Members Keep On The Move

August 10, 1994|By Karen Zeiler | Karen Zeiler,Contributing Writer

At 95, Felix Baker has a social life he can brag about. But he's content to let others do the bragging for him.

The oldest member of Seniors in Action, Mr. Baker was among 140 members and their guests who gathered yesterday afternoon for a luncheon at Martin's Westminster to celebrate the group's fifth anniversary.

The social club offers companionship and recreational activities for folks 55 and older.

Barbara Gundina of the Department of Recreation and Parks, an adviser for the group, said Mr. Baker is one of the club's most active members; he goes on almost every bus trip and attends almost every meeting.

Members recalled many of those trips over a hot buffet lunch.

Outgoing President Grace Gladden cited recent excursions to Atlantic City, Cape Cod, Myrtle Beach, Tangier Island and the C&O Canal.

The group is planning a day trip to see "The Phantom of the Opera" in New York in December.

Mrs. Gladden said she is leaving the post after two years to devote more time to her house and to other volunteer activities, including weekly visits to Carroll County Food Sunday and Manchester Elementary School, where she participates in the children's reading program.

"This has been a terrific time for me," she said. "They don't want me to leave."

Friends Ruth Ofenstein and Blanche Altman said the club helps keep them busy. Both have established new friendships and have gone on numerous day trips.

Bob Pepperney, who helped found the group, recalled a warning from his wife before the first organizational meeting in 1989.

"She told me, 'Don't take an office.' I came home as president."

He said he and his wife, Helen, were looking for something to do and were happy to get involved.

The Sykesville couple are also active in the Liberty Lake Golden Age Club, where Mrs. Pepperney is president and Mr. Pepperney is treasurer.

Guest speaker Susan White-Bowden, author and former television news anchor, praised the group's success and sought to refute the image of retirees as stay-at-home types.

"People look at me and say, 'You have grandchildren?' I tell them I have six grandchildren," she said. "This is what grandmothers look like these days. They are active, involved; some are even going back to college."

She said she met many women in their 40s and 50s while teaching a course in television writing at Notre Dame College in Baltimore.

Other guests at yesterday's lunch included County Commissioners Donald I. Dell and Elmer C. Lippy, and Recreation and Parks Director Richard Soisson.

"These people recognize that life doesn't stop at 65," said Mr. Lippy. "There is so much more to do and explore."

Seniors in Action meets the second Tuesday of each month at the Horn and Horn Restaurant in the 140 Village Shopping Center, Westminster. All interested senior citizens are welcome. Information: 857-2103.

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