by Kathleen Spring, Special ContributorIn our small town of Lyons, the senior community has many resources available. The Lyons Golden Gang has been providing meals and social activities for more than a decade. Residents now have more senior housing and a senior center available. There is a Boulder County Aging representative located in downtown Lyons. This year’s Town board has an active liaison.
New this year was the Aging Well in Lyons conference, which gathered together in one place all of the resources that seniors need to live healthier, fuller lives in Boulder County. Each group had a table where their services could be explained. The event was the idea of Ed Bruder, Lyons trustee and liaison to the Golden Gang. Legislative representatives who make the elderly one of their priorities, U.S. Congressman Jared Polis and State Senator Jeanne Nicholson, spoke to the crowd. A free lunch and panel discussions followed in the afternoon. The organizers hope to continue to conduct informative events in the future.
AGING COUNCIL & GAP
The Lyons Aging Council (LAACA) group’s Generational Active People (GAP) organization, with Paula Randazzo as the director, has been taken over by the Town. The group brings together teens and the elderly for fun events and conversation. The annual spring field trip was to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Special Transit provided the free bus ride, and GAP provided the tickets to the pirate show, an IMAX movie, and a picnic lunch. Their current and final craft project was making and decorating tiles for the Clarifier Project. The group will restart in October.
The Boulder Aging Council’s new Senior Resource Consultant for the Lyons area is Keith Carr. He is available to work with Lyons area elders and their families to guide them into finding answers to their questions. Former consultant Marie McCreery highly recommends him and says that he is the “go to person” she used in Boulder County. Call him at (303) 823-9016 to make an appointment for Monday or Friday afternoon, or Thursday morning.
The Golden Gang was sorry to hear of the passing of Marge Saylors. She was one of the people instrumental in starting the organization. She stayed on the board in several positions, not the least of which was sending out cards to members who were ill or celebrating a birthday.
Janet Freeman was in the hospital for an appendicitis problem and is now recovered. Anne Marie Brown is courageously taking on the challenge of fighting cancer. Don Hunt has been successfully treating his many ailments. Marguerite Peoples has been in the hospital twice to treat her heart congestion problem. Vance French is getting attention for a relapse of certain ailments. After spending many months in the hospital, Opal Jackson is now in a nursing home. Ray Babbock’s eyes are better now. Geneva is still fighting a serious bout of bronchitis. Get well wishes go out to all of them.
Marguerite Peoples’ daughter June and her husband Charlie have gone to Blackwell, OK to visit relatives. Marguerite’s sister Louise, 98, and her great-great-granddaughter Peggy Rhyell live in the area known as Tornado Alley. The recent Joplin, MO tornado destroyed Marguerite’s high school, and her niece’s house was destroyed except for the bathroom she and her dog were hiding. Marguerite’s other daughter Agnes is visiting from California. Lyons sincerely misses the Lyons Café, which was in business for 48 years until it closed its doors last year.
Calling all citizens of Lyons! You can help support your senior meals program by either attending the upcoming breakfasts or buying raffle tickets. The next Senior Breakfast will be Saturday, June 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. It’s always great value and flavors for the low price of $5.00; kids ages 3 to 12 are $3.00.
There will be no event during Good Old Days, mainly due to the intense heat and long hours. Two individuals are working on possibly adding a Bunco Bash fundraiser, which is a simple dice rolling game, played in rounds as teams.
Buy a ticket and try for the $2,000 prize. Last year the seniors had great success selling Duck Race tickets for the Longmont fundraiser. Second place is $1,000 and third is $500, plus dozens of other prizes donated by Longmont businesses. Contact Donna Cole (303) 678-0079 or drop in at the senior center during the lunch hour, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday to buy tickets. St. Vrain Rotary is selling a limited number of tickets and will announce the winners at the Rhythm on the River event July 9. Purchasers do not have to be present to win.
FREE INTERNET & COMPUTER
Any senior in Lyons can come to the Walt Self Senior Center and use the computer and internet in the lower level of the building. It is currently open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. The Town of Lyons is working with Boulder County and the Golden Gang to find ways to expand the hours. Seniors who have special needs and would like the room opened beyond these hours should contact Marissa Davis (303) 823-6622. She is collecting a list of citizen needs so that the group can make an informed decision on expanding the availability, such as a key-pad at the entrance. Thanks go to Ed Bruder, Vance French, Town of Lyons, CAMS Cable, and Peaks West PC for making this possible.
The quarrying business in Lyons touches every citizen in one way or another. There is some doubt that the town would be thriving the way it is today if it were not set in the rich reserve of the hardest sandstone in the world. Don Colard, of Colard Ranch, told his families’ story to an attentive audience during the May History Preservation Month program. He and his nine siblings prospered in this small town, with good farming and winning in the local rodeos. Maxine Harkalis can trace her family roots back to 1890s when they moved into the area and set up a quarrying business, known as the Ohline Quarries, along with a cattle farm. Thanks to the Historical Society and History Video Project for honoring the town’s ancestors through this program.
Missing your cultural fix? Circle of Care offers free tickets to many events in Boulder County to low-income or disabled seniors. This includes concerts, plays, opera, and art classes, and some sports events. Announcements are made at the Golden Gang lunches. Call (303) 449-8884 and register with Beth. Volunteers, of any age, who drive seniors to events will also get a free ticket. Call to get on the email events announcement list.
The Lyons Minnie’s Red Hat Club new year’s calendar, beginning in May, is full of more distinctive restaurants and fun activities.
Their successful trip to the Botanical Gardens two years ago will be repeated, thanks to a Special Transit bus taking them to Denver. Contact director Kathleen Spring (303) 823-0997 for more information.
Every Tuesday, the Golden Gang plays bingo for the desirable donated prizes. On Wednesdays the group makes jewelry, which will be sold at future fundraisers. Thanks to Josie Rios and Karen Ryan for supervising the programs. Both activities provide for social interaction and builds dexterity and self esteem. Any senior in town can join the Golden Gang for free and participate in their activities, meals, and field trips.
Yummy nutritious meals and enjoyable socializing are available three times a week to all Lyons seniors at the Walt Self Senior Center. Meals are provided by Meals on Wheels. Lunches are availabe on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday for $2.75 each. Please call (303) 823-6386 to reserve your lunch.
The monthly Golden Gang birthday party celebration is on the second Friday of each month. A special cake is made by Bev Haley, and musical entertainment is presented by Vance French. Call manager MaryLou Wallace (303) 823-6386 to sign up for lunch the day before, or to suggest a new program.
A special annual Thank You Volunteers dinner was given at Smoking Dave’s BBQ for the many people who devote hours each year to help make the Golden Gang run more smoothly. Those people quietly working in the background include kitchen help, event planning, delivering meals, and more. John Loukonen was a meals-on-wheels driver for several months and said it was “the highlight of my winter.” Five local elementary school children have signed up to work in the lunch room during the summer. Seniors and kids alike said they love the interaction. No further volunteers are needed for the summer.
Seniors who like to talk with people and share their enthusiasm of Lyons should consider volunteering at the Visitors’ Center. The position is for a week day, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call Town Hall (303) 823-6622.