Connections Spring 2020

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New Event Venues Coming to Athens A LS O INSIDE : The Census: Who, What, Why and How retroProm 2020 Dance Party Fundraiser ACCA Calendar of Spring Events & Activities Athens Public Art with A Purpose ACCA Seasonal Trips


Staying together

never gets old.


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SPRING 2020 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


Eve Anthony


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

G E N E R A L M A N AG E R , T H E AT H E N S B A N N E R - H E R A L D

Kevin Clark

D I R E C TO R O F S A L E S A N D M A R K E T I N G , T H E AT H E N S B A N N E R - H E R A L D

Tina Laseter


Robin Stauffer ACC A S TA F F

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 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.



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 SPRING 2020

Eve Anthony Erin Beasley Paige Powell


Tom Bennewitz Beth Flenniken


Ashley Thompson


Michael Ash Melissa Erickson Ellen Everitt Allison Floyd Nikaela Frederick Paige Powell Allyn Rippin


Joshua L. Jones


135 Hoyt Street Athens, GA 30601 706.549.4850




























Connections/What’s Next? is more than a magazine. It’s a partnership with a purpose.

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.

© 2020 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. SPRING 2020 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

[the Classic Center Arena] is going to succeed is because of where it’s located in Athens and because we’re in the city of Athens. I think people love to come to school here. They love to retire here. They love to live here. And I think this is just going to be another piece that allows them to get the most out of their life here.” The Classic Center Arena is expected to open sometime in 2023, but a definite opening date has not been set.

Athens Amphitheater

Above and to left: Architect renderings of the Classic Center Arena expected to open sometime in 2023.

New Venues Coming to Athens BY CAITLIN O’DONNELL


thens is a city known for its vibrant artistic culture, strong entrepreneur presence and plethora of things to do. While bands and large corporations that began in Athens may want to support the city by having concerts and events here, many find there is no place large enough to host them. Two new venues will begin construction this year to address these needs. The Classic Center Arena and Athens Amphitheater will create jobs, bolster the local economy and provide a variety of entertainment to suit almost any Athenian’s taste.

Classic Center Arena The Classic Center will be adding a new arena to its building. The current arena hosts hockey and ice skating but the ice must be melted down for other events. There is only enough space for about 4,000 to 5,000 people at any given time. “Knowing that a new SPLOST was going to be coming up, about five years ago we started studying what would be the next development for the Classic Center,” said Danny Bryant, the Classic Center’s director of arena & ancillary services. “So we do have 700 events a year at our facility, which is about double what any other facilities (in Athens) do (outside of the University of Georgia’s campus). Most facilities do about 300 events a year.” The Classic Center originally considered building an outdoor-only amphitheater, but decided against it because 6 I CO NN E C T I ON S / W H AT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I SPRING 2020

an enclosed facility would allow year-round use. Also an indoor facility means that they will be able to cover the ice rink when it is not needed, instead of melting it down. The new arena will hold 7,000 people and allow for 125 more events to come to town each year. It is expected to create 600 permanent new jobs, including positions at the Classic Center, hotels, catering companies and other hospitality services that the new venue would affect. Many of these positions will be suited for those trying to establish a career in the hospitality industry. “The economic impact that it’ll have is roughly $30 million a year. Visitors spend when they come here by staying in hotels and visiting restaurants, creating an annual return on the $34 million SPLOST investment. We’re really excited for it,” Bryant said. The projected $30 million economic impact is based on a study that Convention Sports and Leisure conducted. Some residents are worried that it will take business away from other local venues. However, the acts that the Classic Center Arena will host will be too large for other venues, such as the Georgia Theater and Livewire Lounge. Bryant hopes that increasing the Classic Center’s capacity will mean that people opt to see shows in Athens instead of traveling to Atlanta. The new arena will be large enough to hold 80 percent of the acts touring the country and even bring in some international acts. “On top of what we already do with our theater, with our Broadway shows and symphonies or comedians

and concerts coming in, we’ll also be able to add family shows,” Bryant said. (Visitors) are going to have varieties that might be a Disney on Ice or might be a Harlem Globetrotters. Things that they can bring their families to and their grandchildren to.” The arena will be built in the undeveloped area behind the Classic Center, between the Multimodal Center and high-tension power lines. It will be connected to the main building to accommodate groups that want to use smaller rooms in the Classic Center for break-out sessions or other parts of their programs. The arena is expected to pay for itself in three years. Part of the project’s funding came from the 2020 SPLOST. The Classic Center will sell naming rights and lease space above its bridges to a hotel and a senior housing condominium to help pay for the development as well. Bids to see who will build the senior housing complex have not started, but Bryant expects that it will be a convenient asset for older adults in Athens. Residents will be walking distance from downtown’s shops, restaurants and entertainment, and a short drive from the University of Georgia’s Golf Course. “I think we’re very fortunate,” said Bryant. “The reason

When Clint Larkin first came to Athens in the 1997, he felt that the Athens music scene was missing something. “I’ve always thought that we needed somewhere to have a concert, considering we’re a music city and most of the people that have made it, like REM and Widespread and B52s, out of Athens have kind of outgrown Athens, given the fact that they became superstars. There are really no venues that enough fans could come and watch them in Athens,” said Larkin, now the president of High Point Investors. Not being able to host bands that have outgrown Athens means that thousands of concert-goers travel to Atlanta and other large cities to see those bands. Instead of spending their money at Athens’ venues, restaurants, hotels and other businesses, fans wind up supporting other cities’ economies. High Point Investors is building a 10,000-seat outdoor amphitheater on Boley Drive and Commerce Road to fill this gap in the music scene. The venue is expected to create a handful of full-time jobs and hundreds of seasonal part-time jobs. “I really believe that the economic impact of this amphitheater will really help Athens grow even further than it is currently,” said Larkin. The developer is currently in phase one of the project, which is digging a bowl shape for the amphitheater. The bowl shape, along with an awning and a landscaped berm with a wall around the north side of the venue, will help keep sound inside the amphitheater Larkin envisions that the finished amphitheater will be “user-friendly, artist-friendly, family-friendly and basically the new jewel of amphitheaters.” It will be able to host shows year-round, since there will be 6,000 climatecontrolled seats. The stage will have a modern farmhouse design. The maintenance shed and owner’s lodge also will

“The economic impact that it’ll have is roughly $30 million a year. Visitors spend when they come here by staying in hotels and visiting restaurants, creating an annual return on the $34 million SPLOST investment. We’re really excited for it,” Bryant said. SPRING 2020 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

have farmhouse-like architecture. While the buildings’ modern farmhouse look may make Athenians think of country music, Larkin says that the amphitheater will not be limited to any one genre. “It’ll be every genre of music. We’re not just country. We’re not just rock. We’re not just classical. We’ll be from Christian to country to rock music,” Larkin said. “We want to be able to be diversified for the community, so that the whole community is positively impacted and can have a great experience.” Behind the seating arrangement, there will be a beer


garden, concessions stand and VIP deck. There will also be a plaza between the parking area and entry gates that will feature landscaping and an Honor Wall for Georgia Music History. Athens Amphitheater aims to support alternative transportation options. While there will be 3,514 paved parking spaces and 700 to 800 unpaved parking spaces, there will also be 200 bicycle parking spaces available. A designated bus drop-off area and rideshare pick-up locations will encourage shared transportation. The venue will provide a shuttle service for guests. On University of Georgia football game days, fans will be able to park at the amphitheater and use its shuttle service, which will decrease traffic around Stanford Stadium and the downtown area. Aside from bolstering the economy, High Point Investors also sees Athens Amphitheater as a way to bring the community together. “One thing about music, everybody loves music. Everybody may not like sports. They don’t all like football or baseball or those kinds of events, but I would venture to say that I don’t know one person that doesn’t like some sort of music.” At present there is no definite opening date but it is estimated to open in 2021.

