Council on Aging, Loomis Communities expand services for seniors
By G. Michael Dobbsnews@thereminder.com
HOLYOKE – Learning continues throughout a person’s life; a new program at the Holyoke Senior Center will present a variety of classes.
Sponsored by the Holyoke Council on Aging and Loomis Communities, the series of classes will focus on local history, forensics, foreign policy and religion.
Kathy Bowler, executive director of the senior center, explained to Reminder Publications there has been a planning group working on the project for several months and developed the classes based on interests expressed by the seniors.
“We’re excited getting involved [in the classes],” Bowler said. She added that other Councils on Aging across the state have been running classes for a number of years.
The classes are affordable and the $25 fee registers a senior for all four. The classes will be presented at the senior center at 291 Pine St. There is a limit of 20 students for all the classes with the exception of the series of Holyoke history classes.
“These are quality courses taught by experts in their field,” Bowler said. “Each of the speakers will be sharing their knowledge and experience – and their love of Holyoke.”
The classes include:
• CSI: Holyoke – This class on the history of criminal investigations and forensic science will be taught by Holyoke Police Capt. Denise Duguay in three sessions from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays beginning Nov. 5.
• World Religions – The Rev. Richard Riendeau will lead this class on the major world faiths in meeting in seven sessions 9 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays beginning Oct. 9.
• My Career as a Foreign Service Officer 1970-2010 – Taught by Holyoke native John Champagne, the class will meet in four sessions from 10-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays beginning Oct. 8.
Champagne, a Vietnam War veteran, spent 24 years with the Agency for International Development (USAID). Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he served with the Department of Defense, Department of State and USAID in helping integrate U.S. civilian/military crisis response strategies.
The class will present an overview of the USAID organization, its mission, funding and staffing, and discuss how agency operations have changed over the years.
• History of Holyoke – Six speakers will present lectures on various aspects of the history of Holyoke in seven sessions from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Thursdays beginning Oct. 10.
The topics include: “Native Americans in the Region,” by George Ashley; “Overview of the River,” by Ted Belsky; “Industrial Development,” Penni Martorell, city historian; “Workers and the Labor Unions,” by Dr. Mara Dodge; “Holyoke Street Railway” by Jeremy Smith; “CCC, Putting People to Work,” by Win Lavallee; and a Capstone Panel to conclude the series.