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Rianda House celebrates its reason for being

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Rianda House

The Rianda House senior activity center in downtown St. Helena.

Rianda House celebrates its reason for being: UpValley older adults. There was no way any of us, in our wildest imagination, could have foreseen a year ago what we have experienced in this unprecedented year. It’s been a difficult year. The daily lives of older adults have changed and been affected by disrupted routines as we socially distanced from friends and loved ones because of the pandemic. We’ve also lived through two wildfires and the challenges of evacuations. Before we jump into a bright New Year saying goodbye to a difficult one, we want to celebrate all the older adults in our UpValley community. After all, older adults are Rianda House’s reason for being!

Inspired by the resilient and innovative older adults we serve, Rianda House sought various new ways to support this vital part of our UpValley community. Because we heard what seniors wanted to keep in touch safely, we launched Rianda House Cares, providing personalized weekly reassurance calls. Because seniors wanted to continue taking classes, we published a new newsletter, The Wrinkle, to feature an ever-evolving lineup of new online courses. Our instructors and partners (Mentis, Collabria Care, Adventist Health, Alzheimer’s Association, UpValley Family Centers, Napa County’s Comprehensive Services for Older Adults, HICAP and Innovative Health Solutions) helped us to be responsive in developing and expanding Rianda House’s capacity to offer new virtual learning opportunities and to keep UpValley older adults safely connected to each other and the community.

One class at a time, one virtual event at a time, one drive-thru at a time, Rianda House has transformed into a senior center without walls. We remain open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. December will be no exception. This coming month Rianda House will spread a little winter cheer with new classes celebrating the holiday season including:

  • Be in the Moment: A Holiday Meditation (Tuesday, Dec. 15, 10 a.m.)
  • Music Appreciation: Christmas Operas: discussing La Bohème (1895), Rent (1996), Seasons of Love (1950) (Wednesday, Dec. 9, 3 p.m.)
  • Let’s Celebrate 2021! A day-long celebration of the New Year (Wednesday, Dec. 30, from 11:30 a.m – 3:30 p.m.)

Never tried an online class before and curious what to do first? We’re here to take you from the spark of your interest through each step needed to join our active online learning community. Just give us a call! To register for a class call Program Manager Elizabeth Cobb-Bruno at (707) 963-8555, ext. 103 or email: To view a full list of classes and monthly events, visit our online activities calendar (

Gratitude comes easy throughout the year, and especially in this season of giving thanks. We are grateful we can offer all of our ongoing classes for free due to the generous grant support of Napa Valley Vintners, Napa Valley Community Foundation, Adventist Health, the cities of St. Helena and Calistoga, and other generous supporters.

As we look to the New Year, we’d also like to invite the entire UpValley community to join Rianda House for a virtual community gathering, From Our House to Your Home, on Thursday, Dec. 10, 4-5 p.m. We’d love to see you, as we gather via Zoom, answer your questions, and share our plans for the coming year. RSVP by Wednesday, Dec. 9, to receive the Zoom meeting link. To register for this event, please call (707) 963-8555, ext. 102 or email or visit our website,

Best wishes from our house to yours — may your holiday season be healthy, cozy and full of joy!

Editor’s Note: Julie Spencer is executive director of the Rianda House Senior Activity Center and Leticia Rosado Russell is the Development and Community Engagement manager. Rianda House is located at 1475 Main St. in St. Helena and is currently closed. Contact us at 707-963-8555 ext. 101,, or visit the website to view the activity newsletter, The Wrinkle, at

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