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

The Census: It’s Important for Every Person to Participate BY CAITLIN O’DONNELL


ensuses have been around for most of human history. Even Moses from the Bible collected census data. But many Americans don’t participate. Maybe it seems invasive or unimportant. Some Americans may feel like their data doesn’t matter because they are one of millions. What these Americans don’t know is that the census is a civic duty that the founding fathers designed to ensure that every citizen is represented fairly. “Moses had two point-systems. One was to count everyone and the other was to recognize that everyone counts,” said Tim Johnson, co-chair of the 2020 Clarke County Census Committee, “‘Everyone counts’ is really important because there have been efforts to discourage certain population groups from responding to the census by putting out inaccurate information, particularly toward older populations. So, we want people to say, ‘I count.’”

Why does the census exist? The first census was taken in 1790, when George Washington was president. Then-secretary of state Thomas Jefferson supervised the U.S judiciary marshals 1 0 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I SPRING 2020

who conducted it. The founding fathers included the census in the constitution to help with apportionment. Apportionment is the way lawmakers decide how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives. Census data decides how many votes Athens-Clarke County will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia State Senate. School district lines and commissioner districts may also be redrawn based on changes in population.

Why is it important today? Aside from determining political power, census data helps lawmakers decide how $675 billion worth of federal funding is spent. According to Johnson, undercounting in the last census caused Athens-Clarke County to lose between $13 million and $26 million worth of funding. “[Census data] is so important to this community and to our quality of life, our economic development, our safety, our transportation system and federal support for everyone from the most prosperous to the most vulnerable,” said Johnson. Specifically, the funding helps

with free and reduced lunch programs, Head Start, special education programs, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance and the Pell Grant. Communities also use those funds to improve roads, public safety, hospitals, fire departments and other infrastructure. “It is also a big deal for the community to get nonfederal funds because, for example, if the Athens Community Council on Aging is applying for a foundation grant or corporate grants or others, they use census data to show the need for the services they are applying for. If there are people who aren’t counted, there’s less justification for getting the funds,” said Johnson. Local governments also rely on census data to create emergency preparedness plans. For example, when Hurricane Irma hit, Cape Coral firefighters used population maps to decide where supplies distribution points should be located. They also identified areas to send wheelchair-accessible vans to evacuate seniors who had originally planned to stay in the area. Population data was also used to decide where evacuees should be sent when shelters were full. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) uses census data to figure out which communities are most vulnerable to disasters before they happen. This plan includes where FEMA would put up makeshift shelters or response centers and what they would do to about a hospital that was going to be hit by disaster. Collecting data on race, ethnicity and gender helps government agencies monitor whether or not antidiscrimination laws are being followed. For example, the Bilingual Education Act requires that children who speak English as a second language have the bilingual services they need at school, but funds for those services won’t be allocated if government agencies do not know it is needed. Accurate census data can also bolster the local economy. Businesses and developers use the data collected to decide where to build new restaurants, homes, stores, factories and more.

Is it safe to participate in the census? Johnson wants to stress to everyone that the census is safe. It is illegal for census workers to disclose information

they come in contact with. Data cannot even be shared with other government agencies, such as the FBI. “In the case of the census, it is actually more of a fear that people will not respond because they think [the real census is] a scam, rather than the scammers. If they follow the instructions on the postcard, it’s going to be 100% safe,” said Johnson. The best way to avoid scams is to fill out the questionnaire as soon as possible after the instructions arrive. Those who have already completed their form will not have to worry about whether a phone call or person at their door really works for the Census Bureau. Every representative should have a badge with their photo, a watermark and an expiration date. Workers will also have an electronic device with a census logo and will only be coming door-to-door from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Census phone calls can be verified by calling 1-800-923-8282. The Census Bureau will not be sending any unsolicited emails. A legitimate census worker will not ask for social security numbers, bank account numbers or any other sensitive information. The census does not have a political affiliation and will not ask for any donations or money. Information collected for the census is anonymous and will be kept confidential for 72 years to protect participants’ privacy. Then, it will be released for genealogists, historians and researchers to use.

What will be on it?

The 2020 questionnaire will be ten questions long. Participants will be asked: How many people were living or staying in your house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2020? Why? This question helps the Census Bureau know how many people live in an area and where they live most of the time. It is important to include babies and children, live-in nannies, roommates, family and anyone who is living there temporarily. Were there any additional people staying here on April 1, 2020, that you did not include in Question 1? Is this house, apartment, or mobile home owned by you or someone in this household

Some Americans may feel like their data doesn’t matter because they are one of millions. What these Americans don’t know is that the census is a civic duty that the founding fathers designed to ensure that every citizen is represented fairly. SPRING 2020 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

with a mortgage or loan? Is it owned by you or someone in this household free and clear (without a mortgage or loan)? Rented? Occupied without payment of rent? Why? Knowing this information will create statistics about home ownership and renting trends, which can indicate how the economy is doing. It can also help agencies see which communities need more funding for housing programs. What is your telephone number? Why? The Census Bureau will contact participants if there are any issues with their form. Which gender is each person living or staying in your home? Why? This question will create statistics about gender and help enforce anti-discrimination policies. It will also help plan and fund programs. How old is each person living or staying in your home and when is their date of birth? Why? Having data about age groups will help create statistics about those groups and inform funding decisions for age-related programs, like schools or the Athens Community Council on Aging. Is anyone in your home of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin? Why? This question will help create statistics about this growing group and help ensure that antidiscrimination policies are being followed. Which race does each person living or staying in your home belong to? Why? Again, this question aims to create statistics and ensure that anti-discrimination policies are being followed. Does anyone living or stay with you usually stay somewhere else? Why? Asking this question helps ensure that people are not getting counted twice. For example, a child with divorced parents might be counted by both households, even though they are only one person.

How are the people living or staying with you related? Why? This data will help the Census Bureau see what a typical household looks like in an area. It will help government officials know how much funding to allot to programs that help families, particularly single parents.

For more information about the questions that will be asked, visit the website at

How will people participate? Information will be sent out in March with instructions to participate online, instructions to request a paper form and a toll-free phone number to participate via telephone. This year’s census will be the first census that can be filled out online. The survey can even be completed on cell phones. Every household should receive an invitation to be counted by April 1, 2020. Only one person per household needs to fill out the census survey, even if multiple families live in the home. Those who live in large groups, such as senior care centers, should be contacted by the end of April. However, group housing centers’ staff will fill out the census data for residents. Those who do not answer the census will receive additional mail and phone calls. Census representatives will go door-to-door in May to collect answers from people who have not filled the survey out after receiving extra mail and phone calls. All 11 branches of the Athens Regional Library System will have census kiosks from April 1 until June. There are branches in Clarke, Franklin, Madison, Oconee and Oglethorpe counties. There will also be kick-off events on April 1. To stay posted on details as they become available, visit Local churches also often provide census help in their communities.

