Saturday, June 25, 2022

A Conversation with Senior Activity Center Member Glen Burgess

Getting the chance to sit down and learn from our Senior Center members is the best part of our jobs.

The City of Southlake has a rich history. Its proximity to DFW airport, access to Lake Grapevine, and thriving Town Square made Southlake a highly sought-after community. But what was this area like before it was officially Southlake? Senior Center staff sat down with long-time member and lifetime Southlake resident, Glen Burgess, to get a first-hand account of Southlake before its incorporation in 1956.

Glen Burgess“I didn’t move to Southlake. Southlake moved to me.” Glen Burgess often tells this to those who inquire about his history with the City. Born in 1930, Burgess is native to this area and grew up when it was still called Precinct 19. One of seven children, his family were sharecroppers when this area was “nothing but farmland.”

Southlake was a very different scene in the mid-1900s than it is today. From Glen’s recollections, there wasn’t any electricity, running water, bicycle lanes, or paved roads when he was growing up. Open spaces were everywhere, and Highway 114 was a gravel road that connected Grapevine to Roanoke.

Glen attended five area schools before graduating from High School in Grapevine, including spending some time in Carroll ISD. Burgess attended the Florence school, a one-room schoolhouse in Roanoke before attending Carroll. Carroll only had five rooms at the time—one room to accommodate two classes. After 10th grade, children had to move to Grapevine to graduate.

Education looked different during those times. Children had to walk to school. In the fall, kids were often late to school as they had to help with the harvest: cotton, tomatoes, blackberries, and turnips. Glen only had three subjects: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. There weren’t any sports teams, and the only decoration in the classroom was the alphabet written above the chalkboard. Glen mentioned how the water fountain was outside, and the outhouse was in the woods. During his freshman year of high school, Glen remembers that 12th grade became a graduation requirement for the first time.

After high school, Glen spent two years in Germany with the Military. It was there that he met his future wife, Alice. Despite not seeing each other for ten years and corresponding solely via letters, Alice moved to Texas to be with Glen in 1963.

“I asked Alice to come over here [the U.S.], and that if she didn’t like it, she could go home,” Glen recalled jokingly.

Glen and Alice have been married for 58 years and have witnessed the rapid changes in Southlake during that time. What is now 1709 was a gravel road called Keller Road. Alice reminisced about having to drive to Grapevine to go grocery shopping and visit the doctor. When he was growing up, people had their own wells for water and septic tanks. Before gas lines were installed in the early 1960s, each house had a Butan tank for gas. Glen also mentioned how his property taxes were only $25 a year when he first bought a 3-acre property in 1954!

Despite the many developments during their lifetime, Glen and Alice Burgess played a vital role in this community. They remodeled and helped start the first Montessori school in Southlake back in 1970 with other local volunteers. Back then, the school only had 12-15 kids. That Montessori school is now in Colleyville. The Burgesses were also one of six couples to see the opening of the Southlake Senior Center in 1993.

Since then, both Glen and Alice have been active Senior Center members. Alice comes to the Senior Center every day to exercise, play Mah Jongg and dominos, and socialize with friends.

It’s no secret that Southlake has grown enormously in the last 65 years. We are grateful to have life-long residents like Glen Burgess to remind us of where we were and how far we’ve come. Thank you to the Burgess’s for taking the time to reminisce with us!

Staying Cool at the Senior Activity Center

Southlake Senior Activity Members know all about staying cool. Ask any of our SAC staff or volunteers, and they will tell you that our senior members have fascinating stories to tell. Because our members are amongst the coolest residents in Southlake, the Senior Activity Center hosted an Ice Cream Social on Thursday, July 22, 2021, from 1:30-2:30 PM.

 

Senior center members enjoyed a delicious ice cream treat fully sponsored by Milwaukee Joe’s Southlake and the McGee Law Firm and soaked up an afternoon of staying cool and catching up with friends. It’s always lovely to see our members gather and have a good time. Our staff prides itself in creating fun, interactive, and educational programming for our members. 

 

Special events like the Ice Cream Social make being a SAC member extra special. From the moment you join, you are treated like part of the family by our world-class employees, volunteers, and supporters. The Senior Activity Center is the go-to place to create life-long memories with the best programs! The Ice Cream Social is just one example.

 

While we all screamed for ice cream this Thursday, there are plenty of other recurring activities at the Senior Activity Center every week. Our members can stay in tip-top shape with Chair Yoga, Line Dance, Zumba Gold, Chair Pilates, and Fun & Fitness classes in their dedicated fitness studio. Poker, Knitting, and Mah Jongg are also popular with our members and available every week. There is truly something for everyone at the SAC.

