A few weeks ago while driving north on the Thruway, I was amazed by how heavy the southbound traffic was. “Where are they all coming from?” I wondered. Of course, many were coming from the Hudson Valley; from here. They have discovered what we lucky residents already know. No matter what your age, there is so much to do and see in the greater Gardiner area.
Two marvelous programs just for seniors are the New Paltz-Gardiner Senior Citizens Club and the Lifetime Learning Institute (LLI) at SUNY New Paltz. Both, organized and led by senior volunteers, offer a wide variety of cultural, social and learning experiences for folks 55 and over and meet conveniently nearby. What’s not to love?
A recent board meeting of The New Paltz-Gardiner Seniors, led by President Joseph Trapani, was a well organized and enjoyable gathering of seniors with a “git ‘er done” attitude, while a general meeting was a picnic like no other. Food was catered (so no fussing on your own) and held indoors out of the hot summer sun and away from picnic ants. A wonderful accordionist added to the festive and very social gathering.
The New Paltz-Gardiner Seniors get together most 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, at 1:30 PM at the easy to park at V.F.W. Post at 101 State Route 208 in New Paltz. The Club offers a rich variety of programs including musicians, guest speakers, holiday parties, picnics and four exciting (and subsidized) bus trips to museums, concerts, day cruises and theater performances. The Club’s Program Chairperson, Kathy Rivera says, “Come and meet new people and socialize. It’s a great reason just to get out!” For more information call membership chairperson Fran Matthews at 845 419-5224.
The Lifetime Learning Institute is the somewhat lofty sounding name for a very lively adult continuing education program with classes on the SUNY New Paltz campus and at various venues around the community. I have both taken and taught a variety of classes at LLI and can personally attest to the quality of the program and the joy and fulfillment it provides.
Here’s a sample of recent class titles: “Seeing Art with New Eyes,” “The Governors of the Empire State,” “Book Repair,” “The Found Tribes of Israel,” “The Beatles,” “Lost Industries of Ulster County,” “Writing for the Stage,” and “Easy Bike Rides,” just to name a few. What an incredible variety of learning based on inquiry, discussion and hands (and feet) on activities and creativity. Classes are led by people like you and me who have a passion for a particular topic. What’s your passion? Why not take a class or better yet, join the all-volunteer teaching staff and share what you love to do!
LLI offers fall and spring semesters in which all classes are included for one modest fee. Classes meet Wednesdays and Fridays. There are trips to cultural and historical sites, catered brunches with delicious food and a wonderful variety of speakers and performers which recently included tap dancing seniors, history of the native American and Europeans settlers in the Hudson Valley. For more information about Life Learning Institute, call the Registrar, Jane Winters at 845-257- 2892 or visit www.newpaltz.edu/lifetime.
For more information on many Gardiner senior activities, sign up with Stephen Weir of the Gardiner Senior Resources Committee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.