June 2024 Volunteer Spotlight – Tara Sotter

June 2024 Volunteer Spotlight - Tara Sotter
Meet Tara Sotter


Tara is a lifetime Marin resident who has been volunteering at Vivalon since September 2023. She was born and raised in the town of Sausalito and has lived in nearby Fairfax for the past 34 years. Now retired, she spent her career as a nurse, first in home care and later as a team leader for hospice nursing. Her husband, a retired firefighter, led them to be dubbed “Mr. and Mrs. Safety” by their child due to their focus on safety and wellbeing. 


Even after retiring from full-time nursing, Tara maintained her passion for health education. During a brief stint as an educator in hospice care, she discovered she had an aptitude for teaching and sharing her knowledge with others. So, when she saw an advertisement in the Marin Independent Journal seeking instructors at Vivalon, she leapt at the opportunity. 


At 66 years old, Tara had long admired Vivalon, referring to it as that “really cool club” she hoped to join someday as an older adult herself. She has always felt a deep connection and appreciation for the wisdom of elders, stemming from her loving relationship with her own grandmother who she cared for. Tara’s ability to look beyond surface appearances and see the essence of a person made the chance to get involved with Vivalon incredibly meaningful. 


Although initially daunted by the intensive training process to become an instructor, Tara stepped up alongside a co-facilitator to begin teaching the renowned “A Matter of Balance” course. She has now led three sessions. 


She finds immense gratification in witnessing the participants’ growth, as they form connections, share wisdom, and build a sense of community. Tara believes in empowering people through education, especially regarding falls prevention, which she sees as a health crisis for older adults. Teaching at Vivalon has allowed her to reconnect with people after a period of isolation and has become one of the most meaningful experiences of her life. 


Who is your hero?
My mother
What was your favorite movie as a child?
I was more into books, The Hobbit was a favorite.
What is your favorite family vacation?
What are some random fun facts about you?
Although nursing was my profession, I have a bachelor’s degree in fine art, and I love to paint rocks.
What is something you want to learn or wish you were better at?
I’m always up for improving my Spanish speaking skills.
What is your favorite place on earth?
The California coast
Who is the special person in your life?
My husband Ralph, married 40 years, and our amazing daughter.
Who is your favorite celebrity?
The author of whatever book I’m currently reading.



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