Those who are interested in a temporary job with the census can apply online at Census work does not count against benefits, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The census counts every generation. Every 10 years, the United States counts everyone who lives in the country, from newborn babies to the oldest among us. It is important for everyone to complete the 2020 Census so that communities like yours can be accurately funded and represented. Responding is important. The 2020 Census will influence community funding and congressional representation for the next decade. Information collected in the census will inform the allocation of more than $675 billion in federal funds for states and communities each year. That includes money for things like: › First responders

› Libraries and community centers

› Medicare Part B

› Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

› Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program

› Senior Community Service Employment Program

Responding is easy. Beginning in mid-March 2020, you can respond to the census online, by phone, or by mail. Choose the option that is most comfortable for you. Large-print guides to the questionnaire are available upon request. From May – July 2020, census takers will visit households that have not yet responded. A census taker can assist if you need help completing your form. Responding is safe. Your personal information is kept confidential by law. Your responses can only be used to produce statistics. They cannot be shared with law enforcement agencies or used against you by any government agency or court in any way.

For more information, visit:



SPRING 2020 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

Because everyone wants to do it over again. Pick your decade. DresS to the nines. Dance the night away. 1 4 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I SPRING 2020




Because everyone wants to do it over again! Join ACCA for our sixth annual retroProm on May 1st at The Foundry, featuring music from Electric Avenue. All proceeds raised from the retroProm will support programming at ACCA, allowing our community seniors to

feel safer, to live independently at home and to be more connected to our community as they age. Pick your decade, dress to the nines and dance the night away. Save the date and pencil us in! We can’t wait to celebrate with you! To learn more about our event and purchase tickets, visit






SPRING 2020 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

Play on, Athens! Public Art with a Purpose them, we in turn engage with each other. This process can connect artists to people who would not normally see their work. They can capture an audience outside gallery walls.

Blending Art & Music



hether you’re walking, driving or taking a bus around our city, you’re bound to be impacted by its art. The term “public art” might invoke images of a colorful mural on the side of a building or a towering statue in the middle of a park, but public art is much more than just an image—it’s woven into the fabric of our community. Our city’s art reflects the people who live here and what we stand for. Without art in our public spaces, Athens just wouldn’t be Athens.

Looking Outside the Gallery

Public art brings beauty and interest to often mundane spaces. It can create a new purpose for a forgotten corner of the street or brighten your day, if only for a moment. Seeing artwork in public spaces engages our senses and creates a visual representation of who we are as a community. We see ourselves in the spaces we live. “When people see themselves reflected in their civic spaces, they have a sense of attachment that allows them to feel ownership and respect.” (Americans for the Arts) We take pride in saying “I’m an Athens local.”Take a look at any of the public art works in Athens and you will find our history and identity proudly on display. Art can bridge gaps in our social divide. People from all backgrounds find commonality in art, especially when that art is easily accessible. A person may never walk in an art gallery, but they may have the chance to play a painted piano or sit at a bus stop that’s been converted into a functional sculpture. Our visual world can spark interest in something that would otherwise be overlooked. If we are paying attention to our surroundings and engaging with 1 6 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I SPRING 2020

These ideas are displayed through “Play on, Athens!” an interactive public art project. “In a town like Athens, we were long overdue for a project like this” says Grace Huang, an Athens Educator and Pianist. Since living in Athens, she has seen the need for more public art with a music component. Huang proposed the idea to the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission after being inspired by other projects nationwide. The project aims to engage the public with these pieces by literally inviting them to use the pianos. “It adds a sense of community, belonging and ownership for what we have in our town. Often, art is something you can’t touch, you have to stand back and can’t interact with it. [This project] breaks a barrier between artist and performer” says Huang. You can witness people from all walks of life, young and old, using the instruments. A sense of joy is sparked when people hear the pianos being played. Viewing the pianos as functional artwork engages the public to interact with not only the instruments, but each other. Local artists were commissioned to create the functional works using donated pianos from community members and other organizations around Athens. With the help of artists Kim Deakins, Darya Kalantari, Marisa Mustard and Eli Saragoussi the pianos were given a new life as public art. “So many people have old pianos at home that aren’t getting used” says Huang. This project allows for these instruments to be revived and repurposed for the enjoyment of the community. “People are amazed that the piano can look the way it does, as visual art. Most of us never think of them in that way.” Each artist was able to give the pianos a personality and life that invites the public to play. There is no doubting that our community has a personality of its own. “Play on, Athens!” represents exactly what it means to live in the Classic City—vibrancy, hospitality and a dose of quirkiness you can only find here. If you haven’t had the chance to see some of the unique public art Athens has to offer, I urge you to get out and explore. You can experience the piano installations at the Athens Community Council on Aging, Bishop Park, The Classic Center, and the Athens-Clarke County Library. Take an opportunity to experience the unique spirit of Athens in a new way.

Athens Public Art ATHENA Jean Westmacott’s statue of the Greek goddess who guarded the city of Athens commemorates the 1996 Olympic games and is inscribed with the Athenian Oath. ATHENS MURAL PROJECT New murals are unveiled seemingly every day, both on commercial businesses and government buildings, and even parking decks.

YOU, ME, & THE BUS Athens‘ bus shelters are some of the coolest around, thanks to art competitions.

PROJECT GINKGO >> Krysia Ara’s intricate mosaics glitter at the bases of several downtown light poles.

NEST St. Louis artist Maureen Kelly’s soaring sculpture, in The Classic Center Atrium, evokes Athens’ textile heritage.

FIRE UP THE HYDRANTS Downtown hydrants are painted by award-winning local artists.

SERENGETI DREAMS The eight-foot tall, threesided animal-themed metal sculpture by famed local artist Harold Rittenberry, Jr., looks over Bear Hollow Wildlife Trail.

SPIRIT OF ATHENS The lovely sculpture by William J. Thompson was dedicated in 1996 to commemorate the Atlanta Olympics torch run and events held in Athens.

Keep up with the latest public art installations at SPRING 2020 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

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 SARAH ANNE OWENS AND PAIGE POWELL


Dick Hudson “I would like to think that in my small way, in my interactions with people, that I can make this a more pleasant world, perhaps a more productive world, a more understanding world, just by being an example of showing that I care for other people.“ —Dick Hudson


rowing up, Dick Hudson was always the organizer. He went from organizing ball games with his friends in elementary school to being the president of his high school and college student government, though he never ran for either position. He was the captain of his baseball team junior and senior year of college and he’s in the Mercer County, PA, and Slippery Rock University Sports Halls of Fame for those years. Now, Dr. Hudson is a retired faculty member at the University of Georgia and the current Executive Director of the Athens Symphony Orchestra. He directed a project to restructure the University Systems Schools of Nursing, coordinated UGA’s Olympic involvement in 1996, been a consultant for the 2000 Olympics and spurred a project to plant 1,000 oak shade trees on the UGA campus. Dr. Hudson has been president of the Athens Rotary Club and the Athens Symphony and has also been a member of the Oconee County Board of Education. For his dedication to the Athens Community, he has received the UGA Public Service Award, the UGA Athletic Service Award, the Athens Rotary Service Award twice and he has been presented Sweden’s Medal of Appreciation by Their Majesties King Karl XVI Gustaf and Queen Sylvia of Sweden for work with Sweden’s Olympic committee. Outside of his astounding career, Dr. Hudson has also cultivated a love of reading, playing tennis, writing, kayaking, gardening and traveling.

