by Judy Kohlrus and Tom Bolinger
Membership Co-Chairs, Academy of Lifelong Learning (ALL)
As spring blooms into summer, the members of the Academy of Lifelong Learning have more than 30 opportunities in the months of May, June and July to exercise body and/or mind, and we’d like you to consider these months as a sample of what ALL offers all year round.
We’ll be at the annual Senior Celebration on May 17. Tom is in charge and we invite you to come by our booth to meet him and a dozen or more of our members. See what and how you can learn, as well as visit with other companies and service organizations that provide valuable information. We will also be holding our own Annual Meeting with an evening dinner on May 25 at the Northfield Center. Part of our program will honor those members who joined ALL when it was first created 25 years ago, followed by a performance of the Silver Steppers group (some ALL members are among the dancers.) Since our membership year begins July 1 (though you can join at any time), we’ll also be welcoming new people in the summer months and host our Annual Kickoff event on August 10.
We have entered the months when three of our special interest groups have their most active times. Our Pedal Pushers bike every month from the time it’s warm enough until it isn’t. Most of the time they ride the trails around Springfield in the mornings and then gather for lunch at a nearby cafe. Our Bowling group just held its end-of-season banquet (Judy loves this fun group!) and the Swinging Senior golfers are ready to roll in May following their organizational gathering in April. Our Games group also takes advantage of the climate change, by putting the board games aside and embracing a few outside activities, such as croquet, pickleball and badminton.
Three of our “traveling” groups have active summer schedules. The popular Meet/Greet/Eat has a roster of area restaurants to visit, starting with Darcy’s Pint in May. Wander on Wednesday (WOW) has planned daytrips to the Effingham/Teutopolis/Altamont area to see a house museum, a monastery and a mill in May and, in June, to Warm Springs Ranch in Missouri where Clydesdale horses are bred. Our Around Town leaders have set up an evening at a Springfield Sliders game, a special tour of the SPARC facilities and a visit to the new Learning Center at Memorial Hospital. Each month, we’ll also go to cool, air-conditioned movie theaters to see flicks on the big screen! July plans for these groups are uncertain as this column is being written but we’re sure to have soon lined up new places, near and far, to go to as a group. We’ve also just announced an ALL/Road Scholar trip to San Antonio and the Hill Country of Texas for Feb., 2018, which we hope to have filled by 7/1/17.
Today’s Topic facilitators will do as they do year-round, arrange for monthly live lectures and demonstrations about subjects that members have told us they want to know about. Ahead for the coming months are health updates, the history and operations of the Old State Capitol and changing retirement options for housing. Our Book Lovers have a variety of titles selected for great summer reading and discussion. The speakers at the monthly ALL Breakfast Roundtable at MCL Cafeteria continue to help us know those who are making a difference in our local community, and the presenters at our newest program, Tech Talk, plan to continue helping many of us keep pace with new software programs, apps and other technology updates.
Our Academy of Lifelong Learning currently has 437 members over the age of 50. Men and women, singles and couples, ages from 54 to 92. Some have college degrees; for others their formal education stopped with a high school diploma but they continue to love to learn. You may attend as many activities each month as you choose. The Academy provides a great way to enjoy knowledge through its multitude of offerings. People in ALL also point to the laughter and camaraderie they often enjoy, as well as the satisfaction that comes with an easy way to gain information about local, national and international happenings along with personal choices and changes.
We’re excited about what’s ahead! All of us share in the aging process but also in the desire to be alert, to be with others who share interests, to keep an open mind about the challenges and joys of life. ALL helps in all those ways.
We welcome you to attend one of our programs as a guest to sample an ALL activity and bring along a friend too. Find out more by calling the office for ALL at Lincoln Land Community College, 217.786.2477.