 

Make sure to keep an eye out for our monthly Senior Center Newsletter to stay up to date on the latest happenings at the Senior Activity Center.

Senior Activity Center Welcomes Back Hybrid In-Person Meals on Wheels Luncheon

Senior Activity Center Members will tell you that one of the highlights of being a part of the Senior Center is their weekly Meals on Wheels Luncheon.

 

Provided by Metroport Meals on Wheels in partnership with the Senior Activity Center, seniors can look forward to a delicious hot meal every Monday. Since the start of the pandemic, the weekly Luncheons adopted a curbside pickup model that was largely successful. It provided Southlake seniors with a means of maintaining access to warm meals while safely socializing.

 

Last Monday, July 12, brought in a new era of the weekly luncheons. After 12 months of hosting drive-through lunches, The Senior Activity Center conducted the first indoor-Hybrid Luncheon. This new phase of the Senior Activity Center reopening plan will offer hybrid luncheons to senior members during July.

 

What does this hybrid model look like? In July, Senior Center members can choose whether they want to pick up and take home the pre-packaged meal or stay and enjoy lunch with their peers. At the Senior Activity Center, we are always looking to bring world-class services to our members while letting them choose their comfort level of activity.

  

Last Monday’s inaugural hybrid luncheon was as popular as ever! One hundred participants enjoyed FeedStore BBQ and pre-packaged cookies donated by Southlake Senior Funding Inc. (SSFI). The Senior Center is lucky to work with multiple partners, including volunteers from the National Charity League. Last week these incredible volunteers donated their time to help safely serve drinks and sanitize tables and chairs.

 

Senior Activity Center members can look forward to going back to the original congregated weekly lunch program starting in August. This dine-in-only program brings our seniors together to socialize while providing a balanced menu in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

 

We are grateful for the opportunity to serve Southlake’s senior community as we continue to welcome our members. Senior Center members can register for July’s hybrid luncheon here.

Seniors Celebrate Cinco De Mayo with an Outdoor Fiesta

Nothing says Fiesta like an outdoor celebration featuring delicious comida, contagious musica, and great conversation with life-long amigos.

The Southlake Senior Activity Center celebrated Cinco De Mayo with an outdoor luncheon on the Senior Center Patio and Aria Amphitheater on Wednesday, May 5. The first major in-person celebration after opening its doors for Phase 1 on Monday, the noon fiesta was a smash hit with Senior Center members.

The Senior Center Patio was vibrant in colorful decorations featuring well-known Mexican symbols such as cacti, piñatas, and sombreros. Senior Center members were ready to pull up a chair in the shady spots of the beautiful patio or enjoy the sunlight shining on the Aria Amphitheater lawn. Salsa music played as the aroma of Fajita Pete’s fajitas filled the air. With over 40 members in attendance, it was clear that Southlake seniors are ready to socialize and enjoy a great meal with fantastic weather.

Cinco de Mayo is a popular celebration with the Mexican-American community in the United States. While commonly believed to be Mexican Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates the Battle of Puebla of 1862, where the Mexican army successfully fended off a French invasion. Today, the holiday provides another reason to celebrate within our community and welcome back our seniors to the Senior Activity Center.

Holiday-themed luncheons are a staple of the Senior Center. Our staff and volunteers work diligently every day to provide our senior community with ample opportunity to gather safely and have a great time. Cinco de Mayo provided the perfect occasion to transition from our curb-side holiday luncheons to an outdoor event in our world-class facility. We thank everyone who was able to join us.

Make sure to keep up with our website to learn more about our upcoming events.

Southlake Senior Activity Center Hosts Saint Patrick’s Day Luncheon

The Luck of the Irish was in Southlake yesterday as the Senior Activity Center celebrated another successful drive-through luncheon.

Everyone was greening from ear to ear as the Saint Patrick’s Day Luncheon began. Senior Activity staff and Southlake Sister Cities volunteers passed out tulips, Irish-themed goody bags, and a traditional Irish meal to Southlake seniors. The menu consisted of a delicious Shepherd’s Pie from Scratch Kitchen Catering.

Decked out in green, the Legends Hall parking lot was feeling the Irish spirit. Irish jigs played, lucky shamrocks were creatively placed, and volunteers waved celebratory signs as Seniors rolled up to collect their food. The sun was shining and the birds were singing, making it the perfect afternoon to celebrate this global pre-Spring tradition. There was even a leprechaun sighting! A huge thank you and shout out to the Southlake Sister Cities volunteers that helped make this event festive and fun.

