Connections Fall 2019

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FALL 2019

AL SO I N S I DE : Seasonal Trips Fall/Winter Events & Activities Passion, Determination... and Cats Fine Feathered Friends Will’s Pet Pantry


Pets bring joy, purpose to lives of their humans

St. Mary’s Highland Hills An age-in-place community for retirement living ©2019 St. Mary’s

Looking for an independent lifestyle, an active social calendar and peace of mind with a caring, committed staff? Highland Hills Village is the answer. For information and tours, contact 706.353.8840 2 I CO NN E C T I ON S / W H AT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2019

FALL 2019 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 3

connections CEO/PRESIDENT

Eve Anthony B O A R D O F D I R E C TO R S

Tina Laseter

If you’ve got a great idea for a story, we want to know about it! Submit your story ideas to tina. For those interested in writing, submit samples of previously published work and a brief description of the idea. 4 I CO NN E C T I ON S / W H AT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2019


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Joshua L. Jones CO N TAC T ACC A

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We would love to help grow your business by reaching your target audience within the pages of this magazine. You can help support the mission of the Athens Community Council on Aging by doing so. If you would like more information on advertising opportunities with Connections/What’s Next? contact or call 706-208-2280.



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magazine allows us to do so. The partnership allows ACCA to use the expertise of OnlineAthens/The Athens Banner-Herald staff to assist with photography, design, magazine content and other editorial resources. It allows OnlineAthens/The Athens Banner-Herald to work with industry leaders to create relevant content ideas, use the knowledge and expertise of ACCA staff to pen this content, and provides an endless list of individuals to spotlight in the magazine. Over the years, ACCA has realized that they can have a larger impact and serve more by creating partnerships with local businesses and other organizations within our community. This partnership allows ACCA to reach a larger, more diverse population. It allows OnlineAthens/The Athens Banner-Herald the opportunity to help this non-profit organization to further their mission. Since our first issue, released in the spring of 2017, ACCA has seen a significant increase in participation in their trips and classes, increased volunteer engagement, and an increased community awareness in the services it provides. Connections/What’s Next? is more than a magazine. It’s a partnership with a purpose.


Laurie Douglas, Chair Kelly Holloway, Vice Chair Robert Hardell, Treasurer Don DeMaria, Secretary

Kevin Clark

Athens, Georgia: home to the University of Georgia, but also consistently ranked as one of the top places to retire. There are so many things that make Athens unique. The food; the music; the arts, theater and culture; the sporting events; the parks, trails and green space; and the educational opportunities are just a few of the things that make Athens awesome. Not to mention, it’s a very philanthropic community. There is no place like Athens and there is nothing like this magazine. We’re on a mission to provide our friends and neighbors who have decided to spend their golden years in our quintessential community with a lifestyle magazine that will help them explore, experience and thrive. Just like the Athens Community Council on Aging (ACCA), we want to enhance the lives of older adults that live in our area. Founded in 1967, ACCA aims to maintain and enrich the lives of older persons in Northeast Georgia. ACCA’s programs enable older persons to live independently at home and offer opportunities for employment, volunteerism and other activities. ACCA is a resource for education, information, referral, counseling and general assistance. We’re also on a mission to support our community, and partnering with ACCA on the publication of this


© 2019 ACCA Connections is a quarterly publication distributed by ACCA throughout Northeast Georgia. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Reproduction in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission from the publisher, is prohibited. Advertising in this publication does not imply a relationship with ACCA.


























FALL 2019 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 5

Four-Legged Fur-Kids Pets bring joy, purpose to lives of their humans BY JED MAY


s she sat on the couch in her East Athens home, Mary Arnold’s youngest child held down the seat right next to her. This child had four legs instead of two, sported a coat of white fur and bore the name of an iconic cartoon character. But even though he’s a dog, Charlie Brown is like a family member to Arnold all the same. “It’s just like you’ve got a kid with you,” Arnold said. Arnold is retired and lives alone, with only her terrier Charlie Brown for company. Her relationship with her dog illustrates the beneficial relationships that can exist between an older adult and his or her pet. She got Charlie Brown after answering a newspaper ad in 2011, when the dog was just 3 months old. Eight years later, and Arnold is the owner of a happy pup who sleeps at the foot of the bed, enjoys walking outside 6 I CO NN E C T I ON S / W H AT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2019

and announcing when a visitor arrives. However, while Charlie Brown enjoys a happy life, he also vastly improves Arnold’s quality of life simply by his presence. “It helps you with your mind, helps you do things that you need to do,” Arnold said. “You’ve got somebody there. You know he can’t answer, but he knows what you’re saying. You kind of talk to him.” For many seniors, especially those living by themselves, pets can provide the only interaction in days that are filled with isolation. Sometimes, it can be days between human interactions with only a pet to break up the monotony. Patrice Hosmer has noticed the benefits of a pet in her own family. Hosmer’s mother lives alone in Pennsylvania. On a recent trip north, Hosmer and her sister were trying to decide how to aid their mother in her insistent desire to live alone. “My sister and I really were trying to find how we can get her to interact

because when it’s quiet all day, quiet begets quiet at that stage,” Hosmer said. The pair decided to get their mom a feline friend, a rescue cat that had previously been a companion to another senior. The effect was nearly instantaneous. “Within 24 hours she was almost, I won’t call it 100 percent back to her old self, but she was interacting and connected,” Hosmer said. Even now, Hosmer can see the advantages of pet ownership from hundreds of miles away. Her mother’s home has a security camera inside so the sisters can make sure their mother hasn’t fallen, and they have seen her in the kitchen talking to the cat as it sits at her feet. In fact, the biggest problem with the cat so far has been the name. The cat’s previous owner gave it the name of Larry, but Hosmer’s mother wanted to call her new pal Archie. So, a compromise was reached: La’Archie. That’s a personal story of how a pet has affected a senior in Hosmer’s life. But through her volunteer work with Happy Tails Pet Therapy in Atlanta, Hosmer and the rest of the organization’s volunteers can bring light to the lives of many seniors. “Happy Tails volunteers share the unconditional love of their pets with people of all ages with physical, social, emotional and cognitive needs at healthcare facilities, social agencies and special needs programs throughout the metro Atlanta community,” Hosmer said. The group visits many different facilities and sees many varieties of people. However, the vast majority of the visits are to senior center residences and hospice facilities. The pets are usually dogs, although there are a few cats and even rabbits involved. The seniors typically gather in the facility’s common room or lounge area, and the pets meet everyone there. The visits last anywhere from about 30 to 45 minutes. “It might be all quiet when we walk in, but by the time we walk out, not only the interaction with the pet, but it prompts social interaction where it may have been quiet or solemn before we got there,” Hosmer said. While the visits aren’t long, they leave their mark. Hosmer said when Happy Tails makes return visits to senior facilities, the pets and their owners are greeted with anticipation and happiness.

As for the benefits, Hosmer said they are plentiful for the senior. For one, there is the positive aspect of interaction with another living thing, just as there is for older adults who own pets in their own homes. She also noted that she has seen pets play a role in the cognitive function of seniors. In facilities where many people are living with Alzheimer’s and related dementia, Hosmer has said she has seen pets have the effect of making those patients “return to the present.” Finally, Hosmer mentioned the theory of biophilia, which is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a hypothetical human tendency to interact or be closely associated with other forms of life in nature.” “I guess that almost at the animal level, human and animal, it triggers a place where personal change and healing are all possible,” Hosmer said. However, there isn’t an abundance of scientific research showing the benefits of animal companionship for older adults. That’s where Dr. Sherry Sanderson of The University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine comes in. Sanderson is organizing the Foster Cat Study in an attempt to scientifically prove the positive effects pets can have on the lives of older adults. The study is sponsored by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute and started last January, but paused to get approval for working with human subjects from the Institutional Review Board before resuming this April. Through partnerships with the Athens Area Humane Society and Campus Cat Rescue, the study places cats from shelters with older adults living alone. Questionnaires are then conducted with the senior to assess their physical and cognitive well-being. The study spans a period of four months, with surveys done at the one and four-month mark. Any time after the first month, the senior is eligible to adopt their cat. If the senior chooses to adopt, another survey is done after 12 months to see changes over time. Of the six people to complete the study so far, five have chosen to adopt their cat. Two participants are active now, leading Sanderson to say the study needs more people in order to collect more data.

