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Golden Age Club Goes Virtual – on Zoom, Facebook and Internet

posted in: Community, Pandemic
Golden Age Club Zoom meeting, photo by Rebekah Sutfin
Photo by Rebekah Sutfin

Sadly, the last in-person event of Greenbelt’s Golden Age Club was in early March. But it’s September now and the club is back with its regular Wednesday meeting schedule –  on Zoom this time, with plans through the end of the year.

Events are open to all members, who receive the Zoom link via email. Nonmembers interested in participating should email rsutfin@greenbeltmd.gov about joining and receiving the link.

The club’s maiden event on Zoom was September 9, when Greenbelt’s Therapeutic Recreation Supervisor Rebekah Sutfin and club president Judy Parker convened a group of 22 attendees. At least two members had their kids on hand to help them tackle Zoom for the first time.

Topics of this first event were: What’s new since we last saw you? And how are you coping? Their responses included:

Member Activities During the Quarantine

  • “It’s so nice to see people without a mask on!”
  • One member reported having had covid but doing fine now. She recommended, “Keep your masks and distancing, even with family!” Two others reported children and/or children-in-law having covid and doing fine now.
  • Highlights of their pandemic activities, like swimming, walking, online stretching, online mahjong (up to 6 hours/week), crabcakes at the Greenbelt American Legion, McDonald’s drive-through, writing postcards to help get out the vote, finishing a wedding quilt, weekly lunches with a friend in the elementary school parking lot. a “wonderful” class on documentary films given by SAGE, a craft group, online yoga three times a week, Maglev meetings online, getting a cat, weekly carryout from Greenbelt restaurants with friends, a birthday party with pizza and ice cream cake, and attending a 5-attendee wedding that was live-streamed on Facebook.

Random Comments

  • Several expressed gratitude for the Zoom get-together.
  • “We don’t have much to complain about.”
  • “I’ve lost 15 pounds, with no late-evening runs to Coop for cookies.
  • “I’m busy all the time.”
  • “I’m playing too much solitaire on the computer.”
  • “I didn’t think I could deal with this, but it’s no problem.”
  • “I miss my water aerobics.”
  • And “Webex is very difficult compared to zoom.”
  • John Henry Jones invited members to stop and chat with him on their walks down Ridge Road. He’s often sitting in his garden.

Before closing, Rebekah told us what a relief was to see people attending this first virtual meeting “Yay, people are here!”

Next Events

The scheduled Zoom events follow the regular club calendar of meetings, all at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays. Coming up next are:

  • Sep 16, 2020 at 11:00 Birthday/Anniversary Luncheon – everyone makes something to show off during the meeting and share the recipe
  • Sept 23, 2020 at 11:00 Speaker- Donna Peterson talks about Dr. Samuel Mudd.

Golden Age Club on the Internet

For the first time, the Golden Age Club has a website or page of its own – here on Greenbelt Online. It can be reached directly using one of the domain names it recently purchased, like GreenbeltGoldenAgeClub.org. (Pages like this are free for Greenbelt-based nonprofit groups.)

Facebook, Too

News, announcements and features of interest are also now posted to the new Golden Age Club Facebook page. If there’s interest, a group may be forthcoming, to provide a place for members to communicate with each other.

And Email and Telephone, Always!

These new web presences are in addition to the club’s weekly email newsletters from Robin Olson. During the first Zoom meeting many members thanked her for those important sources of information.

President Judy Parker has also been busy during the pandemic telephoning a few members every Wednesday, when they’d normally be attending a club event, to catch up. She reports that many long conversations have resulted, and she’s enjoying the chance to connect.

NOTE: By contributing these pandemic stories, photos, et cetera, Greenbelters are making an unconditional donation of the material to the nonprofit Greenbelt Online.org and the Greenbelt Museum/City of Greenbelt, which reserve the right to keep, lend, or otherwise dispose of the donated material, and may use the material on our website, for social media or other postings, in promotional materials or in future exhibits.

Follow Susan Harris:
“Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012, and that first blog has grown into this nonprofit community website. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog at GardenRant.com. In 2021 Susan joined the Board of Directors of Greenbelt Access TV.

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