Latest News and Events - Active Living
Upcoming Special Events
The Senior Center Supports Breast Cancer Awareness
Who do you wear pink for? We wear pink for our mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers and friends. On October 1, the Tallahassee Senior Center donned pink in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Wear pink all month long to show your support for cancer awareness. #GoPink
Back Row, Left to Right: Sheila Sayler, Tina Niggel, Arthur Rhynes, Henry Steele, Ruth Nickens, Gena Varn, Kristy Carter and Neil Brown.
In front row, left to right: Lisa Dollar Covert, Hella Spellman and Aurora Hansen.
Rosetta Stone Land Retiring
It's a fact. After nine fabulous years at TSC, Rosetta Stone Land, is retiring. Rosetta will quickly tell you that "work" at TSC filled her with amazing moments, marvelous friends and amusing anecdotes. She joined our Foundation staff as communications coordinator in January of 2007. In addition to publicizing the center's activities and mission, a few years ago she reintroduced our travel program and enjoyed taking it to greater heights. She may not be in her office, but we'll see her "on the road." Meanwhile, please welcome our newest family member, Audrey Byrne.
September Success for Senior Centers
By Rosetta Stone Land
September is National Senior Center Month and senior centers all across the country hold special events or celebrate achievements. Tallahassee's own senior center celebration kicked off with the popular Active Living Expo. The center will also host Senior Foundation Membership Week, September 14 – 18, with a performance by Yellow Dog Dixieland Band on 18th from 7 – 8 p.m.
During membership week, Foundation board members and staff get to tell the success stories of center to future members and participants. Those stories showcase how seniors thrive with making new friendships and connecting with other active adults.
Delores Sichrovsky blossomed as an artist after the loss of her husband Frank. When Frank died, she didn't want to live anymore. Delores said, "I was still alive but I didn't want to be. He was my everything." Fortunately for Delores, her daughter recognized her distress and brought her to TSC. Delores learned new joy and happiness as she took classes, made friends, and began painting. "After the ashes," she said, "I can live again with happiness and joy." Seniors are happier and healthier when they can escape loneliness.
To age well, adults should continually challenge themselves socially, intellectually, creatively, and physically. TSC strives to ensure this opportunity for all participants!
The advantages associated with social engagement and the enrichment that come with lifelong learning, serve our seniors well. TSC has enjoyed tremendous program growth – especially over the past three years. Boomers, the newest generation of seniors, particularly clamor to sign up for our annual Lifelong Learning Extravaganza – L3X, our TALL (Tallahassee Active Lifelong Leaders) program, and language classes.
Overall participation in TSC classes, special events and other activities increased by 12% to almost 6,000 participants each month. The most popular trending activities include music – concerts and ukulele, guitar and singing classes. There's also cards and games that include duplicate bridge, canasta and mahjong.
Our arts and crafts programs are creative classes that feature some of the best instructors in the area. Drawing, oils and acrylics, watercolor, and making holiday cards keep novice and experienced artists busy.
Gena Varn, TSC volunteer coordinator, shares that "one of our current participants experiences an issue with navigation but new friends in ceramics make sure she reaches the classroom twice a week." Varn continues with the question, "Do you remember when a son brought his father in and both registered quickly as participants?" Now his dad and mom are both in ceramics class.
It is not uncommon for grandparents to bring adult children or grandchildren on our tours. We travel the globe. From one-day tours to two-week adventures, TSC travel partners donate ten percent of every tour to our senior programming.
Let's not forget fitness and recreation with 14-20% growth in participation. Exercise is a key to health and well being for everyone, but certainly with seniors. There are so many success stories in our 33 fitness classes. You're invited to join in at TSC – or at one of our 13 neighborhood sites.
Dr. Michael Smith, WebMD Chief Medical Editor, writes, "We're doing great at living longer, with a record life expectancy in the U.S. of nearly 79 years. If you're a man that lives to be 65, you can expect to live another 17 years. A 65-year old woman will likely live another 20 years. So, it's time to stop focusing on the limitations of aging and turn our sights toward the opportunities that lie ahead."
Top 10 Reasons to Join Us at TSC
- Direct, positive impact on people's lives
- Target active, independent adults
- Focus on prevention of illness and injury
- Provide broad range & balance of senior center services & activities
- Maximize all resources & collaboration
- Coordination of senior center services county-wide
- Cost effective
- Leverage private & grant dollars with City dollars
- Win – Win with City & Foundation resources
- It's a lot of FUN – just ask our board members!
Get Ready for the Capital City Senior Games!
March 8 – 14, 2016
The 2016 Capital City Senior games are quickly approaching. Some of our sports training facilities have accommodations for the dedicated training our athletes go through to prepare for the event. Click here to see a list of our approved locations for specialized training.
