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Senior Life Atlanta

Yoga to Fit Your Lifestyle page 16

JUNE 2017 • Vol. 2 No. 6 | AtlantaSeniorLIFE.com

facebook.com/AtlantaSeniorLife ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

making a difference

Theatre-To-Go delivers Live Performances

Assistance League helps rebuild lives

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Less is more ACTIVE OLDER ADULTS DOWNSIZE TO ENJOY LIFE

By Kathy Dean We hear it all the time: less is more. The phrase rings especially true for older adults who are facing empty nests and are ready to enjoy the second half of their lives. Intown and north metro Atlanta offer many comfortable options for them. “Baby boomers have spent much of their lives working and building their wealth for retirement,” said Dawn Anderson, Realtor, Dorsey Alston Realtors. “As retirement becomes more of a reality, they begin to plan their transition to downsize. Ease of life, proximity and affordability are certainly the downsizing common goals of most boomers.” The trend of 55+ active adult communities continues to grow, Anderson said. “Baby boomers are well qualified buyers and know exactly what they are looking for.” Kim Isaacs, aged 58, said that her townhome in Avalon in Alpharetta gives her and her husband everything they want. “We had lived in our previous home in Johns Creek for 19 years. When our last child left for college, we decided that we wanted a change and really didn’t need a large house for just the two of us,” she said. Continued on page 4


Editor’s Note: Atlanta Senior Life supports and promotes the concept of Aging Adventurously. We will be bringing you travel and adventure columns, courtesy of Road Scholar, in upcoming issues. Atlanta Senior Life focuses on the interests, accomplishments and lifestyles of the active senior population in metro Atlanta. It aims to inspire readers to embrace a more rewarding life by informing them of opportunities to expand their horizons, express their talents and engage in their community.

CONTACT US Editorial Kathy Dean Contributing Editor kathydean@atlantaseniorlife.com Joe Earle Editor-at-Large JoeEarle@reporternewspapers.net Contributors Kate Awtrey, Robin Conte, Erica Glasener, Russell Gloor, Gary Goettling, Judi Kanne, Jordana Klein, Jim Moses, Isadora Pennington, Jane Ratliff, Kristen Sumpter Advertising For information call (404) 917-2200 ext 130. Sales Executives Julie Davis, Jeff Kremer Janet Porter, Jan Tassitano Published By Springs Publishing LLC

6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Phone: (404) 917-2200 Fax: (404) 917-2201 Steve Levene Founder & Publisher stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net (404) 917-2200, ext. 111 Amy Arno Director of Sales Development amyarno@reporternewspapers.net (404) 917-2200, ext. 112 Rico Figliolini Creative Director rico@reporternewspapers.net (404) 917-2200, ext. 117 Deborah Davis Office Manager deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net (404) 917-2200, ext. 110 Circulation/ Subscriptions For distribution information, call (404) 917-2200, ext. 110.

© 2017 All rights reserved. Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of Atlanta Senior Life or Springs Publishing, LLC.

FREE CIRCULATION

Each month, 20,000 copies of Atlanta Senior Life are distributed to selected locations where active seniors live, work, volunteer and play in the north metro areas of Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties.

ON THE COVER Kim Isaacs enjoys the freedom of townhome living at Avalon. Photo by Kate Awtrey

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Join the challenge to #AgeAdventurously! By Jim Moses, president and CEO of Road Scholar Every single day at Road Scholar we hear about people defying stereotypes. An 80-year-old woman hiking the Appalachian Trail. A 60-year-old man learning to play the lap dulcimer in the Adirondacks. A widow traveling on her own for the first time in her life—to China, no less. All of these people are experiencing great adventures—learning both about the world and about themselves—through journeys of personal growth. That is what Road Scholar participants love to do. Underlying all of this is one fact we can’t deny: every single day, every person alive is aging. What does it mean to age? Each of us gets to decide for ourselves. What messages do we tell ourselves as we blow out the candles each year, and what do we hear from the world around us about growing older? All too often, the message isn’t inspiring. And we think it’s high time to change that. How? Let’s celebrate aging together. Road Scholar has made 2017 the start of something big by kicking off an exciting new social media project inviting everyone to think differently about growing older. Join with Road Scholar, and together we’ll redefine “aging.” Age boldly. Age proudly. Age adventurously! Visit the Road Scholar Facebook page at facebook.com/rsadventures/ and you’ll find many ways to challenge yourself, to express your ideas and to add your voice to a community of older adults who are creating new stereotypes of aging. Not aging quietly. Not aging gracefully. Not aging alone at home. But, aging adventurously! Road Scholar uses the hashtag #AgeAdventurously on all social media posts related to this theme. Clicking on the hashtag #AgeAdventurously in the Facebook updates allows you to see all the #AgeAdventurously posts that have been created. You can also type #AgeAdventurously in the Facebook search bar to find related content. You’re encouraged to include the hashtag #AgeAdventurously in your comments to the posts as well. Road Scholar is the nation’s largest educational travel organization for adults. This not-for-profit educational organization offers 5,500 extraordinary learning adventures in 150 countries and 50 states. Road Scholars are immersed in a variety of educational activities, enlisting renowned faculty and experts who offer insider access not available to most individuals. Dedicated to making educational travel available to everyone, Road Scholar offers financial aid for those who otherwise could not participate in its programs. Road Scholar educational adventures are created by Elderhostel, the not-for-profit world leader in educational travel for adults since 1975. To learn more, visit roadscholar.org.

JUNE 2017 | AtlantaSeniorLife.com

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COVER STORY

Courtyards of Vinings ►

Less Is More Continued from page 1

Isaacs sees the Alpharetta location as a big plus. “We love being able to walk to dinner, shopping and attending the many events Avalon sponsors throughout the year,” she said. “We can also walk to downtown Alpharetta and we’re a heartbeat away from the Verizon Amphitheatre.” As the aging community continues to grow, the downsizing trend does as well, according to Aven Barbosa, Realtor®, Seniors Real Estate Specialist® with Ansley Atlanta Real Estate. “What we’re seeing today is only the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “The U.S. Census Bureau estimates more than 20 percent of Georgia’s population will be 60 and older by the year 2030, an increase of nearly 34 percent from 2012.” She said that with more than 10,000 people turning 65 per day, more and more of them are ready to transition to smaller home. “We’re seeing a big spike in the new development of active adult communities throughout Georgia,” Barbosa said. Lindsey Burroughs, Harry Norman REALTORS® Sandy Springs Office, explained that active adults, on average, move three times after age 50. The first move is the ‘initial downsize’, the second is the ‘half-back’, and the third is to ‘age in place’. “The catalyst for the first move is typically an empty nest or early retirement,” Burroughs