For many seniors, especially those living by themselves, pets can provide the only interaction in days that are filled with isolation. FALL 2019 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 7

Sanderson goes to the homes of the participants to conduct the questionnaires. She also delivers supplies and takes care of basic needs such as trimming the cats’ nails. Time and again, she said she notices how people’s faces light up when asked about their new companions. “I see over and over again the joy and the pleasure that these cats are bringing into the lives of the people I see,” Sanderson said. When designing the study, Sanderson said she and her team took into consideration many concerns seniors have when considering getting a pet. One barrier is what happens to the pet should the senior move to a retirement home or similar residence that doesn’t allow pets. In those instances, the Foster Cat Study takes the cats back and works to find them another home. There are also financial obstacles to overcome. Between adoption costs, vet bills, food and other supplies, adopting a pet can be an expensive proposition, especially for a senior on a fixed income. However, the study has taken care of that. The cats arrive at the homes fully vetted, and the Foster Cat Study 8 I CO NN E C T I ON S / W H AT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2019

provides food, litter, supplies such as toys and scratching posts and, should the senior choose, covers the adoption fee of approximately $150. “They don’t have to invest any money up front in participating in this study,” Sanderson said. “What we’re hoping is that with the information we’re collecting, we can definitively prove the benefits of pet companionship in older people and maybe down the road have a larger scale program developed to help people out.” Arnold knows as well as anyone how expensive pet ownership can be. Three of her previous dogs had died from heartworms before she finally found out what was causing their deaths. Now, she makes sure Charlie Brown is healthy and always up to date on his heartworm medicine. But that’s a costly undertaking: A two-month dose can cost nearly $120. There’s also other occasional costs to keep Charlie Brown in good shape, like $40 ear medicine or $30 allergy medicine. For a senior whose only income comes from Social Security, those costs can mount up quick. Arnold said she has had to elect to get behind on bill payments in the past in order to make sure Charlie Brown has what he needs. Luckily, Arnold receives dog food from the Athens Community Council on Aging through Will’s Pet Pantry that has been donated. Otherwise, she’s not sure she would be able to afford to keep her beloved companion. “Lots of people probably want to have them, but it’s hard,” Arnold said. “If you want them to be healthy and everything, it’s got to be a priority where you’ll be able to help and get what they need because if you don’t get what they need or when they get sick, it’s going to be rough and they will pass away.” Arnold said she believes that more older adults should consider owning a pet. Hosmer said she could definitely see the benefits, but added that it’s different for every senior who has his or her own specific needs that have to be met. But at the end of the day, it’s just a pet, right? Is it worth the money and the hassle, even getting behind on bill payments to make sure the animal is healthy? For Arnold and other older adults with pets, the answer is yes. Those animals, just like their children and grandchildren, are part of the family.




rankie and Andy’s Place, a beautiful log cabin nestled in a picturesque Barrow County woodland setting, is home to a group of pampered senior dogs looking to spread love and joy. With names like Cher and Justin Timberlake, these dogs are living the second half of their lives to the fullest. Long before the cabin had been built, the dogs of Frankie and Andy’s Place have been visiting ACCA’s Winder Adult Day Health Center. Every Monday, the volunteers and dogs from Frankie and Andy’s Place take a trip down the road to say hello. Smiles and wagging tales make for a great start to the week. The participants at the center and pets offer each other comfort and companionship. On one visit, a quiet woman living with Alzheimer’s disease shared a moment with a dog named Marisa Tomei. Something about Marisa sparked this client to open her arms and let Marisa into her lap and into her heart. Penny, the owner of Frankie and Andy’s Place, shared how their relationship with the Winder Adult Day Health Center began. “Our Outreach Coordinator met with the lovely folks in Winder and said to me, ‘Penny, these people think this is a perfect fit for their participants,’ and I have to be honest, I agree with them,” she said. “Our dogs would excel there.”

Penny knew she was onto something. “We visited one day back in 2016, met some charming folks, fell in love with the mission and had so much fun; we couldn’t wait to come back again,” she said. After seeing the impact the superstar dogs had on ACCA’s participants, the staff of Frankie and Andy’s place began finding other opportunities to take them out into the community to help spread joy and comfort to those who couldn’t come to their facility. The rescue dogs have not only found a forever home, but a newfound purpose. “We couldn’t be happier with this partnership,” said Jessica Bankston, Winder Adult Day Health Program Coordinator. “The individuals at the center look forward to the visits each week. In a world that can be stressful, they are truly making a connection with the volunteers and dogs. We appreciate Frankie and Andy’s Place so much.” Penny continues, “The dogs are exhausted from all of the excitement but are very, very satisfied. Every living being needs a purpose in order to feel valued, and a day at the center provides these dogs with a strong sense of purpose and accomplishment. They almost swagger back into the cabin after their session, as if to say, ‘I’m kind of a big deal, you know.’ “That, in essence, is what keeps us coming back each week; the sense of purpose, of being valued, of accomplishing breakthroughs in relationships that might not otherwise be possible if it weren’t for these incredible dogs and their ability to open doors. … There’s no better feeling than when you walk into a room and every single person in there either is your friend or wants to be. It’s pure magic.”

For more info visit FALL 2019 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 9

AGE WELL. LIVE WELL. ACCA believes you can explore your passion and make a difference at any age. Older adults make a lasting impact on our community by sharing their experience, knowledge, creativity, and heart. These stories are examples of how each of us can Age Well and Live Well. BY VICTORIA CHITKO


arbara Benson has been a kindergarten teacher, special education teacher, Peace Corps volunteer, English teacher in Gabon, Central Africa, preschool and daycare teacher, and an educational program specialist. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, her master’s degree from West Virginia University and her Doctorate of Education from the University of Georgia. She was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Advisor Award in 2009 from Piedmont College, the Vulcan Teaching Excellence Award in 2003, and most recently the 2019 Age Well Live Well Award from the Athens Community Council on Aging.

How did you find yourself in Athens?

Barbara Benson Recipient of the 2019 Age Well Live Well Award from the Athens Community Council on Aging

“I do a lot of community service. I spend the most time volunteering with the ClarkeCounty Mentor Program mentoring students,” on what she enjoys doing in her free time. —Barbara Benson 1 0 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2019

I grew up in Columbia, Maryland. I ended up going into the Peace Corps when I was 25 and that took me to Central Africa. When I came out of the Peace Corps I started teaching. I started in West Virginia and then moved down to Athens to teach. I initially came for a boyfriend, and while that didn’t work out, I fell in love with Athens and it’s now my home.

Tell us about your experience with the Peace Corps:

It was really life changing. I was an English teacher teaching to French-speaking students. It was their first exposure to English. It took me a good year to become fluent in French. Since it’s a French speaking country, not many individuals speak English except for maybe in the capital city. I struggled my first year. I’ll never forget when I finally perfected it. One of my colleagues I taught with said, “Oh Barbara, you’re French is so beautiful now.” Before I was tongue twisted and there was a lot of gesturing. There was another Peace Corps volunteer in the same town

that would often translate for me. It felt so good to not have to rely on someone and be able to express myself. It was a wonderful experience. Back then, when I was in the Peace Corps from 19831985, there was no internet, no Wi-Fi, so my only form of communication was writing letters to my family and the occasional phone call. It was a different experience as far as not having a lot of communication with my family. I think it’s so wonderful now that volunteers have access to communication methods and can talk to family regularly. I think that would help a lot with the homesickness.

What did you do after this experience in Africa?

After the Peace Corps, I got my master’s in special education. I started teaching special education for a couple years in Athens. I decided to try to pursue a position at the University of Georgia, which I got. It was an educational program specialist, which required a doctorate, so I worked on my doctorate while working in this position. Afterwards, I was able to get this position at Piedmont College. They had just opened a satellite campus when I finished my doctorate. I started there in 1997 and have been there most of my career.

Tell us about your position at Piedmont:

I’m a Chair of Early Childhood Education. I teach. I’m an administrator. I advise. I supervise. Supervision is my favorite. I get to work with developing student teachers who are learning and growing. Plus, I get to be in the school. It’s very rewarding. It’s my absolute favorite part of my job. My profession is teacher education. This is where I can really share, and we can learn from each other.

What do you enjoy in your free time?

I do a lot of community service. I spend the most time volunteering with the Clarke-County Mentor Program mentoring students. Maryland, my mentee, just graduated high school in May so I’ll be starting over in the fall. I haven’t met the new boy or girl yet. Hopefully I’ll get to see the child go all the way to graduate high school. I’m also very involved with the Athens Anti-Discrimination movement. We do a lot of educational workshops and community meetings. I practice yoga regularly three times a week at Fuel Yoga. Bikram is hot style. I dance once a month. I love to salsa. I spend time with my husband, and I have a dog I walk a lot. Live music is so great. My favorite spot to check out music is Hendershots. I always feel comfortable going there by myself. I typically run into someone I know.

What has inspired your lifestyle?

My friend’s daughter was killed in 2008. I knew her daughter well. It had a big impact on everyone who knows my friend and her family. It made me think about how I should live life with meaning. My friend has been an inspiration to me as a mother who survived this tragedy. I see the way she lives her life. In the back of my mind, I think “how can I start today in a meaningful way”? I often think of milestones like her daughter’s birthday or the day of her death. I think, “gosh, I’ve been given this chance to live this really full life, this rich life and I’m going to.” That’s been my philosophy. Both my parents also died at young ages. They didn’t live into full adulthood. They didn’t live as long as I hope to live. So, they’re an inspiration for me that I definitely want to live a very full, long life. I try to FALL 2019 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 11

Volunteer Opportunities

take care of myself so that I’m able to be here for my husband, my family and my friends.

What can you do with an hour of free time? Volunteer with us!

