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By Bill Boudreau

We have arrived in senior years, so it seems, quicker than expected, or wanted. Nothing we can do about the years count. It’s a biological fact that in advanced age, we must work harder to sustain a healthy and contented, physically and mentally, being.
There’s a lot we can do to maintain a fulfilled life.
We are fortunate to have the medical science, health care experts, and community support at our disposal to medicate and guide us on enjoyable remaining years. Though not enough seniors take advantage of the resources available to uphold an exciting, vibrant day-to-day existence.
Of course, when possible, keep physically fit, the other is to enrich, cultivate the brain – skills, aspirations, dreams that lingered dormant while younger, but too busy caring for others or thriving to achieve someone else’s business demands. This category includes traveling, the arts, and education to name a few.
Since retirement, I’ve been active in physical activities, creative arts, and academics. This provides me an inner satisfaction, contentment, feeling of self-actualization, not thought possible during my professional days, working to realize capitalists’ profits.
I’m 78 years old, retired in 2000 after four decades in the competitive high-tech computer industry. Itching to fill a void, I began to take courses in the literary arts. Took classes with Osha Long Life Learning Institute (OLLI). I learned how Greek Philosophy influenced modern culture, studied great writers, Nobel Prize winner Miguel Garcia’s A Hundred Years of Solitude, to name one, poet E. E. Cummings, religions, and Greek Mythology. Parallel to OLLI courses, I began to write and discovered that I needed to learn the creative writing craft. Attended classes conducted by well published novelist and teacher Carolyn Wall, author of Sweeping Up Glass, Playing with Matches, and The Coffin Maker.
To date, I’ve self-published seven books, fiction and non-fiction, and had numerous articles accepted and published.
My writing skills and computer knowledge stimulated me to publish books for others – format manuscripts and cover designs. For several years, in addition to my own novels, I’ve published, mostly on amazon.com, memoirs, some fiction, for numerous seniors, and I have two projects in process. Currently, I’m working on three of my own manuscripts – editing a journal, poems, and speculative narration.
In addition to book publishing, I construct websites.
Before leaving the 8-5 plus employment, I had begun to teach myself playing the guitar, learn and sing vintage ballades and love melodies. It continued in my so-called retirement and inspired me to write songs, a few in French. I’ve performed in nursing and retirement homes and festivals.
I’m a member of Will Rogers Senior Center, Oklahoma City, where, twice a week, I participate in Yoga and Tai Chi for Balance. Other mornings, adjacent to the Senior Center, among a flora spectrum, I walk for half an hour in the Botanical Garden.
Oklahoma City has several senior centers where a person over 55, the age that qualifies you as a senior, may realize a range of creative skills and physical activities.
You may attend sculptor classes and fantasize to rival Picasso. A senior may experience the emotions of mystery, suspense, drama, romance, adventure, history, as a member of a book club. Some of you may wonder how it would feel to tap-dance across the floor like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Reading of other places in our country, and the world, cannot replace travels to discover new cultures. Mark Twain said, “Traveling kills ignorance.” Many of you, I’m sure, have wondered of the jewelry craft, using colorful gems designing bracelets, neckless, and broaches, and pondered registering in a class. Remember as a child, when given coloring crayons, the excitement it evoked? Well, you may again acquire the same exhilaration at a senior center – whether with paint, pencil, or watercolor. And of course you may take classes in dancing, learn to twirl and float the span of the room as a ballerina, pretending to be in Carnegie Hall, or dressed in colorful western outfits as you square dance to the call, or kick your legs in a chorus line.
In addition to games, such as Bridge, Bingo, Backgammon, etc., to keep the body fit, senior centers offer a variety of exercises: Yoga, Tai Chi for Balance, Treadmill, Armchair and Video Exercises.
A senior center is the perfect place to socialize, make friends, and be up to date on gossips!
Folks, don’t give up, you’re alive, make the most of it!
Bill Boudreau is a French-Acadian and grew up in Wedgeport village on the Nova Scotia’s southwest coast. He self-published seven books – Olsegon, Disharmony in Paradise, Moments in Time, Redemption Island, Beyond Acadia, Wedgeport, and Hopping the Caribbean Islands. All books are available on www.amazon.com and other online book providers.
Bill has also published the following articles:
First Confession in Seasoned Reader (Oklahoma’s Senior News and Living), Oct. 2007, Interlude, in The LLI Review, and Character, online at This I Believe, and Reflection: Long-Time U.S. Resident Remembers his Canadian Roots, online at Aging Horizons Bulletin, 2013.
His short story, Prelude to Punishment, may be read in “Conclave: A Journal of Character, Volume 8, 2014”
Provided cover image and story for: “Conclave: A Journal of Character, Issue 6”
Moon Dance, (Fiction) Published in CyberSoleil, an online Literacy Journal
Crossing the Bay of Fundy, (Personal Story) Published in CyberSoleil, an online Literary Journal
Bill lives in Oklahoma City
billboudreau@flash.net
Website: www.billboudreau.com

