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Senior Lifestyles

Bath Good Time Club celebrating 45 years

6/5/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Ariel Hakim

Bath resident Charlotte Miller, 95, has been a member of the Bath Good Time Club for the past 40 years. The club will celebrate its 45th anniversary with a luncheon June 17.
Photo: Ariel Hakim
BATH — The membership of the Bath Good Time Club may have dwindled somewhat from its early days, but for those who attend today, including the group’s longest active member, the club’s name still rings true.

The club for area seniors plans to host a 45th anniversary celebration June 17 at noon at Yellow Tail Japanese Seafood Sushi Buffet Restaurant in Montrose.

Following lunch, a short history of the club will be presented, and Charlotte Miller will be honored for 40 years of active membership in the club. Entertainment will be provided by the Al Zimmerman Band.

As with its regular monthly meetings, all area seniors are invited to the celebration.

Regular meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month at noon in the Fellowship Hall of Ghent Christian Church, located at 4200 Granger Road in Bath. Attendees are asked to bring a covered dish to share to regular meetings, while the club provides coffee, tea, bread and butter. For those who do not wish to bring a dish to share, lunch costs $5.

After the meal, the club hosts a program, which can include speakers, music and other entertainment.

One recent speaker was 70-year-old Berea resident Bob Grau, who talked about hiking the length of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in 2011, said Marilyn Woodling, publicity chairperson. Grau brought gear from his trek, including the tent he used, to show the members, she said.

“He was one of our outstanding speakers,” added Woodling.

Once a year, Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh visits to catch up the members on scams targeting seniors, she said.

Musical entertainment ranges from high school choral groups to professional musicians, she added.

Miller, the club’s longest active member, at 95 said she still enjoys attending the monthly meetings.

She was aware of the club from around the time it first started or shortly thereafter, she said, because her mother, Elizabeth Grosh, was a member. With her mother not able to drive herself, Miller was recruited sometimes to take her.

“A couple of times I was able to take her and enjoyed it very much, but I really felt like that was her thing to do, so I didn’t join until later,” she said.

Miller’s history with the club includes chairing the Kitchen Committee from 1984 to 1993. In that role, she prepared coffee and tea, set up dining and buffet tables, set out placemats and napkins, kept food warm as needed and cleaned up afterward, she said.

These days, Miller said she appreciates no longer having to shoulder that responsibility.

“I like to see the people and visit, and it’s nice now to just sit down and eat without worrying about the kitchen,” she said.

“I love it,” she added. “I go as much as I can.”

In the early days, the group didn’t often host outside speakers, she noted. Speakers came from among the members and included topics like quilting and woodcarving, she said. Some male members in the club made up a men’s quartet that often performed at meetings, she added.

The Bath Good Time Club formed in 1969, meeting first at Bath Church. By 1974, the club outgrew that location and moved to its current meeting place at Ghent Christian Church, according to Woodling.

When Miller and her husband, Andrew, joined, the club had 70 or 80 members, she said. At first, members had to be residents of Bath to join, a requirement that was later lifted, she added.

Today, paid members number 28, Woodling said. Each pays $15 in annual dues, with which the group buys coffee and the other supplies, pays a fee for its meeting room and speaker fees. To raise additional funds, the club sometimes holds a 50/50 raffle, according to Woodling.

Woodling added the club has a long-held tradition of helping a family in need around Christmas time. The group also participates in the Bath Community Day parade every year, she said.

During the 1970s and ’80s, trips were organized semiannually, heading south in the spring and north in the fall, according to Woodling.

“Usually we’d go where we thought the foliage was the prettiest,” said Miller.

In 1978, 31 members and a tour guide travelled to Hawaii, Woodling said.

Miller remembers touring Mark Twain’s home and taking a riverboat cruise during a trip to Hannibal, Missouri.; staying in a chalet in Maine; and visiting caves in Kentucky and Virginia, she said.

One of the reasons for the success of the trips was their organizer, past member Kay Zacharias, a retired teacher, said Miller.

“She was one of the reasons why our trips were so successful,” said Miller. “She made sure we got a good coach and good hotels, and she made sure that we had nice places to go, and she was excellent,” she said.

Eventually, though, the travel was getting too expensive for many of the members of the group, and Zacharias was ready to turn over hostess duties, said Miller.

The club has since scaled back on its travels, now focusing on taking day trips to nearby attractions, Woodling said.

The Bath Good Time Club is open to all area senior men and women.

Yellow Tail is located in the Market Square plaza in Montrose, 4045 Medina Road. To make a reservation for the 45th anniversary luncheon, call Shirley at 330-836-3562 by June 10.

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