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Bill was Treasurer of the Fredericksburg PC Users Group from 1991 to 1994, then President from 1994 to 1996, then Treasurer again from 1996 to 2006. He did the work required to get FPCUG tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization. He has supported the club’s bingo efforts since earliest days in that fund-raising effort, and has been Bingo Manager for the last six years.
In 2006, when he relinquished the Treasurer’s position, he became a Trustee, and FPCUG’s Registered Agent, reporting to the State Corporation Commission every year.
This is a low-cost way for groups to recognize their committed volunteers who are the spark plugs keeping the groups going. These awards and ceremonies can be occasions for long-time members to reunite and reminisce and to build group spirit in newer members. Local newspapers will often cover and report on such events, providing community visibility leading to increased membership and participation. And local vendors can be recruited to sponsor events with awards, refreshments, prizes, etc.
The Newark Senior Center was host to a “Life Options” Forum/Conference on February 21-22, 2008. Joining government, corporate and volunteer sponsors, 25 exhibitors, and a collection of panelists and speakers, the Senior Surfers Computer Club contributed to two workshop sessions in the Center’s Computer Laboratory.
Carla Grygiel, Executive Director at the Center, had suggested that we develop a popular topic among seniors -– preventing memory loss. The resulting “Mental Fitness Exercises” was allotted time in both the morning and afternoon workshop sessions. Despite winter storm warnings reducing attendance, the entire program went well. Our Club workshop proved popular, with many guests asking for more information.
Mental Fitness Exercises centered around interactive displays. Twelve of the lab’s 18 computers were online at twelve different web sites. These ranged from professional and medical sites offering healthful brain training backed up by clinical studies, to a wide variety of mental games and puzzles at popular sites like AARP and Pogo. Four more computers provided pertinent articles from sources such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
At times, most seats were filled with individuals, not just checking out each source but testing their mettle on the puzzles. Indeed, the exercise experience must necessarily be fun if the “patient” is to return and benefit from repeated effort.
Two major displays augmented the theme of mental exercise. The lab’s training computer and projector periodically ran a four-minute video published by the Wall Street Journal. This was an interview with a medical expert, titled “The Benefits of Brain Exercise”. Incidentally, his approach suggested that games and puzzles do have limitations. They involve only a few areas within the brain. Rather, he points out, researchers have shown that a schedule of physical exercise is essential for brain health. Further, all five senses should be involved, since their receptors tend to reside in different areas of the brain.
This viewpoint then led to the final display near the lab’s exit. On the white board were taped a winding series of printed sheets leading to, for some, this surprising conclusion: Games and puzzles are all well and good, with a few clinically proven to be effective to a measurable degree. But for best mental health, we advise frequent hikes in the park, utilizing all five senses. For example, taste the blackberries, listen for the wood thrush, look for wild flowers, feel the crispness of the spicebush leaves, then crumple one and sniff its remarkable aroma.
At the exit was a signup pad for those wishing to be emailed the particulars of all on display. The attachments would include the text articles, active links to all web sites viewed, the white board display texts, and the URL link for the Wall Street Journal video. 26 conference attendees signed up for the email package.
Instead, they will have a box containing a tile for each paid-up FPCUG members; one name will be drawn every month. If that person is present they will win $10.00. If that person is not present FPCUG will add $10.00 for the next month’s award. You must be present to win!