New singles club appeals to 50-plus professional set

January 05, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

Singles groups abound for "30- and 40-somethings," and senior citizens have "plenty of organized activities." But recreational opportunities for the 50- to 65-year-old set are few.

That's the dilemma L. Lorraine Willis hopes to resolve through her newly formed 50+ Professional Group.

The 55-year-old self-employed mechanical engineer said her goal is to ensure that community calendars are crammed with listings for those at the upper end of middle age.

"There are a lot of older professional people who are creative [and] have talents and much to offer to our group," she said.

Interest in her club is spreading. Since she advertised the group for people ages 50 to 65 in The Sun about a month ago, she has received calls from nearly every county in Maryland.

"I have had 100 calls in five weeks from a wide variety of professionals," she said, listing physicians, lawyers, teachers and an astronomer among the new members.

She hopes the club will help put people of similar interests and ages in touch with each other.

"Singles often have a difficult time going places alone," Ms. Willis said. "I want to provide a forum for older singles. They can call each other and say, 'I'd like to go to this event with you.'

"I found it difficult to locate activities with my peers, people in my age range," she added. "There are many places I would visit, if I didn't have to go by myself. There were many others who felt the same way."

The fledgling group managed to fill its December agenda with a Dickens reading in Fells Point, a movie at the Senator Theatre in Baltimore and several Christmas concerts. The club plans to chase away remaining winter blahs with a ski trip and tickets to several theatrical presentations.

"The ideas and the calls keep coming," Ms. Willis said. "We all want to go out, get involved and enjoy what's out there."

While members have generated "enthusiasm for all types of events," they eschew individual house parties and dances -- although organizing a ballroom dance class has been discussed, she said.

Ms. Willis said fair weather will usher in biking, hiking and walking events, as well as trips to resorts. She also has contacted several tourism bureaus to select events around the state.

About 35 members will discuss and set future events at a noon brunch Sunday at the Rose Restaurant in Linthicum. Reservations may be made at 761-7216.

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