Summer Series on Volunteering in Aiken Area INSIDE

By Midge Rothrock This series started out to be an interview of Naval Captain George and Barbara Zirps about their generous volunteering efforts, and neighborly gestures extended to Kashy Flores and others. As you can see, it has turned into a much larger exploration. Why people give of their time and talents, as well as some best moments in doing for others in these ways is a feature encouraged by the Zirps. Like so many who are humble servants, the Zirps were flattered to be asked, but did not perceive their lives to be that unusual. Are they right? This is one amazing place! In fact, the Zirps were adamant that it is Marsha Mikes who is to be commended for all she does to make Kashy’s life easier. All they do, they say, is take their friend Kashy to church and out for occasional meals. This friendly woman is blind, recognizing people by touch. The Zirps are not that unique, they insist? Well, how about sticking by a stranger who has no family around, while she endured deep worries, a hospital stay, trips for follow up, and connecting throughout her recuperation? George Zirps hails from immigrant parents who created a big New York state family. They often shared the abundant hospitality of their home to as many as 50 people for meals, usually featuring speSo many people choose to be part of volunteer teams who make this Aiken area such a marvelous place to live. Elliott Levy, a breath of fresh air since his arrival for the Aiken County Historical Museum, was called on one detail. He wanted to make sure readers valued the docents, especially touting the dedication of folks from Cedar Creek community, stating, “We could not run without these docents – that is a fact!”. How often is heard, “Oh, I may have been doing a little something to help out, but in the end, I was the one who truly benefitted.” There is a similar “below the radar” style exhibited by each of these featured in this series on volunteers. They are often not the ones in charge, seldom even the one touted in media reports. These are the steady, dependable volunteers in the middle of great need. Some would call them marathoners. This time, they are GOING to get some recognition, even though this clearly is far from their motivation for doing what they do. This does not even scratch the surface of generous people known by many readers. The gamut in this summer series ranges from proud veterans, hourly workers, medical professionals, a banker, musicians and retired corporate executives: each willing to do any task. All had to be coaxed to share their story.


by Linda Farron Knapp

Retiring Early

cialty dishes prepared by his talented sisters. His older brother rose first to the rank of Captain, USN; making that two exceptional military leaders from this one family. Barbara faithfully donates every Friday to her desk at ACTS, where she is often accompanied by George, giving of his time there too. George and Barbara are a joy to be around. Witty and youthful for their ages, Barbara smiles as George talks of his Navy days lightheartedly, teasing about times of “iron men and wooden ships”! Hardly that long ago, but this couple knows the secret to assuring good days in their “mature times”. For them, it seems to be quietly giving back.


Page 3

Retirement Strategy
by Carl Smith
Page 10


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

SeniorNet Answers the Question ‘What can I do this summer?’
June 2013
The McGrath SeniorNet Learning Center on the campus of USCA has just completed its 14th successful year! Each year our organization recognizes one of our volunteers for his or her contributions during the year. All our volunteers contribute, but every year someone stands out for his or her dedication and participation above the call of duty. For 2013 our Volunteer of the Year is Carolyn Heh--her name joins those of previous awardees on a plaque, which is displayed in our Learning Center! Check it out the next time you’re there! Our Spring classes have ended. Your next opportunity to register for classes will come when the Fall catalog is published in August. If you would like to be placed on the mailing list for the catalog, send an email containing your name and street address to us at Also watch for our catalog to be published in the Aiken Standard in early August. After the catalog is published, you may register for classes. Visit our website ( for registration options. Come join us and improve your computer skills! As we prepare for our 15th year, Art Smith will again be our Coordinator and Sam Lightner our Education Chair. During their steering committee and education committee meetings, they’re busy reviewing comments made by both volunteers and students during the year, and revising course materials as needed to keep them accurate and current.

1) Practice at home using the mousing exercises we use in class. Are you a beginner student when it comes to computers? One of the challenges a senior beginner faces is using the mouse to control actions on the screen. Our hand-eye coordination is not quite as good as it was when we were twenty and it is a challenge to learn to move the mouse and click the buttons smoothly and without false clicks. To address this challenge, we offer a Mousing Skills workshop. The workshop is free if you are a registered student in our SRN101 Beginning Computer course and

meets on the Friday before the first class. We use publicly-available exercises to learn to use the mouse, and you’ll find links to all the exercises we use on our website. ( 2) Check out TUG at the Learning Center…something BRAND NEW—and FREE!! You’ve seen them everywhere.. tablet computers. The coming things in consumer computer use, tablets are wireless portable personal computers that utilize a touchscreen or a stylus pen to access or process information. Most do not require a keyboard or a mouse and are generally lightweight devices that allow for greater mobility.

