Fabi Mathelier teaches Zumba Gold
A special series of activities for seniors called the "summer Senior Sampler" is being offered now by the Village of Palmetto Bay’s Parks Department and hosted at the Arlene and Edward Feller Community Room at Ludovici Park.
The senior seminars, exercise class- es, and other activities are part of a plan to bring more resident-oriented programming to the parks, according to Palmetto Bay Mayor Shelley Stanczyk.
“The village has been consistently trying to provide quality of life and our seniors have an opportunity to access the programs more than our working folks,” Stanczyk said. “Hopefully, these are going to meet some of the desires that they’ll have to enjoy their life and their leisure time in the village. As the ‘Village Of Parks’ that’s what we’re all about, offering quality of life issues and amenities to our residents.”
The summer program includes Zumba Gold by Fabi Mathelier, a dance-fitness class modified for active older participants fea- turing zesty Latin music, camaraderie and fun. The cost is $4 per class.
There also is Art and Crafts by Art Thyme Studios, a South Florida paint-your-own-pot- tery studio, for residents who want to explore art and learn how to make decorative projects they can use to brighten their homes or give as gifts. Cost is $10 per class, which includes supplies and the finished product.
Even if they can’t play a musical instrument seniors might enjoy Music Therapy by Nathalie Chazyn, a work- shop that “aims to help us reveal our inner joy by using musical games, songs and musical experiences” to promote sense awakening, communication skills, memory, sensory motor skills, improve mood, increase motivation and positive emotions. Cost is $3 per class.
Besides the low-cost activities there are free ones, such as Medicare Seminars by Matthew Gold in which residents can learn more about Medicare Supplement Plans in presentations and question and answer sessions.
“This is just the start and a way of beginning a more focused attention to activities and amenities for our residents,” Stanczyk said. “We just had a Committee of the Whole Meeting the other night where we discussed many different programs to come in the future that we’re interested in offering.”
The mayor explained that this is the perfect time to be discussing special programs since this is “budget time” for the village.
“This gives us the opportunity to plan adequately for them, because whenever you offer programs you have to have staff and you also have to set the money aside and plan to use the money for that,” the mayor said. “We discussed programs such as art programs, pro- grams that would utilize the IBus, taking residents to the Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay.
“Exercise programs, health programs, and of course I lean to the arts programs because I used to teach some art programs. Those are things that I think definitely add to having a great community and a great community spirit.”
Stanczyk said that it makes sense to utilize the park facilities, and that the Ed and Arlene Feller Amphitheater is a great amenity.
“There are two schools that are mag- net schools right here in the village and we have other community schools surrounding us that would provide a great cultural art series,” Stanczyk said. “That gives them a venue to perform and an opportunity for us to see the great children that we have that are so gifted.
“We usually have an art show each year from one of the middle schools, and the elementary schools have art shows and talent shows, and that’s something that we can offer them another venue, an outside venue, that certainly would bring in parents as well as our regular residents to enjoy our parks.”
Besides the Arlene and Edward Feller Community Room there are community rooms at Village Hall and Coral Reef Park and eventually there will be space in the renovated building at Thalatta.
“We’ve got children in camps; we’ve got the tennis programs; we’ve got activities in our parks, and we’re reaching out to include more park movies and movie nights, and try and get those going,” Stanczyk added. “We just seem to be at the mercy of the weather, so you have to hope for the best on that.”