystone

In our next “Tapestry of Life” series, Phyllis Silverman will interview Paul Blystone, a retired veteran at Lieutenant Colonel for the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), an auxiliary of the Air Force. CAP’s three missions are Search & Rescue, Aerospace Education, and Cadet Programs. Lt. Col. Blystone was a mission pilot and pilot instruction. In fact, he has flown over 200 SAR missions.
In addition, Lt. Col. Blyston was Director of Communications for the Florida Wing from 1999 to 2005. He flew over 300 cadets for CAP, Air Force ROTC, and JROTC. He retired from flying for CAP, but still works in communications and does some administrative duties.
Furthermore, Paul began looking for Ham radio operators and wound up joining the Marion County Emergency Radio Team. They prepare for emergencies and provide schools in the area with communications for the shelters to the Marion County Sheriff’s EOC, and work with the Community Emergency Response Team.
On a personal note, his wife, Claudia, is married for 62 years. They met in church and still attend church together.

Tapestry of Life
Carl Schneider

Fly me to the moon… Phyllis Silverman, Founder and President, from Senior Resource Foundation of Ocala, was thrilled to interview Carl Schneider, Director of Quality and Reliability at NASA (retired.)

Mr. Schneider will speak about his beginning in the field of science and, landing a position in NASA. More than that, he will explore his time of his job and worked side-by-side on with some of the best astronauts of NASA. Finally, he will investigate his experience and the outcome in the Challenge mission.

Tapestry of Life
Erica Palte

In our next “Tapestry of Life” series, Phyllis Silverman will interview Erice Palte, retired. As a world traveler, Ms. Palte is the second of five generations born in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. Erica studied in Israel, Denmark, and the USA before returning to Johannesburg, South Africa. She taught for five years at Kingsmead College, then took the reins of a bankrupt animal shelter. The Animal Anti-Cruelty League then incorporated The Horse Protection Society.

Furthermore, Erica became an engineering recruiter, then spent over 20 years as an international executive healthcare recruiter. Finally retiring, here in Ocala, Florida, she discovered her next mission was to assist in the growth and management of Marion Therapeutic Riding Association as our board in February 2020.

Tapestry of Life
Toni Jones

Phyllis Silverman will visit with Toni James, Owner/President at Toni James & Associates and former CEO and President of United Way, for our “Tapestry of Life” series.
Ms. James specialized in consequential thinking to develop business strategies, developing relationships at Toni James & Associates. She repairs, strengthen, and build bridges for any business or organization. Ms. James will talk about her experiences in business and marketing, but also her hobbies including a volunteer at the Historic Ocala Preservation Society, Heart of Florida, and so much more.

Tapestry of Life
Dr. Judy Wilson

Phyllis Silverman will interview Dr. Judy Wilson, the founder and CEO of the Ocala Marion County Domestic Violence Shelter/Sexual Assault Center, for our “Tapestry of Life” series. Since the mid-1970s, victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Marion County have had a safe place to turn when they had no place else to go.

As the Ocala Star-Banner indicates, “there was no local center dedicated to abuse victims before Wilson established one in Ocala in 1978. She also established satellite crisis centers in Citrus, Lake, Sumter and Hernando counties. In addition to being an administrator, individual and group therapist, and a local and statewide public education and prevention speaker, Wilson often serves as an expert witness and consultant for the court system and for law enforcement agencies. She also established and implemented a video-taping program for sexually assaulted children.”

Tapestry of Life
Jay Kreisman

Wonderful time chatting and listening to Jay Kreisman at the Tapestry of Life series!
Jay’s “day job” career was as a chiropractor and high school chemistry teacher. In addition, he created and taught from a music studio in his home in New Jersey for 20 years. Specifically, he coached many private lessons and workshops in classical, jazz, and bluegrass guitar styles.
Music was always his companion throughout these life transitions. Jay married the sister of the drummer of his rock band 29 years ago, so the guitar was instrumental (get it?) making that connection as well. In fact, he performed in the New York City area in rock bands for five years with success.
Now retired in Ocala several years ago, music connects Jay to different times, places, and cultures. Truly, teaching enables him to help students achieve their musical dreams.

Tapestry of Life
Marilyn Bettinger

In this “Tapestry of Life” series, Phyllis Silverman will have a conversation with Marilyn Bettinger. Marilyn will discuss her adventure performing in show business and an inside look in the entertainment field.

Tapestry of Life
Phyllis Silverman

In this episode, the Founder and President of the Senior Resource Foundation of Ocala, Phyllis Silverman, will explain what the Tapestry of Life series is and the impact it will have for not only seniors, but for everyone.

Tapestry of Life
Barbara Silagai

In this “Tapestry of Life” show, Phyllis Silverman will interview Barbara Silagi, a 91-year-old former aviatrix. Ms. Silagi is a graduate of Northwestern University, did post graduate studies in Illinois and worked as an educator. She also worked as a pilot, “flying mainly cargo,” in the Willow Run/Detroit area. She said she currently works as the bookkeeper at the Lake In the Forest RV Park and runs her own business, Diamond Design Services.

Tapestry of Life
Cindy Gaffin

In our next “Tapestry of Life” series, Phyllis Silverman will interview Cindy Gaffin, a board member of the Senior Resource Foundation of Ocala and heads up the Friend Visitor Program. Cindy will discuss her experience serving in the Navy.

Ms. Gaffin has spent four years on active-duty service with the United States Navy Medical Corp. Her training involved a lot of counseling and evaluation of many forms of social and psychiatric conditions. Though Ms. Gaffin had not planned to work in his practice for the long term, they soon realized that their individual strengths balanced so well that she remained in the practice as Office Manager for thirty years.

Articles And More Stuff

United Way of Marion County’s ReadingPals Program​

Love to read? Enjoy working with children? The United Way of Marion County’s ReadingPals program has served the children of Marion County since 2012. The students that are served have been identified as needing additional literacy support. Some of the children served do not know their alphabet or basic social skills like sitting still when being read to.

Help to instill that joy of reading in kindergarten students with just your investment of one hour on Tuesday & Thursday during the school day. Volunteers read a book, selected by the school district, that has questions in the back to guide your conversation. There are also vocabulary words that can be used as a seek a word game. Every child that has a ReadingPal will be given a book each week for their home library. This extends the classroom into the home setting as the person who reads to the student will have the focused questions to ask. Just imagine the smile on the student’s face when they read their first sentence! Help bring that smile to the children of Greenway or Emerald Shores Elementary.

The process to become a ReadingPal is easy. Attend a workshop and pass a background screening. There is no cost to the volunteer for the background screening. Here is a recent video that will give you some insight into the program.

For additional information please contact Jan Hathaway at or at 352-732-9696 x212.

United Way ReadingPals