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SOMA – Two Towns For All Ages
SOMA Age Friendly Iniative Logo.jpg
Catherine Rowe
SOMA Age Friendly Initiative Coordinator

574 Valley St.
Maplewood Township, NJ  07040

Ph: (973) 762-8120 ext. 4005
Fax: (973) 763-4202

Monday - Friday
9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Our Mission Statement:

To identify, develop and coordinate resources, policies, programs and services

that support and empower all residents of Maplewood and South Orange

to age in place as full members of the community.

Recognizing the increasing number of residents over 60 and the desire to keep long-term residents in our communities, South Orange and Maplewood (SOMA) launched "Two towns for all ages." Under this new initiative, SOMA is taking a proactive approach to foster healthy aging and enable residents to age in place.

This age-friendly initiative engages all stakeholders in the community - government, businesses, schools, non-profits and people of all ages - to build a lifelong community.  To ensure programs and services in our two towns meet these important goals we strive/pledge/commit to:

  • Be responsive to the needs of older residents.
  • Combine the resources and interests of both towns to build a synergistic relationship that promotes and supports healthy aging.
  • Recognize the role older adults play in our communities and their contributions to the fabric of our diverse community.
  • Realize that improvements that benefit the older population also benefit the rest of our community.
  • Ensure older adults engage in the conversation and allow their concerns to be heard and acted upon.

Both towns are committed to the long-term continuity and sustainability of the Two towns for all ages initiative. 

***Upcoming Events in Maplewood and South Orange (Events are free unless otherwise noted, registration may be required)***

News & Events

Olde News is out!

The SOMA Two towns for all ages print newsletter is out!  Named “Olde News,” it has been mailed to most residents over 60.  If you did not receive a copy in your mail box and would like to be added to the distribution list, call (973) 762-8120 x 4005. You can also see the newsletter on line at our website: and clicking on the publications tab.  Visit the website frequently for up-to-date informaiton on events, transportation, resources and activities.

Transportation Update:

The new South Orange Senior Jitney Schedule is in effect, with a loop around town and shopping trips out of town.  See the website for updated schedule.  Call The Baird for pick up at (973) 378-7754   x 2325

Service: Monday – Friday, 9:30am – 3:30pm, except for driver’s lunch (12-12:30).

Hurricane Maria Relief

The Maplewood Police Union PBA Local 44/44a will be collecting non-perishable foods, clothes, water, baby food, diapers, batteries, flashlights, first aid kits, etc. and donating it to the hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico.   There will be boxes at Police Headquarters and Maplewood Town hall until October 6.  Any questions please call Detective Carlos E. Baez at 973-761-7924. 

Do You Need Help Filing for The Senior Freeze Tax Rebate?

The “Senior Freeze” filing deadline has been extended to October 18 and the offices of Assemblywoman Mila Jasey and Assemblyman John McKeon are helping seniors file for this important tax rebate.  Staff from their offices will come to the Maplewood Municipal Building to help residents with the paperwork and filing. Thursday, October 5, 10am – noon. They will have booklets for residents who have never previously participated in the program, but seniors should call first to make sure forms are sent before this help session. Instead of calling the State’s Treasury line, call Mila Jasey’s office:  (973) 762-1886 or John McKeon’s office (973) 377-1606

If you have participated in the program previously the PTR forms (blue booklets) are individualized and should have been sent to you.  Bring the booklet with you for help on October 5. If you haven’t received it, please contact one of their offices. In addition, the Homestead Rebate forms have been mailed out by the State, and everyone should receive it by first week of October.  Once you receive them you must call the number on the form and follow the prompt to put in the pin number contained in the application.

Medicare Open Enrollment is from October 15th – December 7th every year, with any changes to your plan that you select becoming effective January 1st 2018.   To compare plans, see what Medicare plans are available in your area, and to enroll in a new plan visit or call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227). Another option for information and enrolling is to call the plan of your choice or visit its website. AARP encourages anyone who is on a Medicare plan or eligible for enrolling to review their options during the enrollment period.  Many plans change and so do your health needs over the year so take this time to ensure that the plan you are using is the best fit for you.

