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Canyon Sages: Get Involved! 

One of Topanga’s best kept ‘secret societies’ is the Canyon Sages. Its roots go way back. In 2009 it got its official name. Before then, it was just a handful of folks volunteering to offer fun activities for seniors and watch over Topanga’s most vulnerable – the elderly, the infirm, the homeless in some cases.

One of the founders was Michele Johnson who began her career in Social Work and was the Sages’ point person for the first years. Susan Clark leads the social services effort today with so many others — Tam Taylor, Wendy Forrester, Linnea Richards among them.

COVID hobbled the Sages, shrinking numbers, and many volunteers are retirees- some have moved away, some have health issues limiting their abilities, some have passed away. In any case, the Sages are short of Topangans who can help out with expertise, willingness, and goodhearted service.

Most of the Social Network folks are retired from the helping professions- Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, Family Law, Health Care, Home Care. However, no expertise is required, just goodhearted willingness to serve- maybe transportation, meals or shopping could be offered. Handyman skills seem to be needed  these days after a flood like the one we just survived.

We have had cases where an elderly Topangan was being scammed. Other cases involve offering support for an elderly recovering from surgery, helping someone find housing or handy-man services. Topanga holds many challenges for the elderly, terrain and transportation to name a few, but it is rich in human resources which adds to its appeal. Topanga is the last of the wild west. We have a cast of characters still living in the nooks and crannies of our canyon. Meet them, lend a hand.

Susan Clark is on the Emergency hotline for seniors (310 455 7268), and also on Sages voicemail. If you or someone you know is in need of SAGES Social Network please let us know by calling Susan.
Beyond social services, the Canyon Sages offers a free monthly dinner, low-cost classes and free clubs for seniors of all ages. For more info on the dinners, or to volunteer, contact Karen Dannenbaum at

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