By Kathleen Spring
After a busy summer filled with visiting relatives and traveling, Lyons senior citizens can look forward to a quiet fall season. The cool days encourage long walks along the river, and sipping coffee on outdoor patios. In a couple of months, the holiday season begins, and the big meals and family visits will start up again.
The Lyons Golden Gang had several successful monthly breakfast fundraisers during the summer. They are grateful to all the regulars who came by to support them. The next fundraiser meal will be a Mexican Fiesta on Saturday, October 15, at 6 p.m. at the Walt Self Center. This will be replacing the Harvest Meal. The next big event is the annual Christmas Craft and Bake Sale on the first Saturday of December at Odd Fellows Hall. For more details, watch for fliers around town and in this newspaper.
Wild lions, tigers and bears, oh, my! Lyons seniors were transported ,courtesy of Special Transit, to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keensburg this summer. They had the opportunity to view the animals from a raised platform, which overlooked the 20 acres roamed by 40 lions, 85 bears, 70 tigers, and more. The animals had all been rescued from dire circumstances, like living in basements and dormitories. One circus kept an entire pride in a single barred cage on wheels. A binder filled with each animal’s life story was shared by the seniors. Thank you to organizer Kathleen Spring.
In August, Lyons seniors were invited to enjoy a bus ride to Central City and Black Hawk for a day of gambling. A few of the lucky seniors came back with some extra dollars in their pocket. Thank you to coordinators Anita Rodriquez, Aggie Brown, and Janet Freeman.
The Golden Gang seniors enjoy Bingo every Tuesday at 12 noon, at the Senior Center, and they invite other seniors to join them.
If you wear a red hat, then it’s likely that you love to have fun. Minnie’s Red Hat Club members said that they laughed so much at their September miniature golf outing that they did not have any laughs left for the rest of the month. The group has enjoyed monthly outings this summer that included a day at the beautiful Denver Botanical Gardens, including lunch at a Golf Country Club. They had tasty meals at Martini’s Bistro, Longmont, Pupusas Sabor Hispano, Boulder, and Niwot Tavern, Niwot. Each outing is followed by some sightseeing, like Longmont’s Rose Garden and Niwot’s Old Town. Due to illness, two members have had to drop out, and the group would consider adding a new fun loving, friendly member. Call Kathleen Spring (303) 823-0997 for more information.
Seniors no longer have to worry about being housebound and not enjoying the Front Range cultural events. Circle of Care provides free outings to seniors, including transportation to the venues. During the summer, seniors went on a nature hike, heard symphonies, attended a play, enjoyed Chautauqua concerts, viewed independent movies, and more.
SPEAKERS & LUNCHES
Several speakers have stopped by the Senior Center over the summer months, discussing things like preventing heart attacks, finding aid through Boulder County, estate planning, Medicare prescription coverage, and more. Ed Bruder is helping to bring in more Boulder County speakers in October and November. Pick up a full calendar at the Walt Self Senior Center.
The second Friday of every month is Birthday Friday. Any senior with a birthday that month is invited to join in the celebration. There is live musical entertainment and cake. To reserve lunch call manager MaryLou Wallace (303) 823-6386. All Lyons seniors are invited to come for lunch and to socialize on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 11 a.m. to noon at the Walt Self Center. The lunch is provided at a discounted cost of $2.75 for seniors and a slightly higher cost for any non-senior family member who would like to join them.
Oskar Blues is continuing its special free monthly lunch for Golden Gang members. Many thanks go to Dale Katechis. New this fall are free meals provided by local church congregations once a month.
The anticipated schedule will be a free meal on Mondays at 5 p.m. at the Senior Center courtesy of The River church, the second week is the Old Stone Church, the third week is the Lyons Community (Methodist) Church, and the fourth week is the Lyons Catholic Church. For reservations, call MaryLou Wallace (303) 823-6386.
GAP & GOLDEN GANG MEETINGS
The Generational Active People (GAP) group will begin its new year in October. Any senior citizen or high school student in Lyons can join the fun group which uses free social events and crafts to break the generation gap. Call Paula Randazzo (303) 823-6622 for more information.
A long hot summer of debates almost ended the Golden Gang. One side argued that they got legal advice to close the group down, due to inadequate membership numbers and diminishing finances. The other side argued that they did not want to give up the senior center that they had fought long and hard for, and they would lose long-time friendships if the doors closed. The second group won the day, and the Golden Gang will live to see another year.
The officers of the Golden Gang quietly voted themselves in last June, and the all new slate of officers began working on creating a stronger membership and more financially stable organization. They have put off hiring a new executive director.
Past volunteer director and president Diane Briggle resigned in June, and she is working behind the scenes to train the new officers.
Their next challenge is to plan the two final 2011 fundraisers, and to reorganize the meeting schedule.
MaryLou Wallace has given her official notice this month that she will retire from her position as Kitchen Manager in December. The board is starting the process to find a new kitchen and program manager. Advertisements will be placed in the coming month. MaryLou will be greatly missed, as she was not only a very efficient manager, but also a sincere friend to all the Golden Gang seniors.
Thanks go out to the teens who volunteered to serve meals at the senior center over the summer months, and to the football players who helped clean the senior complex yard.
Thanks go out to Vance French and Steve Mikesell, the gardeners who took care of the Golden Gang vegetable garden and gave away 25 pounds of produce. Other new generous volunteers this summer include the experienced church congregation members who are helping to prepare Golden Gang financial statements and press releases.
It was a sad day when Marguerite Peoples, 96, passed away. A small private ceremony took place at the Lyons Cemetery. Her friend Kathleen Spring put on an Open House Tribute for her at the Walt Self Senior Center, so that Marguerite’s old friends could have a chance to have closure. It was a full house, with each person telling a little story about his or her relationship with her. The tales revolved around the Lyons Café she ran for 48 years, as well as her strong yet fun personality. Everyone joined in while Vance French sang Marguerite’s favorite old-time songs.
Any senior in Lyons can come to the Walt Self Senior Center and use the computer and internet for free in the lower level of the building. It is currently open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday during the Golden Gang lunch hour. Seniors can also use it when the Lyons Aging office is open; call (303) 823-9016. For other accommodations, contact Marissa Davis at Town Hall (303) 823-6622.
The office hours of Keith Carr, Lyons Aging Resource Consultant, will change effective October 3, 2011. The new hours will be on Tuesday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday 8:00 a.m. to noon, and Thursday 8:00 a.m. to noon. The office is located at the Walt Self Senior Housing, 335 Railroad Avenue. He wants to alert seniors that there is a new Medicare enrollment period, October 15 through December 7. He can provide the names of Boulder County consultants and dates of Medicare educational workshops to help seniors make informed choices, including special workshops for those who are approaching 65 years of age.