Sunday, July 3, 2022

Senior’s Luncheons, Trips, and all that Jazz

It’s time to jazz things up at the Southlake Senior Activity Center. Our upcoming Spring programs are sure to razzle-dazzle!

Our Senior Activity Center Staff works hard to provide fun and innovative programs for our members. We have a lot of exciting opportunities coming up in the next few months, and we are thrilled to share them with our senior center members. Whether you want to socialize with friends, take a field trip out of town, or learn a new skill, our upcoming programs will brighten up your day.

Plan ahead for these nifty programs:

Monthly Jazzy Lunch Social
Slick your hair, wear your buckled shoes, and join us for our new monthly Jazzy Lunch Social! Enjoy a musical lunch hour with friends and relax to the soothing sound of live classical jazz performed by internationally known pianist Mr. Milton Fletcher. Our first Jazzy Lunch Social is next week on Tuesday, April 26 from 12:30-1:30 PM. This program is $6.00, and pre-registration is required. Other dates include May 31 and June 28!

Two Brothers Winery Trip
Attention all wine lovers and connoisseurs! Join us on Friday, April 29 from 1:40- 4:00 PM as we visit Two Brothers Winery in Keller for a guided tour and a flight of 4 tastings with a small snack. Two Brothers Winery is a local family business owned and operated by two brothers, their spouses, and two long-time family friends. Pre-registration is required ($3.00), and the event fee for this outing is $15.00, which will be paid directly to the vendor. Don’t forget to bring money for lunch. Register here.

Joe T. Garcia’s and Ft. Worth Stockyards
Wrangle up your buddies and enjoy a delicious lunch at Joe T. Garcia’s on Wednesday, May 4 from 11:00 AM- 2:00 PM. Explore the famous Fort Worth Stockyards after lunch and learn about this incredible historic district. Registration is required, and the registration fee is $3.00. Make sure to bring money for shopping.

Water Safety Seminar
May is National Water Safety Month, and it’s never too late to learn how to be safe in the water. Join our Champions Club Aquatics staff on Tuesday, May 3 from 1:30-2:30 PM as they discuss tips on how to stay safe in and around the water. This crucial seminar is just in time for summer. Register here.

We can’t wait to see you at one or all of these exciting events. Subscribe to the Senior Activity Center emails to stay up-to-date on our programs and activities.

Soheila Phelps Becomes Chairperson of the Leisure and Aging Branch of the Texas Recreation and Parks Society

The world-class staff that manages the award-winning Southlake Senior Activity Center are no strangers to commitment to excellence!

No one exhibits passion and dedication to our 55 and better community more than Senior Services Coordinator Soheila Phelps. Soheila leads the Senior Services team and is the brains behind the incredible programming offered to our members. Compassionate, kind, and creative, Soheila is taking her leadership skills to the next level as the most recently appointed Chairperson of the Leisure and Aging branch of the Texas Recreation and Parks Society (TRAPS).

Soheila officially took over this position at the TRAPS 2022 Institute and Expo in College Station last week. While there, she also had the honor of accepting the 2022 Lonestar Recreation Programming Class IV Award on behalf of the Southlake Senior Activity Center.

The goal of the Leisure and Aging branch is to enhance the offerings senior centers provide to aging communities throughout the state. The unexpected closure of various senior centers due to COVID transformed the regional Leisure and Aging branch into a state-wide group. The governing body of this organization consists of the Chairperson/ President, Vice-Chair/ President-Elect, and five representatives from each TRAPS region who oversee the different subcommittees. These individuals represent the interests of senior communities throughout the state. They also focus on innovating engaging programming to ensure our senior centers remain a valuable resource to our residents.

Soheila elevates the Southlake Senior Activity Center with her empathetic nature and servant-leadership and will do the same as the Chairperson of the TRAPS Leisure and Aging branch.

“I am looking forward to this challenge, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to give a louder voice to our seniors and aging community within TRAPS,” exclaimed Soheila.

