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Senior Lifestyles

Fairlawn seniors group off to strong start

12/5/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Helping to organize a Fairlawn senior citizens organization are, shown above, from left (front row) Carol Swartz, Carol Goetz and Pat Quatraro, and (back row) Jim Swartz, Phyllis Martino and John Albright.
Nancy Welch, of Fairlawn, takes a cup of popcorn from Michele Williams, assistant director of Parks and Recreation in Fairlawn, during a holiday movie event for seniors Dec. 2.
Photos: Kathleen Folkerth
FAIRLAWN — When the city of Fairlawn put out a call for older residents to help start a group for active seniors, the response was positive.

“We had 15 people at our organizational meeting,” said Laurie Beisecker, the city’s director of Parks and Recreation. “We were shocked.”

After several months of planning, a committee of residents has now begun hosting activities in hopes of providing seniors with a social outlet.

“The goal is just to have something interesting for seniors,” said Carol Goetz, one of six residents helping to get the group started. “Right now, there’s nothing specific for seniors. We’re hoping to have one event and something like cards here every month.”

During the first organized activity at the Fairlawn-Kiwanis Community Center Dec. 2, which featured a showing of the film “A Christmas Story,” more than a dozen residents came out to share their lunch and enjoy popcorn.

The next activity will be Jan. 5 at 11 a.m., with a potluck lunch at the Community Center.

Jim Swartz, also a committee member, said he believes the group will fill a need.

“Fairlawn has a lot of senior citizens and a lot of us have talked about getting something organized,” he said. “We’re starting out with a decent response.”

Pat Quatraro briefly spoke during the gathering this week about what organizers hope to offer as the months go on.

“There’s so many things we can do,” she said, noting that she’s heard interest in going to the movies and performances, playing cards, a book club and day trips to sites like Amish country and casinos.

She also thanked Beisecker’s department and the city for being supportive of the effort.

Beisecker said the city is providing space and assistance, but the group is purely an effort of those for whom it’s for.

“We have a great core community group that’s stepped forward,” she said. “It’s taken off quicker than we thought.”

Plans call for the group to meet the first Monday of the month at 11 a.m., with a planning committee meeting held the third Monday of the month. For more information on the group, call 330-668-9515.

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