Seniors from the North Lauderdale community and beyond came to Riverside Church for an inaugural Age My Way event on May 12.
They enjoyed food, games and door prizes while learning about resources in the community available to them. The Age My Way event was a partnership between Heart2Heart and Riverside Church, one that Heart2Heart plans to duplicate in other communities.
“I think it was a pretty great event for our first time,” said Melissa Lopez, Heart2Heart executive assistant. “The seniors loved the activities.”
The Zumba Gold class was the most popular activity, second only to the game of bingo. Zumba Gold instructors tailor the dance-based exercise specifically for seniors. The high-energy moves can be adjusted to those who are sitting.
Between 15 and 20 seniors attended the event. Some of the seniors came with a Heart2Heart volunteer who regularly visits them through the nonprofit’s Relief Care program. Heart2Heart volunteers also helped set up the event and clean up after the event.
The idea for the event came after Heart2Heart CEO Juan Gallo and Volunteer Coordinator Antonella Salerno attended a church event that catered to older adults. Juan began to envision what a similar event might look like if it was open to the whole community.
“The event definitely was a win. I’m sure they’re going to want to do it again,” Antonella said.
The Age My Way event was themed to match the observation of Older Americans Month, which is focusing on the ways older adults can claim independence and remain connected to their communities.
Several vendors at the event helped facilitate the community connection. The Nova Southeastern University’s Alvin Sherman Library helped seniors with library cards. WellCare, Care Access and Pinnacle Insurance assisted seniors in attendance with insurance needs. Chen Senior Medical Center connected attendees with primary care doctors. Syneli Healthy Lifestyle Entertainment offered the Zumba Gold class.
Heart2Heart is looking to partner with other churches or businesses with space for more Age My Way events throughout South Florida. To learn more hosting or sponsorship opportunities, contact Riana Samaroo at 954-315-2218 or firstname.lastname@example.org.