Congratulations on this next step of your leadership journey, Soheila! You make Southlake proud, and we can’t wait to hear of the outstanding things you’ll continue to accomplish!


Tea and Time-Travel: Senior February Trips

There’s nothing our staff loves more than exploring fun places in the DFW area! This month, we have two exciting field trips for our senior members that are sure to be fun and educational!

Cooper Street Antique Mall: Friday, February 11
The weather was unusually chilly last week, and there is no better way to warm up than with a nice cup of tea. Join us from 11:30 AM- 3:30 PM for lunch at the Tin Tulip Tearoom! We will have time to explore the Cooper Street Antique Mall after lunch.

Texas Civil War Museum: Friday, February 25
Travel back through time to learn about one of the most contentious events in our nation’s history. The Texas Civil War Museum is the largest Civil War museum west of the Mississippi River. It maintains a comprehensive collection including military collections, domestic objects, personal items and artifacts, and postwar Victorian attire. The event fee is $6.00, the registration fee is $3.00, and members should bring money for lunch.

There’s no better way to create life-long memories than to participate in experiential learning with friends. We look forward to sharing these experiences with you!

The Southlake Senior Activity Center Wins the 2022 TRAPS State Lone Star Recreation Programming, Class IV Award

The Senior Activity Center is known for its dedication to the senior community and its world-class programs!

The Southlake Senior Activity Center recently received the 2022 Lone Star Recreation Programming, Class IV Award at the state level from the Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS) for the National Senior Center Month Parade. Staff submitted this Senior Center program for consideration in November. According to the TRAPS awards committee, “In keeping with the TRAPS Mission: Texas Recreation and Park Society advance the quality-of-life industry through Connections, Advocacy, Resources and Education (C.A.R.E.) Your agency and/or representative exemplified this acronym with tenacity.”

The Senior Activity Center Parade celebrated our Senior Center members in true Southlake fashion in September of 2020. Our members drove through the Legends Hall parking lot to the sound of music, encouraging cheers, and colorfully decorated posters. Each senior member was provided with a pre-packaged hot meal to enjoy safely at home. It was a highly successful event that brought together city staff, elected officials, volunteers, students, and our senior population!

This event, and programs like it, are our way of enhancing appreciation, understanding, and showcasing the vital role the senior center plays for seniors in our community. We celebrated, served our senior community, brought different generations together, and made priceless memories, despite all of the challenges we felt in the last year and a half. Bringing people together and witnessing our member’s joy is how we define success as we serve the senior community at the Southlake Senior Activity Center.

The City of Southlake will receive the award at the 2022 TRAPS Institute and Expo Awards Ceremony on February 17 at 4:30 PM in College Station, TX.

Congratulations to everyone involved for a successful program!

Educational Seminars at the Senior Activity Center

Learning is a lifelong process, and no one knows that better than our Senior Activity Center members.

Senior Center staff work diligently alongside our community partners to provide educational opportunities for our seniors. We love coming up with programs to keep our member’s minds active and engaged! Two exciting seminars covering diverse topics are available this month.

First on the agenda is a Weather Awareness Seminar with the Office of Emergency Management. Experience has taught us that the weather in Texas can be unpredictable and dangerous at times. Senior Center members can join us on Friday, January 14 from 1:30- 2:30 PM to learn tips on how to stay safe during the cold winter months. Pre-registration is required.

If you like your learning with a side of lunch, then the Senior Centers Learn Then Lunch seminar series is for you! Enjoy a complimentary bite to eat as you learn about different financial, health, or legal topics. The topic this month is Prevention and Controlling Diabetes After 65. Did you know that more than 25% of the USA population aged over 65 has diabetes? Learn prevention and mitigation tips from a physician on Tuesday, January 18 from 11:30 AM- 12:30 PM. A huge thank you to the Valora Medica Group for hosting this seminar. Pre-registration is required.

We look forward to seeing you at the Senior Activity Center as we continue to learn together!

Holiday Fun at the Senior Activity Center This Week

The year is wrapping up, but there is still plenty of fun to be had at the Senior Activity Center.

