COA Winter 2014 - Council on Aging of West Florida

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Presented by Council on Aging of West Florida
Winter 2014
Pensacon 2015
Online Dating for Seniors
Senior Citizen Identity Theft
An Exclusive Interview With
JoBeth Williams
Rachael Cox
Marketing Communications
Director and Editor-in-Chief
I can hardly believe that the holiday season is already upon us. Where has
the time gone? Certainly this time of year lends itself to plenty of
opportunity for giving thanks. Though I can’t begin to name all the things
I’m thankful for in this limited space, it would be remiss of me not to share
my gratitude for the Council on Aging of West Florida and Coming of Age
In my short time as Council on Aging’s marketing communications
director and your Coming of Age editor-in-chief, I have been overwhelmed
by this talented group of folks, who have welcomed me and patiently
worked with me while I learn the ropes. I am grateful for these incredible
people… who work hard and care deeply about seniors in our community.
In the same spirit of gratitude, I hope that when you count your blessings
this holiday season, you consider supporting those who are less fortunate.
Every donation makes a difference and helps Council on Aging continue its
mission to lead the community in advocacy and services for the aging and
those involved in their lives. If you would like to mail a check, there is a
response card on page 44 that can be included with your donation. If you
prefer to donate online, please visit You can also set up a
monthly recurring gift that allows you to extend your giving throughout the
year. No matter the option you choose, your gift will be greatly appreciated!
If you’re planning to travel for the holidays, don’t forget to bring your
copy of this quarter’s Coming of Age along with you. There will be plenty of
great reading material to keep you entertained on that long car or plane ride.
This issue will feature JoBeth Williams, an actress made famous by her roles
in Kramer vs. Kramer, Poltergeist and The Big Chill. You’ll also find some
great tips on overcoming the generation gap, how to protect yourself against
identity theft, entertaining for the holidays and so much more.
We hope you enjoy this issue. We’d love to hear your feedback. If you
have comments or suggestions for content, you can contact me at
850.432.1475 or email [email protected]
Have a happy and safe holiday season! Until next time, enjoy life, you’ve
earned it!
Readers’ Services
Your subscription to Coming of Age
comes automatically with your
membership to Council on Aging of West
Florida. If you have questions about your
subscription, call Rachael Cox at (850)
432-1475 ext. 130 or email
[email protected] Please do not hesitate
to contact Rachael with any questions or
comments about your service, and thank
Change of Address
When calling or emailing us your change
of address, please provide Council on
Aging of West Florida with both the old
and new addresses to expedite the
Back Issues
Is there an issue of one of our magazines
that you just have to have? Was your
relative seen in a recent issue and you
lost it? Give Ballinger Publishing a call at
(850) 433-1166 ext. 30, and they will
find one for you.
Council on Aging of West Florida
welcomes your letters and comments.
Send letters to Council on Aging c/o
Rachael Cox at 875 Royce St.,
Pensacola, FL 32503, emails to
[email protected] or contact editor Kelly
Oden at Ballinger Publishing, P.O. Box
12665 Pensacola, FL 32591 or
[email protected]
Writing Opportunities
We are always willing to consider
freelance writers and article ideas. Please
send queries and/or suggestions to Kelly
Oden or Rachael Cox at the above
Council on Aging of West Florida
2014 Board of Directors
Chair: DeeDee Davis
First Vice Chair: Caron Sjöberg
Second Vice Chair: Robert Mills
Secretary: Councilmember P.C. Wu
Treasurer: James M. “Mick” Novota
Immediate Past Chair: Dona Usry
Board Members
Lorenzo Aguilar • Malcolm Ballinger
Jim Barnett, Ed.D.
Sonya M. Daniel
Rabbi Joel Fleekop
Thomas Lampone, M.D.
Kathleen Logan • Andy Marlette
Escambia County Commissioner Lumon May
Chaplain Larry Mosley
John Peacock • Tara Peterson
Santa Rosa School Board District 1 Diane L. Scott, Ph. D.
Monica Sherman • Sue Straughn
Edgar M. Turner • Richard M. Tuten
Marie K. Young
Members Emeriti
Joe Black • Rosemary Bonifay
John Brick • Kenneth Kelson
Zola Lett • Charles H. Overman, III
Malcolm Parker • Ethel Tamburello
John B. Clark
Marketing Communications Director and
Coming of Age Editor-in-Chief
Rachael Cox
Published for Council on Aging of West Florida by
Ballinger Publishing
41 N. Jefferson St.
Suite 402 • Pensacola, FL 32502
850/433-1166 • Fax 850/435-9174
Malcolm Ballinger
Executive Editor
Kelly Oden
Emily Echevarria
Art Director
Rita Laymon
Graphic Designer & Ad Coordinator
Guy Stevens
Business Editor
Josh Newby
Account Executives
Sharyon Miller • [email protected]
Becky Hildebrand • [email protected]
Editorial Interns
Christian Pacheco • Sarah Walter
Disclaimer: Coming of Age magazine is published quarterly by
Ballinger Publishing for Council on Aging of West Florida, Inc.
All Rights Reserved. Reproduction or use of the contents herein
is prohibited. Comments and opinions expressed in this
magazine represent the personal views of the individuals to
whom they are attributed and/or the person identified as the
author of the article, and they are not necessarily those of the
publisher or Council of Aging of West Florida, Inc. This
magazine accepts no responsibility for these opinions. The
publisher and Council on Aging of West Florida reserve the right
to edit all manuscripts. All advertising information is the
responsibility of the individual advertiser. Appearance in this
magazine does not necessarily reflect endorsement of any
products or services by Ballinger Publishing or Council on Aging
of West Florida. © 2014
Winter 2014
28. An Exclusive Interview With
JoBeth Williams
25. Fandom Has No Age Limit
Pensacon 2015
38 .
40 .
42 .
44 .
News from Council on Aging of West Florida
Out & About
Were You Seen?
Members & Donors
Council on Aging of West Florida, Inc, is compliant with the Better Business
Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability.
is a special time
of year for people of many
faiths and cultures. No matter
whether you celebrate the
Christian holiday of Christmas,
the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah
or the African-American
holiday of Kwanzaa (or any
combination), it is a very
special time of year for all of
these traditions. Certainly all
three are unique in their history
and purpose. However, to me
they all seem to have a thread
of gratitude and thanksgiving in
their celebrations and
traditions; and what a
wonderful time of year to
examine ourselves as to why we
should be grateful for what we
have and who we are.
Several years ago at a Florida
Council on Aging Conference,
one of our main speakers
mentioned that when she woke
up every morning she tried to
infuse herself with an “attitude
of gratitude.” For some reason
that has stuck with me for
these many years. For while
this special season is a great
time to be thankful for all we
have, it is truly regrettable that
we cannot go through each day
John B. Clark,
Council on Aging of
West Florida
of our life with that “attitude of
I understand that gratitude is
a funny thing. I know when life
is slapping you in the face with
in some cases unspeakable
challenges, it can be hard to be
“grateful.” Yet I am amazed at
how some people I meet who
are facing these challenges just
exude gratitude about their lives
in general. They remain upbeat
and thankful for what they have
in their lives. I can only wonder
if perhaps it is because these
individuals have been grateful
every day of their lives for
innumerable reasons: faith,
people, places, things and yes,
even pets! So, when faced with
a challenge, they are able to
draw on their life of gratitude.
Now, I recognize that is not an
easy thing to have this daily
“attitude of gratitude”… at
least for most of us.
We may wake up in the
morning wanting to go through
the day with an “attitude of
gratitude,” but quickly fall off
the wagon as soon as the first
challenge of the day faces us;
and let’s face it, it could be
something as petty as a waiter
who forgets to bring us the
correct order during lunch. So
much for having the “attitude
of gratitude.” How many times
have we been quick to
complain about something
petty, but very slow (or
perhaps hardly ever) to
compliment or thank someone?