How do you Age Well and Live Well?

I exercise three times a week. It’s an intense yoga practice in a heated room. It teaches you to breathe and be present. I walk my dog several times a day . That helps me be calm. I look at the way she lives her life. Every day is exciting and new so that’s always a good reminder for me to think that way. I eat well. My husband makes a lot of salads. I feel very fortunate he’s retired, and he takes care of me which is really wonderful. I think by helping organizations in town and being very involved in community activities, I get to know families and make friendships. Being committed to the community helps me age well and live well.

Mobile Food Pantry

In partnership with the Northeast Georgia Food Bank, ACCA hosts a mobile food pantry the second Wednesday of every other month. Working together, we unload, sort, bag and distribute around 10,000 pounds of food to more than 250 area families. We need volunteers from 9AM to 11AM on October 9th.

What advice do you have for people to get the most out of life?

To try to always have a grateful heart. It’s not always easy to be grateful for the life we have because sometimes things happen, and you have to deal with everyday life. Remember to keep things in perspective and to remember the people that are no longer here. Figure out how you can live life to the fullest in memory of that person.


1967 Legacy Society

he Athens Community Council on Aging exists and grows because of you. Your support and donations allow for us to ensure that older adults in the community AGE AND LIVE WELL. This summer, we launched ACCA’s annual leadership giving campaign, the 1967 Legacy Society. Named for the year of our founding, the 1967 Legacy Society recognizes and honors a very special group of individuals, our loyal supporters! For over 50 years, it has been the devotion, dedication, and loyalty of our supporters that have sustained our mission and helped us ensure a healthy, safe and independent life for older adults in our community. Through the yearly commitment of $1,967, these incredible supporters help us ensure older adults in the community have food, transportation, companionship and the resources they need to AGE WELL. 1 2 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2019

Meals on Wheels Driver

A gift of $1,967 will provide: 245 meals through our Meals on Wheels program

140 rides to the grocery store, doctor and other locations

One month of care for a

senior with Alzheimer’s or Dementia in one of our Adult Day Health Centers

One month of on-the-job training for an older adult seeking employment through our Senior Employment Program

And so much more! We welcome the new 1967 Legacy Society members as well as our inaugural class. Thank you for all that you do! To learn more about the 1967 Legacy Society visit our website at or contact our Director of Development and Communications, Victoria Chitko, at or (706) 549-4850.

Garden Work Days

ACCA’s Garden is growing. We need volunteers to help tend to the fruits and veggies that are shared with our program participants. If you have a green thumb, or would like to, this opportunity is for you. Please join us October 5th from 9AM–12PM for our next Garden Work Day

Arts and Crafts Instructor

Do you enjoy spending time with others while making beautiful works of art or clever trinkets? Then this opportunity is perfect for you! ACCA’s Center for Active Living is seeking an arts and crafts instructor to work with our clients on Thursdays from 10AM–11:30AM. Come join us and let’s get crafty!

We are looking for drivers to deliver lunchtime meals in Athens and Winder. This is a great opportunity to give back, meet new people and make someone else’s day. Shifts are available Monday-Friday, and usually take an hour to an hour and a half to complete.

GeorgiaCares Benefits Counselors Help Medicare beneficiaries and new enrollees navigate and enroll in health plans and review paperwork and applications for financial assistance to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Volunteers receive in-depth training on all things Medicare to ensure they are providing accurate and up-to-date information. Medicare open enrollment begins October 15th and we want you to be part of our GeorgiaCares team! This is a flexible opportunity with shifts available between 8AM and 4:30PM, Monday through Friday.


There are many opportunities to volunteer with ACCA and we would love to have you join our team! Please contact ACCA’s Volunteer Coordinator to find a great fit for your talents and abilities at (706) 549-4850. Visit online at and follow us on Facebook. FALL 2019 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 13


They say that dogs are man’s best friends, but bird owners might argue otherwise.


ccording to a recent survey by the American Pet Products Association, 40% of pet owners in the U.S. own noncanine animals -- almost 8 million (6%) of them own birds. Parrots, in particular, are famously loved for their chatty nature. Local bird expert Brenda Bean says they also make ideal pets. No litter box to manage, no walking required. Plus, they are a beautiful sight in their colorful plumes. At 65, Bean has spent the last 30 years in the company of parrots as a trainer, educator, groomer, breeder and business owner. Teaching people about the outer beauty and inner worlds of these birds is her passion. While most people tend to regard parrots as a one-trick pony (“Polly Want A Cracker?”), Bean is quick to point out that our feathered friends are capable of so much more. These are highly intelligent, sensing creatures capable of bonding with humans. Bean, a former plastics factory employee, acquired her first parrot at the age of 14. Several birds and years later she realized she had found her calling. Today, you can find Bean on the road with her company of parrots, visiting libraries, schools, and retirement homes across Georgia. Kids and adults are offered a rare chance to interact with an exotic species they may have only seen in books. “I tell people about where they come from, what they eat, we do cute tricks … it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “They get to hold a bird on their arm. They look at the bird, and it’s like a light comes on in their eyes.” She says the experience is especially magical for seniors. “This is something they may not have experienced before … that’s remarkable when you’re 80,” she said. “The smiles are electric.”

Friends for Life Of all the pets out there, Bean says, “Parrots are as close to human companionship as you can find.” Parrots are able to converse, form a bond, and be playful. “Birds can be quite funny.” 1 4 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2019

Parrots also have a remarkable capacity to feel emotion, even grief. Bean recalls rescuing some birds from homes after an owner has died. Some may stop eating, act out or stand by the door waiting for their owner to come back. These connections can, ostensibly, last a lifetime. Macaws, for example, can live to 70.

The Right Fit With a lifetime pet, ensuring the right match is key to a happy, harmonious household. Bean is a bit of a matchmaker when it comes to pairing birds with their humans. (She looks closely at the bird for any signs of distress when meeting a prospective owner and matches accordingly.) Some have even called her the“bird whisperer” for her innate ability to understand bird behavior. For those considering ownership, Bean offers sage advice. She stresses the importance of good manners and helping the bird remember who is in charge (you!), much like setting boundaries with kids. She also recommends having a contingency plan for the day you may no longer be able to care for your bird. Start introducing him/her to a designated family member to make sure the transition goes smoothly.

More Than a Pretty Voice And what about a parrot’s ability to speak? Bean offers a poetic take on the parrot’s most endearing

feature. When asked what these birds have taught her over the years, she says, “That life will go on.” She says she has taught all her birds to say, ‘I love you’, so that her words will be passed on to grandchildren and future generations. More than pets, these special companions can become part of our legacy. “I find that comforting.” For more information about Bean, her birds and upcoming shows, visit FALL 2019 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 15

Passion, Determination… and Cats. BY MICHAEL ASH

“Never give up, no matter how old you are good things can happen.” -Carol Bromwell


When Carol’s mother passed away in 2017, she was faced with many new challenges. As a caregiver to her mother for nearly 25 years, Carol was left with no “formal” job experience. Through the Senior Community Service Employment Program, she found the purrfect job to pursue her passions in animal welfare. 1 6 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2019

harles Dickens once proclaimed, “What greater gift than the love of a cat,” and for Carol Bromwell, this statement has certainly proved to be true. Growing up, Carol has always had a love for animals. She was always adopting newly abandoned animals and bringing them into her parents’ home. “People knew that I cared about animals so sometimes they would just drop them off at our house,” she said. “I can’t even count how many I’ve had.” She has worked with spay and neuter groups, adoption programs and always had cats throughout her life. When first meeting Carol, her kind demeanor and gracious attitude are immediately apparent. If you talk with her long enough, her incredible love for cats and animals is bound to come up in conversation. Carol faced a few difficult years adjusting to her new life without her mother. She had some community support through her church but was looking to give back and make a difference. Carol felt that because of her age, she was often overlooked by employers. “I just turned 62 and until March 26th had never worked before in a public job. The only thing I did was pet-sit for friends. I was my mother’s caregiver for about 25 years until she passed away in December 2017,” she said. “I realized I had to find a way to take care of myself as well as my three fur kids.” Despite her obstacles, Carol’s resilience and willpower guided her every decision. After nearly a year of unsuccessful job-hunting, Carol was told about the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). This program at ACCA is designed to assist adults age 55 and older to re-enter the workforce. SCSEP matches these individuals with job training opportunities to help them build their workplace

skills which will lead to permanent employment. After learning about her passion for animals, the program reached out to the Athens Area Humane Society, knowing it would be the “purrfect” place for her. With the generous support of the Humane Society, Carol soon began her job training. After a few short months in her training, Carol had become an expert in all things cats. She knows each one by name. She can tell you about their temperament, where they came from, who they like and what they enjoy. “Being independent and knowing I can take care of myself and my cats is important, but the happiness and fulfillment I feel caring for these animals; knowing I am helping them find happy and loving homes far surpasses anything else,” she said. Carol has become a natural in her new role. After getting a feel for the job she has expanded her role and is a valued member of the Humane Society team. She is in her element providing adoption counseling to prospective pet-parents or giving medication to cats in need while they await their new home. “I look forward to each day, doing what I do. I don’t even mind when I have to wash dishes or clean litter,” she said. “I enjoy doing all of it. The worst part is going home at the end of the day when my hours are up.”