Tell us a bit about your background and how you became the Executive Director of the Athens Symphony?

I’ve been fortunate all my life to have a curiosity about all kinds of things and a genuine like of people. Like Will Rogers once said, I never met anyone I didn’t like. In high school, I wrote an essay where I said, “I’ve never met anyone I wouldn’t like to know more about.” I have always been

curious about other people in a genuine way. I moved to Athens in 1971, and over the years became more involved with the community. During my presidency of the Rotary Club, I was asked to be on the board of the symphony. When I became President of the Symphony, I began helping Albert Ligotti, the founder of the Athens Symphony, with much of the logistics outside of music. And when Mr. Ligotti retired, I was asked to be the Executive Director to oversee the Symphony’s non-musical needs. The thing that I love about my job the most is the moment at the concert when I get to sit there and look around and I think to myself, all of this has come together through so many exceptional, creative people who all have one goal in mind: to put on a performance for the community of Athens. When I sit there and marvel at that, I get emotional, I’m doing it thinking about it even now. The Symphony is an Athenian treasure in its 43rd year and I’m just so glad that I can get people to come and share in that joy. We’re all in this together and if we can’t make it better for other people, we’re wasting our time.

What are you looking forward to in 2020?

I would like to think that in my small way, in my interactions with people, that I can make this a more pleasant world, perhaps a more productive world, a more understanding world, just by being an example of showing that I care for other people. Our Rotary motto is “Service

Above Self” and I really believe that. I benefit greatly from our Rotary Club, especially the presentations we get to listen to and the volunteer opportunities I get to be a part of. I love that we get to give back and really live by our mission. Beyond that, what I’d like to think I can continue to do is to, in a small way, make a difference. I believe that we all make an impact whether it be positive or negative in the long run. I look forward this year to continue doing some small things to continue to try to make a positive impact on the world around me.

You seem to be the walking definition of a Renaissance man. Are there any impactful experiences in your life that you’d be willing to share that have helped to shape you into such a multifaceted person?

From Little League to my tri-weekly tennis games currently, I’ve been involved in sports my whole life. To me, sports doesn’t just build character, they reveal character. I learned early on that one cannot win all the time. I’ve worked with and for people who have and have not played sports. People who’ve played sports have a calmness about them that I credit to understanding that hard things may happen, but with teamwork, we’ll be able to make it through. When I went to college, I was going to major in math and physics, but I enjoyed reading, so I decided to major

“My childhood hero was Roberto Clemente and I really try to live by this quote of his, “In this life, if you don’t help others, you’ve wasted your time.” I’ve always wanted to help others and I’ve been given so many great opportunities in this community to serve others around me.” —Dick Hudson SPRING 2020 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

You’ve dedicated so much of your life to enriching the Athens community. What are some things about Athens that you love that have kept you here?

in English literature, as I viewed it as the history of ideas because one not only gets poems and creative writing, but also gets history, government, economics, psychology and on and on. I enjoyed it so much that I went on to get my masters and doctorate. About 20 years ago, I joined a group we call the Folio Club, named after a reading club that Poe wanted to start, but never got off the ground. We read a book each month and at this time we’ve read over 240 books. These are books that I normally wouldn’t read, many I’d have never even heard about without this group. The books are all nonfiction, and I’m enriched by the lively discussions we have. I have an interest in history and people. I can talk to somebody from anywhere, and I can listen and learn so much from them.

How do you age and live well?

In February, on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, I’ll turn 75 but every day I wake up and I’m active both mentally and physically. To me, that is what’s crucial to aging well. The physical can vary by person. I’m so fortunate to still be able to play tennis three times a week. Then with my folio club, I read books I would have never read and learn so much from the people around me. I love talking about ideas and meeting new people and I suppose that’s how I am able to keep both my mind and my body active.

Can you tell us more about your experience with the 1996 and 2000 Olympics?

When they announced that the 1996 Olympics would be held in Atlanta, I was driving in the car. I heard it on 2 0 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I SPRING 2020

the radio, and I thought to myself, “That’s neat.” About a week later, I got a call from Charles Knapp, the President of UGA at the time, who said, “You know the Olympics are going to be in Atlanta in 1996. We think UGA is going to be involved and I’d like for you to head it up. Would you do it?” I took a walk on North Campus and gave it some thought, but of course, there wasn’t really any question of whether or not I’d accept. I organized pre-Olympic training for the Australian and Swedish Olympic Teams, as well as the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, Mia Hamm and others who stayed at Rutherford Hall. Together, the University and City of Athens formed the Athens 96 Committee to address the myriad of needs that would ensure that people from all over the world could come to Athens and UGA for a wonderful experience. I just feel very fortunate to have met so many incredible people and be a part of it. After those Olympics, Australian radio stations would interview me and they’d call me “Dr. Dick” and ask me all sorts of questions about the games. Then one day, I got a call and was asked to work as a consultant on the 2000 Olympics in Australia, and it was such an experience in both Canberra and Sydney.

Is there anything about you that people might be surprised to learn?

It depends on the person. My sports community might be surprised to know that I’ve had a few poems published and vice versa. I think I’d be more surprised to find out what they’re surprised about.

I came to Athens for my doctorate and I thought I would be here maybe 4 years, but the community has welcomed me more than I could ever hope. Athens is so enriched by its university setting and all the opportunities that it implies. I love all the cultural affairs, from awesome pottery studios to the Town and Gown Players, to organizations that are doing great things for the community like the ACCA. There’s a real commitment by Athenians to be helpful and to do good things for our community. Athens has been wonderful for me because of the comfortable climate, vibrant social circles and plentiful extracurricular events. I’m just grateful to Athens and the people of Athens for treating me the way that they have and giving me so many opportunities. I’m really fortunate.

When people ask me how I’m doing, I always respond by saying, “Better than I deserve.” —Dick Hudson


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. Named for the year of our founding, the 1967 Legacy Society recognizes and honors a very special group of individuals, our loyal supporters! For more than 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.

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!

Thank you to our current Legacy Society Members!

Reginald Woods • Donna Seagraves • Laurie & Bill Douglas Lori & Gerri Carroll • Marilyn Brown • Joan D. Berryman • Susan Moore Richard & Janice Ludwig • Paige Otwell • Gregory & Jennifer Holcomb John & Kathleen Gratzek • Gene Weeks • Jim & Dorothy Newland Dr. Dorris A. & Huda Lillard • Harold Hotlz in memory of Eleanor Holtz

To learn more about the 1967 Legacy Society please visit our website at or contact our CEO, Eve Anthony, at or 706-549-4850. SPRING 2020 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 21



1 7


2 1 We’d like to thank the community volunteers, W&A Engineering, Classic City Rollergirls and ACCA staff members who came out to volunteer with us today for Athens Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service! Time was spent beautifying our campus, making some much-needed updates to our parking lot and in removing kudzu and weeds from our garden area. We were able to get a lot done and couldn’t have done it without the extra help! THANK YOU for joining us for today! 2 ACCA’s Board of Directors held their annual retreat in November at Synovus Bank. Thank you to a great group of individuals who not only support our mission today but work to ensure that we are supporting older adults in the future. We are very appreciative of their