See SeniorNet page 19

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Boomer Briefings
Q. After a recent cut in work hours, I’ve been thinking of changing directions, retiring in my early 60’s and starting my own business. I see you also advise small businesses. Suggestions? A. Many Baby Boomers have worked enough years to be eligible for retirement, but have been either hit by the recession or don’t want to endlessly swing in a Palmetto hammock. Some of my clients work part-time into their 80’s at jobs they found after they retired. And since they love what they are doing, they don’t even consider it to be work. One man and his wife became house flippers and made a small fortune buying at tax sales, being their own general contractors and even doing some owner financing. While Boomers bring a wealth of experience to the table, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Here are my suggestions: 1. Before you move too far ahead with your bright idea, be sure your health and that of your spouse is sufficient for the demands and challenges of starting and running a business. Even a sedentary job while not physically demanding, can be very stressful when there are demanding clients, time constraints and you have to do or oversee everything. 2. Take the time to really develop your business concept including a written business and marketing plan with all the numbers. Run your idea past some professionals and really listen to what they tell you. If the competition is fierce locally try visiting a similar business some hours away and talk with the

owner. Write down your questions. 3. Are you prepared to take big financial risks? I do not recommend putting the bulk of your retirement nest egg into the business. So talk with a financial planner now about what you really have for assets and what you still need to live comfortably on. If you do go forward with the business get a line of credit upfront for the business so you have a cash source, if needed, and can minimize your personal funds becoming business funds. 4. Be sure to include your own salary in the business plan. How much could you be earning working for someone else? Not that there aren’t rewards from being your own boss, but no one feels successful when he or she is working for free. 5. Choose a form of doing business that will protect your

Attorney Linda Farron Knapp
A member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

personal assets. Spend the money upfront to learn about an LLC or S corp. Select an accountant and a good accounting program that matches your business needs. See Boomer page 4


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Continued from Boomer page 3 6. You have to be able to grasp and understand new ways of doing business like using PayPal and an I pad, and social media. Take some classes now while you are still working. Whatever you learn now will help you later. 7. Plan from the beginning how you will exit the business. It’s not a question of if, only when you leave and you need to be ready to shut down, sell at some point or involve another generation of family members. 8. Be very, very careful who you hire as your first employee. 9. Studies show that older persons starting businesses do not make the same mistakes as the young, but they still make mistakes. Learn from the mistakes you made when you were young and from those of others and they won’t become your business’ mistakes. 10. Check out all the local and state licenses and regulations you must comply with and keep an active notebook of what you need to be doing and when.

A well known volunteer in Aiken area, Marilyn Sackett primarily serves as a Stephen Minister and Stephen Leader, at First Presbyterian Church downtown. Having had a career in nursing, the skills of nurturing others was part of her life all along. Marilyn feels so lucky to have known God’s love, and feels called to pass it along when she can. Citing a quote from author Shirley Wells, in part, she shares this: “I am who I am not because of me, but because of who God is in my life. I am who I am because of others who have loved and nurtured me, even through the most difficult of times.” Marilyn Sackett Recently, several new Stephen Ministers finished their training, held in a joint session with St. John’s UMC, at First Presbyterian. After passing an initial screening, the training requires some 50 hours of study, while learning to follow the Stephen Ministry way of listening to adults who request their skills. By design, this is a quiet ministry, walking side by side and under the radar, always one-on-one.

Call 648-2311 to advertise in

Tuesday, June 25, 2013



Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bev Gillette

This well respected RN is known to be someone who really gets things accomplished. Whether pitching in to help organize a golf tournament, gathering folks with similar interests to fellowship or to enjoy the largesse of her home-cooked meals, she is always an asset, and fun to be around, as well. Her “canning kitchen” in the lower level of her home is fascinating, and gets good use. While Bev’s career as well as her personal travel has taken her to so many places around the globe, she is as down to earth as any person who lives next door and shares homemade chicken noodle soup when she learns this might be just what you need.

This elegant woman keeps herself fit, through a dedicated commitment to exercise. She volunteers at St. John’s UMC as a substitute receptionist and for various office tasks as needed. For the past seven years Gloria has been a pink lady at Aiken Regional Memorial Center. In January of 2013, she began volunteering as a grandparent in the nursery school program. Her focus is with the 3 – 4 year olds, which gives this grandmother great pleasure, as her grandchildren live out-of-state. Husband Jim Owens is a knowledgeable gardener. Recently, they have been helping with the harvesting of vegetables from “America’s Gardener” Rev. Jim Bennett’s large garden. Along with other volunteers, they gather the produce which Jim so generously donates to ACTS, so that ACTS clients can enjoy seasonal fresh vegetables. Gloria agrees she has helped, but insists her husband is the real gardener in their family. Her reason for her outreach? “By volunteering I get to meet people from various walks of life. Also, it makes me feel good to give back to my church and community”.

Gloria Owens

Enjoy what Bev Gillette has to say: “First of all, I’m honored that you would even think of me for this article. I’ll give it a go. My motto for living is “as you sow so shall you reap” and hence volunteering falls into that category. I volunteer at ACTS; Banksia; Relay for Life; and St Paul Lutheran Church. I really enjoy the “outreach” because of the diversity of the volunteering. I have met so many wonderful people and learned so much about the Aiken community. For me, Aiken is the most caring and giving community I know. The best moment was a local mission trip by our church to refurbish an elderly lady’s home—it enriched her life”.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

7 Vietnam-era veteran Francis Hubbard spent most of his career in the military, having served 21 years in the Army. Hailing originally from Orangeburg, he has been an Aiken resident for decades. Except in prayer, this patriot will likely not be seen without his hat affixed upon his snowy head of hair. And, always he wears a crisply ironed shirt – his signature look. Francis is another kind of warrior these days: a Prayer Warrior. His recently departed prayer partner, Monty Montgomery, and Francis have prayed together every week fervently, with others joining them from time to time. They prayed for people they know who could use a lift, for people whose names Francis Hubbard have been given to them to lift up, for youth, for leaders in this community, for those serving in the military and mission fields, and for the world. Even though Monty has gone, Francis keeps the tradition going, in his gentle, humble manner. This busy woman is beautiful inside and out! Wife, mother, grandmother, musician, cook, planner, event organizer – the list of her roles and talents are many. She has given so generously throughout the years. Genie had a career as a nurse, as well as running her former upscale dress shop. When asked to choose one of her many philanthropic or hands on efforts, she chose to talk about this one: “I volunteer as a Board member with the Tri Development Center, an agency that serves individuals with intellectual disabilities, autism, and head and spinal cord injuries. The philosophy of the agency includes focusing on the individual’s abilities, rather than Genie Farmer their disabilities. As a result of this positive approach, our clients have achieved amazing progress. They lead more productive and fulfilling lives. It has been a privilege to be associated with this organization which serves some of the most vulnerable members of our community”.