At the Humane Society you will witness Carol carefully handling and feeding the kittens, greeting patrons and sharing her love of animals with anyone who is interested. Carol’s passion is contagious. For Carol, the joy felt caring for an animal is a part of her everyday life. After several months in training Carol was officially hired by the Humane Society for a permanent position. She will now be working as an adoption counselor and technician. She also recently adopted another “fur kid” to join her family. When asked what she is most proud of, Carol said, “I had people telling me I couldn’t, that my age was an obstacle. I realized [age] didn’t matter. I proved that I can do anything I want to. I can be independent, and I am fully capable.” Many of us can use Carol’s advice for someone afraid to make a change: “Never give up, no matter what age you are good things can happen. I never thought I would find a job I actually love doing, but here I am.” To learn more about the Senior Community Service Employment Program, please contact ACCA at (706) 549-4850 or visit online at To learn about adoption and volunteer opportunities at the Athens Area Humane Society please call (706) 769-9155 or visit

After nearly a year of unsuccessful job-hunting, Carol was told about the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). This program at ACCA is designed to assist adults age 55 and older to re-enter the workforce. FALL 2019 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 17

Treating Your Pets BY PAIGE POWELL


aking homemade pet treats may not be as easy as popping into your local pet store, but there are so many options available. It’s also a great way to avoid allergies and cater to your pet’s needs. We’ve found a few that we love and know your pet will, too!

Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats Ingredients: 2/3 cup pumpkin puree 1/4 cup peanut butter 2 large eggs 3 cups whole wheat flour, or more, as needed

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat pumpkin puree, peanut butter and eggs on medium-high until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups flour at low speed, beating just until incorporated. Add an additional 1/4 cup flour at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky. Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and place onto 1 8 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2019

the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes depending on the size of the treat. More time may be needed. Remove biscuits from oven and allow to cool before serving.

Blackberry Biscuit Dog Treats Ingredients: 4 cups almond flour 3/4 cop flax meal 1/2 cup blackberries 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 egg

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside. In a bowl, mix all ingredients together with 1 cup water to form a dough. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and place onto the prepared baking sheet 1 inch apart. Place into oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, and cookie is firm, about 30 minutes depending on the size of the treat. More time may be needed. Remove biscuits from oven and allow to cool before serving.

Salmon Cat Treats Ingredients: 10 oz. canned salmon 1 egg beaten 2 cups whole wheat flour

Directions: Heat oven to 350°. Pulse 10 oz. canned salmon (undrained) in a food processor and chop as finely as possible. In a stand mixer, combine salmon, 1 egg (beaten) and 2 cups whole wheat flour until dough forms. If dough is too dry, add up to 1/3 cup water. If dough is too wet or sticky, add a bit more flour. Dough should be tacky but not sticky. Roll out dough on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick. Use a 3/4-inch cookie cutter in the shape of your choice to create your treats. Place treats on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350° for about 20 minutes. When they’re slightly browned and crunchy, they’re done. Allow to cool before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Don’t have a pet but still want to get in on the fun?? Why not make a homemade peanut butter bird treat — a great activity for any age!

Peanut Butter Bird Treats Supplies: Peanut Butter Birdseed String Large Pinecones

Directions: Use a sheet of foil or wax paper for your work area. Tie a piece of string around the pinecone, leaving 6 to 8 inches to attach the feeder to a tree branch. Spread the peanut butter all over the pinecone and into the crevices. Roll in birdseed. Hang from a tree and watch the birds enjoy!

Don’t have the time to make a homemade treat? Check out Oscar Bites Dog Treats, where each batch is made by hand right here in Athens using wholesome ingredients. Oscar Bites Dog Treats are available online at or at the Athens Farmers Market, Pawtropolis, Athens Locally Grown, The Mercantile on Main, and Cakewalk. FALL 2019 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 19


Classic City By: Caitlin O’Donnell

Studies have shown that owning a pet has many mental and physical health benefits. According to the CDC, having a pet can even reduce triglyceride levels, cholesterol and blood pressure. Owning a pet encourages outdoor activities and gives owners a sense of purpose.

Bring Your Furry Friend 1

Memorial Park is a classic pick for dog lovers. Memorial Park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset every day. For more information, call 706-613-3580. Location: 293 Gran Ellen Drive, Athens

Southeast Clarke Dog Park

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Broad River Outpost


Broad River Outpost offers dog-friendly kayaking and canoeing trips for $25. For more information, call 706-795-324. Location: 7911 Wildcat Bridge Road, Danielsville.

Go shopping Take your pet to Petsmart, Pet Supplies Plus, Bark Dog Spa’s Boutique, Petsense and Pawtropolis’ Boutique. But not all of the dog-friendly shopping options are pet stores. Home Depot and Tractor Supply Co. also allow dogs in their stores.

Volunteer 1

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Bear Hollow Zoo is located inside Memorial Park. It provides a habitat for animals that are not suited to live in the wild. Visitors can walk through the path and see the various animals, including white-tailed deer, river otters, tortoises, owls and more. Volunteers can sign up by sending an email to or calling 706-613-3580.

Sweet Olive Farm





Sweet Olive Farm is another rescue that can always use a few more helping hands. It’s home to 104 animals, including alpacas, turkeys, goats and more. To volunteer, send an email to

Sandy Creek Nature Center


Sandy Creek’s Nature Center is home to turtles, skinks, snakes and even a loggerhead sea turtle. Visitors can come just to see the animals, sign-up for family-friendly educational programs or volunteer to work with the animals. It is located at 205 Old Commerce Road in Athens.

The Cat room at Petsmart




Oconee Animal Services runs an adoptable cat and kitten room in Petsmart, so the cats can be seen by potential adopters. They are always looking for volunteers to help care for the cats and give them some attention. Both morning and evening time slots are available. For more information, email Kelly Hansford at or give her a call at 706-247-0102.

Harris Shoals is a low-key park located in Watkinsville behind City Hall. It is open from sunrise to sunset daily. For more information, call 706-769-5161.

Firefly Trail Firefly Trail is a multi-use trail that is expected to be 39 miles long and stretch from Athens to Union Point when it is complete. There are several entrances along the trail.

Fort Yargo State Park Fort Yargo State Park has several easy-to-moderate difficulty trails and a historic site. Location: 210 South Broad Street, Winder

Sandy Creek’s C. Spot Run Dog Park is perfect for all dog owners. Hours change with the seasons, so it is important to call or check the website before going. For more information, call 706-613-3631. Location: 400 Bob Holman Road, Athens

Harris Shoals Park

Southeast Clarke Dog Park provides three different dog park environments. For more information, call 706-613-3991. Location: 535 Whit Davis Road, Athens

Bear Hollow Zoo



Memorial Park

Northeast Georgia is home to a plethora of pet-friendly places and opportunities for non-pet owners to receive the benefits of pets. Check out these FUR-tastic places to bring your companion, too!


C. Spot Run Dog Park at Sandy Creek Park

Lucky Dog Agility


Lucky Dog Agility offers classes that teach the basic skills needed for obedience competitions, agility, flyball and rally. For pricing and more information, visit their webiste or call 706-742-8551. Location: 1103 Arnoldsville Road, Winterville

Treat your pet Several Athens businesses offer a treat for dogs, as well as their owners. Alumni Cookie Dough, Pelican’s SnoBalls, Di’lishi, Starbucks offer sweet treats for your pets. Dog owners can check to find dog-friendly events in town as they come up.

Kitty yoga Circle of Friends Animal Society hosts Kitty Yoga at Memorial park a few times a month. Adoptable cats and kittens from their rescue attend an indoor yoga class to adapt to being around humans. The cost to attend is $5. For information about when yoga will be hosted visit their facebook page.

Fostering For those who want the benefits of having a pet in their home, but can’t make the long-term or financial commitment, fostering is an option. Local rescues let their adoptable pets live with volunteers until they find permanent homes. Doing so helps the animal be more fit to be a pet.