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) provided more than 7.8 million miles of rides to Oklahomans last year through its Section 5310 transportation program. The federally funded Section 5310 capital assistance grant allows DHS to contract with nonprofits and certain eligible governmental entities to provide up to 85% of the cost of vehicles to transport Oklahomans over 65 years of age or who have disabilities.
“This program helps keep people connected with their community,” said Lance Robertson, division director for DHS Aging Services. “Nearly 600,000 riders were able to take more than 1.4 million trips in the last year alone thanks to this program.”
The program includes sufficient funding to assist in purchasing about 52 vehicles a year, with 580 grant-purchased vehicles on the road today. The program has 160 sub-recipients covering 85 percent of counties in Oklahoma. DHS is actively looking for agencies meeting the program’s criteria that have a need to replace vehicles or receive new vehicles.
Entities interested in learning more can review the program’s management plan online at www.okdhs.org or call Patricia Heer at (405) 522-6683.

Norman Regional Hospital’s Bill Burrows, 68, completed the half marathon course at the recent Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.

by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer

On Monday, April 29, Bill Burrows showed up for his regular 2:30-11 p.m. shift at the engineering plant at Norman Regional Health System just like has been doing for the previous five years.
A little stiff, a little sore, Burrows went on about his day like always.
Not bad for a 68-year-old who had just run a half marathon with half a lung.
“It was pretty good,” Burrows said. “Kind of the first time out so I didn’t know how I would do. I was kind of optimistic so I wouldn’t know until I did it.
“It went well. The temperature was good and I moved along pretty well considering my physical condition.”
Not bad at all considering just three years earlier he was staring a lung cancer diagnosis right in the face.
BUMP IN THE ROAD
The Norman resident and Norman Regional Health System employee, trained this past winter for the Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon—his longest run since conquering lung cancer.
Burrows previously completed six full marathons and three half marathons before his lung cancer in 2016.
He has since ran one 5K this past fall but nothing like the distance he covered the final Sunday in April.
Burrows was diagnosed with lung cancer after seeing one of Norman Regional’s internal promotions for their $79 lung scan. The low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan is a noninvasive and painless way to screen for lung cancer.
Burrows said he decided to have the scan since it was a good price and would only take about 10 minutes.
Since he was a healthy runner he expected no problems to show on the scan, but his doctor called and said he wanted to have a specialist look it over just to make sure everything was fine.
Burrows had a stroke in 2010 and made it back from that so he figured this was nothing.
“I got it and they saw something,” he said. “I had a previous scan years before and this wasn’t there then.”
Burrows met with Norman Regional’s interventional pulmonary specialist Sergio Garcia, MD.
A biopsy was taken which revealed he had non-small cell carcinoma.
Soon after the news, Burrows was contacted by Norman Regional’s oncology nurse navigator Sherri Jo Johnson, R.N, who explained his diagnosis, the steps to deal with it and helped guide him throughout the treatment process.
Next Burrows had surgery to remove the top right lobe of his lung and became cancer free. Since the cancer was detected before it spread anywhere else in his body, Burrows did not need further treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy.
“Mr. Burrows is a prime example of why the lung screening program offered at Norman Regional Health System is very important,” Dr. Garcia said. “It provides early detection. This one simple scan saved his life.”
“I knew I would run again,” said Burrows, who helps maintain the system’s infrastructure. “I knew some day I was going to run from my house back to room 5207 at the Healthplex and back. That was a goal. The first year or so I was afraid to do too much because I didn’t want to blow anything up.”
When Burrows decided he wanted to run another half marathon, he knew it wouldn’t be easy.
Functionally, 50% of his total lung capacity remained.
Things would have to advance slowly.
He bought a $50 used treadmill and set it up at his house. He’d run for a few minutes, walk for a few more.
His main reasoning for wanting to push himself to run another half marathon and full marathons in the future is that he wants to do it for those who can’t—those who are going through chemotherapy, those who have a terminal diagnosis, and those who were unable to conquer their cancer.
After hearing about Burrows’ desire to run the half marathon, Dr. Garcia, Cardiothoracic Surgeon Kyle Toal, MD; Chief Nursing Officer Brittni McGill and Norman Regional’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation staff came together to provide Burrows an exercise plan and offer him the support he needed to ensure he was able to run safely.
Part of his exercise plan was monthly visits to Dr. Garcia’s office for cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) – a non-invasive procedure where a patient uses a treadmill while monitored by their physician or a respiratory therapist.
“I’m addicted again,” said Burrows, who plans on running the full marathon next April.
Quitting was never an option for the the Navy vet and New Jersey-born Burrows.
“I didn’t have the breath but it seemed like my muscles and legs were working,” he said. “I wasn’t going to stop. I just went mile by mile.”
One by one the miles added up as Burrows was counting them down.
“I’ll keep going,” Burrows said. “I refuse to get old.”

