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Our lovely 96-year old resident, Evita, shares the secret to her vitality.

A few years ago a young woman stopped me at the airport to tell me about her gorgeous 94-year-old grandmother, Evita Stewart. When I got home she sent me a message via Instagram with photos of Evita with her new boyfriend lounging by the pool– I was instantly inspired. Two year later and I finally had the chance to chat with and photographer the gorgeous, now 96-year-old Evita. Evita told me that she does yoga seven days a week, starting even before she gets out of bed.When I asked her what the secret to living a long vital life is she replied,” I think it’s just having a lot of compassion for other people. A lot of love and knowing that other people can be very lonely. Sometimes you take it as being haughty or snobs, but its good to extend yourself to people because you get all that love back.”I made date with Evita to photograph her and her gentleman friend!!!!Ari Seth Cohen Photographer and author, Ari Seth Cohen, is the creator of Advanced Style, a project devoted “to capturing the sartorial savvy of the senior set.” He says, “I feature people who live full creative lives. They live life to the fullest, age gracefully and continue to grow and challenge themselves.”See the full article here.

Our lovely 96-year old resident, Evita, shares the secret to her vitality.2017-08-17T11:24:58-07:00

Villa Capri and Varenna Resident Art Show

Varenna, a luxury Continuing Care Retirement Community, and Villa Capri, an Assisted Living and Memory Care community, hosted a joint art show on their shared campus to showcase their residents’ incredible talents. Over 100 guests attended, including residents’ families, neighbors and members of the local community. Executive Chef Tim Chism and his culinary team prepared a delightful spread for guests to enjoy while they strolled through the galleries. Attendees of the art show viewed 60 original pieces, each painted by a resident of Varenna or Villa Capri. Oakmont has been hosting art classes in their community for years, inviting professional artists to come to the community and teach residents new artistic skills they may never have thought they had. With art classes taking place throughout the month, many residents have developed into accomplished artists. Art shows have been held at Varenna previously, but none have ever been open to the public. “There are many talented artists living at Varenna. This event allowed them to share their work with residents and the public.” said Andi Johnson, Marketing Director of Varenna. “We look forward to inviting guests to the community for future art shows” Varenna and Villa Capri are Oakmont Senior Living Communities located in Santa Rosa, California. Inspired by the beauty and intimate sense of community of its Italian counterpart, Varenna is designed to take advantage of the temperate climate and sweeping views of its Santa Rosa location in the foothills of Wine Country. With luxurious floor plans, private movie theaters, full fitness centers, fine dining, and engaging art classes, Varenna and Villa Capri are some of the finest senior living communities on the West Coast.

Villa Capri and Varenna Resident Art Show2017-04-21T14:24:04-07:00

Who says you can’t be 95 and still date?
by Cheri Lieurance Marketing Coordinator at the Council on Aging

Evita with her “gentleman friend” at the 2016 Meals on Wheels Derby Day event. The first thing you notice about Eva (although she prefers to be called Evita) Stewart is that she doesn’t look 95. Always elegantly dressed, vivacious and upbeat (what else can you say about someone whose license plate reads “No Give Up”), she strikes you as decades younger. And she’s also pretty youthful in her approach to dating. She’s regularly seen in the company of a man who is 12 years her junior. “Anyone my own age wouldn’t be able to keep up with me,” she says with a smile. And among their outings have been a hot air balloon ride and ziplining (yes, soaring through the treetops on a zipline, an activity that intimidates people much younger). Says Evita of the experience, “It was fabulous. I was never afraid, but you do have to pay attention because it’s challenging.” How did this wonderful pairing of Evita and her gentleman friend come about? Well, that’s a story in itself. Widowed in 2000 a er a “beautiful marriage” of 44 years, Evita sold the house she had shared with her husband in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and moved to the couple’s second home in Indian Wells, near Palm Springs. Adapting to life alone, she periodically visited one of her daughters, grandchildren and great- grandchildren in Santa Rosa. She ultimately sold the house in Indian Wells and bought a home in Santa Rosa to be closer to them. As time went by, she desired a more active social life and male companionship. “So I visualized not being alone and I made a list and talked to the man upstairs. Number one, he must be a widower who had had a happy marriage. Number two, he must be a gentleman—respectful and loving.” Two days a er imagining her perfect partner, she received a card from Varenna at Fountaingrove retirement community describing the social life available there, inviting her to attend lunch and a tour. Evita was so impressed by what Varenna had to o er, she immediately decided to sell her house in Santa Rosa and become a resident of the community. While she was waiting for her house to sell, Varenna invited her to a monthly party called “Sip and Savor.” “While I was at the party, this very nice- looking gentleman made eye contact with me. When he heard I was going to move in, he said, ‘may I call you?’ and I replied with a smile, ‘that would be nice.’” Since meeting three years ago, Evita and her gentleman friend have been constant companions who truly enjoy each other’s company. Her hunch, that a man who had previously experienced and contributed to a ful lling and long-lasting relationship, has paid o . “We speak freely about our former spouses. We do love them, but we let them go. However, we feel that they are still with us in spirit and that they approve of our relationship. [...]