Volunteers Needed

  • Gift of Life will conduct a bone marrow drive during Health & Harvest Fest on October 7. They will train two volunteers, via conference call, for 20 minutes, on how to process a test kit - very simple.  For more information call Bob Roe at (973) 762-8120 x4400.
  • Volunteers needed to collect unopened milk from local day care centers and deliver to the food pantries.  To sign up, call Bob Roe at (973) 762-8120 x4400.
  • Maplewood flu clinic needs volunteer nurses on Wednesday, Oct 18, 10 am – 1 pm and/or Saturday, Oct. 21, 11 am-1 pm.  Call the Maplewood Health Department at (973) 762-8120 x 4200.

Last Week to Sign Up for Adult Fall Cultural Arts Classes at the Baird. Visit for more information and to register, fees vary.

  • PRINTING AND BOOK ARTS: Working Hand in Hand - New! - Tuesdays, 10:00 am-1:00 pm
  • Arts Unbound Mixed Media Collage - Tuesdays, 10:00 am-12:00 pm
  • Life Drawing - Wednesdays, 7:00 pm 9:00 pm
  • Adult Beginner Ballet - Thursdays, 7:30 pm-8:30 pm
  • Art with Denise - Thursdays, 11:15 am-1:15 pm; 10/5, 11/2, 12/7
  • Learn to Knit New! Reduced Price for Seniors  - Fridays, 10:00 am-11:30 am

Recurring, Weekly Events


Maplewood Farmers Market, 2-7pm

  • New location: 1848-1852 Springfield Ave (between Yale and Oberlin)


Digital Device Clinics, Hilton Library, 5-7pm

  • Drop in for free one-on-one support for using your e-reader, tablet, smartphone, or other electronic device. Open to adults, teens and children.


South Orange Farmers Market, 2-7pm

  • Parking lot adjacent to Sloan St.
  • Market Jazz Jam at the Sloan Street Gazebo, led by the Peter Lin Trio 4-7pm


International Folk Dancing, Burgdorff Center (10 Durand Rd, Maplewood) 8-10:15 pm

  • Sponsored by the Maplewood Recreation Department, admission $5.
  • Sign-up for 12 week session, starting Sept. 14,  by calling (973) 376-7568.

October Events

Until October 21

“Cut Loose” an exhibit at The Pierro Gallery in The Baird.

Until October 29

“Metaphorically Speaking,” an exhibit focusing on artworks that include elements of symbolism, contrasting imagery, and even humor to compel the viewer to understand a work of art. - Gallery 1978 (located at 1978 Springfield Ave., on the corner  of Broadview in Maplewood)

Sunday, October 1

Celebrate South Orange, Noon - 2pm

  • We did it! South Orange beat out 15 other towns and cities in New Jersey Monthly's Hot Town Showdown contest and we are now officially the "Hottest Town in New Jersey."  Woot woot!  It's very exciting and the Village is throwing a party and you're all invited! This Sunday, from Noon to 2 pm at Spiotta Park in the Village Center, and demonstrate to the world that South Orange is Hot Hot Hot! To continue with the hot theme, we've got Hot Dogs from BGR, Hot Wings from Tito's Burritos and Hot Fudge Sundaes from Carvel to give away. Plus, pumpkin painting and other games for the kids. And of course music! So join your neighbors this Sunday and celebrate!


  • Join the SOMA Racial Justice March. The march will begin at 2 pm at the Maplewood Pool (187 Boyden), stop in front of the police station for some speakers, and continue the march to the Gazebo (1670 Springfield Ave) for more words of inspiration.

Monday, October 2

Maplewood Garden Club - Maplewood Main Library, 7:30 pm - 9pm

  • Maplewood Garden Club hosts award winning author and photographer Ken Druse, who will present "The New Shade Garden: Creating a Lush Oasis in the Age of Climate Change."