Sue and Bridgee are very busy, all the time. Not only is she a medical professional, a volunteer CPR instructor, and active in Adath Yeshurun Synagogue, but she is a breast cancer survivor as well. March 3, 2013, a major anniversary, marks five years cancer free. Neither self exam nor annual physician visit discovered the tumor; instead, Sue is so grateful she had a mammogram. She hopes to educate and inspire others to follow through with mammograms for early detection. For this reason, Sue is in Pink Ribbonettes, and participates in the events of Relay for Life. Bridgee, her constant companion, is a therapy dog with a busy calendar. Aiken Elementary gets one visit per week for ½ hour throughout the school year; once a week, she can be spotted

Sue Stutman-King, and her therapy dog, Bridgee

at a local hospital, visiting. From July 2 through 30, you will find this calm, gentle dog at the Aiken Library, from 11-noon, one day per week, as part of the PAWS for Reading Program. Sue stresses that no dog is a judgmental dog. Sometimes people who are unable to express themselves to people will talk about their own favorite dog, or even directly to the therapy dog. Sue strongly reminds readers that mental health issues, such as depression, are often treated with less empathy or concern than cancer, but are just as horrible to endure. A special moment for these two occurred when a girl who had been petrified of dogs saw other youth sitting on the floor, enjoying Bridgee’s visit. She finally worked up her courage, and even was able to touch Bridgee, a first in her life!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Currently serving as President of the Property Owners Association of Cedar Creek, Phil Stack comes to this role with plenty of experience. Cedar Creek is a relatively new community, filled with many very active retirees. Opinions are strong, and passion runs high on some topics. Phil has handled effectively the issues and growing pains, even accepting a second term. He volunteers countless hours on issues of importance to this vibrant community. (He will, however, take breaks for Iowa Hawkeye sports, as well as a solid round of golf!). “I was asked to comment about why I Phil Stack volunteer for community boards. Here goes: I started my career as a high school teacher helping kids understand all elements of Mathematics. After I left teaching, I spent the next 32 years working for IBM, starting as a Programmer and ending up as a Business Transformation Consultant. These jobs took me all over the world and led me to being a manager at many levels. Also at every one of my many IBM assignments, I found myself teaching either directly or indirectly as I did my job. Teaching has been in my blood for all these years and now in retirement my way of teaching is to be part of the Boards that help run our community. I feel I can contribute because of my extensive background and also because I like working with all parts of the community. To me there is a lot of similarity between being in front of a classroom and leading a Board meeting with 50-60 people in the audience. I always feel good when someone comes up to me after a meeting and says it was a good meeting and you answered all of the questions. I know it is impossible to get all 1000 people in our community to agree on all issues, but I try to listen to all the issues and come up with a fair decision just like I did when I was teaching”.

Ann Kelty is a dedicated advocate for Relay for Life. Also retired from IBM, Ann and her husband Phil Stack are committed to keeping issues of importance highly visible within our community. This grandmother belies her age, with dedicated exercising through walking, running, and golf. Ann’s comments here: “Cancer takes too many of our loved ones and it is a disease that is difficult to live through and with – and it seems that is touching so many of us. As part of our Relay team, we are dedicated to the mission of Relay which represents the hope that those Ann Kelty lost to cancer will never be forgotten, those who have cancer are supported and that one day, cancer will be eliminated. It is motivating and heartwarming to work with others who feel the same way and are committed to making a difference – the strides made by the American Cancer Society in finding targeted treatments and preventive measures are phenomenal and impact us all. The “best moment” is hard to pinpoint – but the moments that mean the most are those times when a survivor or someone currently undergoing treatment tells me about how they got help from calling the American Cancer Society 1-800-227-2345 number which is available 24/7 with answers, advice and connections to resources!”