Unfortunately I have to plead
Certainly we can all pledge
during this special time of year
to make an effort to be
grateful for what we have in
life, big and small. Some of the
big stuff… our faith, our
families, our friends, our lives,
our pets, our freedoms, and
our country, and some of the
little stuff–our house, our car,
our jobs and our ability to
laugh. Perhaps if we could
become persistent in our
gratitude for all these big and
little “things” we could
eventually lead a life with this
“attitude of gratitude.” I know
it would take practice.
I hope you all have a great
holiday season, no matter how
you celebrate it.
Medicare, Medicad & most insurance plans accepted
Quality Focused Care, One Patient at a Time.
Courtesy of Family Features
Healthy Holiday
Indulge without the bulge
‘Tis the season for excess: too much spending, too much stress and, if you’re like most
people, too much munching. Make no mistake, it’s called a holiday “feast” for a reason. The
average American may consume more than 4,500 calories and a whopping 230 grams of fat
while enjoying a traditional holiday dinner with turkey and all the trimmings.
While it may seem like overindulging is inevitable, remember that the centerpieces of your
holiday meals are actually quite healthy. For example, turkey is low in fat, high in protein and a
good source of vitamin B, with less than 200 calories per 3.5-ounce serving. Cranberries are
high in vitamin C and fiber, and extra high in disease-fighting antioxidants.
And don’t forget the sides. Side dishes are commonly based on good-for-you produce, such
as potatoes, green beans, corn and squash. It’s the ingredients you add that deliver a bigger
calorie bite.
The secret to lightening up
holiday recipes is all in the
preparation, says Carolyn
O’Neil, registered dietician and
nutrition advisor to Best Food
Facts. She recommends
minimizing fat, salt and sugar
and maximizing the food’s
natural flavors.
Follow this additional advice
from O’Neil to enjoy a healthy
and happy holiday:
Turkey and table talk. The
bounty of food may grab your
attention, but remember the
main event should be sharing
time with family and friends.
Go for the good stuff first.
Fill your plate with your
personal holiday favorites first,
and savor every bite. Don’t
waste your calories on foods you
can eat all year long.
Add farm to table flavor.
Healthy holiday meals begin
with simply delicious dishes
with fresh seasonal ingredients.
Some delicious examples of
produce at its best: roasted
sweet potatoes with citrus zest,
steamed green beans
with sauteed mushrooms,
cranberries cooked in orange
juice, baked apples with a dollop
of vanilla Greek yogurt and
poached pears with cinnamon.
Condiments to customize.
For friends and family who have
special food requirements, such
as allergies or aversions, create a
“condiment platter” and invite
them to customize their own
plates in keeping with their
dietary needs.
Get more food and nutrition
advice to see you through the
holiday season at
By Christian Pacheco
Senior Citizen
Identity Theft
The Facts,
Figures and
Senior Citizens
Can Do to Prevent It
Identity theft has been the number one
complaint received by the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC), for 12 years, and senior
citizens are the number-one targets.
According to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel
Network Data Book, the mature market (age 50
and older) comprises 37 percent of all identity theft
victims, and 49 percent of the same demographic
are victims of fraud. In addition, the most common
form of reported identity thefts was government
document and benefit fraud (55 percent in
Whitney Ray, press secretary for the Florida
Office of the Attorney General, shed some light on
the Pensacola area when it comes to identity theft.
Ray said that the FTC reports 89.4 complaints per
100,000 residents in the area, and 20 percent of all
identity theft-related grievances come from people
age 60 and older. According to the Data Book, the
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent area had 473.7 general
fraud complaints per 100,000 residents, and the
area ranks 89th out of the largest metropolitan
areas when it comes to identity theft consumer
complaints. Florida currently has the highest per
capita rate of identity theft complaints in the entire
country (192.9 cases for every 100,000 people).
The Identity Theft Assistance Center, which
provides free victim assistance and identity
services for
customers of
their member
outlines several
warning signs
of possible
theft on their
website. In
regard to senior
citizens, some
of their “red
flags” include
appearing to be
getting paid too much or too often, vulnerable adults
appearing confused about bank account balance and
activity and acknowledgement of providing personal
and account information to telephone and email
solicitors. Ray noted phone and mail fraud as the
hazards seniors should protect against most.
ProtectMyID, a division of Experian, outlines a
couple of the chief reasons that senior citizens are
targeted by identity thieves:
“Criminals find seniors susceptible to these crimes
of deception because they believe that the older
population has higher cash reserves and are less
likely to check their credit reports or financial
account statements carefully. This may be due to
the fact that they are usually in a financially stable
position and are not opening new lines of credit.”
Even the smallest strange deviations in account
activity can be a sign of identity theft. For example,
out-of-sync check numbers and records of several
small dollar checks (indicative of possible
telemarketing and charity scams) are early warning
signals, according to the ITAC.
Of course, there are numerous steps seniors and
their family and friends can take to better ensure
the safety of their personal and financial particulars.
Things like shredding old credit card and financial
statements, keeping card and account numbers
secure and being wary of offers that require private
information are obvious and applicable to everyone.
Senior citizens should also take added precautions
for their additional concerns like medical care.
Lifelock’s official website says that Medicare
information should never be given out over the
phone because
Medicare actually
does not request
information in this
“When in doubt,
contact the
organization or
institution directly,
at a number you
know to be correct,”
Ray said.
In fact, medical
identity theft is one
of the thornier types
of identity theft that
seniors can face. Aside from unexpected charges and
calls from medical debt collectors, medical identity
theft victims can be notified that they have reached
their benefit limit and denied insurance because
their medical records show conditions that they do
not have, according to the FTC. Being wary of these
warning signs, as well as obtaining copies of medical
records and accountings of disclosures, are effective
ways to ward off potential threats.
One of the most malicious forms of identity theft
specific to senior citizens is the “grandparent scam.”
This type of trick entails the victim receiving a
phone call from someone impersonating a grandchild
or close relative. The scammer feigns an emergency
situation and insists that the victim wire them
money immediately, often swearing them to secrecy
or giving phony names of police or other officials in
order to add layers to the scam. On their website,
the FTC strongly encourages seniors in these
situations to remain calm, never wire their money
and to ask the caller verification questions that
identity thieves would not know.
Seniors can access several resources in their
efforts to protect their identities. The Florida Office
of the Attorney General provides a free Victim
Services Kit at, as well as their
Fraud Hotline (1-866-966-7226). Various other
identity protection tools such as free credit reports,
fraud alerts and credit freezes are also available. If
you think you are a victim of identity theft or fraud,
report your case to the FTC at 1-877-382-4357 or
By Wendi Ochs, Studer Group
Busting the Generational
Differences Myth
Any time people from different backgrounds work
together, the work environment will be affected.
Generational differences can impede the way team
members work together and communicate. However,
they may also have little to no affect. By recognizing
differences – all differences – and working together to
resolve challenges, teams can create a winning
environment that is good for employees and
Many believe there is a generational issue in
today’s workplace that needs to be “dealt with” or
“fixed” or at the very least “coped with.” The
question remains, “is the
conventional wisdom about
generational differences in
today’s workplace valid?” Here’s
a brief version of what so many
people believe is true about
today’s workplace:
• The Silent Generation: (born
before 1946) values hard
work – but they are fossilized
• Baby Boomers (born between
1946 and 1964) value loyalty
– but they are narcissistic
• Gen Xers (born between
1965 and 1980) value worklife balance – but they are
• Millennials (born after 1980)
value innovation and change –
are even more narcissistic
than boomers.
I would argue, and agree with
researchers like Jennifer J. Deal – research scientist
with the Center for Creative Leadership, that the
answer is no – this description of the four generations
currently working together is not valid and that
essentially all age groups value the same things.
After surveying more than 3,000 corporate leaders
over a seven-year period, Deal and her team
concluded that when you look closely at the
currently held stereotypes of the four generations
you find “these buckets don’t hold much water.”
