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Longboat couple encourages safety online and in-person

Mike and Lynn Madden are co-founders of Center for Aging Resources and Enrichment, a New York-based program focused on the well-being of retirees.

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  • | 5:00 a.m. February 21, 2023
  • Longboat Key
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Longboat Key snowbird couple Mike and Lynn Madden are hoping to bring a safety program to the barrier island. 

The two founded the nonprofit Center for Aging Resources and Enrichment at LeMoyne College in New York about five years ago with the desire to help retirees explore their individualism and self-worth now that they are without a job title. 

The idea was Lynn’s after working at the college and wanting to help colleagues that had retired. 

Up north, the program focuses on three pillars: spirituality, health care and education.

The education component takes center stage in the program that the couple is hoping to circulate on Longboat Key, focusing on scams, fraud and safety in and out of the home.

Mike and Lynn Madden have introduced a safety program on Longboat.
Courtesy image

With the help of town Code Enforcement Officer Chris Kopp, the Maddens have come up with ideas for about 12 modules to address “the increasing need of seniors to protect themselves in a changing environment.”

The program was previewed at a recent Kiwanis Club meeting, and the couple said they received good feedback.

“None of it was negative,” Lynn said. “The videos prompted them to share their own personal experiences.” 

She recalled common experiences shared as emails and text messages stating people targeted needed to provide social security or bank information to regain access to their financial accounts. 

One woman suggested the couple look into a course about “catfishing,” which is the process of luring someone into a relationship with a fake online persona, after she heard of a friend experiencing it. 

The series is in its early stages, so the couple is uncertain where it will take them, but continuing showing modules at Kiwanis is likely. The next module would focus on driving safety — an area of particular interest as the town’s busy season has arrived and more people are on the roads. 

As the program takes shape on the Key, the Maddens said they would be open to bringing more of the original program to the Gulf Coast. Combating loneliness is a focus that Lynn believes would benefit Longboat Key’s population. 

“It all depends on the support and receptivity we get,” Mike said.  

Other organizations that have expressed interest in partnering with the Maddens include St. Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church and The Paradise Center. 

The couple hopes that as word gets out about the program, more partnership opportunities will arise and allow them to get a better understanding of the needs of the area. 

Although there is uncertainty surrounding where the program will go next, they expressed confidence that interest in the program's topics will grow on the Key. 


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