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Coconut Oil as a weight loss aid?
I’m getting more and more inquiries about the use of coconut oil as a substitute for butter as a spread, or in cooking in the place of oil or solid fats. Others have asked if it can help them lose weight or lower cholesterol because of recent popular diet trends and articles found on the internet. There have even been claims that this natural fat has antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral properties and can be used to treat colds, flu, cold sores, yeast infections and even sexually transmitted diseases. Truth is, there is little if any substantiating evidence that any of the above is true. What we know for sure is that coconut oil, like palm oil is a highly saturated, albeit naturally occurring plant fat. Historically, saturated fats have been linked to heart disease but we are now getting a closer look at the real causes of heart disease, and we know that inflammation may be more of an issue than cholesterol level and furthermore, saturated fat does indeed plays an important role in a healthy body. Trouble is, we Americans eat far more saturated fat (and far less naturally occurring unsaturated fat) than is beneficial for us and it is probably the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fat (eaten in the typical American diet) that causes the trouble. Science hasn’t taken us, yet, to a clear understanding of the role coconut oil plays in raising or lowering cholesterol levels. There are a few studies that have shown that plant saturated fat raises both HDL (good cholesterol) AND LDL (bad cholesterol). And then there are studies that have proven that some unsaturated plant fats lower LDL. Other unsaturated plant fats actually lower LDLs and raise HDLs. (Examples of unsaturated plant fats include polyunsaturated oils such as safflower and sunflower and monounsaturated oils such as olive and canola) The confusing part is that there are cultures in the world that consume great amounts of coconut oil that do not have high rates of heart disease (the Polynesians for example). But of course Polynesians don’t eat the processed food that we eat, either. Dr. Andrew Weil, MD, Director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the College of Medicine, University of Arizona states that the claims that coconut oil may help with weight loss are exaggerated. According to Dr. Weil, coconut oil is mostly composed of the type of triglycerides that go directly from the intestinal tract to the liver where , it is believed, they are burned as fuel rather than being stored as fat. However, the few studies that looked at this have been small, with only a few participants for only a few months. His conclusion is that using coconut oil does not lead to significant weight loss. More research needs to be done before I will recommend coconut oil as a weight loss aid. My recommendation is that until there is more evidence based science behind the regular use of coconut oil, we should view coconut oil and palm oil as we would other

Medical Nutrition Therapist in Private Practice

Cynthia F, Catts, RD, LD

saturated fats such as butter, beef and whole milk dairy. Those with heart disease or elevated lipids should be extremely cautious and the rest of us should consume them but with a great deal of moderation.
For more information on saturated fat, preventing heart disease via diet or to make an appointment, Cyndi may be reached at 803-642-9360 or at You may visit her website at

George Montgomery is a busy guy with a lot of interests! When contacted to share his reasons for volunteering, he apologized for being delayed in responding. Why? George was busy as a rules official assisting with the Palmetto Amateur golf tourney for several days. He walked with the leader, which was a plus for this good golfer. And, he followed up this tournament with another stint as a volunteer the next week for the South Carolina Jr. Championship at Lexington Country Club. Always a man of a few words, he offers literally just a few, when asked why he shares George Montgomery his time and talent to Clemson Master Gardeners, as a Rules official at golf tournaments, teaching CPR for his community and a member of the Landscape Committee for Cedar Creek, as well as an organizer of a fun couples’ golf league called Creaky Cedars. His responses are these: “I feel that life has been good to me and volunteering is one way to reimburse others as a lot of people helped me along the way. A best moment is when people walk up and shake your hand and express thanks for volunteering. It is especially a good moment when people do this without any coaching from anyone.” George spent his working years after the military with DuPont, but not in Aiken. Some memorable career years were spent in Brazil, for this PhD with a specialty in plant sciences. This voracious reader with such a quick mind is especially interested in military history, sharing generously the books he devours. But, the thing many would agree George and his delightful wife Judy are best at is at cultivating true and caring friendships.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The 4 C’s to Establish a Retirement Strategy
Q: Is postponing my retirement date a viable retirement strategy? A: Not always. Here are the 4 C’s to help establish a secure retirement strategy. Clarity Comfort Cost of Living Certainty Clarity Clarity is the underlying foundation. Every retiree needs to be brutally honest with themselves about their current financial position. An in-depth, introspective, detailed review of all aspects of retirement needs to be thoroughly reviewed, documented and then regularly revisited to ensure accuracy. One of the services we provide for our clients at The Smith Group is our Life Legacy, Guidebook. We review all aspects of our clients’ finances and document them in a Guidebook personally made for each client: included is everything from your last will and testament to your safety deposit combination. Comfort What comfort level do you need or aspire? What is the level of comfort you would accept? Is it 1/2 of your current income? 1/3? 1/10? A step-by-step analysis of where you see yourself in 3, 5… maybe 15 years down the road is critical. Items to consider: car payments or maybe car repairs. What if your home needs a new roof in 10 years? What percentage do you expect your Social Security to play into your retirement? If there was a huge push to balance the Federal budget, could you survive a cut in Social Security benefits? Cost of living Cost of living adjustments… an area where so many people mis-forecast. Even though we have been in a period of lower inflation, what if the cost of your healthcare jumped 45% with the impending Health Care revisions? Those of you approaching retirement easily remember the gas embargo of the 1970’s and the 16-17% interest rates on homes in the 1980’s. A concerted effort with your financial planner needs to be taken to project, as accurately as possible, how a dramatic upswing in inflation could impact today’s planning on your ability to maintain the Comfort level you desire. Certainty There is only one certainty in life and until scientists figure out a way to keep us alive in perpetuity, we’re all going to leave this earth. However, there are some certainties in financial planning. If you own a whole life insurance product, you might not, but your beneficiaries will derive guaranteed benefit from it. There are numerous insurance products, such as fixed index annuities, that provide great security in troubling financial times.
*Investment Advisory Services offered through Prosperity Capital Advisors (“PCA”), an SEC registered investment adviser with its principal place of business in the State of Ohio. Carl Smith is an Investment Advisor Representative in the state of South Carolina. The Smith Group and Prosperity Capital Advisors are not affiliated entities. 149 Crepe Myrtle Court Aiken, SC 29803 803.649.6645

President of The Smith Group, is an Investment Advisor Representative. He has been a member in good standing with MDRT since 2007 in the Ed Slott IRA Advisor Group.