Visiting a Shelter Local shelters are always looking for people to spend time with the animals. Volunteers walk and bathe the dogs. They play with and snuggle the dogs and cats. Below are some local shelters and recues that often need fosters and volunteers: Athens-Clarke County Animal Control 125 Buddy Christian Way, Athens

Jackson County Aminal Shelter 29 Galilee Church Rd., Jefferson

Athens Area Humane Society 1781 Mars Hill Rd., Watkinsville

Madison-Oglethorpe Animal Shelter 1888 Colbert-Danielsville Rd., Danielsville

Barrow County Animal Control 616 Barrow Park Dr., Winder

Oconee County Animal Shelter 1171 Branch Rd., Bishop

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Donna and Brian Seagraves: Will’s Pet Pantry BY VICTORIA CHITKO


ith seven rescue dogs, Brian and Donna Seagraves’ passion for animals is no mystery. Lucky for us, they share this love through Will’s Pet Pantry. Will’s Pet Pantry is named in memory of their son ,Will, who shared a deep love and connection with animals. Through this program, ACCA is able to provide food and supplies for the pets of local seniors, which can often be a financial and physical challenge. Athens has always been home to native Brian. Donna came for school and moved to Atlanta after graduating from law school at UGA. ”I knew she’d be back,” Brian said with a wink. “Athens is a great community. There’s a lot of diversity. It’s home. I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be.” Brian teaches at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy while Donna is a public defender in Jackson 2 2 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2019

County. When asked why they chose their career paths, Donna chirped up saying to her husband, “I want to tell your story and then you can tell mine.” According to Donna, Brian was practicing as a pharmacist from 2004-2015. During this time, he worked as a specialty pharmacist teaching interns in the field. After Will died in 2015, Brian reflected on his career and decided to move into teaching. “If anyone told me I would be teaching right after I graduated, I would have said, ‘No way’,” said Brian. “But I had paternal instincts. They’re still going. I asked myself, ‘How do I satisfy that? Teaching on a larger scale could help with that.’” Donna smiled, “There’s been no hesitation that it was the right move. He loves what he does. Now my turn.” Brian knows Donna is a public defender because of her desire to help people.

“She’s really smart. She sees people that are less fortunate. If you’re an individual going into the justice system, it’s a hard system. It’s important to have someone like her so that your rights are protected. She’s doing more community service than I’m doing.” The relationship between ACCA and the Seagraves started the Christmas after Will passed away. Brian’s family gave the Seagraves large amounts of dog food to donate to the organization of their choosing. Donna was struggling to find a place to donate a couple hundred dollars’ worth of dog food when a friend suggested ACCA. “We wanted to help people and animals at the same time. Will was full of life and had a huge love for animals. We thought it was the best way to honor him,” Donna shared. “When I contacted the ACCA, they were very enthusiastic and said they had a frequent need for pet food for the people on the Meals on Wheels program. That’s when I realized this is where those two things (people and animals) coincided,” said Donna. Generosity and philanthropy run through the Seagraves family’s veins. The Seagraves believe strongly in helping others and giving back to our community. “It’s part of being human and my identity. It’s what I like to think my purpose is. The more you do, the better you feel about it,” Donna replied. “I guess it comes from how I was raised. If you have a skill or the ability, then it’s your duty to use that to help other people. Make the world a better place than how

it was when you came in. It’s the Spider-man saying, ‘With great power comes great responsibility’. I think you should give to those that can’t,” answered Brian. “Will had the same mentality. He’d like to have helped other people. Part of what we do, we do for him.” The Seagraves’ love of pets doesn’t stop at ACCA. Donna and Brian expanded the program into their own lives. Will’s Mobile Pet Pantry delivers pet food to homeless people with pets. “People think we’re crazy,” laughs Brian. “We’ve got stickers that say ‘Will’s Mobile Pet Pantry’ we slap on the bags, too. Sometimes we have to chase after them saying, ‘Hey we’ve got food for your pet!’” After three years of being involved with ACCA, the Seagraves family has grown from friends to family. “I cannot imagine a better experience working with ACCA. Everything is perfect. We know exactly where our money is going and that it’s where it needs to go. We really appreciate how you all stay in touch with us. We don’t feel like we’re just writing a check every month. We feel connected,” Donna shared. “You can trust that ACCA is going to put the money where the needs are. They have all the systems in place to make sure they’ve identified the correct needs.” “Every time we hear about a grant you get, know we’re partying over here,” Brian says with smile. “It’s all local. That’s something I believe. Take care of the community you’re in. If everybody did that we’d be in great shape.” Last year, ACCA, through Will’s Pet Pantry, provided 1,371 pounds of food and other related goods and services to 47 pets. Will’s Pet Pantry is supported by generous donations from the Seagraves family, Meals on Wheels America and other private donors. FALL 2019 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 23







3 1 Thank you, Eaton Corporation, for spending the afternoon with us working in the community garden, weeding the beds, and building ACCA’s new three bin compost system! 2 Thank you, Home Depot, for coming out and working with ACCA’s Winder Adult Day Health clients to make and paint picture frames. A great time was had by all! 3 In June, ACCA welcomed Dr. Zachary Newman from St. Mary’s Health Care System and Dr. Eric Afari from Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center to ACCA as part of their Geriatrics


4 residency rotation. This partnership will give the residents a deeper understanding of the lives of older adults, and the resources our community has to help them Age and Live Well. 4 In May, ACCA was honored to recognize Barbara Benson as ACCA’s 2019 Age Well Live Well Award recipient. Congratulations to Barbara and the other 2019 nominees, Betsy Bean, Geri Williams, Harold Rittenberry, Hilda Daniel, Jim Stephens, Lee Epting, Lucy McCannon, Marjorie Harris, Paul Dorsey and Tim Johnson.


5 You’re really blowing us away with your donation, Synovus Bank - AFB&T! Thank you for collecting and delivering a TRUCKLOAD of toiletries, personal care items and fans to ACCA. We appreciate your support! 6 We are pleased to welcome Colby Gunby on his first Give Back visit to ACCA! Colby dropped by to see us with an amazing check to help our local seniors in need. Give Back has been an incredible supporter of our Meals on Wheels program.

9 7 How FAN-tastic is our community?! Thank you to Classics in the Country Car Show and Oconee County Rotary Club for helping ACCA’s seniors stay cool in this summer heat. 8 A wonderful thank you to Princeton United Methodist Church of Athens Women’s Group for their generous donation to ACCA’s Center for Active Living. Their donation helped provide


supplies to keep our clients active and having fun all summer! We are so grateful for the support this group provides! 9 A huge thank you to Sims Academy of Innovation and Technology’s Agricultural Program for donating flowers and vegetables to ACCA’s Winder Adult Day Health Center. We appreciate your donation as we know it will keep our clients aging and living well.

10 The 1967 Legacy Society recognizes and honors a very special group of individuals. On June 25th, ACCA honored these individuals, our loyal supporters. With their continued commitment, we can ensure a healthy, safe and independent life for all older adults in our community. Pictured here are several members of the new and inaugural 1967 Legacy Society.

FALL 2019 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 25



Enlightening Not Frightening: Historic Oakland Cemetery


his is a mantra of Atlanta’s Historic Oakland Cemetery, even on Halloween. Open since 1850, Oakland is the final resting place of over 70,000 souls from all walks of life, from the most well-known to the unknown. “Gone with the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell, golfing great Bobby Jones and Maynard Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta, are interred here. Throughout the grounds you will come across names of popular Atlanta streets, parks, neighborhoods and businesses and gain insight as to why these names are important. Thanks to preservation efforts, culturespecific areas such as the African American grounds and Jewish Hill give special voice to those who can no longer tell us their stories. With Georgia now deemed the “Hollywood of the South”, the film industry occasionally livens up the cemetery to film blockbuster hits like “Fast and Furious 7” and the TV show “Constantine.” As you probably guessed, October is a peak season for tourism at Oakland Cemetery. Skip the crowd this fall and join the Center for Active Living for a private tour of the cemetery on October 9th. Full details in the catalogue in the back of the magazine.

Georgia’s Coolest Mountain Town Tens of thousands of people flock to the Blue Ridge Mountains each year to take in the magnificent sights of the changing colors, a beauty that only nature can provide. The leaves start to change at the highest elevations in early October while the lower elevations see change into early November. The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway’s most popular tour of the year, the Fall Foliage ride, takes passengers on a 26 2 6 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2019

mile journey from the historic Blue Ridge depot, along the Toccoa River, through the lush Chattahoochee National Forest to the quaint sister towns of McCaysville, Ga., and Copperhill, Tenn. Great photo opportunities await at the physical borderline of the two states. Passengers enjoy a two-hour layover in the towns to shop and dine the Blue Ridge way before the return trip to the depot. Once back in downtown Blue Ridge, “Georgia’s Coolest Mountain Town” according to their website, crowds can enjoy more specialty shopping and eateries. All aboard! Back by popular demand, the Center for Active Living will go on a scenic trip to Blue Ridge in late October. Details in the back of the magazine.



n game day during football season, the streets of Athens are lined with fans dressed in red and black. The air is filled with excitement and anticipation. Diehard fans debate past plays and players. Tailgaters cue up the grill. Dawg fans are a fiercely loyal bunch, but even the most fervent fans may not know some of the fascinating details of the team’s origin story, from its beloved mascot to game day rituals. Here is one interesting piece of trivia: Did you know that during its inaugural season, the mascot of the University of Georgia’s football team was a goat? (Turns out “How ‘Bout them Goats?” didn’t have quite the same special ring.) For the next 28 years, UGA had no official mascot or nickname. A variety of dogs served as mascots (several of them bulldogs) and the team went by various monikers such as “The Red and Black,” “The Varsities,” “The Athenians,” and “The Georgians.” Finally, in 1920, the team officially adopted the bulldog as its mascot, and the rest, as they say, is Bulldog history! The battle cry of Bulldog nation, “How ‘Bout Them Dawgs?, rose to notoriety in the middle to late 1970s, particularly during the 1978 football season in which the team won several games in the nick of time. After a big win in the 1980 National Championship against Notre Dame, a major media source used the phrase to capture the team’s victory. It stuck as many newspapers followed suit in headlines across the country. Let’s talk about the actual dogs. In 1956, Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler and his wife, Cecelia Seiler, presented the first generation of a line of pure white English bulldogs after receiving one of the pups as a wedding gift. Appropriately named as the abbreviation of the University of Georgia, “Uga” (pronounced uh-gah) was the grandson of the former mascot who traveled with the football team to the 1943 Rose Bowl. Cecelia Seiler made Uga I’s original red jerseys herself by altering children’s T-shirts. The Seiler family has continued to breed the beloved mascots generation after generation. Uga V, arguably the most famous of them all, graced the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1997 and appeared in the movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” that same year.