It's near the end of summer and Gail McDonald of Allegro can exhale. Throughout the summer Allegro sponsored A League of Our Own as a benefit event for the Tallahassee Senior Center. McDonald proudly announces that "Allegro loves the Senior Center and our donation from the summer bowling fun totals $5755.50 (this includes Capital Lanes donation of $3.00 per person per week - $3585.00, 50/50 drawings - $902, and Visiting Angels $ for strikes - $1268.50).
Allegro's gifting to TSC for 2015 will near $8,900.00. Sheila Salyer, manager of the senior center, commented upon the news, "We are so thankful to Allegro for their support of senior programming. They are an awesome partner. It's with these strong alliances that we can offer the best classes and activities at the center and neighborhood sites like Allegro."
Bows and Arrows - Now and Then
With Historian Kermit Brown
By Nick Gandy
The roots of Tallahassee's Kermit Brown in Florida and his archery competition date back to a time when bow hunting was a way to secure food to survive.
When his ancestors, the Mashburn family, arrived on the East Coast of America in the late 1600s, bows and arrows put food on the table. Fast forward over 300 years and Brown uses a bow for recreational purposes to keep fit, keep his concentration skills sharp, and win Senior Games medals.
The Mashburn family roots are well documented. They settled on the East coast in 1698 and over the years spread out through North Georgia and sometime in the 1700's into Florida. During the twenty years the area was under British rule (1763-1783) people were encouraged to settle in what is now Florida.
A Florida native who has never lived south of Gainesville, Brown settled in Tallahassee in 1976. In his youth in Apalachicola and Jacksonville, he became familiar with the bow and arrow as a scout to earn a merit badge. He picked it up every now and then to "shoot at pie plates," over the years. Only after retirement and an injury did he begin to shoot competitively.
A fall that broke the femur bone in his leg, leading to hip replacement surgery, sent him to the range to become a competitive archer. "I've always been active playing volleyball and cycling but the injury sidelined me," he said. "I thought archery would be a good outlet and started studying the sport and began practicing more and more."
Brown claims archery is a sport of consistency and concentration relying on upper body strength. To produce the same result each time, an archer must draw the bowstring back the same way each time for the same velocity to travel the required distance. His events are shot from 40, 50 and 60 yards.
"It's a great sport for people of any age," he said. "All you have to do is match the bow with the strength of the archer. Whether it's women, men or youth shooters, any bow can shoot an arrow 60 yards. I've seen shooters who are in wheelchairs and walking on walkers."
During his professional career, Brown worked in museums as an exhibit builder. The skills he learned at the Museum of Natural History in Gainesville and the State of Florida Museum of History in Tallahassee have provided him the skills to document not only his family history but his archery performance history.
Since 2011, Brown has competed in 21 tournaments, in barebow recurve events, in Florida, Georgia and Alabama and traveled to the 2013 National Senior Games in Cleveland and the 2015 National Games in Minnesota. He keeps a journal of his practice sessions in an open field at a neighborhood church and since March 2011 he has shot 52,597 arrows, approximately 1,000 a month, and another 2,104 in competitive matches.
Over the last five years, Brown's scores in the barebow recurve events in the Florida Senior Games and Sunshine State Games have averaged in the high 400s. To win a bronze medal at the 2015 National Senior Games, Brown shot a two day total of 1054, topping 500 both days with a 548 and 506. Besides his 50,000 practice arrows, Brown picks up tips from fellow archers during competitions.
"I try to learn something every time I shoot," he said. "At Senior Games events, the participants don't feel threatened by one another and will mention things to you to improve. At the National Senior Games, I shot the second day with the guys who finished ahead of me. One of them pointed something out to me to use and I started working on his tip."
The early Mashburn settlers would certainly be proud of Kermit Brown's work ethic and willingness to learn from others. After all, they had to work hard to survive and learn from the natives in their new home.
Senior Center Says Goodbye to Former Director
Johnnye Luebkemann, TSC director 1992-1996
It was April in 1992 when Johnnye Luebkemann became the third Director of the Tallahassee Senior Center. Already familiar with Center programs as the Coordinator for Senior Services, Johnnye worked to bring state-wide recognition to this Center for active adults. Luebkemann's interest in seniors originated with her volunteer service with Meals on Wheels, and later her work with the Area Agency on Aging. No newcomer to senior services, she continued to focus on additional activities and special events through the next four years.
Luebkemann was a class act. She left a solid base of programming for other directors to follow. There was also humor: She left a big button that said "Growing Old is not for Sissies!"
Johnnye Luebkemann passed away August 12, 2015. This dynamic lady will be missed. Sheila Salyer, current director of TSC, said, "I know I will miss Johnnye and so will many of our aging network friends and our older seniors. She was always available anytime I needed her. Some things happen only in a Senior Center, and many times I just needed to know if the circumstance were normal or not."
To contribute in memory of Johnnye Luebkemann, donations may be sent to the TSC Foundation, 1400 N. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32303. A star will be placed on our Star Wall in recognition of her outstanding and selfless service.