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▲ The Charles in Buckhead Village

said. “These 50+ homeowners are excited to downsize, but still want enough space to entertain and room for traveling guests. Most will gravitate towards an inside-the-perimeter or metropolitan location.” The ‘half-back’ move tends to take seniors closer to family, where they can be near enough to visit but still have their own living space. For the ‘age in place’ move, the goal is a home designed to minimize the obstacles of aging with easy access to healthcare, grocery stores and restaurants. “Transitional housing allows you to transfer homes within the community during different stages of life,” Burroughs said. “For instance, Celebration Villages at Forsyth has independent living, concierge living, assisted living and

JUNE 2017 | AtlantaSeniorLife.com

memory care all on site.” There are as many senior housing choices as there are needs and preferences. Intown luxury condos at The Charles in Buckhead Village, 1010 Midtown and Emerson Buckhead offer stunning views of the city and an upscale urban lifestyle. Overture Lindbergh has maintenance-free rentals for the 55+ active adult life. Lenbrook Atlanta, on Peachtree Road, is a nonprofit senior community that provides a full range of on-site health services. And Peachtree Hills Place in Buckhead boasts 85 luxury condos and eight freestanding homes. Brandt Ross, 80, lives in the Renaissance Senior Residence in what he calls the “Buckhaven” area, where Buckhead meets Brookhaven on Peachtree Street. He and his wife share a

3-bedroom apartment, giving them enough space for his man cave and her studio. “I saw what has happening among our family, friends and acquaintances, and realized that the worst legacy that I could leave to my wife and children is a house filled with stuff,” Ross said. “I knew that we were just an incident, illness or accident away from facing a difficult transition of selling a house and disposing of a lot of things.” The Rosses developed a plan to downsize and sell their house while they were still in good health, and made the decision to do it when they wanted to, not when they had to. Their plan included a move to the Renaissance. “We love living here because we can do whatever we want to...and still know that if something

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PHOTOS BY KATE AWTREY

▲ Avalon in Alpharetta

does happen, we’re in the right place,” Ross said. Angie Ponsell, Real Estate Consultant, I Sell Sandy Springs, sees many older adults who move from 2-story homes to ranches. “The square footage isn’t as important as the layout, and they tend to prefer one level ranches,” she said. “Also, they want it already updated, with nothing that needs to be repaired or renovated.” She said that most seniors look for a home that they don’t have to worry about—a lock and leave— where if something happens, like a tree falls on their home, there are other people around to help. “But not all of them are interested in living among other retirees exclusively,” Ponsell said. “Many like to mix it up and live around families and younger people as well.”

Cluster communities that include single-level homes, or homes with a master suite on the main level, fit the bill well, Ponsell said. “There’s a need for more homes like that, especially with smaller square footage.” Susan & Michael Jackson are retirees in the process of downsizing and selling their 5,000-square-foot home in Sandy Springs. They’re looking forward to a simpler, more flexible lifestyle. “The more stuff you have, the more you have to take care of,” Susan said. According to her, the purging process is like going down memory lane. It’s difficult to stay unemotional, but it’s very energizing, too. “It’s incredibly cathartic and especially satisfying when you’re completed,” Susan said. “It’s also much easier to do the earlier in life you tackle it.”

▲ Overture Lindbergh

Intown and north metro Atlanta provide many perks for older adults, including walkability, quality restaurants and nearby entertainment venues. Retirement communities also offer maintenance-free homes and active social lives. “When many Atlanta residents consider downsizing, they first consider Vinings,” said Martha Chanaberry, Harry Norman REALTORS. “It’s very close to Buckhead and downtown Atlanta, and Vinings Village, with its attractive shops, restaurants and a library, is within walking distance of many properties.” Vinings also offers a considerable property tax advantage. It’s unincorporated, so there’s no city tax. Once residents reach age 62, they pay no school tax, either, which means a considerable savings,

approximately 75 percent of their tax bill. “The Courtyards of Vinings is a popular choice,” Chanaberry said. “It’s known for its active lifestyle, with a pool and tennis. There’s a very social neighborhood networking group that plans pool parties, Mahjong, progressive dinners, wine tastings and more. Also, it’s an easy walk to the Vinings Jubilee area.” By trading in their large single-family homes in the suburbs for intown or north metro Atlanta condos, townhomes or apartments, active older adults enjoy a simpler lifestyle. There’s less square footage to clean and heat, less housework and yardwork, and less travel time to reach restaurants and entertainment. There’s more walkability, more time and more freedom.

▲ Renaissance Senior Residence

JUNE 2017 | AtlantaSeniorLife.com

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Wheels, Not Walls with Theatre-To-Go By Judi Kanne Theatre-To-Go founder Sondra Ilgenfritz says the idea for her traveling theater company took hold about 15 years ago, when her aging stepmother could no longer attend theatrical productions, something the two had enjoyed for years. A long illness and her theater-loving stepmother’s need to remain attached to medial apparatus kept her at home. That’s when Ilgenfritz thought about “bringing theater to aging adults” who were no longer mobile, but still took pleasure in the arts. “Today, we are a theater on wheels and [with] no walls,” Ilgenfritz said. The Atlanta-based theater group now mounts 40 to 60 shows a year. Since it started, the company has performed in about 90 different venues, including senior centers, assisted living centers, retirement communities, churches and synagogues, Ilgenfritz said. “Some organizations bring every one of our plays to their facilities every year,” she said. “That’s how we know we have a loyal following.” Just because their audiences are older doesn’t mean you can give them anything, says Ilgenfritz. All of the actors audition for their roles, and a reading committee reads all the scripts. “We want to give them the highest quality possible.” Theatre-To-Go pays their actors, directors and playwrights. “We pride ourselves on delivering quality work.” Through June, the theater troupe is presenting an interactive murder mystery titled “Who Killed Lulu”. During the play, audience members

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Actors (left to right): Carol Thompson, Bernadine Cantrell, Yolanda Adams, Steve Miller and Deborah Childs

are given minor roles to help solve the mystery and, at one point during the play, the audience votes on who poisoned the title character. “Who Killed Lulu” was performed in early May for a full house at Parc at Piedmont in Marietta. “We’ve had Theatre-To-Go here for the past 4 or 5 years, and the shows are always well-received,” said Beverly Dreger, the facility’s Event Coordinator and Activity Director. “Our residents anticipate it and we have a packed house and waiting list every time.” As a former advertising agency owner, Ilgenfritz “cut her playwriting teeth” with two Atlanta organizations. She credits Jeff Adler at Horizon Theatre’s Senior Ensemble and Mira Hirsch, founder