Everyone wants to be able to trust their supervisors,
no one really likes change, we all like feedback and
the number of hours you put in at work really
depends on your level of responsibility in the
organization more than your age.
Here are some interesting specifics based on Deal’s
• All generations are similar in what matters most –
for example, family topped the list for all
• All generations want respect – though older
generations see respect communicated somewhat
differently for example: “giving my opinions the
weight and respect they deserve” while younger
generations characterized respect as “listening to
me and paying attention to what I’ve said.”
• All generations express the need to work for
leaders they can trust.
• All generations express a distaste for change –
though it is expected that older generations will
reflect an overwhelming resistance to change and
younger people will embrace it, research simply
does not reflect this.
• All generations have workers who seem more loyal
to their organizations than others. The amount of
time spent at work or focused on a work project has
much more to do with the role they play and level
of responsibility than age of worker.
• All generations have a desire to learn and train to do
their job well.
• All generations enjoy feedback and prefer to know
“how they are doing.”
The most important conclusion? Clearly people of
different ages see the world in different ways and
there will always be value in learning more about each
other to encourage good communication and better
relationships. However, it becomes clear that
generational conflict has far less to do with age or
generational differences than it does with power and
influence. It seems that the so-called “generation gap”
is in large part the result of misunderstanding and
miscommunication fueled by common insecurities and
the desire for organizational clout.
My personal conclusion? Let’s move past the myth
of generational differences and onto bigger and better
things like learning to trust and mentor one another
and building strong relationships resulting in stronger
organizations. There is so much to learn from one
For those of you looking for strategies that can
make a difference, here my top 10 ideas that can help
to alleviate the “potential” generational workplace
“problems” and ensure that your organization is a good
place for every age group:
1. Encourage learning about the different generations
and the varieties of experiences they have to help all
generations better recognize one another and adapt
when needed. It’s important that managers/supervisors
change rather than try to change their staff. Take
advantage of the internet and local learning
2. Facilitate mentoring between employees to
encourage more cross-generational interaction.
Younger employees can learn to seek the wisdom
offered by senior employees. Older employees can
learn to be open to the fresh perspectives of younger
3. Accommodate a variety of learning styles. Offer
training in the classroom and via technology. Rather
than assume certain age groups like a certain kind of
learning style, simply offer a variety, sending the
message that “what works for you works for us as
4. Offer different working options – like
telecommuting or working offsite. Focus on results that
your employees produce rather than how they get it
done. Providing this kind of flexibility puts everyone
on the same scale to measure success. Note that for
those nearing retirement, working from home allows
them to stay on staff longer while gearing down their
workloads and mentoring their successors.
5. Provide an “open office style of management” with
opportunities for people to work in teams and
collaborate on projects. Allow employees to contribute
to decision-making, taking advantage of the various
generations that have ideas that “need to be heard.”
This can create solidarity and enhance the feeling of
belonging for all employees – a sure-fire way to
increase productivity.
6. Create recognition programs, keeping in mind the
variety of styles, like a simple email of congratulations,
an office-wide memo, recognition during a meeting, or
even during a regular employee review.
7. Accommodate the needs of different employees
(regardless of generation). Ensure that you offer
scheduling flexibility so that people can manage their
personal time. Younger workers may need to leave
early to take care of children. They can make up their
time at another date.
Older workers may be willing to work fewer hours
at a reduced pay. Be sure to offer educational
opportunities to all age groups.
8. Provide group meeting opportunities for all
employees that provide a voice for all age groups.
Leaders need to facilitate open communication
throughout the workplace and ensure it is a safe place
for open and honest feedback.
9. Keep employees interested and engaged in the
organization. Provide regular training and education
opportunities that fuel the expectations of those who
want to learn more and ensure that those who are
more experienced stay connected to what’s new.
10. Don’t apply a blanket communication policy.
Ensure that it is absolutely OK to communicate by
email, phone, text or IM and most importantly face to
On a final note – try not to confuse character traits
with generational traits. One can be lazy, immature, or
stubborn in any generation. Conversely, one may
choose to work a 60 hour work-week, be intensely
competitive and fiercely loyal to the organization at
any age. The best plan for all of us is to learn more
about one another so we can make the most of our
work relationships.
By Brandi Welk, Development Director
“I was able to help
and so I did.”
The best
way to find
yourself is
to lose
yourself in
the service
of others
A wise man by the name of Ghandi once said
“The best way to find yourself is to lose
yourself in the service of others.” Council on
Aging of West Florida has had the pleasure of
serving seniors in our community for almost 43
years. This would not be possible without the
generosity of compassionate donors and
community partners. Council on Aging has been
fortunate enough to have donors who have
given to the agency for almost 30 years
One of these loyal donors is Audrey Grill,
who has been supporting Council on Aging’s
mission for 28 years. At 91 years of age, Grill
said she did not even realize how long she’d
been donating to Council on Aging. “Time flies
by when you get to my age,” said Grill.
Grill grew up in Versailles, Ohio and moved
to Pensacola in 1947. She said her family never
instilled the importance of giving back to others
while growing up. “Times are rather difficult
these days,” said Grill, “I always felt an
obligation to help others. It
was my own initiative. I was
able to help and so I did.”
Council on Aging quickly
became her passion when she
realized that she was aging and
wanted to assist those like her.
Grill also expressed the
importance of donating.
“I was a social worker, and
through my work saw many
agencies that did good for our
community and needed money
. . . even if it was a small
amount. It was always a good
feeling to give back,” Grill
Donors and those like Grill
are truly admirable. Their
loyalty does not go unnoticed.
All of us at Council on Aging
would like to extend a special
thank you to the following
donors for their commitment
to assisting our local seniors for
20 plus years:
Audrey Grill
Captain and Mrs. John Brick
J.M. “Mick” Novota
Mr. and Mrs. Joe Black
Linda Burke
Mr. and Mrs. Ted Brown
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur
Norma Davis
From the bottom of our
hearts, THANK YOU! You
have changed the lives of many
seniors and impacted the lives
of their loved ones.
If you are interested in
supporting Council on Aging’s
programs or want more
information, please visit
By Emily Echevarria
Navigating Romance
in Cyberspace:
Online Dating for Seniors
for romance and companionship, online dating has
become the go-to option, offering a convenient way to search for and screen potential dates and
partners. The great variety of dating websites and services can help narrow down options and
help users focus on people searching for the same types of relationships they are. While the
world of online dating may seem nontraditional, a recent Pew Research survey revealed that 11
percent—about one in ten—of American adults had used internet dating sites and 38 percent of
people who indicated that they were currently “single and looking” utilize online dating.
The stigma of online dating has faded and
many are finding that it can be easy and exciting
to enter or re-enter the dating world from the
comfort of their computer. People over the age of
50 are the fastest-growing group in the online
dating pool, so options for seniors are growing as
more sign on.
Most try online dating after trying
unsuccessfully to meet people in more traditional
ways, like going to social or charitable events or
joining groups where they might meet others with
similar interests. One perk of online dating is that
users have access to hundreds of potential
partners that they likely would never have the
opportunity to meet face-to-face, even if those
people visit similar places or have shared hobbies.
You can also reap a lot of information from
someone’s profile to quickly find the type of
partner you’re looking for, and rule out those that
don’t meet your standards.
wingman or wingwoman, a trusted friend or
relative who is supportive of your search for a
relationship. This person can help encourage you
to move forward and stay motivated if you have a
bad dating experience, and he or she can also help
to review your dating profile and make
suggestions to help you show your best self in an
honest and inviting way. Sometimes a second
opinion is all you need to tweak your photo
choice or profile wording to be more appealing to
potential dates.
Perfecting your dating profile can be one of the
biggest challenges to getting started with online
dating. In writing your profile, Schwartz stresses
including honest and specific details about your
interests, values, outlook on life and passions.
Write a few paragraphs and include information
about what you’re looking for in a mate without
creating a checklist of impossibly high standards.