Over the last year, the Southlake Senior Activity Center has perfected the art of the curbside luncheon. Forced to be creative due to Covid-19, Senior Center staff are determined to continue spreading cheer to the Southlake Senior community. Whether it’s conducting wellness calls, hosting weekly drive-through luncheons, to celebrating fun holidays, the Senior Center aims to offer world-class experiences to all Southlake Seniors.

Exciting things are always happening at the Southlake Senior Activity Center. Keep an eye on our website to stay up to date on all upcoming events!

Southlake Women’s Club hosts Annual Senior Valentine Luncheon

Winter weather did not stop the Southlake Women’s Club from spreading the love at the Senior Activity Center last Friday during the annual Senior Valentine Luncheon.

The beloved community event finally came to fruition on February 26, after being postponed due to weather concerns. A large turnout of around 80 seniors showed up in front of Legends Hall at The Marq Southlake for the Luncheon. The Southlake Women’s Club provided a wonderful afternoon complete with goody bags, roses, and a catered meal for our seniors to celebrate the month of love.

The Luncheon looked a little different this year, adapting to a curbside pick-up model due to COVID-19 restrictions.  However, that didn’t stop our wonder women from delighting Southlake seniors with Valentine’s surprises. Seniors rolled up sporting pink and red to pick-up a warm meal provided by Fajita Pete’s Mexican restaurant. Fan-favorite love songs played, bubbles filled the air, and volunteers cheered on the streets with signs as seniors pulled up to receive their treats. Southlake Women’s Club members alongside Senior Center staff were even spotted dancing to the “Cupid Shuffle.”

Seniors were all smiles as they collected their warm meals.

“This always makes my day,” one senior stated as he received a yellow rose.

“I always look forward to the events at the Senior Center,” claimed another Senior Center member.

The annual Senior Center Valentine Luncheon is one of the Southlake Women’s Club’s signature events. Dating back to the early 2000s, the first Valentine Luncheon took place at the old Southlake Senior Center before moving to the Senior Activity Center at The Marq. Since then, the event has only grown in popularity, with festivities and community spirit increasing every year. With so much love to go around, it’s easy to see why this event is a highlight of the year for Southlake seniors.

Partnerships like the one between the Southlake Women’s Club and the Senior Activity Center give our residents world-class experiences. Coming together to celebrate Southlake’s giving spirit through events like the Valentine Luncheon creates life-long memories for our residents and staff.

Happy National Senior Center Month!

September is National Senior Center Month and the Southlake Senior Activity Center has a variety of programs to offer active adults 55 years and older despite being closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

With the social isolation experienced by most seniors during this pandemic, the Southlake Senior Activity Center’s staff have worked diligently to stay connected with members and seniors in the community. “Our approach is a bit outside the box, but our goal is to keep our seniors engaged and motivated by offering programs that can keep their body and soul active despite social restrictions,” says Soheila Phelps, Senior Services Coordinator. “This month, more than ever, we want to showcase our center and its vital role in our community by offering programs and events that seniors can safely enjoy.”

Since April of this year, the Senior Activity Center has continued to make wellness checks, birthday phone calls, connections with volunteers, virtual programming, and create safe opportunities for seniors to engage with each other. National Senior Center Month is being celebrated with a focus on programs that connect to the mind, body, spirit, and Community.

Events will include:

  • September 1: Proclamation presented by Mayor Laura Hill at the City Council
  • September 4: Virtual health seminar in partnership with the Texas Health Southlake
  • September 11: Curbside craft kit pick-up
  • September 14: Drive-through parade and weekly curbside meal pick-up – Limited space available
  • September 14: Weekly virtual art classes
  • September 17: Curbside/drive-through ice cream social sponsored by Texas Health Southlake
  • September 21: Weekly curbside meal pick-up in partnership with Metroport Meals on Wheels – Limited space available
  • September 25: Virtual Bingo
  • September 28: Weekly curbside meal pick-up in partnership with Metroport Meals on Wheels – Limited space available

All programs require pre-registration through ExperienceSouthlakeTexas.com/ActiveNet or you may contact our Senior Activity Center at 817-748-8938 for more information. We look forward to continuing safe drive-through and virtual programming for our seniors throughout the fall so stay tuned for more opportunities to get involved.

The Senior Activity Center advocates for any senior in need, and we want to connect with them! If you know of a senior in our community who may like to receive our weekly E-Blast for fun jokes, recipes, or to participate in programs, please contact us.

We welcome the support of organizations and businesses that are interested in sponsoring senior programs. For more information please, contact Soheila Phelps at 817-748-8398 or seniorcenter@ci.southlake.tx.us.