Above: Hairy Dawg at ACCA with Meals on Wheels volunteers. Left: Visiting the Athens Center for Active Living

The Georgia bulldog mascot, with his signature spiked collar, has evolved into one of the most renowned emblems in college sports history. In addition to VIP travel arrangements and accommodations, each Uga gets a custom-made jersey as well as a varsity letter in the form of a plaque, which is identical to the ones that all UGA athletes receive. Ugas I through IX are buried in marble vaults with bronze epitaphs near the main gate of the South stands. Before each game, flowers are placed on their graves. The current mascot, Uga X, also known as Que, made his debut on November 21, 2015, at a game against Georgia Southern. While on duty, you can catch him on the field, often in an air-conditioned doghouse next to the cheerleaders’ platform. Are you ready to see Que and the 2019 team strut their stuff? Join the Center for Active Living on Saturday, November 9th, for the classic Athens tradition of attending a UGA football game. Full details in the back of the magazine. FALL 2019 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 27



he holiday season would not be complete without visiting one of Georgia’s famous Christmas light extravaganzas. Topping the list as one of the season’s must-see displays is Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, an urban oasis in the heart of Midtown. The mission of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, which includes over 30 acres of outdoor gardens as well as a conservation greenhouse, is to develop and maintain plant collections for the purposes of display, education, conservation, research and enjoyment. Beginning in November each year, magic and wonder enhance that mission with the addition of over a million lights to complement the Garden’s natural beauty. Along the Canopy Walk you’ll see 1,600 strands of more than 70,000 color changing LED light pixels hanging from above. Visitors feel as though they are experiencing the Northern Lights, a storm at sea, a gentle snowfall and more as the display transitions through different songs. As the tour continues, you’ll approach this year’s temporary exhibition Imaginary Worlds: Alice’s Wonderland with larger than life plant sculptures awash with holiday glow. 2 8 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2019

Inspired by the classic fairytale “Alice in Wonderland”, a familiar white rabbit standing at an impressive 27 feet floats inside an upside-down umbrella in the Skyline Garden pond. In Skyline park you’ll find an expansive chess board bordered by nine heart trees with a giant Cheshire cat looking on nearby. Permanent Garden favorites like the 22-foot-tall Ice Goddess, whose hair is illuminated by thousands of lights, and the Tunnel of Light, along with the Orchestral Orbs, Radiant Rainforest, Model Trains and more keep visitors coming back year after year. 2019 is bringing in fresh features including new music and motion for the Nature’s Wonders spectacle. In addition to the allure of the Garden is the Longleaf Restaurant, a two-level contemporary glass structure in the heart of the Garden that provides beautiful views during your fine dining experience. The menu, under the direction of Chef Jason Paolini, provides a wide variety of plant-to-plate cuisine to satisfy any palate. Enjoy a sophisticated night on the town while simultaneously being filled with the wonder of a child again on a December outing to the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s annual tradition Garden Lights, Holidays Nights display with the Center for Active Living. See the back of the magazine for details.

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The Center for Active Living (CAL) is a multi-purpose center offering older adults in Athens and surrounding communities opportunities to stay active and engaged. CAL provides unique social, educational, and wellness related classes and activities, group trips, and supportive services.

For membership information or to register for trips and classes, contact Nikaela Frederick, CAL Wellness Coordinator, at (706) 549-4850 or CENTER FOR AC TIVE LIVING

ongoing fitness & wellness classes



trips & off-site adventures



educational classes & events



ongoing social programs



support groups & meetings


FALL 2019 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 31

For membership information or to register for trips and classes, contact Nikaela Frederick, CAL Program Manager, at (706) 549-4850 or FITNESS & WELLNESS CLASSES

Tai Chi

Tai Chi, which means in Chinese balance and harmony, has often been described as moving meditation because of the flowing motions accompanied by breath work. In addition to an improved sense of calm and clarity, participants in the class will improve their balance, leg strength, range of motion, and energy levels. In a casual atmosphere, Michele will guide the class through low-impact, easy-to-learn movements that can be incorporated into any daily routine. Classes are meant to be easy for beginners yet challenging for those who want to expand their practice. Where: ACCA Harris Room When: Mondays with Michele Time: 1:00pm-2:00pm Cost: Free for CAL Members

Fit and Strong *NEW Series* Smart Moves with Becky

This all-around fun class mixes the use of elastic bands, free weights and medicine balls to work your entire body. Similar to Silver Sneakers, it focuses on improved overall balance, flexibility, and strength while listening to music. Smart Moves is a low-impact class that can be performed seated or standing and is appropriate for all fitness levels. Where: ACCA Harris Room When: Mondays Time: 9:00am-10:00am Cost: Free for CAL Members Where: ACCA Harris Room When: Thursdays Time: 2:00pm-3:00pm Cost: Free for CAL Members 3 2 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2019

Fit & Strong combines flexibility, strength training, and aerobic walking with health education for sustained behavior change among older adults with lower extremity osteoarthritis. Classes will take place twice a week for 12 weeks and are taught by certified Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services staff. Registration is required. Reserve a spot in this class by calling 706-613-3596. Where: Mondays at Memorial Park Rec Hall (293 Gran Ellen Drive), Wednesdays in ACCA’s Harris Room (135 Hoyt Street) When: Mondays and Wednesdays, September 16th – November 6th Time: 1:00pm-2:30pm Cost: Free for CAL Members & Non-Members


Come find your inner peace and tranquility through a number of gentle yoga classes offered at ACCA! These classes will stretch and relax your mind, body and muscles. The instructors welcome new participants and will gladly give modifications if the postures are more advanced than you feel comfortable completing. Please bring your own mat and a blanket for the relaxation portion of the class. CAL will provide a mat for those who want to try a class for the first time or simply left their mats at home. Classes are offered four days a week, each taught by a different instructor. Monday In this class, students need to be able to move from seated to standing to lying on a mat and to be in good health. With this practice, yoga students learn to listen to their own bodies and know what is best for them. (Please bring a mat and a cushion.) Where: ACCA Harris Room When: Mondays with Eleanor Time: 3:00pm-4:30pm Cost: Free for CAL Members Wednesday This Integral Hatha Yoga consists of bodily postures, deep relaxation, and breath control. The yoga poses are not exercises. The word exercise tends to give one the impression of quick movements which involve strain. Instead, the yoga asanas, or postures, that Bill teaches are meant to bring steadiness, comfort and ease to the body and mind. Classes are meant to be easy for beginners yet challenging for those with more experience. Where: ACCA Harris Room When: Wednesdays with Bill Time: 3:00pm-4:30pm Cost: Free for CAL Members Thursday Beginner Mat and Chair Yoga Chair yoga is a great modification of traditional yoga that lets more people safely enjoy the benefits of yoga practice.

It is a type of gentle movement in which all of the poses, or asanas, are practiced either seated in a chair, standing, or seated on a mat using the chair for balance and support. It is a relatively new branch of yoga that is geared toward people with mobility issues, weight problems, or for people who simply cannot get down onto the floor, but it can benefit anyone. In this class we will use a mat and a chair and work barefoot. We will use modifications to accommodate all fitness levels. Please bring a yoga mat and dress in stretchy, comfortable, close fitting clothing. This is specifically a beginner level class for those who have never taken yoga. Where: ACCA Harris Room When: Thursdays with Debbie starting in October Time: 3:00pm-4:00pm Cost: Free for CAL Members Friday This class is intended for active, mature adults regardless of skill level. The key guideline is listening to the body and learning to recognize what works for your body. We try to find the balance between effort and ease in our poses (asanas). You are never too old to begin taking yoga— never too old to be a beginner! Where: ACCA Harris Room When: Fridays with Anna Time: 10:00am-11:30am Cost: Free for CAL Members

Balance in Motion

Our Motion Wellness System, located on the Greenway next to the CAL parking lot, is an outdoor gym for adults! In this class, led by a licensed therapist, participants will receive instruction on how the equipment works and can be used to benefit health. Outside of class time, the adult playground is open to the public during the ACCA business hours of 8am-4:30pm. Where: ACCA Motion Wellness System* When: Tuesdays (weather permitting) Time: 10:00am-11:00am Cost: Free for CAL Members *In case of inclement weather, class will be postponed.

