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Join the club!

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  • | 11:00 p.m. January 13, 2015
  • East County
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EAST COUNTY — Whether you’re a bird, fitness, political or wine enthusiast, or just someone looking for a night out, Lakewood Ranch likely has a club for you.

And the selections are growing in number.

Throughout January, new Ranch clubs are organizing and launching their first meetings at local venues, such as Lakewood Ranch Town Hall.

To Lori Basilone, director of Lakewood Ranch Community Activities Corp., the creation of new clubs is a result of the Ranch’s growth.

More people are moving here from other states and are looking for ways to spend their time, Basilone said.

“I think with the explosion of new homes and new residents, we’re finding homeowners want to create clubs similar to what they enjoyed while they lived up north,” Basilone said. “It’s rewarding to see a community of residents continue to organize and oversee the development of their interests by creating new ‘social’ clubs.”

Lakewood Ranch currently features approximately 50 clubs diverse in both topics and members.

Lakewood Ranch Community Activities Corp. helps individuals interested in joining a club or starting one by providing necessary paperwork and other requirements for launching or joining a group.

The following are some new clubs heading to the Ranch this year:

Lakewood Ranch Social Club
It’s not

A new social club launching in Lakewood Ranch this month isn’t aimed at forging romantic relationships.
Lakewood Ranch Singles Social Club creators and widows Marge Mathies and Bob Scanlon are bored with nights sitting alone in front of their televisions.

So this month, the duo and Francis Havill hope to generate interest in a new organization and will hold meetings once they have more members, Mathies said.

“Now, this isn’t a dating site, group or whatever you want to call it,” Mathies said. “It’s just a means of getting together for friendship.”

What started as an idea will now lead to movie nights and other outings.

“We want to get to know other people in our situation, so we can call and say, ‘Hey, are you available for dinner?’” Mathies said. “This is an alternative to being alone.”

Individuals interested in the club should email [email protected].

Avian Club
Cindy Gordon has grown up loving birds.

Her parents owned parakeets and cockatiels. She remembers her childhood fascination with the pets and their unique personalities.

“Birds really do want to interact with you,” Gordon said. “They’re very social and want to make you part of their flock.”

As an adult, she owns birds and remains a birds enthusiast.

Gordon is turning the hobby into a social gathering. The Avian Club hosted its first meeting Jan. 9 at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall.

The club’s founder is considering holding the meetings on a different day because Friday’s meeting had a low turnout.

The Avian Club give members information and fun facts about pets and exotic species, and provides local resources for rehabilitation and emergency situations regarding birds.

“If you have any interest in birds at all, this is the club to join,” Gordon said.

Interested parties should email [email protected].

Scribes Club
Aroon Chaddha believes everyone has a story to tell.

And he wants to help tell them.

Chaddha launched the first Scribes Club meeting Jan. 3 and plans to host monthly meetings at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall.

The club will help writers interested in improving their writing skills. Members will give each other feedback on literary pieces with the hope of becoming more articulate, better writers, Chaddha said.

The 75-year-old’s goal is for every member to have work published.

“Writing is an outlet,” Chaddha said. “The author has the right to accept the critique or not, but this is a way to express yourself. Sometimes you’ll learn things that trigger your mind to new ideas, like the idea that one plus one isn’t always two, sometimes it’s 11.”

Individuals interested in the club should email [email protected].

Who wants to jam?
A retired trumpet player and doctor, Alan Geller is looking for creative ways to spend his time in Lakewood Ranch.

Geller is in the process of forming the Pro Jam group, which invites professional-level musicians to enjoy playing with other musicians in a relaxed setting.

“Jamming is a release and form of expression for musicians,” Geller said. “This will be a relaxing, fun group.”

Musicians interested in joining the club once it launches should email [email protected].

He plans to have the band up and running within the next few months and is
looking for musicians and a venue to house the future club’s twice-a-month meetings.



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