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and sole artistic director of Atlanta’s Jewish Theatre of the South, with showing her the theatrical ropes. “After working with both theater groups, I finally started a third,” she said with a laugh. “I wanted a theater group that would not necessarily only deal with aging.” Ilgenfritz says that she wanted “food for the mind and laughter for the soul — we need both.” In addition to the professional theater performances, Atlanta’s Theatre-To-Go has developed an ongoing series of plays and classes. ISADORA PENNINGTON “No one else [in Atlanta] is Sondra Ilgenfritz (seated) and David Rucker III doing this,” Ilgenfritz said. “When we offer the participants theater, the first show we do is an acting class,” she continued. “Graduation includes putting on a short skit, which involves music and learning how to tell senior jokes.” Following that, the participants learn to produce a reader’s theater entitled, “Misconception,” written by playwright Dick Meredith. The seniors do not memorize lines, as they have the scripts in hand, but still have the fun of movement on stage. For some, it’s their first introduction to stagecraft. After several Atlanta Theatre-To-Go performances for Cobb Senior Services, Ilgenfritz was asked about the possibility of creating a theatrical program supporting memory, attention and understanding. The company brought in Mari Martinez, a teaching artist at the Alliance Theatre who had worked in New York, as a facilitator. She developed and leads Reminiscence Theatre, a senior memory workshop, for Theatre-To-Go. Last year, Ilgenfritz realized she needed help running the theater group and brought in David Rucker, III as the group’s artistic director. Rucker said he’s learned from Ilgenfritz that seniors should not bow out just because they’ve reached a certain age. “That’s what’s exciting to me,” said Rucker. For details on upcoming shows, auditions and Theatre-to-Go programs, visit atlantatheatretogo.com or call the office at 404-256-3310.

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JUNE 2017 | AtlantaSeniorLife.com

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n July 1, 2017, a new law affecting Georgia durable powers of attorney (for financial matters) will go into effect. The Uniform Power of Attorney Act is designed to minimize financial fraud and exploitation. Thus, “general” powers allowing an agent to “do anything the principal could do” may no longer be accepted by banks and other financial institutions. Banks do not have to accept any power of attorney; however, we have been assured that if a customer presents a power of attorney on the new statutory form, the banks will honor it unless there is evidence of fraud, misrepresentation or undue influence over the principal. Although the statutory form, along with the Georgia code (law), is much better than the one before it, it does not specifically include protections for seniors who are aging and want to take measures to protect their assets in the event they could qualify for government assistance programs, like Veterans Benefits or Medicaid. In order to completely protect yourself, your new power of attorney must include certain “Special Instructions.” Thus, a “standard” form, even on the new statutory form, will not be enough for most seniors who care about protecting their families and their assets. The Elder & Disability Law Firm of Victoria L. Collier, PC will provide a new statutory power of attorney, with appropriate special instructions, at a 33% DISCOUNT OFF our regular rates for advising, drafting, and executing a financial power of attorney during the months of June, July and August. Call 404-3700696 and speak with a Client Services Representative and tell them, “I’d like the new statutory financial power of attorney.” Victoria L. Collier is a Certified Elder Law Attorney through the National Elder Law Foundation, and a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Her entire firm is devoted to ensuring seniors age with dignity and grace. CALL NOW to get your power of attorney updated to the new form so banks will accept it when your loved one needs to use it! 404-370-0696.

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JUNE 2017 | AtlantaSeniorLife.com

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Profile of an Actor: Linda Danzig By Judi Kanne Linda Danzig’s smile lights the room when she talks about her time onstage with Jerry’s Habima Theatre, Georgia’s only theatrical company directed and produced by professionals that features actors with special needs. Earlier this year, the company, based at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA), marked its 24th season with the staging of “The Wizard of Oz.” Danzig, age 66, played two roles, COURTESY OF THE MJCCA Robot Person and Jitterbug. Danzig says she’s taken part in the company’s programs for 19 years. It only took one person (years ago) who suggested “people with disabilities could [and should] act.” And, immediately, Danzig decided to “give it a try.” Since that moment, Danzig says she’s been in every show. Today, Jerry Habima’s Theatre plays to sell-out crowds. With learning disabilities or physical challenges, Danzig likes to see people do more than what’s expected of them. Her colleagues on stage have Down syndrome, autism and other physical challenges (such as vision impairment) to overcome. She works at getting her theatrical friends to “come out of their shell,” she said. Danzig learned to the best of her ability to overcome a speech impediment and some learning disabilities. She is proud of the nine years she worked at Chick-fil-A. Currently, she also stays active by volunteering at Brighton Gardens of Buckhead, an assisted living facility. She said she “talks to the seniors and helps them with their projects” if she’s able. Former special education teacher Susie Davidow has worked with the MJCCA programs for more than 16 years. At age 70, she’s already in retirement, but hopes to continue participating with some projects and volunteering as often as she can. “Jerry’s Habima Theatre has my heart,” said Davidow in a telephone interview. The 2017 season of eight performances had just ended the night before. The theater production is just one of the activities in the Blonder Family Department for Special Needs. Today, the Blonder Family Department comes through a generous endowment by (the late) Jerry and Lois Blonder. The theater program, named for Jerry, creates a place for individuals of all backgrounds and abilities to socialize, learn, grow and deepen their connections to one another and the community. “The word “habima” means “the stage” in Hebrew,” said Davidow. But for Jerry’s group, it means much more. Danzig agrees. Acting, she says, is one way to keep her from watching too much TV, and allows her to get to know other people. These are people who Danzig and her stage friends may not have otherwise met. Every performance includes local actors and other stage professionals who offer to work with people with special needs. The audience’s reward is the opportunity “to open their eyes, ears and hearts,” said Davidow. When asked about Danzig, Davidow said, “I adore her and she’s incredibly kind. She always takes time to ask about my family and looks out for others, whether on or off the stage. She’s a wonderful advocate for people with special needs to have more opportunities.”