3 time, and their donations to our care closet! And a wonderful thank you to Synovus for hosting. We always have a fabulous time! 3 We love️ our volunteers! Nancy and Preston Rawlings have recently become Winder Meals on Wheels volunteers and are loving being able to connect with those they serve each week. This past November, they donated Thanksgiving gift baskets to our Winder Meals on Wheels clients. Thank you again, Nancy and Preston! 4 The Creature Comforts 2019 Get Comfortable Campaign came to a close and what a campaign it was! We are so thankful to be a part of such an amazing community that comes together to help nonprofits serve and provide for others! This support enables


us to provide meals to more homebound older adults through our Meals on Wheels program. 5 Thank you Fire Station #2 and Athens-Clarke County Fire and Emergency Services for supporting our local seniors through your donation of personal care items. Chief Scarbrough recently held a contest among the departments to see who could collect the most items for our local seniors and Fire Station #2 won! Thank you, AthensClarke County Fire and Emergency Services for supporting our local seniors and sharing your service with us each and every day. From signs and fire education, to responding quickly to our calls, we are so thankful for the great support we receive!

8 6 ACCA Board Chair, Laurie Douglas and CEO, Eve Anthony spent time with Governor Kemp and his staff and Georgia Council on Aging’s Board Chair, Vicki Johnson and Executive Director, Kathy Floyd advocating for Georgia’s older adults. Issues related to transportation, Meals on Wheels, senior housing, behavioral health and protection for residents of personal care homes were discussed. To find out more about these issues and how you can be involved, please visit Together we can ensure that everyone has the opportunity to age well! 7 Thank you to the Athens Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Senior Kappa Committee for arranging a super informative lunch and learn on Senior Fraud for the Center for


9 Active Living. We are so thankful to have had you, the North Georgia Elder Abuse Task Force, Athens-Clarke County Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation join us. 8 Thank you! Because of your support, we surpassed our goal of $13,000 for TurkeyPalooza 2019!! Your generous donations not only allowed our community seniors to gather around the table with their families for a day of thanks, but also funded senior hunger initiatives for the entire year! We are so incredibly thankful for your support! 9 In November, ACCA had the opportunity to discuss the 2020 Legislative priorities affecting older adults at our Legislative Breakfast. It was great to see so many from our community who are concerned about issues

affecting older adults in our area. Thank you to our local representatives from the Athens-Clarke and Northeast GA areas who joined us. We appreciate all that you do to support aging well throughout the state of Georgia. 10 In December, we had over 120 volunteers wrapping gifts for 742 older adults in the community. We were blown away by the support that enabled us to give our people a little holiday magic wrapped up in boxes and bows. The true spirit of the holiday season shined bright at our annual Be a Santa to a Senior. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to age well and to receive a gift from people who care about them. Thank you to everyone who was a Santa to a Senior!

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f you’ve ever walked past the Center for Active Living on a cold and rainy winter morning and suddenly seemed to smell the ocean in the air and feel a warm island breeze – you have surely passed by the Zumba class of Melinda Robins. You might know her from the spring in her step, from the Latin music that follows her around, or simply by her 4’10 frame that seems to somehow stand head and shoulders above most folks. Though far from what she has done professionally most of her life, Melinda loves teaching Zumba Gold at ACCA and sharing her love of dance and exercise with her Athens peers. A New England native, Melinda has always had a passion for traveling the world and has certainly seen a lot of it before coming to the Classic City.

In her professional career she went from freshly graduated in Connecticut, working at a New Haven newspaper shortly after Watergate, to being awarded a Fulbright scholarship after completing her masters, to settling in Athens where she earned her PhD from the Grady College of Journalism (Go Dawgs!). While telling me about all these achievements she continually checks that our phone line hasn’t gone dead – but I assure her it is only my jaw dropping in awe. Her journey has taken her all over the world, teaching subjects in places ranging from “Senegal, Tanzania, Tonga, Uganda, the West Bank, Zimbabwe, Jamaica… and now at the Center for Active Living in Athens, Georgia” she says with a laugh. But everywhere she went there was one consistent trend: she wanted to use her gifts to help others. Melinda has always tried to get the most joy out of life and share it with everyone, so it is no surprise that when she walked into the ACCA lobby two years ago she came in with a plan to help others find a way to help their bodies and minds in their retirement through dance. She says that “Dancing with others is good for me; as we grow older, we lose joy if we aren’t learning. There is a joy in dancing – it is good for the body and the soul.” When I ask her what her favorite part of volunteering as the instructor is, she laughs again and assures me that she doesn’t even think of it as volunteering. “I’m a senior too! I have a good time doing it and I get to hang out with friends!” From making new friends to learning new skills, our classes at The Center For Active Living provide opportunities to improve your mind, body, and spirit. And if you ever wonder about the kind of people you will meet here, Melinda will tell you with a smile “my ladies are so sweet to me – even if I miss a step they never stop being warm and welcoming. That is my favorite part of being here.”

“Dancing with others is good for me; as we grow older, we lose joy if we aren’t learning. There is a joy in dancing – it is good for the body and the soul.” —Melinda Robins 2 4 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I SPRING 2020

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

Help Kids Succeed in School

URGENT NEED! Meals On Wheels Drivers Drivers needed in both Clarke and Barrow counties. Give back to your community, and have fun doing it, by becoming a Meals on Wheels volunteer! Routes run Monday through Friday from 10am-12pm. A limited number of afternoon routes are also available. Give us a call today to schedule a ride-along! We know you’ll enjoy your time meeting our community’s seniors and providing so much more than a meal!

March For Meals Volunteers Love helping out but running a 5k just isn’t for you? Help us cheer on our runners by volunteering with us March 28th at Creature Comforts! We need folks to help sign people in, hand out water, and help us make this the best 5k ever! T-shirts and snacks included; fun guaranteed.

Foster Grandparents are role models, mentors, and friends to children with exceptional needs. These volunteers are matched with students in preschool and elementary classrooms to provide oneon-one academic and social support. All you need to join is the ability to give the kind of comfort and love that sets a child on the path toward a successful future. If you’re 55 or older and want to share your experience and compassion, you have what it takes to be a Foster Grandparent. This is a unique opportunity for older adults with lower incomes, as volunteers are able to earn a small hourly stipend and are reimbursed some meal and mileage costs.

Volunteer Drivers Needed! Do you have a reliable set of wheels and some free time? We would love to match you up with a new friend or two who need rides to run errands, attend social events, and much more. This volunteer opportunity offers special incentives for volunteers age 55+ but is open to anyone 18 or older.