Tuesday, October 3

Paint-a-Rock Afternoon - Maplewood Senior Center, noon

  • We supply the rocks and the paint, you supply the talent and encouragement.
  • rsvp to (973) 763-0750

Wednesday, October 4

Slip & Fall prevention - Hilton Library, 10:30 am

  • Prevention IS the best medicine. Don’t wait for an accident to happen. Falls can happen in a split second, and recovery can take months. Learn to recognize slip and fall hazards, how to navigate tricky terrain, and the importance of vigilance inside the home and out. Topics will include: common types of slip and fall injuries, how to create a safe home and work environment, what to do if you fall, and more.

Wednesdays at the Movies - South Orange Library, 1:00pm

  • "The Circle"

Read Around the World: North Korea – Maplewood Main Library, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

  • This month’s book is The Accusation by Bandi. The seven stories that make up The Accusation give voice to people living under the most bizarre and horrifying of dictatorships.

Thursday, October 5

Help with Senior Freeze Tax Program - Maplewood Town Hall, 10 am - noon

  • Staff from Mila Jasey and John McKeon's offices will help seniors apply for the Senior Freeze tax rebate.

South Orange Library Lecture Series - Elizabeth Redwine, Prof. of English at Seton Hall University. - South Orange Library, 1:00pm

  • Topic:  The Dramatic life of Mrs. Patrick Campbell:  Shaw's real life "My Fair Lady"

Thursday Night Book Club - Maplewood Main Library, 7pm

  • "Exit West" by Mohsin Hamid tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.

October 6 - 8

South Next - Downtown South Orange village

  • A collision of art, music and provocative ideas.  Saturday features Intergenerational Jeopardy at the SOPAC Loft, noon - 1pm.  Come and cheer on teams representing all ages in our community.  Winners will move on to final round at SOPL on Sunday.

Saturday, October 7

Health & HarvestFest on Springfield Avenue, Hilton Library, 11am-3pm

  • Enjoy samples from the healthy cooking competition.  Want to be a judge?  Call Bob Roe at 973-762-8120 x4400.  Rabies Clinic for dogs and cats, provided by St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare.  Senior rest tent will be set up .

Tuesday, October 10

Stroke Risk Assessment - Maplewood Town Hall, 10:30 am - 1:30pm

  • Please call Maplewood Dept. of health to schedule an appointment.  (973) 762-8120 x 4200

Wednesday, October 11

Computer Explorations - Hilton Branch, 10am-11am

  • Get the help YOU need! For beginner and intermediate computer users. We’ll help you with documents, email, Internet, photos, social media etc.

Creative Writing - South Orange Library, 1pm

Health Screening - 10:30 - noon, Maplewood Main Library

Maplewood Senior Club Meeting - Maplewood Senior Center, 10am

  • A representative from St. Barnabas will speak on "Healthy Holiday Eating: Eating Well = Aging Well."

Thursday, October 12

AAA Car Fit program  - Maplewood Senior Center

  • Call (973)763-0750 to register and for more information

South Orange Library Lecture Series  - Sherry Mallner, World Traveler - South Orange Library, 1:00 pm

  • Topic: Talk and slide presentation on living and learning the culture of Qatar

Adult Health Screenings - Maplewood Town Hall, 10 am – noon

Winchester Gardens Trip to “The Honeymooners” at Papermill Playhouse – open to all

  • Winchester Gardens Bus Departure: 12:30pm
  • Show Start Time: 1:30pm; Approx. return by 5pm
  • Tickets $55.  Contact Carolyn Baldanza, WG Director of Recreation at 973-378-5146

Saturday, October 14

Yarn and Fiber Arts Group - Maplewood Main Library, 10am - noon

  • A gathering for people who knit, crochet, quilt, sew, embroider or do other creative things with yarn or fabric. Get feedback & advice. Bring your own supplies. All skill levels are welcome! Facilitated by Maplewood resident Amy Zorn.