Free Tax Preparation with AARP

AARP Tax Aide is coming to Southlake Library to provide free tax preparation for seniors and low to moderate income individuals.

The Southlake Public Library will host AARP Tax Aide volunteers starting in February to provide help for low to moderate income and senior taxpayers in filing their Federal income taxes electronically. Interested individuals can make an appointment with the Library for Thursday afternoons between February 7 and April 11. Appointments are available between 2:00 and 6:00 PM. Call the Library Reference Desk at 817-748-8247 to schedule an appointment for this service.

There are no age requirements and this is a free service.

Community Services Becomes a True Southlake Experience

Whether you’ve lived in Southlake a long time, just recently became a resident or are an out of town visitor, you can certainly see that Southlake is a premiere City.  With a vast array of amenities and services, it’s no wonder that Southlake stands apart from other communities in the DFW Metroplex.

With the celebration of a new year ahead, Southlake wants to look forward and better serve those who live and play here. Residents and visitors will begin to notice these improvements and changes through some of the key messaging produced by the City in an effort to communicate a clear and succinct message to its customers. At the forefront of this effort is the Community Services Department whose collective mission is to offer a unique experience through programs and services.

If you are a resident of Southlake, you know that the City offers amazing parks and recreational opportunities for families. That’s easy to see with the construction going on at Bicentennial Park, The Marq and the Southlake Tennis Center.  It was clearly time to combine these wonderful Southlake services under one roof for an easier and more cohesive customer experience.  The City has taken the Community Services Department and branded it under one roof. ExperienceSouthlakeTexas.com is now home to not only Legends Hall at The Marq, but the Senior Center, Cultural and Special Events, and Parks and Recreation. Not only is there a new look and feel, but also a more aligned set of programs and activities that customers may not have even known existed. This mobile-friendly site also features news and information scrolls to help customers see what’s important in the moment. Be sure to take a look at the Experience Southlake calendar on the home page that highlights all the programs and events happening now and in the future.

Need to know what’s new at The Marq or take a virtual tour of Legends Hall? How about checking out the new classes being offered at Champions Club or activities at the Senior Center? Just log on to ExperienceSouthlakeTexas.com and take a look around. The main service areas for Community Services are highlighted along the top of the homepage to help visitors navigate the pages easily.

Here’s just a sampling of the featured sections:

Private Events & Hospitality – Learn all about Legends Hall. This incredible venue is designed and built to host events that dreams are made of. Planning a wedding? Take a virtual tour of Legends Hall and see everything this extraordinary venue has to offer. Special pricing and packages are available along with engaging pictures of previous events. The expert Banquet Specialist can assist in choosing the perfect setting to make a special event absolutely unique.

Recreation & Fitness – Looking for the perfect recreation event or how to sign up for spring sports? This is the place to look! Champions Club at The Marq can be found under this section and is home to the Southlake Scene which offers information about recreation, fitness and performance programs and more. Keep an eye on these pages as more information about Champions Club will be updated as the grand opening nears. Customers can also watch the real-time progress of Phase II of The Marq on the live EarthCam.

Champions Club is scheduled to open in the fall of 2018 while memberships will go on sale in the summer of 2018. Want the latest and greatest information? Sign up here.  This new venue will be approximately 82,000 square feet of space for fitness, indoor/outdoor turf fields, gymnasium, jog/walk track, indoor aquatics, party rooms, child watch and multipurpose classrooms for programs.

Parks & Facilities – Want to learn more about our award-winning parks? These are the pages to visit. Check them out to explore all of Southlake’s parks and learn more about the amenities and park facilities the City has to offer.

Culture & Special Events – Easter in the Park, Stars & Stripes, Home for the Holidays and Celebrate Southlake. These pages are the go-to places to learn about all of Southlake’s special events and how to get involved and be a part of them.

Senior Life & Style – The Senior Activity Center is a hallmark of this community. Featuring a large lounge area, game parlor, fitness room and the Dick McCauley Library, the Senior Center is the place to be for lively programs and events in Southlake.

A rental space for a fun-filled party, where to find the next “monster to mash”, how to become a charter champion or when the next senior social dance may be.  The answers to these questions and more are here at experiencesouthlaketexas.com, because, perfect is closer than you think in Southlake.

For more information about Experience Southlake or to check out pricing and programs, please call (817) 748-8900.  While the site is still a work in progress, customer feedback is important to the City of Southlake. Email TalkToUS@CityofSouthlake.com and share what works and what doesn’t.  As a team of world-class professionals serving a world-class community, we are here to provide quality customer service.