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. SPRING 2020 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

The Center for Active Living line dancers performing in a Holiday Dance Showcase at the East Athens Educational Dance Center. Twice a week, close to 30 dancers meet for this popular class at ACCA to perfect their skills and enjoy the comradery.



hall we dance? According to research, the answer is likely a resounding “Yes!” Type in the keywords ‘dance’ and ‘health benefits’ on any popular search engine, and you’ll find countless articles and studies from Africa to America to Australia linking the two. While we know that exercise in general is beneficial for the body as far as cardiovascular health, strength, balance, and flexibility, dance has the added facets of cognitive, social, and emotional benefits. Dance is used as a therapeutic treatment for arthritis, mobility/balance issues, Parkinson’s, depression, dementia and more. It offers great versatility because it varies in intensity, style, and musical taste, and can be done solo, with a partner, or with a group. From an exercise standpoint, a person burns about 240 calories per hour on average when dancing, depending on the style. Slow dances, like the waltz, may burn less than 200 calories while faster styles like swing may burn closer to 350. High intensity styles like

step aerobics can get to the 500 range. Studies show that cognitive benefits of dance include improved memory, attention, reaction time, and focus. Unlike walking on a treadmill, for example, dance calls for continued mental effort to learn new moves, coordinate with music, and get in step with other people. There are numerous social benefits as well. In an age where social isolation is considered by gerontology specialists as one of the most pressing health issues facing the country, dance brings people together. Group classes provide a sense of community and comradery that can help combat loneliness and social isolation. On an emotional level, Christina Devereaux, a spokesperson for the American Dance Therapy Association, says that dance enhances emotional well-being. “Dance is a way for people to use what’s happening inside of them and express it in an external, expansive way.” Moving to music can even help trigger positive memories, sometimes transforming those who are withdrawn into talkative, engaged individuals. It can be an important way of sharing cultural traditions, too. Part of the beauty of movement is that it can be tailored to match the physical capabilities of each participant, making it inclusive in a way that many sports-based activities are not.

In an age where social isolation is considered by gerontology specialists as one of the most pressing health issues facing the country, dance brings people together. Group classes provide a sense of community and comradery that can help combat loneliness and social isolation. 2 6 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I SPRING 2020

Ron Weigel, one of the organizers of Classic City Ballroom says, “I met my wife Susana doing ballroom dancing. Our main recreational activity is dancing, including ballroom and our favorite–Argentine Tango. Dancing is about connecting with your partner and the music as you move across the floor. You become so absorbed in the dance that you don’t think about anything else. It’s a form of meditation.”

“Calling all former, current, and future adult dancers!” These are the words of Nena Gilreath, professional dancer/choreographer and Facilities Supervisor of the East Athens Educational Dance Center (EAEDC). Gilreath and her colleagues share ACCA’s passion for engaging older adults in dance, fitness and movement as a way to build community and promote health across the lifespan. If you visit the EAEDC website, you’ll find a video of Ms. Gilreath talking about the Center’s desire to encourage not just children but mature adults to engage in dance. The hope is to give everybody from the very young to the very old equal access to the opportunity to achieve excellence in the arts. EAEDC’s mission complements ACCA’s motto of “Age well, Live well.” Members of ACCA’s Center for Active Living have formed a strong dance community among the weekly line dancing, freestyle dance, Zumba and ballet classes. These classes offer a chance to not only get moving

Pat Wong, a well-known dancer in the Athens community who dances five days a week, is well versed in countless styles: ballroom, ballet, Latin, swing, Zumba, you name it. “When I was 11 years of age, I fell in love with dance. I would watch the black and white movies of the famous dance team of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Dancing is a great stress reliever; it’s full of free, fun-flowing movements, which allows you to escape into the world of Fantasyland.” but to connect with friends, dare to look silly, perfect new dance moves and explore self-expression. Are you ready to hit the dance floor now? Athens boasts a wealth of opportunities around town to reap the many health benefits of dance. In addition to ACCA and the East Athens Educational Dance Center, dance-enthusiasts can enjoy programming at Athens Folk Music and Dance Society, Athens Swing Night, Classic City Ballroom Dancers, Dancefx, Nimbl, UGA’s Ballroom, Salsa, Swing and Tango Dance Clubs, the VFW, the YMCA, the YWCO and more. They all provide welcoming environments that invite the most experienced to the most beginner level dancers. For classes at ACCA, be sure to check out our catalogue at the back of the magazine. SPRING 2020 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


Age Well, Live Well... Travel Well


Callaway Resort and Gardens


allaway Resort & Gardens is nestled in the southernmost foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Founders Cason and Virginia Callaway longed for a place where man and nature could co-exist for the good of both. They felt that the land was too beautiful not to share, so in 1952 they opened their doors to the public. More than six decades later, their retreat continues to offer solace, inspiration and discovery for all who visit. The resort has received countless accolades over the years, including Southern Living magazine’s Reader’s Choice for Favorite Public Garden and the Georgia Golf & Travel 2019 Award for Favorite Hotel/Lodge/Inn or Cottage. This spectacular, 2,500-acre attraction offers four seasons of adventure, relaxation and fun in Mother Nature’s breathtaking landscape. Starting with spring when “Callaway comes alive,” 20,000 azalea blooms provide a stunning backdrop for exploration. During the hot summer months, visitors enjoy lounging and water sports at the world’s largest man-made white sand beach, Robin Lake. Fall is ushered in with the annual Labor Day Hot Air Balloon Festival and Blue Morpho Butterfly Month, in which hundreds of these tropical butterflies fill the Day Butterfly Center with their iridescent-blue splendor. It is the largest display of its kind on the planet. Finally, there is wintertime with its popular Fantasy of Lights. This impressive display, with approximately 8 million lights, is rated as one of National Geographic’s Top 10 Light Displays in the world. Located 30 minutes away from Callaway Resort is the Callaway family home, the Hills and Dales Estate, in LaGrange, Georgia. Named by the Callaway family for its sunny hills and shady dales, the property boasts one of the best preserved 19th century gardens in the country and an exquisite mansion dating back to 1916. The 13,000 square foot home was designed to flow gracefully into its gardens. Like Callaway Gardens, the Hills and Dales Estate also offers year-round botanical delights. 2 8 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I SPRING 2020

Cherokee, NC


herokee, North Carolina is well known for Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and the tribal grounds of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI). Since the casino’s inception, it has become a booming attraction in the scenic Smoky Mountains, with an average of 4 million visitors a year. It is one of the closest casinos to Athens and the largest one in the region, with over 3,000 slot machines and video poker machines and 150 table games with all the usual favorites such as blackjack, real craps and roulette, etc. In addition to the games, patrons can enjoy a variety of restaurants, retail shops, bars, a spa, a bowling alley and both an indoor and outdoor pool. Think it couldn’t get any better? The resort is currently working on a $215 million expansion expected to be completed in 2021. Cherokee is not just home to the casino but to the land’s indigenous people. Once you leave the casino, each place you visit in Cherokee pulses with the stories and significance of a people whose roots run deep and whose ancient wisdom is fascinating to discover. Delve deeper into Cherokee history, song, dance, and period regalia by visiting sites such as the Oconaluftee Indian Village, the outdoor drama “Unto These Hills,” or the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. Proceeds from the casino benefit tribal projects such as a new hospital, affordable new housing, downtown revitalization and cultural preservation efforts. The Center for Active Living will make an overnight trip to Cherokee this summer for a full day and night of resort fun and a morning of Cherokee education before heading back to Athens. More details can be found in the back of the magazine.