After you finish, always use spellcheck and you
It can be a rocky road toward getting
back out there, especially if there has been a
long hiatus from dating, but having good selfesteem and an open mind is key.
To get started, anyone looking to find a
companion or partner needs to address their own
fitness for new relationships. It can be a rocky
road toward getting back out there, especially if
there has been a long hiatus from dating, but
having good self-esteem and an open mind is key.
You can also narrow your search by choosing a
dating website that caters to your interests or to
your age range. AARP’s love and relationship
expert and author of Dating After 50 for
Dummies Pepper Schwartz says some good
examples include and While there are a vast number
of sites out there, for safety reasons it’s best to
stick to paid sites because those sites have credit
card information and can follow up on complaints
about users to make the site safer for everyone.
Schwartz suggests enlisting the help of a
can utilize your wingman or woman to read over
your words. A good profile is confident but not
arrogant, gives information that would assure a
potential match that you’d get along well, and
gives off an air of positivity, Schwartz says in her
book. Picking a photo to go with your profile is
another hurdle. Choose one that is a photograph
of just you and make sure it’s recent and of
course flattering.
There are always cautions that come with
meeting new people, whether online or not.
Luckily the world of online dating allows you to
use search engines to check on many things a
person might tell you about themselves. While
you don’t want to be overly paranoid, you also
don’t want to open yourself to a dangerous
situation. As in any dating situation, don’t give
out your home address until you know the person
very well, and Schwartz suggests making initial
meetings and dates for daytime in public places.
After chatting over email and then on the phone,
Schwartz says a good first meeting would be a set
20-30 minute chat at a coffee shop.
While online dating offers opportunities that
would certainly go missed in face-to-face dating
situations, there are also some challenges to
overcome that are specific to this type of
connection. Those using online dating must be
ready to overcome setbacks and keep trying if
and when a match does not go as planned.
Schwartz says there are two common
categories of bad online dating experiences: those
times when a match is disappointing or rude, and
those times when you feel you had a good
meeting or correspondence and the person
suddenly stops returning contact or tells you he
or she is not interested. There may be plenty of
reasons for someone you felt a connection with
disappearing after what you thought was a great
first meeting. Because there are so many options
online, they may have felt a stronger connection
with someone else, or just felt like you aren’t
quite right for them. Not everyone will be
forthright about their feelings or reasons for
ending things, but try not to take it personally.
There are many unique opportunities for
seniors when it comes to online dating, and there
are challenges to overcome as well, but being
more mature and in touch with your wants and
your own personality can be a great plus. As with
any dating situation, caution, common sense and
perhaps the advice of a trusted friend can go a
long way toward making it an easier and more
enjoyable experience. If finding a partner or
companion and some romance is something that
would enhance your life, logging on to a dating
site could be the key toward fulfillment.
Photos by Guy Stevens
has no
age limit
By Josh Newby
Pensacon, the area’s annual comic, horror and sci-fi convention, may find most of its
audience among the twentysomethings and thirtysomethings of the region, but many of the event’s
guests are those that older adults likely grew up watching. The convention features a veritable who’s
who of movie and television stars from the 60s, 70s and 80s, as well as ample people-watching, as
many participants dress up as their favorite characters. The convention also has props from famous
pop culture staples like Dr. Who and Star Wars.
These conventions are
often seen as the
modern-day playgrounds
for the young. Last year,
just about 1 percent of
Pensacon-goers were
above the age of 65, and
10 percent were over the
age of 55; nevertheless,
there are many
entertainment options
available to the equally
young of heart.
This year at the
Pensacola Bay Center,
Feb. 27 through March 1,
seniors who do decide to
pay the convention a visit
will be delighted to find guests like Nichelle
Nichols, who played Uhura from Star Trek,
famous for her depiction as one of the first
African-American characters on American
television not portrayed as a servant. Other
guests include Jeremy Bulloch, who played the
original Boba Fett from Star Wars; Felix Silla,
who played Cousin Itt on The Addams Family;
Lisa Loring, also from The Addams Family;
and Linda Harrison, who played Nova,
Charlton Heston’s mute mate, from Planet of
the Apes, among many others.
“Pensacon has always strived to be a truly
all-inclusive convention, and from our first
event earlier this year in February, we saw that
our attendees and fans span several
generations,” said Manda Manning, director of
marketing for Pensacon. “Pensacon is so much
more than a comic convention. From our
inception, we have championed bringing arts,
culture, and entertainment to the community.
We often say that there is something there for
everyone at our convention, and we believe
fandom has no age limit.”
The convention also features a short film
festival, a range of vendors selling truly
distinctive items, and participating downtown
events meant to correspond with the pop
culture theme of the event.
For those who decide to experience this
wonderfully fanciful side of Pensacola, there
are a couple things to keep in mind. As most
of the convention involves walking throughout
the various exhibits, it is important to wear
comfortable shoes and pace yourself. There
will be lots to experience and even more to
see, so if you have a multi-day pass, it’s best to
take your time. If you have a one-day pass,
chart out your journey beforehand using one of
the convention’s helpful maps and only visit
the celebrities and vendors you’re truly
interested in.
For a three-day pass, which includes access
to off-site Pensacon events and discounts at
participating retailers, the cost is $60 through
Jan. 1 and $70 after that. Single-day passes
range from $30 to $45, depending on the day.
It’s a good idea to get tickets early to save
money and guarantee access to all the fun.
It’s also a good idea to not go as soon as the
convention opens, as that is
typically the busiest time. For
a more leisurely conventiongoing experience, mid-day any
of the days will generally
guarantee no stampedes of
costumed fans and a generally
laid-back atmosphere. Make
sure to sit and take a break
whenever possible, too, as
some time will be spent
standing in line.
Even for those who don’t
typically enjoy comics or
other fandom interests,
Pensacon offers a host of
benefits to people young
and old. The pure novelty
of the experience, and the
stories you will be able to
tell about it afterwards, are
worth it for some. Others
may find unique gifts to
give, get to meet and chat
with celebrities, and see
impressive professional and
amateur costumers, or
maybe just get some
So grab some friends and
have a silly, fun time at Pensacon in 2015. Just
don’t get too crazy! You don’t want all those
dressed-up Chewbaccas and Freddy Kruegers
looking at you funny.
An Exclusive Interview With
JoBeth Williams
By Kelly Oden
The stars of The Big Chill 30 years ago, from left, Glenn Close, Kevin Kline, Meg Tilly, William
Hurt, Tom Berenger, Mary Kay Place, Jeff Goldblum and JoBeth Williams
Born on Dec. 6, 1948 in Houston, Texas, (Margaret)
JoBeth Williams is a film, television and stage actress
best known for roles in Poltergeist, Stir Crazy, Kramer
vs. Kramer and The Big Chill. Her father, Fredric
Roger Williams, was an opera singer and manager of a
wire and cable company and her mother, Frances Faye,
was a dietician. JoBeth graduated from Brown
University in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1970,
intending to become a child psychologist. Instead, she
turned to theater, taking voice lessons to neutralize her
Texan accent. Then she moved to New York City and
began to appear in nine television series in the mid-70s.
Williams’s first television role was on the Bostonproduced first-run syndicated children’s television
series Jabberwocky, which debuted in 1972. The series
ran until 1978. She was also a regular on two soap
operas, playing Carrie Wheeler on Somerset and Brandy
Shelloe on Guiding Light. Williams’s feature film
debut came in 1979’s Kramer vs. Kramer as a
girlfriend of Dustin Hoffman’s character, memorably
discovered by his son while walking nude to the
She is perhaps most recognized for her roles in Stir
Crazy (1980) with Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor
and Steven Spielberg’s Poltergeist (1982) as suburban
housewife Diane Freeling. She was also part of the
ensemble comedy-drama The Big Chill (1983). This
led to her only major starring role in a studio feature
film, American Dreamer (1984), opposite Tom Conti.