Carl Smith

Tuesday,June 25, 2013


Camellia Daze
Japonicas were not the only species of Camellia that came from China and Japan. The more tree-like camellias called reticulata were brought to England in 1820 from Canton, China. Sailors from the East India Company carried many different species of plants, animals and foods to England. One such transplant was called Captain Rawes reticulata camellia, named for a skipper of this trading company. Strangely this reticulata camellia did not come to America until 1948 when it was introduced by Descano Nursery in California. In fact, there is a large specimen of Captain Rawes here in Aiken at a private residence. It is about 15 feet tall and has been in that yard in a greenhouse for decades. Captain Rawes is a very large midseason bloom. It is bright rose colored semi-double flower with wavy irregular petals. Its golden anthers tend to turn black very quickly when the bloom is picked. This small tree has leaves that are larger and thicker with deeply etched veining than regular japonica leaves. But even though this camellia grows into a tree and has big blooms and leaves, it is not as cold hardy as most japonicas. So here in South Carolina, it needs to be grown in a protected area in your yard or in a green house. Its unique characteristics make it an interesting plant for your yard. And don’t bother asking your kind neighbor for a cutting, most likely he doesn’t have one or likewise the big box stores. You’ll have to search the internet for a source or try Nuccio’s Nursery in Altedena , California. Here’s hoping to see you along the Camellia Trail. Rio Grande Dave


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Doing What Comes Naturally
You have your coffee, your glasses and the paper. You’ve just begun reading this article when in bursts a relative who announces “It is time for you to move.” Move? Yes. Relocate. Sell your house. Move to a home where there are “lots of people your age.” What on Earth? “Well we are afraid you will fall, break a hip or something.” Know what day this is? This is the day a relative decided you are “old.” It is this simple: Senior living is routine, outpatient living. Each of us would do well to learn this because knowing this makes the rest easy. Old and new are relative terms. When does a new car stop being new? Hard to answer. So when does a person become old? The older I become, the younger everyone else seems to be. What is the “new old”? it is a forty year old. In home care allows for the opportunity to stay home longer or to never leave at all. Certainly there are challenges that come with age. And just as certainly we know how to meet them. Completely customizable, uniquely flexible, in-home caregiving from DayBreak fits the solution to the need. Home is the state-of-the-art senior living option and probably the best one for you. You’ve been doing it all your life…naturally. Chrissa Matthews, MA, CCC/ SLP, is a native CSRA resident and the owner of DayBreak Adult Care Services, Inc, Aiken, SC. Psychologists have found that, for adults, “old” tends to be thirteen to eighteen years more than the age of the person defining it. The closer one gets to an age, the less that age seems to be “old”. For most people, it isn’t about age…it is about ability. And no one is pretending abilities don’t decline over time. But who moves when they don’t have to? Less than one in five seniors will ever live in any sort of facility. According to AARP, less than one in five ever wants to live anywhere besides home. Living at home is normal, nearly as normal for an eighty year old as

Chrissa Matthews, MA, CCC/ SLP, is an Aiken resident and the owner of DayBreak Adult Care Services, Inc, Aiken, SC

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Doris Baumgarten
Motherly advice from Mae Lerner has certainly been followed by Doris Baumgarten. Her mother, at age 101, imparted this to Doris, on the day Doris lost her beloved Peter Baumgarten: “Every day, go out the door! Even if it is just for a loaf of bread, or to greet a neighbor at the mailbox, get up and go out.” Peter and Doris had always been active. When Professional Engineer Peter was brought by DuPont to this area, more than 20 years ago, Doris realized the Aiken County Historical Museum might be a good place to start learning about

this town, while her husband was busy doing what Chemical Engineers of merit were brought here to do. Together, they also volunteered with Aiken Land Conservancy (was Aiken County Open Land Trust in 1990 when they began, with major efforts then to save Carolina Bays and WhitneyField). When 200 soccer teams descend upon Aiken each year, this Whitney Polo field is much in demand! All these years later, Doris has been a faithful Docent, serving one time each week, on Thursday mornings. She describes her efforts as enjoyable, and notes that in recent weeks she met people from Great Britain, as well as a gentleman from China who was in Augusta on business, and wanted to learn more about this city Aiken he had read about. With his perfect English, they shared an uplifting visit. Doris has high praise for the other Docents, mentioning particularly a neighbor from Cedar Creek, Richard Smoot. She commends Executive Director Elliott Levy, as well as Mary White

(Education, Trunk Shows), and Brenda Baratto (Outreach, Connections, Reclaiming Aiken objects), the Assistant Directors. Seeing people understand, connect and recognize is the real treat for Doris in this work. A self-described “perpetual volunteer”, Doris has a Masters’ degree in Psychology. With three daughters, much of her time while they were growing up was dedicated to their interest in Girl Scouts. She served in all capacities, including as an instructor for leaders.

At Aiken’s 175th anniversary, the monthly theme for February was historical buildings. 1000+ visitors came through to enjoy this glimpse at the past. Doris is very active in Adath Yeshurun Synagogue. Being a part of these tours combined her two primary current interests. At her synagogue, another major event she helped organize was the visit of a rabbi who opened the 100-year old scrolls at Adath Yeshurun. The advice of her wise mother continues to be followed by this perpetual volunteer.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lynda Platt
This is one busy lady! Lynda Platt gets things done. When others are talking about what they might do, and how to go about it, Lynda is already working away. (To learn more about her and her equally active husband Jerry, search for the Mature Times feature about them, from a few months ago).