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Tucker Retirees Enjoy a Second Act Working in Community Theater By Gary Goettling Randy Davison and Jim Nelson have more in common than their age, the town where they live and their retiree status. The 67-year-old Tucker residents are also key volunteers with the up-and-coming Main Street Theatre (MST), a live-performance amateur theater based at the Tucker Recreation Center. “I have no business being on-stage,” laughed Davison, who retired in 2014 after more than 25 years in IT, most recently with Macy’s. “I’m fine with being in the back, pushing buttons and making things work.” As MST’s technical director, his considerable responsibilities include set design and construction, lighting and sound. Davison has worked on each of

MST’s five major shows since its inaugural performance of “Harvey” two years ago. “It’s really a labor of love,” he said. “It’s a lot of work, but there’s a great deal of personal satisfaction that comes from working hard over a relatively short period of time and then seeing something as complex as a stage production come together successfully. “The applause at the end of a performance is really meant for everyone connected with staging a show,” he added, “not just the actors. That’s what I really enjoy and what makes it all worthwhile.” Nelson became involved with the theater company last year when he was selected for the cast of “Second Samuel.” “I majored in theater as an undergraduate in college,” said the

Ohio Wesleyan alumnus and MST board member. “At the time, my dream was to be a famous Broadway producerdirector. Life got in the way of that goal, but I always knew that I wanted to go back into theater after I retired.” After spending 30 years in the ministry at both Methodist and Baptist churches, Nelson retired at the end of 2016 as pastor of Northeast Baptist. Earlier this year, he wrote and directed MST’s production of “Murder in the Winery,” a dinnertheater play held in partnership with M572, a local restaurant. He’s writing MST’s next murdermystery, “Murder at the Theater,” set to be performed in late July. Most recently, he produced MST’s May performance of the musical comedy, “Smoke on the Mountain.” Nelson is also involved

GARY GOETTLING

Randy Davison and Jim Nelson

with set design and construction. The opportunity to give back to the community by fostering involvement in the performing arts is another motivating factor, Nelson says. “I’m setting up acting classes and summer programs for children— relatively small things we can do around town,” he explained. “The idea is to enhance and expand MST’s role in our area, particularly among the next generation of actors and theater-goers.” At the same time, his efforts “fill my creative needs and give me a chance to stay active and be involved and do something I love.”

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MAKING A DIFFERENCE

COURTESY OF ASSISTANCE LEAGUE OF ATLANTA

Left, member volunteers Anina Morgan and Shirley McJunkin sort donated items to sell in the Attic Treasures Thrift Shop in Chamblee. Right, Member volunteers Carole MacMullan (front left) and Reiko Lewis (front right) sort socks for Operation School Bell. Helping them are member volunteers (back, left to right) Elaine McClean, Cathy Echterhoff, Carol Gaffey and Claire Carlson.

Assistance League of Atlanta offers a way to connect and contribute by Jordana Klein How can 275 member volunteers, the majority of whom are retired women, help more than 57,000 men, women and children in one year? Through hard work, a generous spirit and a desire to help others, that’s how. Assistance League of Atlanta, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization,

helps those in need to rebuild their lives and become more self-sufficient through a network of more than 250 community partners. It all starts with the Attic Treasures Thrift Shop, located in Chamblee. The sale of donated clothing and household goods from the shop generates most of the revenue for the organization’s philanthropic programs. The members keep the store stocked with attractive, gentlyused merchandise, and their loyal customers keep coming back.

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“Every time someone contributes or purchases an item from our thrift shop, they know the proceeds are going right back to the community,” said Lynn Soylemez, 70, a Sandy Springs resident and current Assistance League of Atlanta President. “It’s really cool. It’s winning all the way around.” Member volunteers at Assistance League are also involved in various programs that address the needs of low-income children lacking proper school clothing; displaced families living in shelters, cars and motels; indigent new mothers; children traumatized by crisis situations; patients recovering from devastating injuries; and promising students who lack the resources to pursue higher education. “We have an amazing group of members who work their hearts out. When they become part of our organization, they bring past work experiences and skills, and sometimes are even eager to learn new skills,” said Janice Smith, a retired mortgage banker who lives in Peachtree Corners and serves as Vice President of Communications. “It’s not all about work, either. It’s a social outlet and an opportunity to form new friendships.” For Dunwoody member volunteer Brenda McDonald, aged 68, the most rewarding part of volunteering at Assistance League is knowing that everyone there believes in the mission. “I have never seen so many people work so hard, day in and day out, to make an organization succeed,” McDonald said. “The dedication of the members is unbelievable!” What started as a volunteer effort for Soylemez has turned into a passion. “The Assistance League is like a huge family of brothers and sisters who care deeply about their community and work to make it better. It’s a magical place, and I’m always happy to be here,” she said. Soylemez said the volunteers are ordinary people, mostly women whose ages range from their 50s to their 80s. The women often enlist their husbands to help with tasks like driving and carrying. Smith noted that people become involved in Assistance League for various reasons, but most of them have a strong inclination to give back to the community by helping others. Many are looking for an outlet after retirement and others need to fill a void after the loss of a loved one. “Many of our members have had difficulties in their own lives, but they’ve found a place in their hearts to help others,” Soylemez said. “Everyone who’s involved with the Assistance League—donors, volunteers, even the shoppers—are all helping to make a positive difference. And we get involved with each other’s lives. That’s a lot of what makes it magic. It turns people who are sick or grieving into volunteers who make a difference in the community.” When people join Assistance League, they undergo two days of training to learn all the aspects of the organization. Once they become members, they work a minimum of two four-hour shifts per month, pay dues and attend monthly meetings. It doesn’t take long, though, for them to find other activities they find rewarding. “Operation School Bell® is our largest program,” said McDonald. “It provides new clothing to elementary and middle school children so that they may go to school, learn and feel confident that they’re dressed like their peers. I help buy the clothing items.” As a retired elementary teacher, McDonald sees it as a way to continue helping children to succeed in school. “I know that children who feel good about themselves when they walk in the classroom door are more likely to be engaged in learning and be happy to go to school,” she said. “This year over 13,000 students received clothing items through the program.” What started in 1982, when 34 women formed this local Atlanta chapter of Assistance League, a national organization, has expanded dramatically as the needs of the community have increased. Assistance League of Atlanta recently purchased a new headquarters building in Peachtree Corners. The facility will house its administrative staff (all volunteers) and program activities. The thrift shop and warehouse will remain in the building on Broad Street in Chamblee. “We’re just one of over 120 national chapters doing our part,” Smith said. “We work hard, but we are rewarded tenfold by giving back to the community. It’s what drives us.”

COURTESY OF ASSISTANCE LEAGUE OF ATLANTA

The Attic Treasures Thrift Shop and warehouse at 3534 Broad St. in Chamblee.

The Assistance League of Atlanta is open to new volunteers. Even if you can’t commit to all the membership requirements, you can volunteer your time and work behind the scenes. For example, non-member volunteers can sort and tag new school clothing for the Operation School Bell program. Summer is a very busy time as members prepare for the new school year. For more information about volunteering or becoming a member, visit the website at AssistanceLeagueATL.org, or call 770-458-2038.