Williams has also gained critical acclaim for a
number of performances in notable television movies.
She earned Emmy nominations for starring as real-life
characters Revé Walsh (the wife of John Walsh) in the
film Adam (1983) and Mary Beth Whitehead in Baby
M (1988). She also had an Emmy-nominated gueststarring role on Frasier.
In 1995 she was nominated for an Academy Award
for her 1994 live-action short On Hope, which starred
Annette O’Toole. It was her debut as a director. In
2007, she joined Dexter for a four-episode arc as the
serial killer’s future mother-in-law. She also played the
recurring role of Bizzy Forbes-Montgomery, mother of
Kate Walsh’s Addison, on ABC’s Private Practice.
She is married to TV and film director John
Pasquin; they have two children. She is also the current
president of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation.
COA: I understand that you grew up in Texas
and it was your father, who sang opera, who
encouraged you to pursue acting. Can you tell
me a little about your childhood?
JW: I grew up in Houston. As you said, my dad
was an opera singer in Houston, and he always
encouraged me to sing when I was little. I had a
good voice, and I sang in the church choir and in
school events. I was always being trotted out to
sing solos and stuff. So, I guess my love of being
on the stage started with that. I loved the
applause; I loved being able to do that. My dad
worked with me a bit as a sort-of teacher, but he
was very careful and protective of my voice,
because he didn’t want me to study voice until
my teen years, and he died when I was 16.
I started doing school plays in junior high. I
started doing musicals, of course, because I sang.
Then, I found that I just really liked doing the
acting part—the plays—as much as I enjoyed
doing the musicals. And so I did plays all through
high school. When it was time to go to college, I
decided that I should try and do something more
serious than being an actor, partly because the
school counselors and stuff said, “Oh, that’s great
you do these plays, honey, but what are you
really going to do with your life?”
So, I got a scholarship to Brown University. I
wanted to get myself out of Texas and try my
wings elsewhere. I decided I would be a
psychologist. I went to Brown, and I was there
for about six weeks and someone said, “You
should audition for a play.” I said, “No, I’m not
going to do that anymore, that was just high
school.” And then, of course, I auditioned, and
that was it. I spent all my time in college in the
theatre doing plays even though I wasn’t a
theatre major.
Finally, when I finished college, I had to admit
that’s what I really wanted to do. I auditioned
for a repertory company, there in Providence,
Rhode Island, where my school was, and I got in,
and did two seasons of theatre—all kinds of
theatre: classic plays, Shakespeare, modern
plays. It was a wonderful training ground, and
then I moved to New York and did theatre
there, did a couple of soap operas and got my
first film role, which was in a movie called
Kramer vs. Kramer.
COA: Was Kramer vs. Kramer your first time
being naked in front of an audience?
JW: Oh, yes. Actually, once on stage, during
repertory theatre, there was a play where it took
place in the 19th century, and I was onstage and
a guy brutally ripped the back of my nightgown,
so my butt was briefly onstage. That was an
audience of 200 people. So, yeah, I was really
terrified, but the script was so wonderful, and
the people so great, you know, the people who
were involved with it: Dustin Hoffman, Meryl
Streep, Robert Benton was the director. It was
just a great script, and it was really a great part,
a very funny, charming, memorable part, even
though it wasn’t a big part. So, I knew I had to
go for it, and if I got the role, I’d have to do it.
So, I didn’t hesitate about that, but when it
came time to actually do it—and, I went on a
diet weeks before, because I was so nervous
about how I looked—I was in my later 20s—and
I was pretty thin, but I wanted to be really,
really, very thin, since they were going to see
everything. And, I was scared. I was nervous, but
Dustin Hoffman was very helpful and sort of put
me at ease, and he leaped out of bed wearing
only a feather boa to sort-of break the ice with
the crew and everything before I had to drop my
bathrobe and do the scene. And the director was
great, so they cleared the set of everybody who
didn’t have to be there; although, of course,
there’s still a crew of about 30 people left.
COA: Did you have to re-take it multiple
JW: Oh, of course we did any number of takes.
The little boy, Justin Henry, the five-year-old
boy, had to block me. They had to shoot behind
Justin Henry to sort-of block things they didn’t
want to show, like pubic hair, basically. So, you
know, we had to do a number of takes, and
working with a kid in that situation, I was really
nervous. I thought, oh God, I’m going to
traumatize him, and his mother talked to him
the night before we were going to shoot the
scene, and she said, “Justin, I want you to know
that you’re going to be doing a scene with
JoBeth tomorrow, and she’s not going to be
Sidney Poitier, when he directed me in Stir
Crazy, he was just such an icon, and I had so
much respect for him as an actor and to see him
direct actually inspired me later when I wanted
to direct. I did, ultimately, do some directing,
and Sidney was definitely a mentor, and he was
lovely. He talked about the brilliant people—
Tracey, Hepburn, all the wonderful people he had
worked with—and the professionalism of being a
film actor and how important it was. He was
dealing with Richard Pryor in that movie, who
was dealing with his own drug issues at the time,
so it wasn’t easy for Sidney. But, I had just such
respect for him, and no question that he was a
COA: Let’s talk about Poltergeist. Looking
back on it now, how does it compare to how you
felt when you made it? How does it seem as a
horror-genre film to you on the “scare factor”
scale? Have you watched it lately?
wearing any clothes. How do you feel about
that?” He said, “I dunno, mom, she’s awful
skinny.” I thought, oh God, I need a five-year-old
COA: From Kramer vs. Kramer and Poltergeist
to Stir Crazy and The Big Chill—you worked
with amazing people early on in your career, like
Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, Dustin Hoffman,
and Sidney Poitier. Do any of them stand out as
being a particular mentor to you?
JW: All of them were, in a way. Watching Dustin
work in Kramer vs. Kramer, I learned so much
about how he could use his conversations offcamera, before they started rolling, to lead him
into what he was about to do once the cameras
started rolling. He wasn’t jumping into a scene
and acting; he had been in conversation, he was
behaving, he was being a human being, and I
found that very helpful.
JW: I have watched it lately. The effects,
obviously, there’s so much more we can do with
effects now, so they seem a little old fashioned.
But, the thing I always loved about the movie
was the family. Horror movies are not a particular
love of mine, so when I was offered the movie, I
think it was the fact that Steven Spielberg was
producing it that was my enticement and that I
loved the family. I liked the script, and I thought
the family was really well written. So, for me, it
was always a movie about the family relationships
and the relationship between me and my
daughter, me and my husband, and the effects
were always sort-of incidental to me. When they
had the guy peeling off his face or watching the
steak turn into maggots, I just kind of tuned out,
because it’s so not my thing.
COA: I read that you had some supernatural
experiences while filming Poltergeist. Is this
JW: Well, I think we were working very long
hours and long days and the movie was physically
pretty grueling, too. I think I became
hypersensitive to anything that might possibly be
unnatural happening. I was living in New York at
the time and living in a rented apartment. Every
night when I came home, the pictures in the hall
would be crooked, and I would straighten them.
When I would leave in the morning, they’d be
straight; I come home at night, and they would
be crooked.
I got very nervous that something supernatural
was going on, but I think as an actor you’re
always hypersensitive when you’re working. You
kind of have to be, because you’re dealing in
emotions, and you’re dealing in situations that
have to seem real to you, and you lose your sense
of reality, you become extremely reactive. So, the
pictures did freak me out a little.
COA: I want to talk about some of your
television roles. I understand that you were
nominated for an Emmy for your work on
Frasier. You were on two episodes and were
nominated for guest star. How did that feel?
JW: It was great. I was also nominated for Best
Actress in a Television Movie when I did a movie
called Baby M, about the first surrogate mother,
Mary Beth Whitehead. And I had another
nomination for a TV movie called Adam, which
was about John Walsh from America’s Most
Wanted whose son was kidnapped and murdered.