Free Style Dance

Groove to the music! This energetic class combines different dance techniques into fun and easy-to-follow routines. The music ranges from oldies but goodies to today’s latest hits. Burn calories and re-energize your day in one funfilled class. This class is designed to be enjoyed standing or from a seated position to best fit each participant. Jean, the instructor, does a wonderful job moving flawlessly

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Ballet for Posture & Balance

between standing and sitting to keep everyone moving and engaged. Beginners are welcome! Where: ACCA Harris Room When: Tuesdays Time: 11:00am-11:45am Cost: $2/class for CAL Members

Line Dancing

This is one of the most popular classes at the Center for Active Living. This intermediate level class uses an eclectic mix of music to keep dancers moving from beginning to end. Kathy, our dedicated instructor, will walk you step-bystep through the dances with seasoned classmates who will help keep you on track. Grab your dancing shoes and drop in for this excellent opportunity to exercise while having fun! Where: ACCA Harris Room When: Tuesdays & Thursdays Time: 12:00pm-1:00pm Cost: Free for CAL Members

Beginner Line Dancing

Taking place right after our popular noon intermediate level Line Dancing class, this introductory level class will focus on the basics of the dance form and will move at a slower pace for those who are new to line dancing or for those who would like some extra practice. First Tuesdays of every month will focus only on popular party dances. When: Tuesdays Where: ACCA Harris Room Time: 1:00pm-2:00pm Cost: Free for CAL Members

Zumba Gold

Groove at your own pace! Zumba Gold is great for your core, coordination, stamina and balance. Instructor Melinda Robins is an Athens retiree who loves teaching other active older adults how to have fun while exercising to exciting Latin rhythms. Where: ACCA Harris Room When: Thursdays Time: 10:00am-10:55am Cost: Free for CAL Members 3 4 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2019

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

This beginner level ballet class was created with mature adults in mind. Before ballerinas get to the fancy spins and leaps, they must have a strong foundation in the basics to build core strength, increase flexibility and balance. These basics will be the focus of this class. Where: ACCA Hudson Conference Room When: Thursdays Time: 11:00am-12:00pm Cost: Free for CAL Members

YWCO Water Exercise

Water exercise provides general conditioning, flexibility, and cardiovascular workout done in the pool. These programs are open to all ages. Present your CAL membership key card at the front desk of the YWCO to receive the discounted CAL rate below. You do not have to be a member of the YWCO to receive the discounted rate. Where: YWCO Pool (Located at 562 Research Dr. Athens, GA 30605) When: Monday, Wednesday, Friday Time: 9:00am and 11:00am Cost: $5/class with CAL Membership Card Where: YWCO Pool When: Monday and Wednesday Time: 7:00pm Cost: $5/class with CAL Membership Card

YWCO Arthritis Water Exercise

This class is an Arthritis Foundation Certified program for individuals with arthritis and will help you increase your range of motion and develop strength in a warm relaxing environment. Doctor’s permission is required to participate. Present your CAL membership key card at the front desk of the YWCO to get the discounted rate below. You do not have to be a member of the YWCO to get the discounted rate. Where: YWCO Pool When: Monday thru Friday Time: 2:00pm-3:00pm Cost: $5/class with CAL Membership Card


SilverSplash is a universal, trademarked total body aqua conditioning class in a pool. SilverSplash focuses on increasing agility, range of movement and cardiovascular conditioning. Participants use the Silver Sneakers kickboards to develop strength, balance and coordination in a safe, fun, and effective way. No swimming ability is required. Present your CAL membership key card at the front desk of the YWCO to

get the discounted rate below. You do not have to be a member of the YWCO to get the discounted rate. Where: YWCO Pool (Located at 562 Research Dr. Athens, GA 30605) When: Fridays Time: 2:00pm-3:00pm Cost: $5/class with CAL Membership Card


Get your steps in for the day while exploring Athens’ trails. A staff member from Sandy Creek Nature Center will escort us around the grounds and show us trail options in the area. We will learn the fascinating histories behind the Georgia Brick Company factory ruins and an early 1800’s cabin, which we will pass along the way. After the walk, we will stop for a healthy lunch at one of Athens’ favorite restaurants, Maepole. When: Wednesday, September 4th Time: 10:00am-1:00pm Cost: $5 for CAL Members and Non-Members

Sights, Symbols, and Stories of Oakland Cemetery

This 90-minute interactive guided tour will take you on a journey through Atlanta’s history, from the founding of the city by early pioneers to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. We will visit different character areas of Oakland, including the African American Grounds and Jewish burial sections, and learn about different burial and cultural traditions. After the tour we will have lunch across the street at the popular restaurant, Six Feet Under. Payment due by Friday, October 4th. When: Wednesday, October 9th Time: Depart ACCA at 9am Cost: $35 for CAL Members, $45 for Non-Members

Sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful sight of the leaves transitioning into fall on this scenic train ride. Starting at the historic depot in Blue Ridge, Ga., the four-hour, 26-mile train ride in vintage, climate-controlled or open-air rail cars follows the path of the Toccoa River. There will be a twohour layover in the quaint sister towns of McCaysville, Ga., and Copperhill, Tenn. (one town with two names that is located directly on the Georgia-Tennessee line.) The layover will allow time to eat lunch (on your own), shop for unique crafts and antiques, enjoy ice cream, or walk across the old bridge in town to view the river. We will then re-board the train for the one-hour return trip to downtown Blue Ridge. Payment due by Friday, October 11th. When: Wednesday, October 23rd Time: Depart ACCA at 7:30am, Expected time of return 7pm Cost: $85 for CAL Members, $95 for Non-Members

How ‘Bout Them Dawgs: UGA Football Game

Are you a Georgia football fan but have not made it to a game yet? Are you a Georgia fan who goes to as many games as possible? If you answered yes to one of these questions, this is the trip for you! Come watch the Bulldogs take on the Missouri Tigers at Sanford Stadium with the Center for Active Living. (Please be aware that it will be a long day and that there will be a substantial amount of walking due to road closures and parking logistics.) Payment due by Friday, October 18th. When: Saturday, November 9th Time: TBA Cost: $110 for CAL Members, $120 for Non-Members

DeKalb Farmer’s Market

Get your Thanksgiving specialty shopping in during this visit to the DeKalb Farmer’s Market. Open since 1977, the DeKalb Farmer’s Market has been voted as the best place to buy organic as well as the best specialty market in Atlanta over the years. Complete with a bakery, coffee shop, deli, floral department, pastry shop and more, this world market offers a wide array of fresh produce and local as well as international foods and spices. During our shopping trip, enjoy lunch on your own at the market’s very own café with a fresh, diverse menu. (The market only accepts cash, check and debit cards, no credit cards). Payment due by Friday, November 15th. When: Wednesday, November 20th Time: Depart ACCA at 10:00am Cost: $25 for CAL Members and Non-Members

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Cirque Du Soleil

Cirque Du Soleil returns to Atlanta this fall with VOLTA. Energetic, urban and contemporary, VOLTA is a captivating voyage of discovery that showcases never-before-seen under the big top acrobatics in a visually striking world. Driven by a stirring melodic score and inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, VOLTA is a story about transformation, finding yourself and unveiling your personal powers. After the show, there will be free time for dinner at Atlantic Station within walking distance of the Big Top. Payment due by Friday, November 8th. When: Friday, December 6th Time: Depart ACCA at 2:00pm Cost: $75 for CAL Members, $90 for Non-Members

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

The Atlanta Botanical Gardens’ Garden Lights, Holiday Nights display returns in 2019 with new features and crowd favorites – including new music and motion for Atlanta’s favorite holiday spectacle, Nature’s Wonders. Experience the Skylights Lounge in the Skyline Garden. Plus, several larger-than-life plant giants from Imaginary Worlds: Alice’s Wonderland awash in holiday glow. Favorites like the Ice Goddess and Tunnel of Light, along with the Orchestral Orbs, Radiant Rainforest, Model Trains and other favorites continue to make the exhibition a must-see Atlanta holiday tradition. Upon arrival we will enjoy a nice dinner at the Garden’s upscale Longleaf Restaurant before touring the garden. Please dress warm and wear comfortable shoes as the outing will require a lot of walking out in the elements. Payment due by Friday, December 6th. When: Thursday, December 19th Time: Depart ACCA at 3:30pm Cost: $55 for CAL Members, $65 for Non-Members


The word “aikido” roughly translates as “the way of harmony.” It’s a good way to get fit, improve coordination, increase stamina and have fun at the same time. Aikido emphasizes body mechanics, physical awareness and balance. The movements are circular, flowing and move one from one to the other seamlessly. Breathwork compliments the movements and leads to increased stamina and internal calm. The basic aikido curriculum focuses on the development of core strength (both physical and mental) and breath and posture training. Come learn more in a special aikido demo by John 3 6 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2019

Smartt, who was trained in Japan and ran an aikido school in California for many years. When: Wednesday, September 18th Time: 11:00am Where: ACCA Glass Dining Room Cost: Free for CAL Members and Non-Members

