By Michelle Colesanti
It isn’t too often that you find someone who is sincerely passionate about their job. Kavita Marballi exemplifies all that is right in the Brandon community. Visit the Campo Y on any given day, and she can be seen spending time with “her” seniors, and has been doing this since the Campo Y opened in February 2001.
Throughout the years, she has been instrumental in starting different clubs seniors enjoy at the Y such as Art, Pickle Ball, Bridge and Memoir Writing. If there is a special event such as for Valentine’s Day or the Mother’s Tea in May, you can be sure that Marballi had her hand in the planning and orchestration of it. Her seniors love her and for good reason.
Her responsibilities include scheduling Silver Sneakers classes and activities, which extends to Camp Cristina and the JSA Medical Group in Sun City Center.
Marballi recently started a senior focus group so that her seniors can make suggestions on their requests for Y activities. She continues to use her creativity to keep the programs fresh and encourage participation, but it is not just the seniors who benefit from Marballi’s willingness to go the extra mile. She started a Dementia Support Group and recently began a Cancer Survivor’s Support Group. When it is time for the kids to head back to school, she is the staff liaison for the Y, as well as Ambassador for the Valrico FishHawk Chamber, in supporting the annual Back to School Festival hosted by the chamber and benefiting the Y’s Backpack program.
Marballi recently received the Brandon Roundtable’s Volunteer of the Year. When she’s not working at the Y, she volunteers on Saturdays at the information desk at Brandon Regional Hospital as she has done for over 20 years. She also spent about 15 years helping at The Brandon Outreach Clinic.
Marballi said, “It was always my dream to do community service. When I moved here, I wanted to make a connection with my new community, so I started to volunteer at Brandon Regional Hospital. I had never seen people like those in Brandon; always welcoming.”
Family time is important too. She and husband, Arun, have two daughters, Roshni, a second year medical student at NOVA Southeastern, and Dr. Akshata Marballi Hopkins, married to Dr. Christopher Hopkins. Marballi especially enjoys spending time with her grandson, Evan, and is looking forward to grandbaby number two in May.
“I have to give credit to my role models, my parents, for the way they brought us up,” commented Marballi.
For more information on the Senior Programs at the Campo Y, call 684-1371.