Our incredible Senior Center staff had world-class programs planned for our members this December to wring in the Holiday season. Following on the heels of the thrilling Murder Mystery Luncheon, our senior members visited the Dallas Arboretum on Tuesday, December 14. Members got into the holiday spirit and explored the 66 acres of beautiful grounds, elaborately decorated Victorian-style gazebos, and colorful Christmas village. This sold-out event was a hit with our members, and we are excited to continue planning exciting excursions in the new year.

In addition, the Senior Activity Center is hosting its annual Holiday Party today, December 17 from 1:30-3:00 PM to continue the holiday theme! Members are encouraged to bring their holiday cheer and sweet tooth as there will be a coffee bar, desserts, and a white elephant gift exchange. There is a $10 minimum for an unused and prewrapped gift for each participant for the gift exchange.

We can’t wait to continue the seasonal festivities at the Senior Activity Center. This is a spectacular time of year, and we love coming up with fun ways to celebrate with our members and staff!

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!

Fall in Love with Fall at the Senior Activity Center Fall Festival

Fall is in full swing at the Senior Activity Center, and the world-class programs keep on coming!

If you love this colorful season as much as we do, then mark your calendars for the Senior Fall Festival happening on Wednesday, November 10, from 11:00 AM-12:30 PM at the Legends Hall Traditions Ballroom!

Now is the time to fall in love with Fall again. Join us for an autumn celebration that includes music, a community meal, drinks, prizes, yard games, and a pumpkin scavenger hunt in Bicentennial Park! It won’t be a meal like any other, however. Fall Festival participants will enjoy an exclusive Pot Pie from our sponsor, Harbor Chase’s, Executive Chef!

Fall is the perfect season for festivals. Throughout history, cultures worldwide celebrated the harvest from September through November. Autumn is a time to practice gratitude for the year’s bounty with the entire community. Nowadays, we’re not as dependent on community harvests as in the days of yore. However, getting together with our community as the leaves change color never goes out of style!

The Southlake Senior Activity Center is always looking for an excuse to gather with our members. Spending time with our 55 and better community and creating life-long memories is why we wake up in the morning. If you’re feeling grateful this year and want to celebrate with us, register for the Senior Fall Festival before Monday, November 8.

Registration is $5.00. Register here.

There’s a New Face at the Senior Activity Center: Meet Andrew Burnett

It’s no secret that the Southlake Senior Activity Center is the premier recreation destination for seniors 55 and better, and that’s thanks to our world-class staff!

If you’ve visited the Senior Center lately, you may have noticed a new smiling face around, Recreation Specialist Andrew Burnett! Andrew is the newest addition to the Senior Center staff, but he’s no stranger to the Southlake Community Services Department. Andrew spent the summer as a Recreation Attendant II at Champions Club. While there, Andrew helped out with Camp Mania, mentoring kids, and creating life-long memories. He recently transitioned to the Senior Center and is ready to make his Marq there as well.

Andrew grew up in North Richland Hills and is a Public Relations student at UT Arlington. As a valued member of the Southlake family, he aspires to eventually work for the City’s Office of Marketing and Communications. For now, however, he is happy to be a part of the team that creates world-class experiences for our Seniors. One of his goals for this new position is to “leave a lasting impression on our seniors as they’ve left such a positive impression on me. They’ve given me ‘gold nuggets’ of advice and experience! I want to keep that connection I have with our seniors and bring them the most enjoyable environment they can experience.”

When asked what he loves about his job, Andrew stated that his favorite part of working at the Southlake Senior Activity Center is receiving smiles from seniors and staff. Those who know him know he’s all too happy to return the smiles as well! A man of many talents, Andrew’s hidden talents also include spinning a basketball on his finger and being able to sing the song, “Hey There Delilah” word for word!

“The City has been an amazing experience for me. Everyone I know has been so kind and helpful, and they treat me just like family. The staff and community have helped me become a better man!” Andrew Burnett.

Welcome to the Senior Center Team, Andrew! We are excited to see all the incredible things you will accomplish.