This time, the concentration is on current interests. Lynda has many. One in particular is The Lydia Project, where Lynda has served on the Board of Directors and as the Aiken Area Coordinator for seven years. She says this, “I can’t cure cancer, but through my sewing abilities I can bring a moment of joy to a woman who receives a Lydia tote, knowing that many, many volunteers are praying for her during the difficult journey ahead.” A good memory is that of receiving the Volunteer of the Year Award for 2011 because it was recognition of the talented and dedicated volunteers from Aiken who produce 35% of all the Lydia totes (over 6,000) distributed each year. “It was really an award for all of us,” Lynda says with typical modesty. In Relay for Life, Lynda is a member of the Cedar Creek team, appointed as the ‘creativity’ chair each year. She is tasked to come up with the theme and ‘yard art’

which encourages neighbors to support this event. This year’s Relay received raves from so many of the grateful attendees. Lynda organized a men’s chorus of South Boundary members and men from the community to sing at this first annual “Cedar Creek Light Up the Night with Hope” event at Walton Heath Park (within Cedar Creek). The reason Relay matters so much to Lynda is because she is participating for her brother Jim King. He has been fighting cancer for five years, with recent Hospice care. Her best moment came while watching her brother Jim participate in the Survivor’s lap. As a member of the Aiken Women’s Heart Board, Lynda served as Corresponding Secretary and Costume Chair for 2013 benefit. She was active in theater throughout high school and college and had always hoped to pursue this interest after retirement. In 2004, while attending her first Heart Board Show, she was so impressed. Lynda admired the

women who organized the event , as well as the talented performers who put on such a great show every year. It thrilled her to be invited to join the Board in the Fall of 2012. Both of Lynda’s parents died from heart disease. Serving makes her proud to be a part of an organization raising tremendous amounts of money every year for heart disease research. Seeing the standing ovations at the end of each performance makes it a worthwhile adventure. Also, Lynda serves South Boundary, doing publicity/ photography/wardrobe coordination. While claiming she is unable carry a tune, Lynda lives vicariously through the fabulous music these guys produce! It’s an activity shared with husband Jerry, who sings with the group and has been elected President of South Boundary. Lynda surmises she just got promoted to First Lady! No matter what is going on in her life, listening to good music always makes Lynda feel better.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


In her own words, Carol has expressed why she volunteers, as follows: “What to do with those gifts you know God has given you? In retirement there are no more excuses as time is now on His side! Having been a Director of Youth Ministries in the Chicago land area for 16 years and so involved in mission work, teaching, fundraising, construction work and worship formation, I knew I needed to personally push myself in some new directions. So, I prayed asking for guidance and tried to listen to Him, not me! I have always wanted to use my Carol Fraser artistic gifts, musical talent and love of teaching to the glory of God and I have found my “spot” at St John’s UMC. I have the privilege of singing in the most beautiful choir this side of heaven and occasionally teach my adult Sunday School class. But the very best is what I call the ministry of the Bulletin Boards. St John’s has been kind enough to let me use several very large bulletin board spaces where I create inspirational pieces using acrylic paint on canvas. What an experience to “spread the word” through the stroke of a brush! I use a theme and change the boards every 3 months. The present theme is For the Beauty of the Earth and I am already sketching and planning the Fall series. By the never just walk away from youth ministry as it must be in the DNA, so Jimi Whitsell (Dir. Youth Ministry at St. John’s) and I have become friends. I know his dedication and it has been an honor to do a little mentoring to him.”

This high-powered senior executive and his highly accomplished wife, Carol, came to Aiken with charisma and high spirits, making them both a delight to be around. In his own words, Wally speaks about one project where he joins a group of extremely organized and seasoned volunteers. They have this Saturday ramp building business down to a tee! “I became a volunteer to help build ramps for the Jack Meeks Ramp Ministry at St. John’s UMC about two years ago. It was Wally Fraser amazing to me how efficient the process functioned. The precision of the approval to build, the delivery of the material on time at the site and the cast of volunteers doing the construction is overwhelming. To see the completed ramp that will change a person’s life is truly God’s work. The presentation of the Prayer Shawl to the person often brings tears. I do this because it is a way for me to give back to humanity, to helpsomeone in need. Probably the best moment for me is when I get home and think....”thanks GOD...for letting me do a little bit of your work”….”

