SPRING celebrates 15 years of helping seniors at Bain center


March 28, 2001|By Heather Tepe | Heather Tepe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SPRING BLOOMS year-round at Florence Bain Senior Center. On March 21, SPRING - Senior Peer Resources, Individuals, Networks and Groups - celebrated its 15th anniversary with high tea and a skit presented by members of the group.

Fifteen years ago, Paula Penney, a member of the center, saw an episode of "60 Minutes" about a support group for seniors in California. Penney took the idea to Nell Boynton, who at the time was director of the senior center. With the help of a $4,000 start-up grant from the Columbia Foundation, SPRING was born.

SPRING has 13 support groups that meet weekly. For example, SPRING Ties explores relationships with children and grandchildren and how family life can change as we age. SPRING Acres helps seniors dealing with chronic pain from arthritis. SPRING Honeybees share strategies for dealing with diabetes. Drama enthusiasts find a place to ham it up with the SPRING Bain Troupers. SPRING Pretenders is a support group for widows and widowers

In addition to support groups, SPRING offers bimonthly luncheons at restaurants, training courses for group facilitators and an annual weekend retreat.

"The strength of SPRING's blooms are in its facilitator volunteers," said Dot Keczmerski, SPRING coordinator and mental health coordinator for the Howard County Office on Aging. "These people are good listeners."

The next training course for group facilitators begins Friday.

At the anniversary celebration, members of the drama group performed in "The Story of SPRING - Past, Present and Future," a skit written by Nancy Koepsell, one of the original group facilitators.

The skit featured Juanita Robinson, Jill Kamenetz, Jackie Greene, Marion Welsh, Marty Chaitovitz, Harriet Perretz, Addison Webster, Neysa Morrill, Felicia Fitzpatrick, Rose Colleti, Evelyn Fatzie, Al Manasseri and Genevieve Grau as the ghosts of SPRING, past, present and future.

Wearing white tulle veils over their faces, the actors told short stories about how their lives had improved through involvement with SPRING.

"Before SPRING, I was having to deal with the loss of my beloved wife," Manasseri said as a ghost from the past.

He removed his veil and said, "The Pretenders group allowed me to share my grief with those who were also grieving."

Information: 410-313-7466.

`Oz' on ice

The Columbia Figure Skating Club will present "The Wizard of Oz on Ice" on Saturday and Sunday at Columbia Ice Rink on Thunder Hill Road.

Shows are scheduled each day at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Ryann Pfeferstein of west Columbia will skate in the role of the Scarecrow, and Kristen Tessmer will take to the ice as the Tin Man.

Other west Columbia skaters who appear in the program are Nicole Battisti, Cheyenne Falat, Emily Friedenberg, Jennifer Liu, Alyssa Perrone, Brennah Rosenthal, Loren Scolaro, Rod Smith, Sarah Smith, Lindsay Sperling, Cassandra Tarash, Caryl Winter, Pamela Winter, Rachel Winter and Kathleen Yoo.

Tickets are $8.50; Children younger than 3 are admitted free.

Tickets and information: 410- 799-5356 or 410-750-0237.

Jazz in Town Center

The Town Center Community Association will sponsor a free jazz concert from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday at Historic Oakland on Vantage Point Road.

Saxophonist and clarinetist Kyle Coughlin will lead the HCC Jazz Ensemble and the HCC Faculty Jazz Quartet through original compositions and jazz standards.

Coughlin performs regularly with the Todd Butler Group which was voted top jazz band in Baltimore by Music Monthly magazine.

Reservations: 410-730-4744.

Leadership training

Leadership Howard County is accepting applications for its 2001-2002 leadership training class.

The organization seeks to prepare leaders from the private and public sectors for community involvement.

Monthly training sessions focus on government, education, economic development, health and human services.

The cost of the program is $3,500.

Information: Shirley Burrill at 410-730-4474 or visit the Web site at www.leadershiphc.org.

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