It was the fall of 1982. After spending the day touring senior centers, Marylen Mann told St. Louis Commissioner of Aging, Father Lucius Cervantes, “We can do better for the elderly.”
And with that, OASIS was founded.
Little did anyone know that Marylen, then in her 40s, was ahead of her time. For St. Louis and eventually, some 40 cities across the nation, the birth of OASIS would change how everyone thought of older adults.
With the cooperation of funders, along with corporate and other non-profit partners, OASIS provides a way for adults 50 and older to stay young at heart and be a vital part of the communities they live in.
Volunteers like Marc Boguslaw, who helps older adults discover how technology can better their lives, are the heart of OASIS. His knowledge and gift of time has touched the lives of his peers, and provided an opportunity to learn. Evelyn Gillespie is a CATCH Healthy Habits volunteer, whose energy and desire to give back to the community is helping children to learn healthy eating habits and get physically active. Pat and Carl Masten could be the “poster children” for OASIS, having participated in over 200 classes, and helping to develop a partnership with the living facility they moved to, so many more could get involved.
Marc, Evelyn, Pat and Carl are just several of the people across the country who personify OASIS. Thousands of others have participated, volunteered, become donors or partners, or otherwise supported the OASIS mission to promote successful aging.
Today, the vision Marylen had 30 years ago is a reality. The three concepts that form the core of OASIS – lifelong learning, volunteer engagement and healthy lifestyles – were once thought of as revolutionary, but are now widely accepted in the world of older adults.
How do you stay young at heart? How has OASIS helped you discover life after 50? Looking ahead to the next 30 years, your input and thoughts will help us to continue providing the programs and opportunities you love.
As we approach our 30th year, we thank you for your support and continued enthusiasm for OASIS.