When was the last time you stopped by the Citizens Center? We have so much to offer every day! They keep saying spring has arrived, but we have experienced a cold and snowy March so far. Chances are good that you may find something at the Council on Aging to keep you entertained until the weather improves. We have a wonderful group of people who play mahjong and love to teach others to play. We have a great gentle yoga for beginners, zumba gold for the more active person, tai chi for everyone. We have art classes, a book club and lots of people who would love to meet you. If you are new to the city or newly retired, I encourage you to stop by to see us at the Council on Aging, located in the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St.

We just had a great trip to the Museum of Fine Arts to tour the new Art of the Americas Wing. It was so interesting, and the group wants to make a return trip to see the upcoming Chihuly hand-blown glass exhibit which runs from April 10 to August. Look for our scheduled trip in mid-summer.

We also have many interesting trips planned. Our next trip to a Boston Symphony Orchestra rehearsal will be on Thursday, April 14. Join us as Sir Colin Davis conducts works by Sibelius and Beethoven. Tickets are $35 per person. See our complete list of events and trips below.

We have several openings right now for our art class with Cara Smoley on Thursdays at noon at the Citizens Center. Contact the Council on Aging for additional information.

Did you know that we have a showcase of beautiful handmade articles for sale? The next time you need a special gift for a baby consider shopping our supply of sweater sets and Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. They are beautiful!

The Haverhill Recreation and COA Red Sox Trip to Baltimore and Washington, DC, will take place April 26 to April 28. Seats are in the upper reserved section between first and third base. Cost is $279 per person, double occupancy and includes deluxe motor coach transportation. This is a great trip that provides terrific value. This trip is the perfect way to honor our soldiers and veterans by visiting the national monuments.

We have an exciting travel opportunity which includes a 7-day Alaskan cruise and two Red Sox games in Seattle. This trip sounds like a perfect summer get-away! Travel is August 12-22 and includes two nights in Seattle for baseball, a city tour, and a visit to the Chateau St. Michelle winery. Call Kathy Bresnahan for details.

How can you miss a Red Sox trip this summer! We have a third trip to see the world series champions play in Baltimore which includes a fabulous tour of Historic Philadelphia. This trip includes two buffet breakfasts and a fully-narrated tour of Philadelphia. Cost is $449 per person, double occupancy, and luxury motor coach transportation.

Have you heard of SNAP? The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal program that provides financial assistance to seniors and others who cannot cover the costs of a healthful diet. We have applications at the Council on Aging office, and we will be happy to provide information and assistance to seniors.

If you have any issues or questions regarding your health insurance, be sure to contact one of our SHINE counselors. Appointments can be made by calling Wendy at 978-374-2390 X19.

Did you know that the Merrimack Valley Transportation offers a program called EZ Trans for people who are at least 60 years old and people who are disabled? EZ Tran is a "shared ride" service intended to accommodate those who cannot use the MVRTA fixed route bus system. Communities serviced by EZ Trans include Andover, Amesbury, Haverhill, Lawrence, Merrimac, Methuen, Newburyport and North Andover. Contact the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority at 978-469-6878 for details.

Did you know that people who are at least 65 years old are eligible for a 50 percent discount on the commuter train to Boston? If you would like to learn more about the MBTA Senior/TAP program, please contact Kathy Bresnahan at the Council on Aging.

Have you thought of volunteering to help area seniors? We are in need of volunteers to assist with our Brown Bag program which is held on the first Tuesday of every month. Volunteers are needed for approximately three hours from 8:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. There is also a dramatic need for drivers to provide transportation to doctor and hospital appointments through the NEET program. Many seniors are no longer able to drive and have difficulty getting to appointments to area hospitals and doctors. If you can give a few hours a month to assist, contact Kathy Fairchild at NEET (Northern Essex Elder Transportation) 978-388-7474.

Stay in shape this winter by joining our new bowling group which meets on Mondays at 11 a.m. Everyone loves the newly renovated All Saints Bowling Center at 26 Broadway in Haverhill, and we have an enthusiastic group. They would love to have more bowlers.

Zumba Gold has become one of our most popular classes! Instructor Stephanie Smith is a dynamic teacher, and she has her class dancing up a storm. Classes are held every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. and the cost is $5 per week. This is offered as a drop-in class, so come to the Citizens Center and join the fun.

Have you always wanted to learn to play the piano? Now is your chance. Piano instructor Helen Hamilton is offering private beginner lessons at the Citizens Center on Mondays. Cost is $12.

Everyone loves Monday's Super Bingo! Bingo is played at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., every Monday and Thursday at 1 p.m., and Super Bingo is played on Mondays only. There are many new friends to meet at bingo, and we welcome all players who are 60 and older or disabled.

The Citizens Center offers yoga, tai chi, Zumba Gold, bridge, chess club, 45 tournaments, whist, art classes, mahjong, ESL classes, citizenship classes, conversational Spanish classes, woodcarving, bingo and so much more. Please check us out on the City of Haverhill website, and you will be amazed to learn what you are missing! We look forward to meeting you soon.

2011 Trips

March 24-27 — Springtime in Washington - BOT - $595

April 7 -14 — London and Paris - Collette - $2,799 per person

April 8 — Foxwoods - Yakov Smirnoff - Tours of Distinction - $59

April 14 — BSO - $35

April 10-16 — Southern Charm - Collette - $2,149

April 26-28 — Red Sox and Washington D.C., - Fox Tours - $279

April 27 — Estrogen and Tonic/Angelica's - Gateway = $46/56 w/trans

May 18 — Laughs, Giggles and Grins - BOT - $66

May 25 — Shaw Bros at DiBurro's - Gateway - $48/58 w/trans

June 15 — Bobby Darling - BOT - $65

July 18-20 — Red Sox and Historic Philadelphia - BOT $449

July 20 — Zorvino - BOT - $50 w/trans, $40 w/o trans

Aug. 24 — Twin Lobster Luncheon and Mysgery Show - BOT - $83

Aug. 12-22 — Alaskan Cruise and Seattle Red Sox - BOT - Start at $2,699 pp d/o

Aug. 29 - Sept. 5 — Pacific Northwest & California - $2,299

Sept. 13 — Road to the Scottish Highlands - BOT - $80

Sept. 13-19 — South Dakota/The Badlands and The Black Hills - Collette - $1,899

Sept. 30 — Fall Foliage Train Ride - BOT - $100

Oct. 13-21 — Southern California & Las Vegas - Collette - $2,399

Nov. 18-20 — White Mountain Hotel - $359

Nov. 27-28 — Holiday Magic - BOT - @299 pp double

Details on all trips and activities are available by contacting Kathy Bresnahan (ext 11) or Rita LaBella (ext 16) at 978-374-2390 or kbresnahan@cityofhaverhill.com.

Be sure to pick up a copy of our newsletter, The Voice, for a complete listing of activities. The Voice is available for viewing at www.ci.haverhill.ma.us or you can send your email address to rlabella@cityofhaverhill.com to receive your copy via email. Rita LaBella and I would love to hear from you if you have any ideas, suggestions or questions regarding the Council on Aging.

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