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GARDENING

The Magic of Water Gardens and Waterlilies Thoughts on Design There’s something magical about water When you choose a gardens and plants water feature for your that grow and bloom garden, the existing in water. Whether site and your personal it’s a birdbath, a taste will dictate the fountain or a pond, design, type and size water has a soothing best suited for your effect for humans and landscape. Where animals—and plants. you locate your water Even on the hottest feature will depend on Erica Glasener of summer days, how it relates to the is a horticulturist, writer water features help to and plant lover. She is the rest of the garden. It create the illusion of marketing manager at should be part of your Gibbs Gardens, a public coolness. overall design, whether The sound of water garden in Ball Ground, Ga. it’s tucked into a corner For more information about is also appealing (to be discovered the gardens, visit and adds another gibbsgardens.com. as visitors journey dimension to the CREDIT: PHOTO BY through the garden) or ROBERT SUTHERLAND garden. Ponds or just outside the patio streams afford opportunities to doors so that you can enjoy it grow waterlilies and other water from inside as well as outside. loving plants like Japanese iris, If you’re limited by space, also known as Iris ensata. This a small water garden in a iris is happy growing in wet soils decorative container offers the or at the edge of a pond. perfect solution. Depending on

the size of the container, it can feature a collection of plants or one striking specimen. You can site your potted water garden in a flower border, group it with other containers to create a bold statement or use it as a focal point on your deck or patio.

Waterlilies—Jewels of the Water Garden Waterlilies are captivating. Their colorful blooms glisten like jewels as they appear to float, almost magically, on top of the water, transforming a pond or water garden into a living work of art. The flowers come in a range of colors including white, pink, red, yellow, blue and purple, and many are fragrant. There are both hardy and tropical selections. Some are large and require lots of space, while others are dwarf and can be easily grown in containers on

a patio or balcony. Hardy types may be planted in early spring and will typically bloom from May through September. They will also survive over the winter (in a dormant state) in a pond, provided the roots don’t freeze. Hardy waterlilies grow from a horizontal rhizome (Think of a long carrot.) that produces growing points, or eyes, along it. The blooms—cup shaped or starry-like—open in the morning and close in the afternoon. The rounded leaves are usually thick and leathery with smooth edges. Tropical waterlilies require water temperatures that are 69 to 70 degrees F. At Gibbs Gardens, Jim Gibbs waits until June 1 before he plants the tropical selections to make sure the water is warm enough. Tropicals tend to have larger flowers that are held high above their foliage and blooms that continue until frost. Only tropical selections produce blue or purple flowers. All the leaves and flowers radiate from a single central crown. The leaves or pads are thin with scalloped or toothy edges and the decorative foliage is often mottled or splotched.

ERICA GLASENER

Birdbath surrounded by plants in David Ellis’ garden

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Waterlilies

Tips for Growing Waterlilies

slightly exposed.

• Place containers in a pond so that the water is at least 8 to 12 inches deep to begin. As plants become established, move the container to a deeper spot, 12 to 24 inches deep. For dwarf selections, the water only needs to be 6 to 8 inches deep.

• Fertilize on a regular basis, twice a month for tropicals.

• Use a rich potting soil. Fill a container halfway, then add aquatic fertilizer tabs and push them into the soil. Add the rest of the soil.

A word of caution: Left unchecked, these exotic flowers can become invasive. Avoid planting them in ponds or water gardens that flow into creeks, lakes or natural waterways.

• Leave the crown of the rhizome

Senior Real Estate Specialist

• Groom plants by removing yellow leaves and spent blossoms. • Divide hardy waterlilies every spring to ensure the best blooming.

Office 770-396-6696 ■ Direct 404-694-0072 ©2017 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Operated by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker, the Coldwell Banker logo, Coldwell Banker Previews International and the Previews logo are registered and unregistered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

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PERSONAL FINANCE

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I’m 62 and still working but would like to get Social Security because we could sure use the extra money. I’ve heard that if I keep working, my Social Security benefit will be less, so now I don’t know if I should go ahead with my Social Security or just wait. I sure don’t want to lose money on my Social Security for the rest of my life.

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Benson Manor is a 76-unit affordable senior housing community designed with stone and sturdy wood-like siding. Each apartment is approximately 540 square feet. Benson Manor is conveniently located close to shopping, churches, medical facilities, and a major bus route. Residents must be 62 years of age or older. Some units have special features for mobility and sensory impaired persons. Income limitations are determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Residents pay 30 percent of their adjusted income for rent. Gross income must not exceed $23,650.00 for one person and $27,000.00 for two persons.

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Dear Perplexed:

Social Security rules for when you continue to work after your benefits start can be confusing. Social Security calls this the “Annual Earnings Test”. The basic rule is that you can continue to work after you start collecting Social Security but, depending on how much you earn, they will reduce your benefit payments if you haven’t yet reached your “full retirement age.” But here’s a key point: You don’t actually lose the amount they will take away, because when you reach your full retirement age (in your case, age 66) your Social Security benefit will be increased to account for what they withheld. Here’s how it works: If you’re working and collecting Social Security while you’re age 62 through 65, your benefit will be reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn over $16,920. In other words, they’ll take back half of anything you earn over $16,920. In the year that you become age 66, you can earn up to $44,880, after which they will reduce your benefit by $1 for every $3 you earn over $44,880 (one third). Note that these earnings limits are for 2017; they change annually. Once you reach your full retirement age of 66, you can earn as much as you want and there will be no benefit reduction. The way that Social Security gets back what you owe them is by withholding your benefit payments the following year, for as many months as needed for them to recover what you owe from overearning the previous year. That means that you won’t receive any Social Security payments for one or more months the following year until they recover what’s due. Losing those payments can hurt, but don’t fret too much because when you finally reach your full retirement age, your benefit

The information presented in this article is intended for general information purposes only. The opinions and interpretations expressed in this article are the viewpoints of the AMAC Foundation’s Social Security Advisory staff, trained and accredited under the National Social Security Advisors program of the National Social Security Association, LLC (NSSA). NSSA, the AMAC Foundation, and the Foundation’s Social Security Advisors are not affiliated with or endorsed by the United States Government, the Social Security Administration or any other state government. Furthermore, the AMAC Foundation and its staff do not provide legal or accounting services. The Foundation welcomes questions from readers regarding Social Security issues. To submit a request, contact the Foundation at info@amacfoundation.com.