By Roberta Sandler
Way up north, Alaska's capital city of Juneau possesses scenic beauty, an affinity for the arts, and two "must see" attractions. On my travels, I see a lot of mystery and majesty. A few things really stick out in my memory. Perhaps because we recently celebrated National Dog Day, the story of Patsy Ann comes quickly to mind? It's been awhile since my Alaska adventure but Patsy Ann remains a Juneau highlight.
If you have a canine family member or simply love dogs, you'll love the heroic-size bronze statue of Patsy Ann located at Juneau's dock. Here, you'll learn the story of Patsy Ann, a terrier who came with her family to Juneau in 1929 when she was a puppy. She was deaf and she didn't bark. Her family abandoned her. Orphaned, Patsy Ann roamed the downtown area – especially the docks - during day, and slept at the Longshoreman's hall at night. She belonged to nobody and everybody.
In spite of Patsy Ann's deafness, she was able to "hear" an incoming ship as far as a half-mile away. Patsy Ann would repeatedly sit at the dock and wait to welcome arriving ships. Accordingly, in 1934, Juneau's mayor Goldstein proclaimed Patsy Ann "the official canine greeter of Juneau, Alaska." When Patsy Ann died in 1942, the locals placed her little body into a wooden casket and lowered it into Gastineau Channel.
So she's not forgotten, the city built Patsy Ann Square - a small patch of land at the Gastineau wharf – where you'll find a heroic-size bronze sculpture of Patsy Ann. Bright flowers and some benches surround the statue. Take time to sit and gaze upon the water, just as Patsy Ann did for years. Near the statue a sign proclaims, "Welcome to Juneau, Alaska."
The area's other "must see" is Mendenhall Glacier, a part of the Tongass National Forest. I learned the glacier is 13 miles long, almost one-half-mile wide and up to 1,800 feet deep. Stop at Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center for ample information about the glacier's trails, waterfalls, streams, ice caves, overlook, boardwalk and serene Mendenhall Lake.
It is cold, quiet and crisply desolate at the glacier, so the sudden calving – pieces of the glacier breaking away – is startling as it pierces the silence. The glacial ice is striated with blue, like veins or ball point pen marks. It is stunning here, but it feels remote, almost alien, like another planet. Then, a little bird blithely hitches a ride on a calved, floating chunk of ice, and you feel glad that this stark, regal beauty is part of America.
Juneau's land size, 2,700+ square miles, makes it the second largest city in the United States. (Jacksonville, by comparison, is ranked 5th, with a land area of 740 square miles.) Located below Mount Juneau in Gastineau Channel in the Alaskan Panhandle, Juneau is accessible only by boat or plane. Still, it's worth a visit.
This is "the place" for fishing, sighting bears, whales and eagles, and exploring America's remote geographical gem. Just ask TSC's Tina Niggel about their whale watching expedition just weeks ago.
For more information on Juneau sights and activities, contact the city's Convention and Visitors Bureau at 888-581-2201; http://www.traveljuneau.com. Interested in traveling to Alaska independently or on a group tour? The Tallahassee Senior Center can assist. Call TSC at 850 891-4004.
Editor's Note: Roberta Sandler is a freelance journalist and member of the Society of American Travel Writers.
|Happy, Happy Birthday
It was a rockin' birthday bash for the Old Armory's 80th celebration. The grand ole building has been home to the National Guard, Tumbling Tots, and a meeting place for a boys rifle club. Last month it was a reunion for all. Pure Platinum entertained and enthusiastic dancers whirled and twisted to 50s and 60s tunes.
Capital Health Plan's Teri Cariota (l) and Donna Wells sell tickets to birthday goers.
Novella Dandridge and her friends find that 80th birthdays make for a fun time.
It's a Red Hat night for Margaret Downs and Kathleen Rose.
It appears board member Elda Martinko (r) surrenders when actually she and fellow board member Jill Sandler "man" the bar.
TSCs Sheila Salyer and Neil Brown (on right) share the evening with Silver Star Ed Walters.
There just isn't a time when Nancy Graham (l) can't find something to make her day even brighter and Sara Jean Wainwright says just the perfect thing, at the perfect time, to get the perfect laugh for the camera.
Decked out and celebrating are TSC's Ruth Nickens (l) with Adam and Leslie Spencer. Leslie is Associate State Director for Advocacy for AARP – provider of the evening's special cake in recognition the Old Armory's and Social Security's 80th birthdays.
USA Dance members Michael Webb and Karen Ashworth show style on the city's largest wooden dance floor.
Pure Platinum's Lisa Wells belts out a song…much to the pleasure of the crowd!
Dana Bowermeister takes in her first event as a recent retiree from TSC. She's enjoying the evening with husband Tommy. Both Bowermeisters also volunteer at the center.
It's laugh out loud time for Pati Lytle and TSC volunteers Jane Greene and Roy Land.