This is my first News & Notes column as the North Area Vice-President. I’ve been on the VHA Board of Directors for the past two years, and have learned a lot, but there is no substitute for hands-on work in a volunteer organization. So, I took the plunge and told President Phil Walker that I was willing to do it.

The first order of business is to say a mighty “Thank You!!!” to Joan Testa, who served in this role for many years and did a fantastic, energetic job. I will have a hard time trying to match her performance.  And I would be remiss if I didn’t also thank all the volunteers, and especially the Neighborhood Representatives, who have made the North Area the most active in The VHA.

The second order of business is for me to introduce myself. My wife Betty and I moved to our home in the Village of Woodbury in the fall of 2017. We have found a true home in The Villages. Betty has discovered golf, and I have rediscovered it after a 45-year hiatus. We’re not ready for the Tour (or even the Senior Tour). But we have fun, since every day is beautiful in The Villages.

Today, I have a topic that really means something: Volunteerism. This nation was built on it. The militias that protected the early American settlers and formed the backbone of the American Revolution were all volunteers. Most small-town fire departments are made up of 90% volunteers. Many rural EMT’s and Paramedics are on-call volunteers. Service clubs and advocacy activities are run by volunteers.

The VHA is all volunteers. Our officers and directors are not paid – they participate in our work out of a love of The Villages and the lifestyle it provides us in a 55+ community. We need and want our members to join in. Maybe door greeting for occasional VHA Bingo nights or The VHA Golf Cart Safety clinics sounds like fun. Or you might really get satisfaction from issuing and/or receiving durable medical equipment for The VHA Helping Hands. Perhaps you would like to join one of The VHA’s committees or serve on The VHA Board of Directors.

And maybe you are attracted to the greatest calling of volunteerism here in The Villages: serving as a VHA Neighborhood Representative to act as the eyes and ears of The VHA, to provide knowledge and assistance to your neighbors, and to help attract and retain VHA members. If any of these possibilities calls out to you, please sign up at,  or contact the Vice President for your area of The Villages. We would love to have your help.

Karl Arps, Vice President
(920) 285 – 1382