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LOWLINC’s beginnings date back to early 2014 when three long-time residents of Lake of the Woods (Mary-Jane Atwater, Jeff Flynn and Joe Sakole) began regular meetings to explore how we as a community could help LOW’s older adults remain safely and independently in their homes.

Community Needs Assessment

During meetings with community leaders, the three founders explored the services currently available to older adults through LOW and outside organizations. They also researched the aging-in-community village model, pioneered by Beacon Hill Village in Boston, and they visited nearby villages. In the fall, they conducted a needs assessment—a community-wide mail and online survey designed to determine what service gaps existed and what services LOW residents anticipated needing in the future. They asked for opinions about establishing a Village at LOW.

The needs assessment results and outreach demonstrated a strong interest in the Village Model. The founders joined the Village to Village Network, the national membership association of Villages, which provided resources and information useful during organizational and start up activities. In April 2015, they established LOWLINC (LOW-Living Independently in Our Community), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable service organization, incorporated in Virginia. Work in 2015 focused on building our board of directors, creating LOWLINC’s initial policies and procedures, and communicating to the community about our launch plans.


LOWLINC began providing services in January 2016. Our first year was one of exciting growth, thanks to our members, the dedication of our trained and vetted volunteers, and the support of donors in our community. We have continued to grow each year, with transportation, errands, friendly visits and social activities our most frequently requested and completed services. We have expanded our health and wellness activities and outreach to the larger community as well. Our current Annual Report provides an update on our continued growth, services and activities. LOWLINC is an independent non-profit organization with no formal relationship with Lake of the Woods Association.

Mary-Jane Atwater

Jeff Flynn

Joe Sakole

LOWLINC Founders

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P.O. Box 518
Locust Grove, VA 22508