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Spring Fling a place for seniors to 'party'

Kari Lucin/Daily Globe The Nobles County Senior Concerns Committee gathers to celebrate the laughter-themed Spring Fling for Senior Citizens, set for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 13 at American Reformed Church.

WORTHINGTON -- Laughing is the best medicine, and there should be plenty of it at the annual Spring Fling for Seniors, featuring workshops on topics important to seniors, entertainment, lunch and speakers.

The Spring Fling will be from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. May 13 at American Reformed Church, featuring speakers Virginia McCone and the Rev. Laura Gentry.

"We're trying to make it a party," said Joanne Bartosh, co-chair of the Nobles County Senior Concerns Committee. "It's easier to learn in a fun way."

McCone, who lives near Sanborn, is the author of "Butterscotch Sundaes: My Mom's Story of Alzheimer's," as well as "Come Visit Me." She will be speaking about her experiences in dealing with her mother's Alzheimer's.

Gentry, director of the Iowa School of Laughter Yoga and an ordained minister, will speak about laughter, the science behind laughter research and how to integrate laughter into daily routines.

"It's fun and education and a meal for $10," said Cindy Penning, a member of the Senior Concerns Committee.

Four workshops featuring regional speakers will be available.

"Maintain Your Brain," by Gerise Thompson of the Alzheimer's Association, will focus on brain health rather than brain illnesses, and help participants learn how to keep their brains healthy with diet, exercise and healthy living.

"Yoga for Seniors," by Margaret Hurlbut Vosburgh, a certified yoga instructor, will show seniors an enjoyable way of exercising and improving balance abilities.

"Finding Humor in Your Life," by Kathi Haberman, a registered nurse and education manager for Sanford Regional Hospital Worthington, will be about how finding joy in life can help keep people healthy.

"Culture Presentation on Quinceañera Celebrations," by Nancy Landeros and area youth, will be about the celebration many Hispanic girls have on their 15th birthdays, which include a traditional religious ceremony and a party.

The day will also feature music by Galen Benton and pianist Glenn Henricksen.

The Senior Concerns Committee, also co-chaired by Pam Fleming, is made of seniors and people who care about senior issues, including many representatives from agencies that work with older people -- nursing homes, assisted living complexes and the YMCA. At its beginning in 1985, the group was part of the District 518 Community Education program, but later became independent.

The current form of the Spring Fling has been around since 2001.

"We've had various degrees of success. Sometimes we get a lot of people and sometimes, if there's a funeral, we only get 100," Bartosh said.

For more information or to register by phone, call 376-6105 by May 6. Tickets for the event can also be purchased at the door.