SO Historical and Preservation Society’s Gems of South Orange House Tour, 11 am - 4 pm

  • $30 day off, $25 before at

Introduction to Weaving with Jen Neal Studio - The Baird, 11am - 2:30pm

  • This workshop is in connection with the Pierro Gallery exhibition “Cut Loose” on view until October 21, 2017 and is taught by one of the exhibiting artists. A guided tour of the exhibition is included in the workshop. Join us for a 3 hour lesson to learn how to create your own woven wall hanging.
  • $35.00 + materials fee
  • Register at The Baird

Green Day Environment Fair – Maplewood Memorial Park, 11am - 4pm

Sunday October 15

First day of Medicare open enrollment.

Monday, October 16

Knitting Workshop  - South Orange Library, 1:00 pm

Tuesday, October 17

Last day to register to vote in the November election

AARP Driver's Safety - Maplewood Senior Center, 9am - 3pm

  • $20
  • Call (973) 763-0750 to register

Wednesday, October 18

Wednesdays at the Movies - South Orange Library, 1:00pm

  • "The Hero"

Maplewood Flu Clinic - Maplewood Municipal Building, 10am - 1 pm

  • Open to residents 18+
  • $20, Free to Maplewood residents 65+

Senior Speaker Series – Winchester Gardens, 3pm

  • Allison Busch, Elder Law Attorney
  • Free and open to all
  • Rsvp (973) 666-2084 or

Thursday, October 19

South Orange Library Lecture Series - Peggy Cinberg, South Orange Seniors Coordinator - South Orange Library, 1:00pm

  • Talk and film presentation, "Seven", an amazing 2017 documentary profiling local seniors

Monthly Blood Pressure  Clinic - The Baird, 11am

Saturday, October 21

Composting Workshop - Maplewood Main, 10:30 am

  • Did you know that more than 1/3 of your garbage is compostable? Composting reduces landfill waste and restores nutrients to your soil. Learn the basics of backyard composting and techniques to make your composting efforts a success year-round. Presented by Java’s Compost.

Maplewood Flu Clinic - Maplewood Municipal Building, 11am -1 pm

  • Open to all resdients 18+.
  • $20. Free to Maplewood residents 65+

Repair Café - Morrow Memorial Church, 600 Ridgewood Rd, Maplewood, 2pm - 5pm

  • Come to the first local Repair Café.  Have something you need repaired?  Don't throw it out, bring it to the expert volunteers to fix.  Bikes, sewing, lamps, jewelry, small furniture, things that need gluing and more.

Sunday, October 22

Diwali Fest NJ - The Woodland, 12:30-6:30

  • Diwali is a festival of lights and one of the most widely celebrated South Asian holidays. For the first time, Diwali comes to Maplewood as a grand celebration of South Asian Arts and Cultural Festival. Free and open to the entire community,

Monday, October 23

Your Digital Doorway - Maplewood Main, 7pm

  • At this informational demonstration, you’ll learn how to easily access the library’s digital resources, including e-books, e-audiobooks, digital magazines, movies, TV shows and music—all free with a Maplewood Library card.

Tuesday, October 24

Bus Trip to Spring Lake

  • Leaves Maplewood Senior Center at 9am sharp, return by 4pm
  • Free but seats are limited.  Call (973) 763-0750 to reserve.

Wednesday, October 25

Creative Writing Workshop  1 p.m. - South Orange Library, 1pm

Thursday, October 26

South Orange Library Lecture Series -John Gruesser, Author and Prof. of English at Kean University - South Orange Library, 1:00pm

  • Topic:  Poe and Hitchcock

Foreign Film Series featuring Women Film Directors - South Orange Library, 7:00pm

  • Lost in Translation-  Director Sofia Coppola  U.S. A. Gerard Amsellem, noted educator, artist and filmmaker, will lead the discussion

Saturday, October 28

Intro to Google Apps - Hilton Branch, 10:30-12, Saturdays, October 28 & November 4

  • Google Apps is a powerful suite of tools that’s completely free to use! It includes Google Drive, Google Docs, and a number of other applications. In this 2-session course you will learn how to create and access files via any web browser on any device. We’ll show you how to create and store documents, spreadsheets and presentations, store music, videos and photos and use Google Calendar and Google Drawings. Students are expected to attend both sessions. Please register using your Gmail account at
  • Participants must have a Gmail account and must be computer proficient and familiar with navigating and managing files and folders.

