With an enthusiastic membership of close to 500 people and a rigorous schedule that includes monthly meetings and at least 10 day trips each year, there’s no doubt that the Young at Heart group of St. Mary’s in Hales Corners has definitely lived up to its name.
The group has been active since 1995, is open to mature adults, both male and female, and plans a variety of activities; in the last few months alone, they’ve organized events that include an educational presentation on Victorian-era funerals, theater and museum outings and trips to Lake Geneva and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Racine home of Wingspread.
The next day trip planned for the group is a Feb. 28 excursion to the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center in Brookfield to enjoy “Aaron Lazar: Tony Bennett and the First 90 Years.” The performance features Broadway, television and film actor Aaron Lazar paying tribute to the greatest hits of Bennett’s career, and includes lunch at Ristorante Bartolotta.
Following that, the group’s next outing is March 24, when Young at Heart will experience the “Passion Play” at the Xavier Theater in Appleton. The group will stop at Vande Walle’s Candles and enjoy lunch at Pullman’s Restaurant. For registration information on both the February and March day trips, call 262-894-6450.
In addition to the regular day trips, the group also offers monthly coffee klatzches at Clifford’s Supper Club, 10418 W. Forest Home Ave., an event which always includes lunch and speaker presentations.
In September, Young at Heart is planning an extended overnight trip to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, as well as other attractions in the area.
A board of directors plans the monthly meetings, but all day trips are organized by Polly Oldenburg of Join Polly’s Jaunts. Oldenburg is a parishioner at Holy Apostles in New Berlin, a parish which has recently launched its own Young at Heart group. That group will host a Morning of Reflection at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, at the New Berlin Public Library, 15105 W. Library Lane. The program will feature Sr. Virginia Stone, BVN, M.A., a spirituality consultant for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, who will speak on the topics of wisdom and gifts of imperfection.
Registration closes Feb. 2 and is $10. For more information, contact Jan Fredrickson at 262-786-7330.
Day trips for the Hales Corners group can accommodate 56 travelers, said Oldenburg. About half of the group’s 500 members are parishioners at St. Mary’s, said Oldenburg, with the rest hailing from various other parishes in the area, including Holy Apostles, St. Alphonsus in Greendale, St. Aloysius and St. Gregory the Great in West Allis, St. Leonard in Muskego, St. John Vianney and St. Dominic in Brookfield, St. Mary in Elm Grove, Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Roman in Milwaukee, St. Rita in Racine and more.
Oldenburg encouraged all mature adults to “reach out and embrace any and all social opportunities” like those offered by the Hales Corners and New Berlin Young at Heart groups.
“The benefits of social interaction are well-documented and our need for those benefits do not diminish as we age. If anything, I would argue, the need grows stronger as does our need for faith,” said Oldenburg. “You never know who you might meet, a new friend or find an old one you haven’t seen in years. You are never too old to learn something new, expand on something old, see something in a new light, or just relax with those who share the same generational experiences and faith as you.”
For more information about Young at Heart, contact 262-894-6450.