Who says you can’t be 95 and still date?
by Cheri Lieurance Marketing Coordinator at the Council on Aging

The Press Democrat

SANTA ROSA: Varenna honored for 50+ dining/cafe Varenna, an Oakmont Senior Living community in Santa Rosa, has been named a Best 50+ Dining/Cafe experience in the 2015 Best of 50+ Housing Awards by the National Association of Homebuilders. The community, located at 1401 Fountaingrove Parkway in Santa Rosa, impressed the judges with the quality of the menu, meal plan and the biography of chef Adam Hrebiniak, culinary services director of Varenna. Hrebiniak has worked alongside such renowned chefs as Wolfgang Puck and Nancy Oakes, at the legendary Chez Nous in San Francisco and the historic Presidio Golf Club. He continues to utilize his talents by leading the culinary program at Varenna and its adjoining community, Fountaingrove Lodge. “I’m proud to have assembled a team of highly skilled restaurant chefs who have pioneered a new age of gourmet dining in the senior world,” he said. “Our residents get nothing but the best.” To find out more about Varenna, go to

The Press Democrat2016-06-02T18:42:50-07:00

The Sonoma County Gazette

When I began my career as a chef, I never imagined I would eventually fill the position of Culinary Services Director at two senior living communities in Santa Rosa. Over the years, I worked alongside renowned chefs Wolfgang Puck and Nancy Oakes; cooked for political dignitaries in Washington, D.C. at the Morrison-Clark Historic Inn & Restaurant; worked as a sous chef at the legendary Chez Nous in San Francisco; and then, became an executive chef first at Belden Taverna before taking a position at the historic Presidio Golf Club, also in San Francisco. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I took a leap of faith from the restaurant world of fine dining to find a new happy home in luxury retirement living. So, here I am: Culinary Services Director for Varenna and Fountaingrove Lodge, which are two Oakmont Senior Living communities in Santa Rosa. What changed? One reason: I came to realize that these facilities are of the same caliber as the fine establishments on my résumé. From the living accommodations to the lush grounds, and from the concierge services to the indoor and outdoor dining spaces, Oakmont Senior Living has created an opulent world where the culinary journey is just one aspect of the experience. But like many people, I realize that words like “gourmet,” “delectable” and “tantalizing” are not traditionally associated with the meal options offered at senior living facilities. By and large, senior facilities have gravely underserved their guests when it comes to food quality. That’s why, from day one, I was excited to be a part of Oakmont Senior Living’s quest to change that. That was two years ago; since then, we have assembled a team of highly skilled restaurant chefs who have pioneered a new age of gourmet dining in the senior world. It started with eliminating terms like “meal options,” and replacing them with menus. Yes, “real” menus that offer residents an evolving collection of five-star dishes that reflect different culinary styles from around the world. Starting with my repertoire of French and Mediterranean-inspired dishes, our menus include such delicacies as banana bread french toast for breakfast; orange-ginger poached wild salmon with a salad of baby kale, blueberries, quinoa, toasted coconut and greek yogurt for lunch; and beef wellington with lobster bordelaise and white truffle essence for dinner. From our winemaker dinners to our outdoor barbeques and Sunday brunches, our residents get nothing but the best. One of the exciting challenges of working in a senior community has been balancing taste, nutrition and the expectations of a strictly meat-and-potatoes generation. It wasn’t enough to influence residents to change their traditional views of what constitutes a satisfying meal by introducing healthier options; I had to change the way I approached food. Coming from a restaurant environment where there was no need to consider fat or salt content, it was the first time I had to fuse culinary wants with dietary needs, and still make each meal tasty and satisfying. With a little [...]

The Sonoma County Gazette2017-04-21T14:24:04-07:00

PR Newswire

SANTA ROSA, Calif., May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- When it opened its doors to seniors in 2008, Aegis Living's Santa Rosa community, Varenna was immediately recognized as a hallmark in the best of senior living. Now that acknowledgment is expanding. The National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) 50+ Housing Council has awarded Varenna the prestigious 2009 Best of 50+ Housing Gold Award in the category of Best CCRC, defined as those having up to 200 units. The National Association of Home Builders' 50+ Housing Council's Best of 50+ Housing Awards program is the industry's most prestigious national awards program honoring excellence in building, design, and marketing of housing for boomers and beyond. The planning, development, and design of Varenna was developed by Oakmont Senior Living, a real estate development and construction company headquartered in Santa Rosa, California. One judge who voted on Varenna said, "This is an incredible CCRC providing stylish luxury living to all residents and all levels of care. With careful placement of the units and building utilizing the natural topography of the site, this project maximizes its natural benefits and views. The traditional design of the exterior is seamlessly translated into the interior detailing and furnishings. Beautiful!" Varenna represents a world-class Continuing Care Retirement Community with timeless European beauty and charm. The concept was based on Mediterranean architecture, incorporating archways, balconies, warm colors and high interior ceilings. Terraced walls add to the Mediterranean ambiance, along with twisting, colorful grape vines and olive trees. Un-paralleled among senior-living communities, Varenna brings together an amazing location, beautiful architectural designs and the highest standards in services and amenities for people of all ages of retirement. Varenna was developed by Oakmont Senior Living and is professionally managed by Aegis Living, a national award-winning leader in senior retirement living. Prospective residents interested in Varenna can visit online at or call 707-526-1226 for more information. Oakmont Senior Living Led by William P. Gallaher, Oakmont Senior Living LLC is a real estate development and construction company headquartered inSanta Rosa, California. Often partnering with Aegis Living, Oakmont has built more than 30 senior communities over the last three decades.

PR Newswire2016-06-02T18:43:34-07:00