I played the mother. So, I’ve had three Emmy
nominations. Each one is always an honor, and
then you go to this endless four-hour ceremony,
and then you lose, so that’s a drag.
COA: I read a quote where you talked about
the difficulty of life in Hollywood for women,
particularly for women over a certain age. Can
you speak to me a little about what it’s like to
be a woman in Hollywood, how it might be
different for a man, and how it might be as you
grow older?
JW: From the director’s standpoint, if you would
look at the statistics, that the number of female
directors has actually gone down in the last four
to five years, something like 9 percent. I mean,
come on. Horrifying. And, roles for women,
they’ve always [been scarce], no matter the age. I
think there are a third of roles written,
particularly in film, for women. But, when you
get to women over 50? It’s like, I don’t know, 11
percent, or something. But, roles for men over
that age? A considerably larger number.
Ageism and sexism are very real in our
industry. I think they reflect the feeling in our
culture, but I think we also have a responsibility
to change how our culture looks at older women.
I don’t think that’s happening to the degree that
it should. In television, it’s better. We have more
female writers and producers in television than
you do in movies.
There’s always been this rule of thumb that
men choose what movies they’ll see and take
their dates to, and women pick what to watch in
the home, on TV. Now, whether that’s true
anymore or not, I don’t know. But, that’s kind of
how the studios have always looked at it. They
think that successful women’s movies like
Bridesmaids or Heat are aberrations; they don’t
think they’re the norm.
My husband is a wonderful director, but he
gets so tired of me because the other night we
went to see a movie and we were watching the
trailers and a preview would come on, we’d
watch it, and I’d say, okay, we didn’t see any
women in that preview. Next preview: okay, we
saw one woman in the background. You know,
okay, there was one female speaking, but she
didn’t seem to be the lead. We watched five
trailers, and there were literally two women out
of all of them out of the 40 men we saw. And he
said, “Okay, okay, I get it, I get it.”
COA: And it’s important to note that you speak
from a place of knowledge, not just in your own
career, but you are currently the president of the
Screen Actors Guild Foundation, so you have a
little bit of insight into the industry through
more than just your acting career, I assume.
JW: Yes. I think it’s incredibly frustrating for
older people in general, men and women. But, I
do think we, as a society, seem more able to
accept older men in leading roles than we do
women, unless you’re Meryl Streep. If she’s 105,
she’ll still be doing leading ladies. God bless her,
which is fantastic. I just wish there were more of
those kinds of parts around. I read something
than Fran McDormand said about how horrifying
it is that women do plastic surgery in our business
and all like that. But, you can certainly understand
why. You want to hang onto having a career for as
long as you can. If there are no roles for women
over 60, then you want to try to look like you
can play in your 50s. I mean, there are roles for
women over 60, thank God. I mean, I’m
fortunate. I’m on two different TV shows at the
moment. But, there just aren’t many, and there
are a lot of great actresses out there; brilliant
actresses, who should be working more than
they are.
COA: I read that the role of Murphy Brown was
originally written for you, but you declined it. Is
that true?
JoBeth on the set of Marry Me
JoBeth and cast on the set of Marry Me
JW: That’s true. Dianne English, who created that
show, is a longtime friend of mine, and she had me
in mind when she wrote the part. She told me at
the time, “I’m writing this role, it’s going to be a
great female role,” and all of this. But, by the
time they were finally doing it and the part was
offered to me, I had just become a mother, and I
had really, really tried hard for a lot of years to
become a mother, and I just couldn’t imagine
going to the studio every day with my new baby.
It was a different time in my life, and in my
career I was still doing movies. I wasn’t sure if I
wanted to commit to doing a TV series at the
time. It was a great role. I probably shouldn’t
have turned it down. But, do I regret it? No. I
don’t, because I spent a lot of time with my
son, and I made other choices and did other
COA: And that’s what’s important.
JW: Yeah, and it was great for Candice, whose
movie career was not doing that well. She was
very, very smart to make that choice, and she was
wonderful in the part. And it then it helped
people realize that movie actors crossing over into
television didn’t mean they were lowering
themselves. There is no longer that prejudice,
especially when you see Matthew McConaughey
doing True Detective.
COA: So, you have two sons. Do either of them
have children? Are you a grandparent yet?
JW: No, I wish I were. But, they’re a little young.
I really want to be a grandparent so badly. But, I
can’t push them, because I certainly don’t want
them to leap into marriage before they’re ready
to take on the responsibility.
COA: I always ask, especially our female
celebrities: what are your secrets to aging
gracefully? Do you have any beauty or healthy
living secrets that keep you beautiful, active, and
The Freeling family (Craig T. Nelson, Oliver Robins and JoBeth Williams) is both frightened and awed
by the violent spirits that invade their home in MGM’s Poltergeist.
JW: Well, I wear sunscreen every day of my life,
and I wish I had discovered it in my early years.
When I was in my teens and 20s, we all just
baked right out there in the sun and got as tan as
we could, baby oil and all that. But, I’m lucky I
got good skin, genetically, and even though I
damaged it with a lot of sunning, I stopped early
enough. So, sunscreen, I wash my face every
single night of my life, get that makeup off, put
on that moisturizer.
I also think it’s your attitude, I really do. I
think you have to keep interested; you have to
keep excited. I have to find ways to challenge
myself creatively. I mean, that’s part of what
directing was about. I needed that new
challenge. I’ve done a little bit of painting and
drawing. As much as I love acting, I need other
things to excite me, too. I think if you keep
looking for new vistas in your life, and you keep
physically active in looking for new vistas, get up
off of your butt and get out there and do stuff, I
just think you’ll feel young. I think feeling young
is what it’s all about. And I think medicine is
going to help us a lot, and is helping us, but I
think we can’t think of ourselves as old.
And you look at people who are still brilliant
and working into their 80s and 90s—I mean, I
look at Betty White, and I am in awe of her. And
I’ve been around her at the SAG Awards because
I’m chairman of the committee that puts on the
SAG Awards and I mean carrying on a
conversation with her, she has so much energy, I
could not believe it. She was our Lifetime
Achievement winner two or three years ago. So,
you look at people like that, and they’re really
inspiring, and they still do what they love to do.
I think that’s really important.
If you retire too early, and stop doing things
that you love to do, then a certain boredom will
set in and you will just start to think of your
body aches.
COA: You are in your 60s, so I wanted to
know, what do you see as the biggest issue
senior citizens are facing in this day and age?
JW: I think, certainly, being able to get
appropriate health insurance is vitally important,
and whatever our government can do to make
that easier for seniors is going to continue to be
more important as our population ages. I think
what’s going to face a lot of people who are
retired from their jobs, whether they want to or
not, in their 60s or 70s, is “what do I do in the
next phase of my life?”
I know that there are charities, and, in fact,
Sherry Lansing, the great producer and video
executive, is involved in one. I think it’s called
Second Act and it’s about helping older people
find ways to be useful, creative, contribute to
society, and keep themselves active and involved.
Second careers, if you will. I think that is going
to be more and more important.
In fact, there’s a wonderful movie I did a
reading of with Robert De Niro and Anne
Hathaway called The Intern. De Niro plays a guy
who’s retired from his business, he was very
successful, and in his 60s. He’s bored out of his
mind, and she has a start-up online business
that’s very successful. They hire him as an intern
to help and it’s very funny, but it’s also very
powerful because it’s about how this young
woman and this older man help each other learn
life’s lessons, if you will. Nancy Meyers is
directing it, and I’m looking forward to seeing it.
I think it’ll be very funny when it comes out.
COA: What charities are you involved in?
JW: I’m the president of the Screen Actors
Guild Foundation. We help our fellow SAG
actor members in need with catastrophic health
issues or emergency assistance or help paying
their health insurance premiums when they
aren’t working, when they can’t. So, of course, a
lot of the older actors are the ones who come to
us because there aren’t many jobs for them. So,
they have had extremely successful careers for a
number of years, but now, they’re not working.