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amount will be recalculated eliminating those months when your benefit was withheld because you exceeded the earnings limit. You don’t actually get back the dollars that were withheld due to your over-earning, but rather a formula is used to recalculate your benefit when you reach your full retirement age. And here’s how that works: If you start collecting benefits at age 62, your benefit will be reduced to about 75 percent of what it would be if you waited until your full retirement age of 66. But because you didn’t actually collect benefits in some months you were paying back what you owed due to over-earning, when you reach your full retirement age they will give you time credit for those months as though you didn’t begin collecting at age 62, but rather an age later than that—62 plus the number of months they withheld your benefits due to over-earning. So, if you need the money and want to start collecting at 62, but also want to continue working, you can do that. Just be aware that when you exceed those earnings limits, they will withhold your benefits the following year(s) until they get back what’s due them. But, when you reach your full retirement age, your benefit amount will be increased so that that you may eventually get back the money they withheld. And, that benefit increase at full retirement age will last for the rest of your life.

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HEALTH & FITNESS

Yoga Offers Choices for Everyone By Isadora Pennington and Jordana Klein Speculated to have origins dating back to pre-Vedic India, yoga is a practice of physical, mental and emotional discipline. It offers health benefits that have been reported to change lives. In a 2006 study conducted by the Department of Neurology and Behavioral Neuroscience at Oregon Health and Science University, scientists determined a link between the practice of yoga and increased quality of life for seniors. The many different styles of yoga allow people to find what works best for them. Stretches and poses are low-impact, and routines can be adjusted to suit each person’s abilities. Local yoga studios and instructors offer everything from relaxed one-on-one sessions of

restorative yoga to invigorating hot yoga classes. Aurelio Larsen, 83 years old, has been involved in family sessions with local yoga instructor Erin Trapaga for the past three years. “It’s fun,” Larsen said after completing her morning routine. Her weekly sessions are usually held on the front porch of her Candler Park home. Sometimes she meets up with her daughter Dawn Caldwell for their classes. Initially, it was Caldwell who was getting private lessons, but her mother also wanted to participate. “I think she’s a lot

PHOTOS BY ISADORA PENNINGTON

Yoga instructor Erin Trapaga (left) instructs Aurelio Larsen (right) and her daughter, Dawn Caldwell (center).

more limber than she would have been without yoga,” Caldwell said. “And Erin can teach anyone,” she said with a laugh. Trapaga teaches yoga at places such as Fernbank Museum and Decatur Yoga & Pilates, and she

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through practice.” While yoga is a relatively safe form of exercise, it’s important to proceed with caution to prevent injuries caused by coming out of poses too quickly or overextending during a stretch. “Keeping students safe is the first priority,” said Trapaga. During the lessons, Larsen gets individualized attention and socialization accompanied by a gentle hand and steady encouragement. Her daughter says she visibly glows after the sessions. “It’s so inspiring to see older people discover things they never knew they could do,” Trapaga said. Turning to Larsen, Trapaga teased her gently, “Like you; you’re full of surprises!” Larsen chuckled and patted her hand. People who feel a bit more

adventurous might consider hot had been quite active previously, yoga. This style incorporates engaging in jogging and sports elevated heat and is thought to such as tennis. After several knee increase flexibility and aid in operations, those activities weren’t flushing toxins. Temperatures an option any longer. can reach 104 degrees F, so it’s not Phil liked his first class so much for everyone. For some that he told his wife, seniors, however, it’s the Carol, 67, that she had to perfect improvement to experience it for herself. traditional yoga. “I was diagnosed Hot Yoga of Johns with macular Creek offers Bikram degeneration in one hot yoga classes. Phil of my eyes, so I’ve lost and Carol Houston of some vision and depth Alpharetta have been perception,” Carol said. loyal participants “I don’t want to have since their first hot to worry about falling, COURTESY OF CAROL AND PHIL HOUSTON yoga class there 10 and the class has years ago. helped my balance. Now if I trip, I “We can enjoy it together,” Phil can recover because I know where said. “It’s a fun physical activity, my center of balance is.” and we have a yoga family now.” Hot Yoga studio owner Jenny Phil, who recently turned 70, Matusevich leads students through

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the 90-minute classes, working on alignment, building core muscles and breathing. Each individual proceeds at their own pace. “It’s the way people feel afterwards that convinces them to keep at it,” Matusevich said. “They stand taller, feel better and have a better day. The more good days you have, the better life you have.” Do you want to improve your balance, gain flexibility and retain your mobility? Consider taking up yoga. For info on Hot Yoga of Johns Creek, visit hotyogajc.com or call 678-834-9844. For more information about yoga lessons with Erin Trapaga, go to erintrapaga.com or email Erin at erintrapagayoga@gmail.com.

“Saint Anne’s Terrace has a beautiful setting with waterfalls, a fish pond and flower gardens. The staff is professional, friendly, courteous, which creates a family atmosphere. I’m very happy to be a part of this community. .”

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Enjoy retirement by living your way at Saint Anne’s Terrace in the heart of Buckhead! Call us to schedule your visit 3100 Northside Parkway, NW Atlanta 30327 www.saintannesterrace.org • 404-238-9200

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$9 OFF $45*

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I have a bit of a summertime routine. Each morning, as the humidity ripens and before it becomes oppressive, I go outside to my deck, drink a cup of coffee, wait for the internet to connect, drink a cup of coffee, wait for my email to update, drink a cup of coffee, try to think of something to write, drink another cup of coffee, and thus ease into my day, all the while serenaded by a cacophony of tweets and trills from the backyard birds in my backyard aviary and distracted by their flights of color. They charm me. Robin’s Nest I had outwitted the squirrels and chipmunks Robin Conte is a writer that used to shimmy over the hanging rod and and mother of four squeeze inside the feeder; I had changed the who lives in Dunwoody. feeder and the seed, and those pesky varmints She can be contacted at were dining elsewhere. Since then, birds have robinjm@earthlink.net. gathered at my feeder like commuters at a Starbucks. I have been getting house finches and goldfinches, chickadees and towhees. Sometimes I even get bluebirds and, as we all know, bluebirds are special. Their indigo blue and cherry red colors punctuated in white and black inspire me to think of them as God’s rainbow, sent to me in the form of a winged creature—a fluttering promise that everything will be okay. The birds were happy, I was happy, life was grand. And then…and then everything went terribly wrong. I dashed to the wild bird store and started to explain: “I was getting all kinds of songbirds—finches and cardinals, and even bluebirds, and then…” “….and then the grackles came.” He finished the sentence for me, and I could hear ominous music swell up in the background. If you have a birdfeeder, you know about grackles. If you don’t, I will tell you: They are large, beady-eyed, sinister looking birds the color of old oil that travel in swarms and look as if, at any minute, they will perch on my deck railings and start cackling, “Nevermore.” I don’t like them one bit. Not only do they creep the daylights out of me, but they frighten away my pretty birds and devour my birdseed faster than it takes to say “Poe.” Plus, they make a mess and they don’t clean up after themselves, so they’re kind of like flying teenagers. I wanted God’s winged rainbows back, not God’s winged delinquents.

