Each month we distribute over 2,000 copies of our newsletter, "The Voice," throughout the city. We are in need of volunteers to collate newsletters and deliver them to specific locations. If you would be interested in helping, call Rita at 978-374-2390 ext. 16.

Spinners: We have tickets to the Monday, July 25th Lowell Spinners game at 7 p.m. This is a perfect intergenerational outing for grandparents and children, and seniors will receive a free hot dog and beverage. Contact the Council on Aging for details.

Luncheon: You are invited to the First Baptist Church Open Hearts Ministries at 217 Main Street for a free senior luncheon on the 4th Wednesday of each month at noon. Seniors are welcome to drop in and enjoy!

Bingo: The Oxford at 689 Main Street invites bingo players of all ages to join them on the last Wednesday of every month. Coffee and dessert is served. Call the COA to make a reservation.

Book discussion: Here is a great summer read idea. Beth Galloway from the Haverhill Public Library will lead a discussion group at the Citizen Center in September on the book "Townie." This best-selling memoir by local author Andre Dubus details his experiences growing up on Haverhill. Readers will recognize many of the characters and places in this book and are sure to have a lively discussion. We hope you will pick up a copy of the book or get it at a local library and join the fun on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 1 p.m. Please contact Kathy or Rita if you plan to participate.

July 4 celebration: Tickets are now on sale for our annual July 4th Celebration to be held on Thursday, June 30 at NECC's Technology Center. Menu includes chicken, hot dogs, corn on the cob, salad and dessert. Join us for great food and entertainment by disc jockey George Whitehouse. Tickets are $10.

Art display: Haverhill Council on Aging arts students will exhibit their work at the Haverhill Public in the second floor gallery area from May 16 to June 16.

Patriots trip: We have a great new trip to the New England Patriots play the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo, N.Y. from Sept. 24 to 26. This trip will include a stop at Niagara Falls and a scenic drive during one of the peak foliage dates of the season. Travelers will stay at the beautiful Fallsview Hilton which is across from the Fallsview Casino and within walking distance of Niagara Falls. This sounds like a great trip for $499 per person double occupancy. Call Kathy or Rita for additional information.

Museum trip: We've booked a trip to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to see the beautiful "Chihuly: Through the Looking Glass" exhibit. This phenomenal exhibit is comprised of large-scale hand-blown glass sculptures. Visit the museum's website at www.mfa.org or call Kathy (ext. 11) or Rita (ext. 16) at 978-374-2390 to learn more about this exhibit. This trip will depart on Wednesday, July 13, at 10 a.m. Cost for admission, guided tour, and motor coach transportation is $45 per person.

Lobster bake: Tickets are now on sale for our lobster bake to be held on Thursday, August 25, at NECC's Technology Center. Menu includes lobster, chicken, corn on the cob, chowder, baked potato and dessert. Join us for great food and entertainment. Tickets are $25.

Tanglewood trip: We have another exciting trip opportunity! Haverhill Council on Aging is hosting an overnight to Tanglewood Aug. 21-22. This trip includes reserved seats in the shed for a Boston Symphony matinee, an overnight at The Williams Inn, dinner, breakfast, a stop at The Clark Museum, and a scenic trip along the Mohawk Trail. Cost is $310 per person, double occupancy

Art classes: Great news! One of the area's talented artists is leading an art class for experienced artists at the Citizens Center. Judith Larmay would like to help artists bring their images from "good" to "exceptional." Judith will be teaching on Tuesdays from 1:30 to 3:30, and classes are $10 per week. She is a seasoned painter and teacher with 35 years of experience, and she studied at Massachusetts College of Art and Bradford College. Judith's work is marketed in galleries locally and worldwide, and some of her pieces are currently on display at Angles and Art at 80 Wingate Street. Her website is at larmayartsstudio.com.

For the novice artist, we have several openings right now in our art class with Cara Smoley on Thursdays at noon at the Citizens Center. Cara comes fully qualified and has been teaching at the Citizens Center for several years. Pieces from her Council on Aging students will be on display at the Citizens Center on April 21 and at the Haverhill Public Library in mid-May, so watch for that show. Contact the Council on Aging for additional information.

Walking group: A group of dedicated walkers have been taking advantage of the spring weather at the NECC track every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Walkers can walk at their own pace and get a valuable cardio workout. Contact Charlene Boucher for details at 978-556-3825. There is no charge for this activity.

Alaskan cruise: 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.

Handmade crafts: 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!

Nutrition help: 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.

Health insurance help: 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 ext. 19.

Transportation: 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. Rides are also available to Lahey Clinic in Peabody and several Boston hospitals. 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% 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.

Volunteers needed: 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 3 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. Several additional volunteer opportunities are also available.

Bowling group: Stay in shape 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.

Exercise: 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.

Yoga is offered twice a week at the Citizens Center. Tuesday evenings at 6:30 Flyn Costello leads a one hour yoga class for people of all ages. On Tuesday afternoons at 1:00 Mary Van Abs offers a 1 ¬ hour gentle senior yoga class. Cost is $5 for a one hour class and $7.50 for a l ¬ hour class.

Piano lessions: Piano instructor, Helen Hamilton, is offering private beginner lessons at the Citizens Center on Mondays. Cost is $12.

Bingo: Everyone loves Monday's Super Bingo! Bingo is played at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., every Monday and Thursday at 1:00, 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.

Classees: 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

May 18 - Laughs, Giggles and Grins - BOT - $66.00

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

June 4 - Chowder Festival - $80

June 15 - Bobby Darling - BOT - $65.00

July 8 - Duets - Venezia Bestaurant - BOT $66

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

Aug. 24 - Twin Lobster Luncheon and Mystery Show - BOT - $83.00

Aug. 25 - Lobster Luncheon at NECC - $25

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

Aug. 21-22 - Tanglewood - Gateway $310

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

Sept. 13 - Road to the Scottish Highlands - BOT - $80.00

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

Sept. 24-26 New England Patriots - BOT - $499

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

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

Oct. 22 - Portland Food and Wine Festival - BOT - $99

Nov. 8 - Neil Diamond Impersonator at Twin Rivers - BOT - $60

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

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

Nov. 30 - Catch the Christmas Spirit with Vincent Talarico at Castleton - BOT - $67

Dec. 7 - Holiday Lights and HuKeLau with Show - BOT $73

2012

Feb. 8-18 -Golden Oldies Cruise - Best of Times - Starting at $1,099

March 17-25 - Tropical Costa Rica - Collette - $2,299

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 our activities and trips. 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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