Outsmart Your Smartphone

Need help navigating that new electronic device? Is your smartphone giving you trouble? Is it time for you to upgrade to a new phone but the idea of having a smartphone is a little intimidating? Or are you interested in learning how to make your current phone work best for you? If so, this is the class for you! CAL Staff will answer your individual questions to the best of our ability and walk you through the solutions. Don’t miss this chance to get the most out of your smartphone. Call Nikaela at 706-549-4850 for appointment slots. Where: ACCA Round Room When: Thursdays, September 19th, October 17th, November 21st, December 12th Time: 1:00pm-3:00pm Cost: Free for CAL Members and Non-Members

Understanding Medicare

Medicare Open enrollment season starts on October 15th. It can be quite tricky to navigate the intricacies of cost, coverage and provider networks. A representative from GeorgiaCares, ACCA’s onsite Medicare counseling program, will break down the ins and outs of the process. Where: ACCA Glass Dining Room When: Tuesday, September 24th Time: 10:00am Cost: Free for CAL Members and Non-Members

Maintain Your Balance

Join Vivian Smith, fitness instructor at St. Mary’s Wellness Center, as she discusses balance, gait and stability. Learn about functional balance as well as how to maintain strong gait patterns. She will lead the group in a series of movements that can help with everyday life activities. Where: ACCA Harris Room When: Wednesday, September 25th Time: 10:00am-11:00am Cost: Free for CAL Members and Non-Members

AARP Smart Driver Course

Learn how to operate your vehicle more safely in today’s increasingly challenging driving environment. You’ll learn adjustments to accommodate common age-related changes in vision, hearing, and reaction time. These include how to minimize the effects of dangerous blind

spots, the safest ways to change lanes, the proper use of safety belts, air bags, anti-lock brakes, new technologies used in cars, the effects of medications on driving, and the importance of eliminating distractions, such as eating, smoking, and cell-phone use. Space is limited, call the Center at 706-549-4850 to reserve your spot! Where: ACCA Hudson Room When: Friday, September 27th Time: 8:45am-3:45pm Cost: $15 AARP Members, $20 Non-AARP Members

Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids and How Hearing Loops Can Help

Do you wear hearing aids? Would you like to hear better? Join us for an info session by Audiologist and advocate for the Hearing Loss Association of America, Dr. Juliëtte Sterkens, who has specialized in audiology and hearing rehabilitation for nearly 40 years. Learn about the latest developments in hearing health, hearing aids and assistive technologies with a special highlight on induction loops. If you wear hearing aids, be sure to wear them to this event to experience how the loops can enhance your hearing. Where: ACCA Harris Room When: Wednesday, October 3rd Time: 10:00am Cost: Free for CAL Members and Non-Members

Computer Skill Builder

Email, Microsoft Office, and Facebook, oh my! Do you ever feel overwhelmed or frustrated by computers? Then this is the class for you! Join us for this three-month course and learn how to send an email, maneuver social media, online shop, and much more. We will answer your individual questions and give you a live demo to build your “digital confidence” and set you up for success. Please bring something to take notes with to take the information home with you. Where: CAL Computer Lab When: Mondays, October 7th, November 4th, December 16th Time: 2:00pm-3:00pm Cost: Free for Members and Non-Members

Locally Sewn: Sustainable Fashion in Athens

When we hear the word “sustainability,” eco-friendly behaviors like recycling and composting come to mind. Did you know that the fashion industry can play an important role in the green movement? While “fast fashion” is about cheap and short-lasting goods, “slow fashion” celebrates renewable resources, local designers and locally-made products that endure. It also draws attention to the negative

impact that“fast fashion”can have on the environment while encouraging innovation and reconnecting consumers to their communities. Join us for a special talk with Sanni Baumgärtner, owner and creative director of Community, one of Athens’ most popular -- and sustainably minded boutiques. Sanni will share her expertise as well as lead the group in a fun, interactive repurposing project! Where: Glass Dining Room When: Thursday, October 10th Time: 10:00am Cost: Free for CAL Members and Non-Members

Alzheimer’s Association Lunch & Learn: Understanding Alzheimer’s & Dementia

Alzheimer’s is not normal aging. It’s a disease of the brain that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Right on the heels of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, we will welcome a representative from the Atlanta chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association to learn about the impact of the disease, the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia, Alzheimer’s disease stages and risk factors, current research and treatments available to address symptoms as well as additional resources. Lunch will be sponsored by the Athens Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. Please RSVP with the CAL office (706-549-4850) to reserve your spot and lunch. Where: ACCA Harris Room When: Wednesday, October 30th Time: 11:30am-12:30pm (lunch included, space is limited) Cost: Free for CAL members and non-members

Vision Screening with Athens Eye Associates

Athens Eye Associates is an ophthalmology and optometry practice dedicated to providing high quality service, standards of excellence and expertise to care for vision needs. Staff members from the office will be on site to FALL 2019 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 37

SUPPORT GROUPS & MEETINGS Caregiver Support Group - Athens Area

Attention all family caregivers! Join in fellowship with other caregivers for support, participate in educational programs, and gain knowledge from health care professionals. For more information contact Robin Lacrimosa at 706-549-7301. Where: ACCA Bentley ADH Center When: 3rd Tuesday each month Time: 12:00pm-1:00pm Cost: Free


Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

SOCIAL PROGRAMS discuss eye health and to provide a free, preliminary screening for participants. Where: Glass Dining Room When: November TBA Time: 10:00am Cost: Free for CAL Members

ACCA and AAA: What’s the Difference?

There are many resources in town for older adults, but it can be confusing to know what each agency specializes in. While the Athens Community Council on Aging (ACCA) has 14 different programs and services under one roof, there are still some areas such as assistance with home health care and finding housing, which are outside of our scope. That is where the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) come in. Our agencies are often mistaken for one another. Come learn more about ACCA and the ADRC and learn together we can help you and your loved ones connect to the resources that you need. Where: Glass Dining Room When: Tuesday, November 19th Time: 10:00am Cost: Free for CAL Members

Energize Yourself Financially

Each year as we get ready to enter a new year, there is much talk about rejuvenating the mind and the body but it is also a good time to relook at your finances. Learn why it’s important to create a savings plan and how your plan should evolve to help you meet short, medium, and longterm goals, even after retirement. Join Shaun Collings, Vice President/Financial Wellness Relations Manager at Regions Bank, for this informative presentation. Where: Glass Dining Room When: Tuesday, December 3rd Time: 10:00am Cost: Free for CAL Members 3 8 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2019


Join us to play Mahjongg, a Chinese tile game that is becoming more and more popular in the United States. Similar to the western card game rummy, mahjongg is a game of skill, strategy, calculation, and involves a degree of chance. Some knowledge of the game and reservations are required. The game is played in tables of four; however, the group is always looking for substitutes. For reservation or information contact Nikaela at 706-549-4850. When: Mondays Time: 1:00pm-4:00pm Where: ACCA Bentley Conference Room Cost: Free for CAL Members

Beginner Mahjongg

This new group is targeted at those who are interested in learning Mahjongg or are still learning the fundamentals of the game. Please call Nikaela at 706-549-4850 to reserve a spot. When: Wednesdays Time: 1:00pm-3:00pm Where: ACCA Bentley Conference Room Cost: Free for CAL Members

Intermediate Bridge

Join us in an informal setting to play bridge and socialize with others who share this common interest. There is no reservation needed. When: Tuesdays Time: 1:30pm Where: ACCA Glass Dining Room Cost: Free for CAL Members

Advanced Bridge

This advanced bridge group meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays. The group requires reservations; please call Mary at 706-549-3160 to reserve your spot today! When: 1st and 3rd Wednesdays Time: 1:30pm Where: ACCA Glass Dining Room Cost: Free for CAL Members

Grand Slammers Bridge Group

This advanced bridge group meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays. No reservation needed. When: 2nd and 4th Wednesdays Time: 1:30pm Where: ACCA Glass Dining Room Cost: Free for CAL Members

Belle Hill Singers

Join fellow members to sing traditional church music in a group setting and inspire individuals through the power of song. Performances take place every Tuesday and Thursday at different community centers, nursing homes, assisted living, senior centers, and adult health centers. Transportation is provided but is optional. New members are welcome regardless of singing ability. Call the CAL office at 706-549-4850 for more information or for current performance schedule. When: Tuesdays & Thursdays Time: 10:00am-11:30am Where: Meet at ACCA at 9:45am Cost: Free for CAL Members

A support group provided for grandparents raising grandchildren and relative caregivers. Group topics vary in discussion from month to month and occasionally include informational materials and guest speakers. To RSVP, please contact Anna Ceravolo or Marlah Gaspard at 706-549-4850. Where: ACCA’s Hudson Conference Room in Athens; Rivers of Mercy in Monroe. When: The Athens groups meet on the third Thursday of the month while the Monroe groups meet on the fourth Thursday of the month. Time: 12:00pm-1:30pm Cost: Free