They’re not getting hired, and they may have
some special health issues, and they have
trouble paying their health insurance premiums.
So, we help them. We also have children’s
literacy programs. It’s a great charity, it really is.
The other one I’m involved
in is called Futures for
Children. I have mentored a
Native American boy who is a
Navajo from the reservation in
Arizona. I’ve worked with him
for 12 years, since he was about
9. He’s about to graduate from
college, and it’s very exciting.
COA: What are you working
on now?
JW: Well, now I’m doing a new
show on NBC called Marry Me
on Tuesday nights. It’s a very
funny show. I’m what is called a
recurring character. I play the
lead actor Ken Marino’s mother.
It’s about a young couple who
are finally getting engaged to be
married and all the problems
that they’re going through. I
play the sometimes loving,
sometimes not-so-loving
mother-in-law-to-be. And then,
I’ve been shooting as a regular
on a show called Your Family or
Mine for TBS, which won’t air
until next summer. That’s when
TBS starts their new season.
COA: That’s the one with
Richard Dreyfuss, right?
JW: Yes, Richard Dreyfuss plays
my husband, and we are in-laws,
and every other show takes
place in one in-law family’s
house or the other. And it’s a
very funny show. But, that one
doesn’t air until next summer. I
also did a movie called The List
that I hope will be coming out
next spring. It’s a little comedy.
And, that’s about it.
News from Council On Aging of West Florida
2014 Rat Pack Reunion Raises
COA Board Members Ed
Turner and Kathleen Logan
with COA President/CEO
John B. Clark
Nearly 300 individuals attended
the fourth annual Rat Pack
Reunion on Oct. 24, 2014, in
support of Council on Aging of
West Florida and its programs. At
the event, four local business
leaders including Larry “Moose”
Morris, Jack Nobles, Tom Pace,
Jr. and Jim Rigsbee, were
honored for their leadership and
service to the community.
“Everything came together just
beautifully,” said Jennifer Cole,
chair of the Rat Pack Reunion
Committee. “From the gorgeous
room décor to the hilarious
roasting of our rats and dancing
to the tunes of Ol’ Blue Eyes…
we could not have asked for a
more exciting way to celebrate
these generous community
leaders while raising support for
local seniors.”
This year’s Rat Pack Reunion
tradition included an inaugural
Rat Race 5K walk/run and a
raffle for a pair of his and hers
Rolex watches courtesy of
Jewelers Trade Shop. The gala,
5K and raffle raised more than
$100,000 for Council on Aging.
We could not have done it
without all of the support from
so many people. Special thank
you to our event committee
including event chair Jenn Cole,
DeeDee Davis, Lorenzo Aguilar,
Cameron Cauley, Brian
Dinerman, Carlette Howell,
Darrin Land, Kathleen Logan,
Angela Moore, Phillip Morris,
Michelle Ortiz-Miguez and
Caron Sjöberg. Please make plans
to join us on Friday, Oct. 23 for
the 2015 Rat Pack Reunion.
And . . . special thanks to
Moose and Lynn Morris for
hosting the High Roller
Sponsor Party at their gorgeous
home. It was a fabulous time!
To view and order photos from
the event, please visit
Panhandle Charitable Open
PCO Board Members Doug
Gooch and Dave Hickerson,
President/CEO of Council on
Aging John B. Clark, PCO
President John L. Peacock,
Council on Aging Board Chair
DeeDee Davis, and PCO Board
Members Matt Peacock and
Steve Taylor.
Since 2006, the Panhandle
Charitable Open golf tournament
has raised more than a half
million dollars over the past 13
years to help local charities and
organizations. John Peacock,
president of the Panhandle
Charitable Open (PCO), and
board members presented
Council on Aging of West Florida
with a check for $25,000. This
year’s tournament raised a record
of $130,000, which was donated
to local charities. Stay tuned for
updates on next year’s
tournament and get involved at
Thanks Humana, WEAR ABC
3, John B. Clark and Pen Air
Federal Credit Union!
We cannot thank these three
organizations enough for their
generous sponsorship of our
annual donor recognition holiday
party. This year’s party will be
better than ever because of their
support. The donor recognition
holiday party is a gathering to
show gratitude and celebrate our
donors throughout the year.
Thank you Humana, WEAR
ABC 3, John B. Clark and Pen
Air Federal Credit Union for
supporting Council on Aging of
West Florida!
Council on Aging of West Florida
is actively seeking volunteers to
help us serve our diverse and
growing senior population. We
need volunteers of all ages who
are willing to give their time,
experience and skills to help us
carry out our mission. Tasks
range from secretarial work,
running errands, and doing small
home projects. Join us for
orientation as we discuss the
importance of your role as a
volunteer and get you acquainted
with what we do on a daily basis.
Volunteer Orientation
Third Thursday of each month
875 Royce Street – Conference
January 15 – 5:30 pm
February 19 – 10 am
March 19 – 5:30 pm
For more information, contact
Betty McLeroy at 850-432-1475
or [email protected]
Council on Aging of West
Florida Clowns around for
United Way
Council on Aging employees put
on bright faces for the festivities.
Every year, Council on Aging of
West Florida and their employees
raise funds for United Way of
Escambia County at their annual
kickoff party. This year, the
Employee Liaison Committee
planned a day full of festivities—
circus style! From a cake walk to
raffle drawings, employees were
engaged in lots of activity at the
event. The party included a
complimentary lunch of corn
dogs and canned drinks courtesy
of Valley Services. The Council
on Aging employees were able to
raise over $10,000 for United
Way of Escambia County. Way to
go, COA team!
Welcome New Community
Services Director Karen Barbee
and New Social Services Director
Suzanne Jackson
Community Services Director
Karen Barbee and Social Services
Director Suzanne Jackson
We are pleased to welcome Karen
Barbee and Suzanne Jackson to
Council on Aging of West Florida.
Karen earned a bachelor’s degree
in natural sciences from the
University of Puget Sound in
Tacoma, Washington. She was
formerly the director of operations
for Chain Reaction, a teen
volunteer center. In her position
with Chain Reaction she was
responsible for fiscal management,
managing staff and volunteers,
managing contracts and assisting in
grant applications. She also
worked for a brief time with the
Healthy Lives Program at Baptist
Health Care. Prior to that she was
an operations manager trainee with
Bio-Life Plasma Services. Karen
was also a Peace Corps volunteer
in Mali, West Africa working with
food programs, health care issues
and HIV/AIDS awareness
Suzanne Jackson is a returning
employee to Council on Aging of
West Florida. Suzanne earned a
bachelor’s degree from the
University of West Florida and a
master’s degree from Florida State
University. She was formerly a
case manager with American
Eldercare. Prior to her work at
American Eldercare, she was a
social work/case manager at
Providence Hospital in Mobile for
five years. Suzanne previously
worked at the Council on Aging as
a case manager, director of our
home care department and from
2000-2004 she was our social
services director. We are glad to
have her back! We are thrilled to
have both of these ladies join our
COA team!
for the second annual “St. Patrick’s
Day Celebration of Aging,” March
17th, 2015, at Gadsden St. United
Methodist Church, located at 901
E. Gadsden Street. This will also
launch the second annual “Senior
Adult Series” of lectures, Mondays
1 pm - 2 pm, on the theme of
“Safety Matters.” Free to all. Cosponsored by area churches and
other senior organizations including
Council on Aging of West Florida.
For more information, please call
Tai Chi for Seniors
Tai Chi for Seniors & Friends
continues at Gadsden St. United
Methodist Church, located at 901
E. Gadsden St., each Monday at 2
pm and Wednesday at 4 pm.