To close out the spring season, the Center for Active Living will travel to west Georgia to visit all things Callaway for a one-night getaway. Details can be found in the back of the magazine. SPRING 2020 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 29

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


SPRING 2020 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

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

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

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



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 offer 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 mat at home. Yoga classes are offered 5 days a week by different instructors. 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. (Bring a mat and a cushion.) Where: ACCA Harris Room When: Mondays with Eleanor Time: 3:00pm-4:30pm Cost: Free for CAL Members Tuesday This Vinyasa based class focuses on attention and strength to help unite the awareness of bodily sensation with concentration of breath to guide in self-observation. Your instructor, Josh, aims to inspire students to find a steady ground in their practice by creating safe, supportive and inclusive spaces for self-discovery. Where: ACCA Harris Room When: Tuesdays with Josh 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

Thursday *NEW* 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 towards 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 Josh 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 fun-filled 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 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 12pm 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

Ballet for Posture & Balance

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 SPRING 2020 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 33

YWCO Water Exercise

Water exercise provides general conditioning, flexibility, and a 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: Mon., Wed., Fri. 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 receive 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 receive 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


TRIPS AND OFF-SITE ADVENTURES Visit Sandy Creek Park & Nature Center

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. Wear comfortable walking shoes. When: Wednesday, April 29th Time: Depart ACCA at 10am Cost: $5 for CAL members and non-members

Dancefx Presents: Cinderella

Every year local dance studio Dancefx extends a special invitation to the Center for Active Living to attend their storybook production. This year they will do a rendition of Cinderella. Enjoy performers of all ages showing off their skills in various styles of dance in this special matinee show at the UGA Fine Arts Theatre. When: Thursday, April 23rd Where: UGA Fine Arts Theatre Time depart ACCA at 10am or meet there (show starts at 10:30am) Cost: $6 (includes ticket/transportation for CAL members)

Athens Symphony Pops Concert & Potluck

This annual concert is special because it takes place in one of the banquet-style rooms of the Classic Center instead of the main theatre, and food is allowed. For the third year in a row, the Center for Active Living will go as a group! Save the hassle of parking as we ride over to the Classic Center together. Bring a dish to share, and we’ll enjoy a nice potluck meal prior to the show. Please RSVP by Friday, April 26th. Please be sure to get your free tickets at the Classic Center box office before the day of the concert. (Only 4 tickets are allowed per individual). When: Friday, May 1st Time: Depart ACCA at 6:30pm (Concert starts at 8pm) Cost: $5 (transportation and parking)

retroPROM 2020

Ever wish you could re-live your prom? You can! Join ACCA for our largest fundraising event of the year, retroPROM 2020. Whether you graduated high school in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s or even beyond the millennium, the music of the South’s greatest dance band, ELECTRIC AVENUE will have those feet tappin’ and the body swayin’ to the tunes and memories! Pull out those pretty dresses and fancy suits, put on your dancing shoes and invite your friends! Ham it up for pictures in the photo booth and cheer on the prom court! This is an event for the whole community. All revenue will benefit local older adults in the areas of health and wellness, meals and caregiver support. If you are interested

in purchasing tickets or getting involved as a volunteer, visit us online at or call (706) 549-4850. When: Friday, May 1st Where: The Foundry Time: Doors open at 8pm Cost: $25 in advance, $30 at the door

Spring Break at Callaway Gardens and Warm Springs, GA

They say that April showers bring May flowers. By popular demand, the Center for Active Living will take a trip to Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA, to take in some natural beauty as we close out the spring season. This time of year, colorful snapdragons, hydrangeas, sweet azalea and much more are in bloom. We will also visit the exquisite Callaway family home, the Hills & Dales Estate. In this special overnight trip, we’ll enjoy an extended stay at the Callaway Lodge Resort. The next day we will head to Warm Springs, GA, to visit President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s famed “Little White House� and have lunch nearby in the quaint downtown before heading back to Athens. All payments due by Friday, May 1st. When: Wednesday, May 13th - Thursday, May 14th Time: Depart ACCA at 7am, ETR 6pm Cost: $295 Double Occupancy, $375 Single Occupancy (Price includes motor coach transportation, 1-night resort lodge accommodations, all attractions, guided tour of Callaway Gardens, 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 1 dinner)

Biltmore at Christmastime

Biltmore presents daytime and evening experiences inspired by a century of festivities, highlighted with beautifully decorated trees by the dozens and miles of garland and lights. Dusk brings firelight, candlelight and live music for the pure enchantment of Candlelight Christmas Evenings. Join the Center for Active Living for a three-day, two- night trip to Asheville, NC, to kick off your holiday season. Cost includes motor coach transportation, admission to the Biltmore Estate and Gardens, a selfguided “Candlelight� tour of the Biltmore House, a guided tour of Asheville, two-night hotel accommodations, two breakfasts, and two dinners. Down payment of $100 due by Friday, July 31st. Final Payment due by Tuesday, September 14th. (Please note: A minimum of 40 participants are needed for trip to operate.) When: Monday, Nov 9th - Wednesday, Nov 11th Cost: $450 Double Occupancy, $520 Single Occupancy Travel Insurance can be purchased at time of initial deposit for $51.00/person double & single occupancy.

Atlanta Braves Game

Take me out to the ball game! Join us for a fun night out at SunTrust Park in Cobb County. Watch the Atlanta Braves take on the LA Dodgers and enjoy the Friday night fireworks after the game! We will be seated in a covered pavilion in case of inclement weather. For each Friday home game during the 2020 season, the Braves will be wearing their home red jerseys, so fans are encouraged to wear their red as well. Let’s make it a Red Out! Payment due at time of RSVP. When: Friday, June 12th Depart ACCA at 4:30pm, game starts at 7:30pm Cost: $55 for CAL Members, $65 for Non-members (price includes ticket and transportation)

Red Oak Lavender Farm

Nestled in the North Georgia Mountains, you’ll find “a little bit of Provence, France� at the largest lavender farm in Georgia. Did you know that there are over 450 varieties of lavender, each with its own smell, taste and color? Some are used for cooking while others for bath and beauty products. We will tour the 250-acre family owned Red Oak Lavender Farm, visit the lavender shop and maybe even pick some while we are there. After the tour, we will have lunch nearby in Dahlonega at Yahoola Creek Grill. When: June (Call CAL office for date) Depart ACCA at 9:30am Cost: $35 for CAL Members, $45 for Non-members (price includes transportation and farm tour)

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Want to build your digital and computer confidence? Need help learning software and hardware basics and navigating the internet? The Northeast Georgia Regional Commission (NEGRC) brings a mobile computer learning lab to the ACCA parking lot once a month. Instructor Don Carpenter teaches computer basics such as typing tutorials, online searching, work skills and more. Space is limited. To ensure your spot, please RSVP with the CAL office. Outside of class, CAL members have access to our on-site computer lab to practice skills and get online. When: Monthly (Dates vary, call CAL office for details) Time: 10am-11:30am Where: ACCA Parking lot Cost: Free for CAL Members & Non-Members

Benefits Counseling

Medicare questions? GeorgiaCares can help! GeorgiaCares offers free, nonbiased information to help you make the best decisions. Assistance is available in each of our surrounding counties on a monthly basis. Contact GeorgiaCares coordinator Stacia Coggins at (706) 549-4850 or scoggins@ to find out when they will be in your area. When: Monthly Time: TBD Where: Athens and surrounding areas Cost: Free

Living with Dementia 8-week Series

UGA’s CARE Center and the Alzheimer’s Association will present a free 8-week (1.5 hrs each week) course for people living in the early stages of dementia and their care partners. This combination support group / education course, called the “8-Session Living with Dementia” course, is specifically tailored to help those living with the disease to understand and better cope with the situations they face. Advanced registration is required. Please contact the Alzheimer’s Association at 1-800-272-3900. When: March – May 2020 Time: 10am-11:30am Where: ACCA Cost: Free for qualifying participants