Selections from Candide - Columbia High School Auditorium, 3pm

  • Concert version - State Repertory Opera, The Society of Musical Arts Orchestra and the Symphonic Choir of Columbia High School.
  • $25 in advance at or $30 at door.

Tuesday, October 31

Halloween Party – Maplewood Senior Center, 11am-1pm

  • Lunch and refreshments will be provided.
  • DJ, magician and Halloween costume contest with prizes for first, second, and third place winners.
  • Free but space is limited.
  • Call (973)763-0750 to reserve your space.

October 20-22

Celebrating Aging in Film Series - Montclair

  • Aging in Montclair and are proud to present the east coast debut of San Diego’s popular film event, Celebrating Aging In Film. Curated and moderated by series founder, aging expert and author, Professor Mario Garrett Ph.D., this three-day weekend event is designed to shed light on how the aging narrative is transforming our culture.
  • For tickets and show times, go to

Location Guide:

The Baird – 5 Mead St, S. Orange (973) 378-7754

Dehart Community Center – 120 Burnett Ave, Maplewood (973) 763- 0750

Maplewood Main Library – 51 Baker St., Maplewood (973) 762-1622

Maplewood Hilton Library – 1688 Springfield Ave., Maplewood (973) 762-1688

Maplewood Senior Center – 106 Burnett Ave., Maplewood (973) 763- 0750

The Pierro Gallery – inside the Baird, 5 Mead St., S. Orange (973) 378-7754

South Orange Public Library (South Orange Library) – 65 Scotland Rd., S. Orange (973) 762- 0230

Winchester Gardens – 333 Elmwood Ave., Maplewood (973) 762-5050

If you would like to receive information, mailings and emails from SOMA Two towns for all ages, or post an event in our calendar, please email or leave a message at (973) 762-8120 x 4005.                             

Tips for an Age-friendly Block Party

Dear Neighbors,

The SOMA Two towns for all ages program is a new initiative for South Orange and Maplewood.  Our goal is to help our towns be more age-friendly by helping people age in place, stay in their homes and our community as long as they can, and increase access to community events.  One of the highlights of our two towns are the neighborhood block parties – the events that bring neighbors out to meet, mix and catch up.  When planning your block party, please consider the following suggestions to make your event age-friendly for all neighbors:

  • Many older residents don’t use email on a regular basis, so please give them a flyer, call or stop by and invite them personally.
  • Make sure you have adequate seating, so older neighbors don’t have to stand too long, and don’t have to carry their own chairs to the party.
  • Include your older neighbors in block party planning – they may have lived on your street for years and have interesting stories to share, photos of the neighborhood or memories of who used to live in your house.
  • Depending on your plans for food, (potluck, catered, etc.) consider a heart healthy option – what is good for seniors is good for all. Older residents have great recipes and may be interested to help cook or plan the menu.
  • If you have music, set up some seats behind the speakers or in a quieter area, and play a variety of music.
  • Having a contest for the kids?  Your older neighbors would be experienced and neutral judges.
  • If it is hot out, provide umbrellas/shade and plenty of water.  Again, what’s good for seniors is good for all.
  • Use name tags.
  • Make a directory with contact information for everybody to keep in touch.

If you have questions about how to make your block party more accessible for older neighbors, or suggestions that you would like to share, please contact Cathy Rowe at (973) 558-0863 or

Thank you for considering how to make your block party age-friendly and have a great time!

574 Valley St.
Maplewood Township, NJ 07040
Hours of Operation 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Ph: (973) 762-8120