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President's Corner

A few months ago, a cousin and I were talking about retirement. She is not much younger than I and said she was “afraid” to retire. I think many people are in the same boat . . . tired of working, but afraid to retire. I admit, I shared that fear. For many of us, work provides the community we need to thrive. The friendships, shared experiences, and common interests become the benefits from work, well beyond pay or perks. Earlier in life, my friends also were the parents of children my son’s age, but I moved to California long after he had grown and had a life of his own. And, to make it worse, my job involved travel at least two weeks a month, so getting close to neighbors was difficult.
So, I faced retirement with fear, but the travel was wearing me out. Fortunately, I found other arenas for developing a community of shared interest. OLLI was for me and for many others, key to that. As we take classes together, we find the experiences we used to share at work. As we learn new things, we find the challenges we miss when we stop working for pay. As we talk between classes and during our social events, we find the common interests that are the basis for community.
I’m struck over and over by the value of OLLI when I run into fellow OLLI participants as I move around Long Beach. It is exciting to develop new friends in this later stage of life. Otto Ross, OLLI member who reached his 100th year, told us to “learn more; age less.” And we do. But OLLI also gives us the social outlets and support we all need throughout our lives.


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From the Executive Director

By Dr. Barbara White

You may recall that two years ago our annual fundraiser targeted the development of a scholarship for students on campus to support their research in the field of aging. Our goal was to endow this scholarship, which required a minimum of $25,000. The results of our fundraiser and an
additional generous gift have allowed us to endow this scholarship as the OLLI Fitzpatrick Family Graduate Student Research in Aging Grant. This approximately $1,000 competitive grant will be awarded annually in our name. Thank you for your generous gifts. You may continue to contribute to this fund.

OLLI also continues to partner with Dr.
Olfat Mohamed (Physical Therapy) and her team in research focused on effective fall prevention strategies. With a competitive award from the College, OLLI will continue our Balance and Fall Prevention exercise
class this fall in service to our members and to this research. The grant includes offering the
exercise classes at the newly renovated American Gold Star Manor in northeast Long Beach and welcoming fifty residents of the Manor to membership in OLLI. We will also have the opportunity to offer other classes at this site, including basic computer skills. If you are interested in teaching here, please leave your name at the office.
Finally, we have initiated a marketing strategy
to encourage Leisure World residents to join us for classes on their premises. This will include offering classes at Leisure World that are inititally limited to those residents. The goal is that a minimum of 50% of class attendees are from Leisure World. Because we need a growing attendance at Leisure World in order to continue offering classes there, we ask our Leisure World members to help us market and attend our classes at this site.