ACCA’s Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program

If you are raising a grandchild or another relative’s child, ACCA is here to help. For many relative caregivers, the challenges may be new and unexpected. Our Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) Program provides the following resources: support groups for caregivers, Case Managers that provide personalized assistance, family activities, parenting education and workshops, as well as emergency assistance 3 6 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I SPRING 2020

with utilities and groceries. Join the GRG Program Director for an in-depth look at this important community resource. When: Tuesday, March 31st Time: 10am-11am Where: ACCA Glass Dining Room Cost: Free for CAL Members and Non-Members

(and did not) pass in the 2019 General Assembly, and find out how to influence upcoming senior issues. When: Wednesday, April 22nd Time: 10am-11am Where: ACCA Glass Dining Room Cost: Free for CAL members and Non-members

Make it Count: The 2020 Census

Outsmart Your Smartphone

It’s time for the 2020 Census. Make sure that you are counted! The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. A complete and accurate count is critical because the results of the 2020 Census affect community funding, congressional representation, and more. To make the process a little easier, representatives with the Census Bureau will be onsite with computers to help those who are ready to be counted. When: Wednesday, April 1st Time: 10am-11am Where: ACCA Glass Dining Room Cost: Free for ACCA members

Free Hearing Screening

The UGA Speech and Hearing clinic will be on hand to conduct complimentary hearing screenings. To ensure your spot, please call the CAL office at 706-549-4850. When: Friday, April 17th Time: 9am-11am Where: ACCA Hudson Conference Room Cost: Free for CAL members and Non-members

Celebrating Arbor Day at ACCA

Trees play a huge role in our lives and communities by providing environmental, social, and public health benefits to us all. Let’s do our part to increase Athens’ tree canopy by celebrating Arbor Day at ACCA! Join Georgia Forestry Commission Community Forester, Seth Hawkins, for an informational talk and tree planting demonstration on ACCA’s grounds. Arbor Day is celebrated nationally on April 24th. When: Tuesday, April 21st Time: 10am-11am Where: ACCA Glass Dining Room Cost: Free for CAL members and Non-members

“Engage with CO-AGE” Presentation

Advocacy is the cornerstone of our mission at ACCA – and all are invited to join the cause! Each year, the Coalition of Advocates for Georgia’s Elderly (GCOA) hosts community meetings across Georgia to share updates on CO-AGE’s advocacy from past legislative sessions and begin preparing for the next session. Join ACCA’s Center for Active Living Director, Allyn Rippin, for the latest updates from the state legislative session. Learn more about COAGE, hear what legislation affecting aging Georgians did

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. When: Thursdays, April 23rd, May 28th, June 18th Time: 1:00pm-3:00pm Where: ACCA Round Room Cost: Free and open to the public

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 agerelated changes in vision, hearing, and reaction time. These include how to minimize effects of dangerous blind spots, safest ways to change lanes, proper use of safety belts, air bags, anti-lock brakes, new technologies used in cars, 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, June 5th Time: 8:45am-3:45pm Cost: $15 AARP members, $20 non-AARP members

OLDER AMERICANS MONTH: MAKE YOUR MARK May is nationally recognized as Older Americans Month. During May we host a variety of programs designed to educate, inspire and empower. This year’s theme is “Make Your Mark.” How will you make YOUR mark this year?

Finding Your Roots with the ACC Library

Would you like to learn more about your heritage and those who have made a mark before you? The Athens Clarke County Library is a wonderful resource to help you in the process. A representative from the library will be here to talk about their Heritage Room, which is the local history and genealogy arm of the Athens Regional Library System. This introductory talk will inform you about how you can get one-on-one help at the library to begin your research process. When: Wednesday, May 6th Time: 10am-11am Where: ACCA Glass Dining Room Cost: Free for CAL members and Non-members

CAL’s Got Talent 2020: Make Your Mark!

You’ve seen the show. Now we’re bringing it to ACCA! Whether you can sing, dance, play an instrument, tell jokes, juggle– whatever your talent–we want to see you on our stage. Event is open to CAL and CAL+ members. Come cheer on your friends or sign up to participate. Submit your idea to CAL staff by April 24th. There will be judges and a prize for the winner! When: Thursday, May 7th Where: ACCA Harris Room Time: 10:30am-11:30am Cost: Free and open to the public

Ask a Geriatrician

Geriatricians are doctors specifically trained to meet the needs of older adults. Come meet one of the few geriatricians in town, Dr. Don Scott, who is also the Campus Director of Geriatrics and Palliative Care for the Augusta University/UGA Medical Partnership. Dr. Scott will be on site to answer your burning questions that are specific to your needs and concerns. When: Tuesday, May 12th Time: 10am-11:00am Where: ACCA Glass Dining Room Cost: Free for CAL members and Non-members

Age Well, Live Well Awards Reception

ACCA believes you can explore your passion and make a difference at any age. Each May during Older Americans Month, we celebrate an outstanding older adult age 60+ who is making a lasting impact on his or her community. We are seeking nominations until April 24, 2020 for an individual who has made a significant contribution to the community through professional, charitable or volunteer efforts. Join us for the reception as we reveal the nominees and winner of this distinguished Age Well, Live Well 2020 award. Nominations can be sent to Allyn Rippin at When: Wednesday, May 20th Where: ACCA Harris Room Time: 10:30am-11:30am Cost: Free and open to the public

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SOCIAL PROGRAMS 10th Annual March for Meals 5K

The Athens Community Council on Aging is partnering with the national March for Meals campaign by pledging to end senior hunger. Please join us for the 5K Run/Walk to help end senior hunger in Athens and to support the local Meals on Wheels program at ACCA! Can’t make the race? Sign up as a Virtual Runner – you can run anytime, anywhere from March 1-28. When: Saturday, March 28th Where: Starts at Creature Comforts Brewing Co. (Located at 271 W Hancock Ave, Athens, GA 30601) Race Start Time: 8:00AM Cost (for all runners): $25 with no shirt, $30 with shirt


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 Brick Room Cost: Free for CAL members

Beginner Mahjongg

This 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: 1:30pm-3:30pm Where: ACCA Brick 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. No reservation needed. When: Tuesdays Time: 1:30pm- 4:00pm 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-4:00om Where: ACCA Glass Dining Room Cost: Free for CAL members 3 8 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I SPRING 2020

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-4:00pm 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

SUPPORT GROUPS & MEETINGS Caregiver Support Group – Athens Area

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 (Located at 135 Hoyt Street, Athens, GA, 30601) When: 3rd Tuesday each month Time: 12:00pm-1:00pm Cost: Free

Caregiver Support Group – Winder

Join in fellowship with other caregivers for support, participate in educational programs, and gain knowledge from health care professionals. For more information contact Jessica Bankston at 678-425-0718. Where: ACCA Winder ADH Center (Located at 63 Lee Street, Winder, GA, 30680) When: 2nd Wednesday each month Time: 1:00pm-2:00pm Cost: Free

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

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 Thorne or Marlah Gaspard at 706-549-4850. Where: ACCA’s Hudson Conference Room in Athens; Rivers of Mercy in Monroe. When: Athens groups meet on 3rd Thursday of the month; Monroe groups meet on 4th Thursday of the month. Time: 12:00pm-1:30pm Cost: Free