These hour-long sessions provide
relaxing, gentle exercise that has
proven benefits in improving
balance and reducing the risk of
falls. Donations are encouraged to
support the instructor. Suitable
for any level of fitness or
experience - there are participants
on walkers, and chairs are used
when needed. For further
information, call 433-0014 or
Sacred Heart Senior Services’ 16th Annual Senior
Spirit Day
Saturday, February 21, 2015
8:30 am-12:30 pm
Sacred Heart Hospital – Greenhut Auditorium
5151 N. 9th Avenue, Pensacola
Enjoy free health screenings, health and wellness
information, and community senior resources. For
more information, call 850-416-1620 or visit
Pensacola Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and
other Relatives
Second Thursday of each month
January 8, February 12, March 12
6:00 pm
Homewood Suites by Hilton, 5049 Corporate Woods
Drive, Pensacola
Are you or a friend raising grandchildren? Feeling
stressed? Join Council on Aging of West Florida for
FREE dinner beginning at 5:30 pm and discussion
following. Child Care Provided FREE on-site
Reservations requested to 850-432-1475.
2015 Snowbird Roost
February 12 & March 5
Doors open at 11 am – Lunch Served at 11:30 am
Perdido Bay Community Center, 13660 Innerarity
Point Road, Perdido Key
Join a lunch with fellow snowbirds and receive
coupons, meet and greet, visit local vendors, and
listen to live music. Tickets must be purchased in
advance at the Perdido Key Visitors Information
The Alice in Wonderland Series
December 6 – January 31
Tuesday through Saturday 10 am5 pm; Sunday 1-5 pm
Pensacola Museum of Art, 407
South Jefferson Street,
Follow the rabbit hole down as the Pensacola
Museum of Art presents a whimsical journey into
Wonderland through the paintings of Stefani Joseph.
Alice in Wonderland brings Lewis Carroll’s beloved
novel to life through oil on canvas. Joseph is a British
figurative painter and professor at the Savannah
College of Art & Design. General admission is $10
per person.
Baptist Health Care offers a variety of
educational events each month. By providing
these wellness events, Baptist hopes to improve
community health through preventive care,
education and support.
Hip and Knee Replacement
Wed., Jan. 7, 11:30 am lunch; noon to 1 pm
1040 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Conference Room B
G. Daxton Steele, M.D., Orthopaedic Total
Joint Specialist, Andrews Institute
Andrews Institute Athletic Performance &
Research Pavilion
Winning the Weight-loss Battle
Wed., Jan. 14, 11:30 am lunch; noon to 1 pm
1717 North E Street, Avery Street Entrance
Patrick Gatmaitan, M.D., Bariatric Surgeon
Baptist Towers, Medical Meeting Rooms
Cancer Answers: The Latest in Screening
Wed., Jan. 21, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
Jay Community Center, 5259 Booker Lane
Donna Johnston, Director of Cancer Services,
Baptist Hospital
Winning the Weight Loss Battle
Thurs., Jan. 22, 11:30 am lunch; noon to 1 pm
Baptist Medical Park, 9400 University Parkway,
Azalea Room
Patrick Gatmaitan, M.D., Bariatric Surgeon
Your Guide to Healthy Sleep
Wed., Jan. 28, 9 to 10 am
Atmore Community Hospital, 401 Medical Park
Drive, Mayson Auditorium
Wayne Peacock, Director, Sleep and
Neurodiagnostics Services
For more information or to make a reservation
please call 850.469.7897.
Rat Pack Reunion 2014
Carmen Jones and Frank Patti
Kilah Poitevint and Cameron Cauley
Councilman Brian Spencer, Doris
Barberi, and Crystal Spencer
Kenny Brown, Kara Ffield, Jason and
Mikel Traffanstead, and Tyler Harris
Lynn Morris, Tom Pace, Jr., Ann Hall, and Katrina Pace
Caron Sjöberg and Michelle OrtizMiguez
Jim and Pamela Homyak
Travis Peterson, Larry Mosley, Councilman P.C. Wu, John
B. Clark, and Tara Peterson
Rat Race 5K
Jenn Cole and Angela Moore
Lorenzo Aguilar and son Ty Aguilar
Lorenzo Aguilar and DeeDee Davis
Thank You
for supporting Council on Aging of West Florida
Many thanks to our donors. We appreciate your generous support.
Gifts received from August 23, 2014 through November 20, 2014.
Lorenzo Aguilar
Mr. and Mrs. John Amoss
Anytime Fitness
Avalon A/C and Heating
Baptist Health Care
James R. Barnett, Ed.D.
Vicki Baroco
Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Bazemore
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Bond
Dr. and Mrs. Charles Bryan
Franklin Bryan
Linda Burke
Mr. and Mrs. Bo Carter
Dr. and Mrs. Frank Castagna
Tracy Cauley
Charity Chapel
John B. Clark
Clark, Partington, Hart, Larry,
Bond & Stackhouse
Mr. and Mrs. Madison Currin
DUH for Garden and Home
Mr. and Mrs. Pat Duplantis
Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Edwards
Escambia County Sheriff ’s Office,
David Morgan, Sheriff
Escape Wellness Spa
Christopher Ferry
Herman L. Franklin
Cynthia Gibbs-Olney
Joseph Gilchrist
Ed Gray, III
RADM and Mrs. William Gureck
Hancock Bank
Mayor and Mrs. Ashton Hayward
Mr. and Mrs. William Henghold
Kenny Holt
Home Instead Senior Care
John Horton
Oletha Hunt
Donna Jacobi, M.D.
David Jester
Jane Kugelman
Lamar Advertising
Teri Levin
Levin, Papantonio, Thomas,
Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor, P.A.
Levin Rinke Resort Realty
Capt. and Mrs. Kathleen Logan
Mary Ann Long
Lutheran Church of Resurrection
Brian Masterson
Commissioner and Mrs. Lumon May
Mr. and Mrs. Richard McAlpin
Meredith McIver
Mr. and Mrs. Terry Meyer
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mills
Mr. and Mrs. Bob Montgomery
Mr. and Mrs. Pete Moore
Mr. and Mrs. Larry Morris
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Murphy
Jeff Nall
Jim Neal and Ann Lemox
Laurie Neeb
Fran Norman
James M. “Mick” Novota
Nursefinders of Pensacola
Mr. and Mrs. Nels Offerdahl
Thomas Pace, Sr.
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Pace, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Ashley D. Pace, III
Dick Pace, Jr.
Robert Pace, Jr.
Panhandle Charitable Open
Mr. and Mrs. Mike Papantonio
Paradise Bar & Grill
Donna Lee Park
Joe Patti’s Seafood
Pen Air Federal Credit Union
Mr. and Mrs. Rock Penfold
Pensacola Runners Association
Pensacola Senior Follies
Mr. and Mrs. Travis Peterson
Sharon Pinkerton
Mr. and Mrs. Steve Preisser
Randy’s Men’s Formal Wear
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Rinke
Mr. and Mrs. Larry Robbins
Mr. and Mrs. James Robertson
Mr. and Mrs. James Ruston
E.J. Sacks
Rosa Sakalarios
Mr. and Mrs. Freddie Schinz
Caron Sjöberg
Elaine Sneed
Mr. and Mrs. Ken Somerville
Mr. and Mrs. Brian Spencer
Sue Straughn
Studer Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. Pat Sullivan
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Switzer
TLC Caregivers
Jason and Mikel Traffanstead
Mr. and Mrs. Milton Usry
Valley Services
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Vigodsky
Charles Wilkins
Michael Wilson
In memory of Jamey Holt
By Kenny Holt
In memory of Dr. Nat Rickoff
and Osborn Saulsberry
By Donna Jacobi, M.D.
In honor of John B. Clark
By Mr. and Mrs. Alan Moore
In honor of Patricia R. Potter
By Mr. and Mrs. Bill Triemer
Council on Aging of West Florida is a local independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that has served seniors and their families since 1972. Council on Aging of
West Florida helps seniors in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties live healthy, safe and independent lives in their own familiar surroundings by providing communitybased, in-home programs and services such as Meals on Wheels and Alzheimer’s respite care. For more information, call 432-1475 or visit

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