16 This retired corporate exec and fighter pilot (Colonel in rank) humbly says about his volunteer work: “God has been very good to me so I feel that I should do what I can to serve Him by volunteering to serve others. Some of the wonderful opportunities to serve that the Holy Spirit has opened for me at St. John’s include: helping build houses at Habitat for Humanity, helping build wheelchair ramps, helping with the Monday Church maintenance crew, helping serve breakfast to the less fortunate at Grace Kitchen, helping administrative efforts for the Missions Impact Celebration and the Health Expo. On many of these, I only do a small amount but I hope that small amount Leroy Farr truly brings happiness to other people. We have a lot of fun working together as we serve others. One of the first wheelchair ramps that I helped with was for a wonderful 90-year-old lady. She had been unable to leave her house for the prior three months since she could no longer get down the steps. When we finished the wheelchair ramp, she came outside and had a huge smile on her face – what wonderful blessing for her and for the entire group that helped with the ramp!” This busy gentleman is seldom seen without his favorite caps – usually a red one - and seldom at rest except to stop and enjoy a strong cup of coffee. Willie Green and his wife Sara have been active in their church, Friendship Baptist, for as long as he can remember. He serves as a Deacon, and Sara as a Deaconess. He is a popular man, as witnessed at a milestone birthday celebration which included several hundred guests. What makes him so joyful to be around? Willie Green attributes his attitude and outreach to this: “I love working for the working with people, and with the music”. Willie Green Lord,At St. John’s annual Apple Fest, the community is treated to the Friendship Men’s Chorus most years, thanks to Willie making the arrangements to get them all to brighten the day with their close harmonies and exuberance. Willie is always humming some favorite hymn, as he does his work.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 While this outstanding community citizen does not meet the age limit of individuals typically featured in “Mature Times”, he does care about and give of his time and talents to several organizations which benefit Aikenites of every generation. Frank has been in the banking and financial services business for 28 years and is currently the Aiken County President for Southern Bank & Trust, a division of Georgia Bank & Trust. This life-long Aiken resident is married 22 years to wife, Beth. They have four children – Frank (20), Pinckney (17) and twins Wallace and Wright (13). Frank holds current board positions with Community Care & Counseling, SC Bankers Frank Townsend Association, and Friends of the Animal Shelter. He has served previously as a board member and treasurer of Mead Hall School, and as a Vestry member of St Thaddeus Episcopal Church; as well as a previous stint as board member of Aiken Area Council on Aging and the Wyndham House. Frank offers these words on why he gives of his time in so many ways: “I feel like each of us, while on this Earth, are called to serve in some way. My parents set fine examples of this and I see how much it has blessed their lives. I think it is my responsibility to give some of my time to help others, less fortunate.” Further, Frank shares a thought about a particularly successful (and lively in debates!) fundraiser, as follows: “While I’ve enjoyed every organization and ministry that I’ve been involved in, my fondest memory is the time spent on the Council on Aging and the very successful Steel Magnolia’s calendar fundraiser. It got a lot of public attention, both positive and negative, but the overwhelming success allowed the Council on Aging to meet the needs of so many more seniors in our area”.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 supposed to. We just need to be cautious and do our homework.” Sharon Hanrahan Smoot and Luanne Langmo’s fingerprints are all over many things in our town and Cedar Creek neighborhood. But, a particular passion is Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA), a 40-year old international philanthropic sorority, whose charter is to support St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. ESA was personally asked by Danny Thomas in 1972 to support this hospital. And, did they ever! ESA has donated over $164 million, and is the largest non-profit donor to the hospital. Chapters focus on raising money by cash donations, answering phones at radiothons (like telethons but via various radio stations), Give-Thanks-Walks and other events. The hospital has gone from 4% to a 94% cure rate for childhood cancer and willingly provides cancer cure formulas and information with other hospitals and doctors. Sharon feels we all clearly need to expand giving back beyond locally. She finds volunteering answered a lack of fulfillment that came from just going on outings and lunch. Like many others, she thinks involvement in community and donating time is part of her family’s DNA. Sharon now has the best of both worlds: varied and focused donations of time and money, learning new things, and spending time with others who feel the same way. Sometimes they still make time to enjoy lunch! It is fun for all. An opportunity presented itself to get involved with St. Jude’s when Luanne Langmo brought her over 30 years of ESA experience from Michigan to Aiken, and involved two others, Sue Podewils and Irene Hawley. A former ESA college member contacted us while her husband was stationed at Fort Gordon (they have since moved to Brussels, and then England; but, Aiken ESA still keep in touch). Over nine years, this Aiken ESA chapter has added eight more sisters, as they pursue ways to give back that touch their hearts. ESA examples of their generosity include sending almost 100 boxes of welcome items to active duty male and female soldiers. Another way is by helping locally, making and donating 25 no-sew fleece blankets to Helping Hands in Aiken.ESA started recycling in Cedar Creek and


Luanne Langmo
An exceptionally organized volunteer who influenced Sharon Smoot’s choice of efforts is Luanne Langmo. Lu offers this word of caution to all who volunteer: “I think these days, where you spend your extra time, efforts and dollars matters. Our sorority does due diligence when it comes to charity. We make sure the group actually does what you think they do and that the dollars actually get where they’re

collecting worn American flags in Cedar Creek and Houndslake. Sharon shares a particularly remarkable moment of going with a chapter sister, Barb Taylor, for the first time to join 200 other “sisters” to visit St.Jude’s Hospital in Memphis, TN last year. Expecting to be saddened by these ailing children, instead the sorority sisters were amazed by the spirit of hospital staff and children alike, in this child-friendly place.

Sharon Smoot

Bill Riehl has done so much in a short time, for music lovers in this community. Not only have his South Boundary Singers, an a capella all men’s chorus, become part of the fabric of Aiken fine arts, but they have gone on to create and encourage many boys’ groups to take up singing as a potential lifelong activity. Further, Bill has formed a women’s group which is gaining in reputation for their excellence as well. When asked why he devotes so much to this, Bill says that he has the time and talent to encouraging a community to sing. Further, he admits to an enlightened self interest, Bill Riehl saying he get great pleasure seeing others get great pleasure from doing things that he enjoys. A moment which particularly stands out in recent memory is that of seeing a young singer from Chukker Creek respond “Wow” to a tumultuous standing ovation from a large and enthusiastic audience at the Etherredge Center. (This was very early in the development of our South Boundary’s boys’ choir program, now in full swing). Bill is off to New York, the Adirondacks, for the summer, but will be looking to grow the numbers in his boys’ choir business upon his return. Whether it is Hopelands Garden, an area assisted living facility, in Kentucky, or in a hallowed setting in Scotland, Bill is ready and willing to lead and participate in the creation of pleasing sounds.

