Singles over 50 get help finding one another

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

In the newly formed 50+ Professional Group, older singles can share companionship along with outlets for their talents and interests.

A 55-year-old self-employed engineer, L. Lorraine Willis, began the club last month for "the neglected group."

Singles groups abound for "30- and 40-somethings," and senior citizens have "plenty of organized activities," she said. While "the where to go and what to do syndrome" is not limited to any age, recreational opportunities for the 50- to 65-year-old set are few.

Ms. Willis wants to fill community calendars with listings for those at the upper end of middle age, she said.

"There are a lot of older professional people who are creative, have talents and much to offer to our group," she said. "We have interests in a wide range of activities."

And, interest in her club is spreading across the state. 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.

"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," said Ms. Willis, a Glen Burnie resident. "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.' "

From her own experience, she said, she is not surprised that so many people want to get involved in the group.

"I found it difficult to locate activities with my peers, people in my age range," said Ms. Willis. "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 Theater in Baltimore and several Christmas concerts. The club will chase the winter blahs with a ski trip and tickets to several theatrical presentations.

"The ideas and the calls keep coming," said Ms. Willis. "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. They may organize a ballroom dance class, she said.

Ms. Willis said that fair weather will usher in biking, hiking and walking events, and trips to resorts.

She also has contacted several county tourism bureaus to select events around the state. Members will meet and travel everywhere.

"We are going to rotate monthly planning meetings in several counties," she said.

About 35 members will discuss and set future events at a noon brunch Sunday at the Rose Restaurant in Linthicum. Reservations are requested at (410) 761-7216.

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