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PETS Birdseed Man said the best thing to do was to remove the seed until the dreaded grackles went away. So I removed the seed, and the grackles would squawk and crow and swoop by and leave their droppings all over my outdoor furniture in revenge, while my timid songbirds would hop around in forlorn curiosity, wondering what happened to their free lunch. Finally, after the grackles tired of their retaliatory bombings and moved along, I would put out the birdfeeder and the lovely red and purple and gold finches would return to charm me until the word spread through the grackle grapevine, and they’d be back again, in droves. I finally appealed to the internet and discovered an entire community of bird-loving bloggers who were posting helpful suggestions under the headings, “bully birds,” “gangs of greedy grackles,” and, “unwanted birdfeeder pests.” We might love birds, but there is a limit to our birdseed benevolence. The truth is, grackles are no more welcome at our feeders than rats are at an animal shelter. One blogging birder recommended using safflower seed because grackles don’t like it. So I tried that, and lo and behold, it is working. It has the same effect of announcing to my kids that we’re cleaning out the garage—it makes them disappear. This morning I’m on my deck drinking coffee, admiring my birdfeeder that is once again covered with finches and towhees and cardinals. And I’m waiting for bluebirds.

pet Pick Nothing is sweeter than sugar, at least that’s what our featured pet of the week thinks! Meet Sugar, the sweetest cat ever. She is almost two years old and is an absolutely playful sweetie. Her interesting apricot and black coloring makes this kitty truly one of a kind. She’s lived with other cats before and loves to be held. Sugar has been with the Atlanta Humane

Society (AHS) since January and is looking for her forever home. They’ve even waived her adoption fee! If you’re looking for a feline friend who will love you as much as you love her, meet her at the AHS Mansell Campus, 1565 Mansell Rd., Alpharetta 30009. You can view an up-to-date list of currently available pets at atlantahumane.org/ adopt.

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FOOD

Pickled Perfection: Straight from your Backyard If you’ve found yourself wondering what you’re going to do with your backyard fruit and vegetable bounty, consider turning them into relishes and pickles that will last through the seasons. Peaches, green tomatoes, okra, squash and beans can also be pickled for a delicious addition to any meal or as a snack. Spiced apples, muscadines,

crabapples and corn, pepper and pears can all be used to make relishes. According to Dr. Elizabeth Andress, University of Georgia Professor and Extension Food Safety Specialist, one just needs to follow several simple rules for tasty pickled products.

Kristen Sumpter is the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent for the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension in Fulton County. She provides programming on food safety, health and nutrition, financial literacy and the home.

• Ingredients are very important to the process of pickling. First, make sure to use only good quality, fresh fruits and vegetables. This is especially important because if you do not start with good ingredients, your product will not be as successful. • Fresh whole spices are important in some recipes to give good flavor and prevent darkening of the pickled product.

• Salt is an integral part of many pickling processes and flavor twists. Canning or pickling salt that does not contain iodine or non-caking material is ideal. A Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

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• Read every recipe carefully. There is a reason for each step, and cutting corners may compromise the quality of the product or make it unsafe to eat. Make sure that each recipe used is modern, up-todate and kitchen-tested, and that all pickled products to be stored out of the refrigerator are processed in a boiling water canner for the recommended length of time. • Stainless steel, glass or unchipped metal pans should be used when heating pickling liquids. Aluminum can be used if the brine will only be in it a short time. Some metals such as copper and brass can react with acids or salts to create discoloration or undesirable compounds. If you’ve never preserved or pickled products at home, you should first read the “Principles of Home Canning” by the United States Department of Agriculture, or call UGA Extension Fulton County at 404-332-2400. Many tested, safe pickle recipes can be found in “So Easy to Preserve”, a book available from UGA Extension. To find other UGA tested recipes, visit nchfp.uga.edu/ or contact your local Extension Office. Happy pickling!

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(makes about 4 pints)

• 2 pounds green beans • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper • 4 heads dill • 4 cloves garlic • 2½ cups water • 2½ cups vinegar (5%) • ¼ cup canning or pickling salt

COURTESY OF UGA EXTENSION FULTON COUNTY

Sterilize canning jars. Rinse, trim ends and cut beans into 4-inch pieces. Pack beans, lengthwise, into hot jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. To each pint, add ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 clove garlic and 1 dill head. Combine remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Pour boiling hot liquid over beans, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids. Process 5 minutes in a boiling water canner. Let beans stand for at least two weeks before tasting to allow the flavor to develop. Note: If you’re preserving at an altitude higher than 1,000 feet above sea level, adjust the process time for pickled green beans as follows: 1,001-6,000 feet = 10 minutes; 6,001-8,000 feet = 15 minutes. This recipe is from “So Easy to Preserve, 6th Edition”.

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TECHNOLOGY

Keeping Up with the Jetsons? The Age of the Smart Home What if your phone could control your living room lights? What if your refrigerator could update your grocery list? What if you could be teleported to Tahiti just by tapping your television? OK, the last one was a stretch, but the others are all possible in a “smart home”. A smart home is the concept that your home Jane Ratliff electronics, appliances, utensils, security is an entrepreneur who is systems, doors, lights, windows and even locks passionate about teaching can all be connected and automated. adults how to use today’s With a smart home, you could even set your technology to stay connected to family, friends, commusmart thermostat to monitor your phone’s nity and the world. Jane is location so the thermostat will turn off when the executive director and you leave the house. . . that’s pretty smart! spokesperson for Bluehair While new and fun, is a smart home really Technology Group. a must-have? No, but for anyone who suffers from mobility or accessibility issues—or even anyone who prefers a more convenient lifestyle—some smart home gadgets could be useful. Having access to appliances and entrances from a smart phone or device could be a key element to successful aging in place. Here are a few products to ease you into the age of the smart home.

