Sumter Shepherd's Center offers packed 2018 calendar

BY IVY MOORE
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 12/31/17

"By seniors for seniors" is the operating principle for classes and other activities at Shepherd's Center of Sumter, Executive Director Jeanette Roveri-Smith said Thursday. The center offers its Adventures in Learning program in three annual …

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Sumter Shepherd's Center offers packed 2018 calendar

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"By seniors for seniors" is the operating principle for classes and other activities at Shepherd's Center of Sumter, Executive Director Jeanette Roveri-Smith said Thursday. The center offers its Adventures in Learning program in three annual sessions of classes, each eight weeks long, in fall, winter and spring.

The winter session will begin Jan. 18, with classes meeting on Thursdays through March 8. Classes meet at Trinity United Methodist Church on Council Street.

Roveri-Smith said classes have been requested by members, are taught by knowledgeable volunteers and are aimed at "enhancing the growth and lifestyle of participants."

"If members request a certain class, we will make it happen," she said.

They include both classroom and hands-on subjects and skills as well as several that promote physical activity.

About 500 members participate in classes and other activities throughout the year, Roveri-Smith said.

During the winter session, Shepherd's Center members can learn or improve their skills in such areas as quilting, knitting, card games, computers, line dancing, money management and more. Fitness and flexibility are enhanced by yoga, tai chi, low-impact aerobics and line-dancing classes.

Classroom topics for the winter term include Bible study, geography, short stories and writing.

Roveri-Smith said some special classes meet on days other than Thursday at alternate locations. Bowling Buddies, for example, meets at 10 a.m. at Gamecock Lanes on Broad Street, where Shepherd's Center members receive free shoe rentals and pay only $1.50 per game. At 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, members can meet for the card game Hand and Foot at South HOPE Center on Lafayette Drive, and from 9 to 10 a.m. on Fridays, Heather Freiberg teaches Gentle Chair Yoga at Morningside of Sumter on Lin-Do Court.

For the past few years, members have been embracing Shepherd's Center-sponsored trips and tours in large numbers, Roveri-Smith said.

"Anita Kieslich started and organized our day trips several years ago," she said, "and, since then, we've expanded our offerings, even including overseas trips."

A day trip to Brookgreen Gardens is on the agenda for Wednesday, April 18. Members will travel together for a day touring the famous sculpture gardens and wildlife preserve, as well as taking an optional guided pontoon boat tour of the tidal creeks and lands once used for the thriving rice production.

"Our trips are so popular, we've had around 30 members of the Florence Shepherd's Center join our center to take advantage of them," Roveri-Smith said.

Currently, members can sign up for trips to San Antonio, Texas, scheduled for Jan. 19-28; Ireland, July 28-Aug. 8; Greece and surrounding islands, Oct. 11-25; and add their names to the waiting list for a May 23-June 3 trip to Montreal, Canada. Sept. 3-8 has members traveling to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum in Arkansas, with side trips to the famous Newport Aquarium and the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. In April, members can visit many attractions in Washington, D.C.

Currently in the planning stages are tours of Egypt, Morocco, Dubai, Oman and Abu Dhabi; Alaska and the U.S. National Parks; and one titled "Greece: In the Footsteps of Paul the Apostle."

Prices vary for the tours. You must be a member of Sumter Shepherd's Center to tour with the group.

Membership dues are $20 per year, and there is a class fee of $15 per session, which entitles the member to take as many classes as can fit into his or her schedule. Meals, also served on Thursday class days, are $6 each. Members must be 50 years of age or older. For complete information about class offerings and trips, request a brochure from the center by calling (803) 840-3770 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

Funding for Shepherd's Center of Sumter comes from local churches, businesses, foundations and individuals, including memorials and honorariums.