Meeting up with fellow active ‘boomers’

Body: 

Judy Gordon doesn’t want to spend her senior years playing bingo or just sitting around visiting with her friends. She’d rather visit with her friends while hiking, biking and dancing. That’s why she founded “Boomer-Age Duluth” on Meetup.com, a website dedicated to organizing local groups. Gordon’s group is for “men, women, singles and couples over 50 who are young at heart and physically active.”
“I want an easy way for active older adults in the Duluth area to get together with others for biking, hiking, dancing, playing tennis, etc.,” Gordon said.
The only criteria is to be between the ages of 50 and 70 and interested in meeting other people and doing activities that are “somewhat healthy.”
“We’re not going to just meet and go to Old Country Buffet. Instead we’ll meet to walk the Lakewalk and then go share a meal. I’m trying to promote the idea of being active and active aging because we are the next generation of seniors and we need to develop more activities,” Gordon said.
Gordon’s daughter first told her about the website Meetup.com earlier this year. She noticed there were several active groups, but not one for older adults in the Twin Ports.
“There was one group for young professionals, but there wasn’t anything for me. I kept waiting and waiting for something and it didn’t appear, so I decided I would start one,” Gordon said.
Gordon is a widow as of 2012 and said she’s been looking for new people to do activities such as walking, bicycling and hiking.
In the three months since it started, the group has grown to over 30 active members. Gordon no longer has to organize all the activities herself, as more members have added what they are passionate about.
“I have a friend who loves tennis, so she’s organizing the tennis meetups. There’s this other woman who loves to hike and knows the Lake Superior hiking trails, and now she organizes the hiking on Tuesdays,” Gordon said.
The group has grown by word of mouth and by internet searches. One new member, Patty Polasky, found it while searching for groups and activities for older adults in the area.
“I found it while searching on Google for the Red Hat Society. Then our daughter Paula told us that she had heard of Meetup.com and had used it when she moved to Duluth last summer,” Polasky said.
Polasky and her husband recently moved to Duluth to be closer to their three daughters. On Tuesday she attended her first meetup with Gordon, but she hopes to join the group for several events in the future.
“I’m surprised how easy it is to use the website. It’s so easy to look and see something that’s happening tomorrow,” Polasky said.
If you don’t find using the website so easy, Gordon is hosting a meet and greet at Bixby’s Cafe on Wednesday, July 9, 6:30-9 p.m. There will be laptops available to sign up for the group and a chance to meet the organizers. In the meantime you can check out the activities listed at www.meetup.com/Boomer-age-Duluth.