Smart Home Products • Doorbell Cameras • Locks • Smoke Alarms • Leak Detectors • Thermostats • Security Systems • LED Light Bulbs • Plugs and Switches • Robot Vacuums

Smart Home Brands • iRobot • Kuna • Nest • Philips Hue • Skybell • Sonos

Embracing new technology can be a daunting task! Learn about smart homes, cyber security, social media and more through group or private in-home lessons with Bluehair Technology Group, which also provides customized, in-home computer technical support. Additionally, Bluehair Technology Group has manuals for smartphones, tablets and software—all available for download and in book format.

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►Out & about THE Arts

Luba Lukova: Designing Justice Runs June 3 to Sept. 3. Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) has announced a new graphic design exhibition that addresses the essential themes of humanity and injustice. “Luba Lukova: Designing Justice” features works intended to help viewers develop empathetic understanding for social and cultural issues. MODA, 1315 Peachtree St., Atlanta 30309. Get details at museumofdesign.org.

The Miracle Worker Runs June 8 through June 25. Gypsy Theatre Company presents the classic story of how the loving, persistent Anne Sullivan breaks through to communicate with a young Helen Keller, who has been the blind, deaf and mute since infancy. Tickets are $22 to $25 per person. Buford

Community Center Theatre, 2200 Buford Hwy., Buford 30518. For more information or to buy tickets, visit bufordcommunitycenter.com.

“Lord Why Can’t I Do Right?” Saturday, June 17, 3 p.m. & 8 p.m. This inspirational and comical musical will capture the hearts of audience members with relevant messages of love, family and salvation. Tickets are $27.50 to $32.50. Porter-Sanford III Performing Arts Center, 3181 Rainbow Dr., Decatur 30034. For more information, go to makeyoufamousentertainment.com.

An Evening with Alan Alda Tuesday, June 27, 7:30 p.m. A Page from the Book Festival of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) welcomes back iconic actor, bestselling author and fan-favorite Alan Alda. He will present his book “If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating”. Ticket prices include a copy of the book: $37 per person, $33 for MJCCA members. MJCCA, 5342 Tilly Mill Rd., Dunwoody 30338. More info at atlantajcc.org/ bookfestival or by calling 678-812-4002.

Learn Something Book Study Group: “Younger Next Year” Runs June 7-July 12, Wednesdays, 2:30 p.m. Susan Longley, M.Ed., CPCC, leads a book study group based on the book “Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley. Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church Family Life Center, 2715 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta, 30305. For more information, contact Susan Longley at susan@susanlongley.com.

Camp McDonald Living History Event Saturday, June 10, 9:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. The Southern Museum, in partnership with Friends of Camp McDonald, celebrates the anniversary of Camp McDonald. Visitors interact with costumed historians and learn about the experience of early Civil War army volunteers. There’ll be weapons demonstrations, activities and lectures. The Southern Museum, 2829 Cherokee St., Kennesaw 30144. Click on SouthernMuseum.org for details.

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Mock Trial Jury Trip

Independence Day

Thursday, June 15, 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Serve as a jury member for a mock trial! Breakfast reception and non-kosher lunch included. Event is specifically for mature adults (50+) and is open to the community. Cost is $15 per person, $10 for Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) members. Advance registration recommended. Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of GA, Morrow; transportation provided from MJCCA. Get details at atlantajcc.org or by emailing matureadults@atlantajcc.org.

This year, July 4 falls on a Tuesday. Many cities and venues in the area are planning celebrations, with parades and fireworks, including: Alpharetta—July 4, 6-10 p.m. Fireworks. awesomealpharetta.com. Atlanta—July 4. Centennial Olympic & SunTrust Parks. atlanta.net. Buford—July 4, 5 p.m. Fireworks. simon.com/mall/mall-of-georgia. Decatur—July 4, 6 p.m. Parade and fireworks. visitdecaturgeorgia.com. Duluth—July 3, 6-11 p.m. Music and fireworks. duluthga.net. Dunwoody—July 4, 9 a.m. Parade. dunwoodyga.org. Kennesaw—July 3, 6-10 p.m. Salute to America. kennesaw-ga.gov. Lilburn—July 4, 5:30-10 p.m. Fireworks and more. cityoflilburn.com. Marietta—July 4, 10 a.m. Parade at the Square. mariettacalendar.com. Sandy Springs—July 2, 7-10:30 p.m. Fireworks. visitsandysprings.org. Stone Mountain—July 1-4, 10:30 a.m-8 p.m. stonemountainpark.com. Woodstock—July 4, 10 a.m. Parade and more. visitwoodstockga.com.

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “The Cosmic Perspective” Thursday, June 15, 7:30 p.m. The Fox Theatre presents astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. The Host of “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” and Director of the Hayden Planetarium will host an evening dedicated to the “The Cosmic Perspective”. Tickets range from $49 to $99 and are available at Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-735-3000 or at the Cobb Energy Centre Box Office. VIP meet and greet tickets, $250, are available online only. Cobb Energy Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Pkwy., Atlanta 30339. More info at cobbenergycentre.com.

Holiday and Special Events Good Neighbor Day Airshow & Open House Saturday, June 10, 12-5 p.m. The 100th anniversary of Camp Gordon—DeKalbPeachtree Airport will be celebrated at this year’s annual Good Neighbor Day Airshow. Helicopter and bi-plane rides available. Music provided by the Atlanta Blue Notes. Free admission, $10 per vehicle parking. Camp Gordon— DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, 2000 Airport Rd., Atlanta 30341. Details at pdkairshow.com.

ELF Home Improvement & Repair • Kitchens • Decks • Bathroom • Fences • Windows • Doors • Electrical • Plumbing • Various Repairs

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Summer MusicFest 2017 Saturday, June 3; Friday, June 16; Monday, July 3; Saturdays, Aug. 5 & 19. All performances begin 8 p.m. The Arts Council’s MusicFest line-up is: The Joe Gransden Big Band featuring guest vocalist Annie on June 3; Sellick; The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on June 16; The Northwinds Symphonic Band, a Patriotic Pops Concert, on July 3; Back in Time on Aug. 5; and Riverstreet on Aug. 19. Smithgall Arts Center, 31 Spring St., Gainesville 30501. For costs, details and tickets or visit TheArtsCouncil.net.

Lift Up Atlanta’s Summer Fun Festival Saturday, June 17, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Fun for the whole family with live entertainment, arts and crafts, games and activities, silent auction, carnival food, petting zoo and more. Admission is a donation or school supplies for needy children. Gwinnett County Fairgrounds, 2405 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Lawrenceville 30046. More info at liftupatlanta.org.

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Assisted Living | Memory Care

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Atlanta Senior Life - June 2017  
Atlanta Senior Life - June 2017