For approximately 25 years, Gene Wilson has been a volunteer for English as a Second Language. Working with adults as they learn the intricacies of our complicated language has been something he obviously cares deeply about. Now retired for 30 years, including many of them with Kimberly-Clark, Gene feels as though he is contributing, while staying busy. “Besides,” he says, “it is fun!” The best part is when Gene runs into someone he has gotten to know Gene Wilson through ESL, and he reconnects, learning of their lifestyle and positive changes since their time together. In December, this trim and witty gentleman turns 90 years old. He says his secret is to keep moving. In fact, every morning, even before he eats breakfast, his ritual includes an hour of vigorous exercise. He does this inside his home, even running in place. Gene knows this works, as he declares himself unique in his family for this commitment to an exercise regimen, and also declares himself the longest living member this Wilson clan has ever had to its name!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

To stay or to go…
Senior Care Specialist / Cumberland Village Administrator

By Liz Neal

The benefits of moving into a senior living community Let’s face it; no one really ever wants to leave their home. Moving into a senior living community can be hard for older adults, especially if they are accustomed to being self-sufficient and maintaining their own homes. The thought of leaving a beloved home that holds many years of memories can bring sadness and grief. The decision to choose a senior community can be just as hard for the children as it is for their parents. Many children have a hard time accepting their parents are aging and others are saddened by giving up the family home filled with their childhood memories. There are numerous reasons to “stay put:” however there are many, many great benefits to moving into an independent senior living community such as Cumberland Village. Safety: Senior communities are set up to provide a safe, comfortable environment for their residents and Cumberland Village is no exception. We have an emergency alert system in all apartments and patio homes and 24-hour staff so that our residents feel safe at all times. Whether the need be minimal or life-threatening our staff is always here to provide support. Meals: Appetites can diminish as we age along with the initiative to cook. Many seniors living at home often have microwave meals or snack all day instead of preparing a nourishing meal. One of the major problems with processed or prepackaged meals is the high sodium content. Sodium is a leading cause of elevated blood pressure and swelling in seniors. Cumber-

land Village offers a variety of wellbalanced, chef prepared meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner in our newly renovated dining room. Transportation: No car, no worries - transportation for doctor’s appointments, community events and shopping is provided. The convenience of our courtesy transportation allows residents to come and go without the feeling of burdening a loved one. Whether it is an individual needing to run errands or a group looking to travel, Cumberland Village has transportation for all needs. Maintenance Free Living: Even renters have to actively contact a landlord if there are plumbing or other problems in their apartment, and often they must follow up on repairs. For homeowners, it's worse. Seniors can be taken advantage of by unscrupulous contractors and repair people. They tend to be trusting and this makes them vulnerable. At Cumberland Village they don't have to worry about repair responsibilities. If something doesn't work properly, they simply alert the front desk (where someone is on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) and the problem will be fixed. Socialization. Socialization is perhaps the most important reason why many people who are reluctant to leave their homes end up thriving in a senior living community. Many seniors too often they rely on the TV or radio for company. When not actively used, social skills can decline, causing anxiety when seniors are in social situations. Depression can set in, furthering their reluctance to be socially active. Seniors without social exposure can become virtual hermits. Family visits are usually fun but can also be a source of stress. We all need our own peer

groups to maintain a proper mental balance. There is never a dull moment at Cumberland Village! Our residents enjoy many life enriching moments such as playing cards, listening to live music or theatrical performances. We also offer a variety of physical exercise classes such as yoga, flex and stretch or water aerobics in our heated indoor pool. Many residents stay on the go still enjoying community events such as plays and concerts, day trips to the beach, destination cities such as Charleston and Savannah or maybe just a quiet ride to see the peach trees in full bloom. And don’t forget lively games of Wi-Bowling (we have an awardwinning team), Bingo, poker, scrabble and many others to keep our residents mentally stimulated.

When compared to the cost of home repairs and maintenance, insurance, taxes, utilities and all other associated costs of maintaining a home, you may find living at Cumberland Village is quite affordable. It is certainly much less expensive than bringing someone into your home to oversee the care of yourself or a loved one. And you can’t put a price on the benefit of socialization with one’s peers and life enriching memories you will make while spending your golden years at Cumberland Village. Living at Cumberland Village is a positive life changing choice, one that is waiting for you to experience and enjoy.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Continued from page 2
You may already use one of these tablet PCs. If so, what operating system does it use? Android? iOS? Windows? How big is its screen? 7 inch? 10 inch? What brand is it? Galaxy? Nexus? iPad? Microsoft? Maybe you are considering buying a tablet, or maybe you just have tablet questions. Do you have some Tuesday afternoons free from July 16 until August 27? Yes? Read on for an exciting opportunity just for YOU! At McGrath SeniorNet, we have been planning how to bring you information about using your tablet effectively. The variety of brands, models, and operating systems make teaching about tablets a real challenge, so we’re trying something different. Beginning in mid-July, SeniorNet will host a Tablet Users Group (TUG) at our

Learning Center on the campus of USCA. The debut of this Tablet Users Group will be Tuesday, July 16 from 1-4 p.m. The meetings will run on Tuesday afternoons through August 27. Some of the things you might want to know: • It’s FREE! • If you have a tablet, bring it! • All types of tablets are welcome (Android, Apple, other) • Tablet users will help other tablet users • If you’re thinking of buying a tablet, join us to ask questions of people who have them. Mousing and TUGging.. we can’t think of more productive ways to spend part of your summer!!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013