RSVP of Central Oklahoma is proud to partner with Eunice Khoury, Well Preserved Advisory, and Crossings Community Church to host Senior Day on Friday, May 10, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Crossings Community Church, 14600 Portland Avenue, Oklahoma City.
“For a number of years, I have been looking to have a senior-focused educational event that brings together the seniors in our community with trusted professionals who provide services and have the resources our seniors need,” said Senior Day founder Eunice Khoury.
Senior Day is for people 55+ and is a day-long event that will include approximately 20 classes on such topics as Caregiving, Carla Scull, Oklahoma Alzheimer’s Association; Medicare, Ray Walker, Director of Medicare Assistance Program, Elder Fraud, Elaine Dodd, Oklahoma Banking Association, and the Care Trak Bracelet for Alzheimer Families, Patrick O’Kane, Sunbeam Family Services.
Berry Tramel, sports editor for The Oklahoman will be the keynote speaker. A lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, Tramel joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist.
Registration for Senior Day at Crossings Community Church is $12 and includes lunch. You may register online at www.crossings.church/senior-day or call 405.848.5790.

Nancy Klepac, LPN, Certified Dementia Practitioner, Executive Director at Willowood at Mustang is making the senior residence outstanding in the Mustang Community.

by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer

Walking into Willowood you’re bound to see someone sitting at the piano playing a tune or relaxing on one of the couches in the grand entryway reading a book.
There’s a feeling of home inside Willowood that Executive Director Nancy Klepac, LPN, Certified Dementia Practitioner, and her staff work hard to foster.
Care and comfort combine at Willowood, which will undergo a facelift this year thanks to a new owner.
Klepac is excited about the plans guided by Heart Living Centers for the community that has enjoyed a long history in the wonderful and quaint city of Mustang.
“In the next few months I know Heart Living Centers will be diligently working to get our permits and reconstruction underway and I’m looking forward to the residents seeing the new construction and feeling the new construction,” Klepac said. “It will give everyone a breath of fresh air and give Willowood the distinction it deserves.”
Situated along State Highway 152 Willowood’s stately columns hint at what waits inside.
Details have been carefully thought out to meet resident needs.
Klepac has spent a quarter century caring for seniors and their details.
“We offer a variety of services and we have a very high bar of care that is exemplary for our residents that are living here,” said Klepac, whose innate calling has always been caring for elderly people.
Heart Living Centers represents new beginnings for Willowood with renovations and many updates to come.
Meeting with new ownership was a satisfying feeling for Klepac.
“It was very exciting,” Klepac said of partnering with Heart Living Centers. “This home has a long history and has been in need of a few things. It’s ready for its updates so it’s exciting to see what Heart Living Centers with their resources and progressive experience in the industry can do.”
Klepac’s experience with senior living runs the gamut from nursing to leadership.
From a very young age, Klepac began caring for family. She became a nurse aide at 14. “This is a calling for me,” Klepac said. “I knew that when I was six years old and so did my family that my innate calling was for the caring of elderly people. When I became a nurse I didn’t work in any other field other than long term care.”
She was eventually drawn to Willowood, starting as the director of wellness.
“I believe our care is something we do very well,” Klepac said. “We are also very respectful of residents and allowing our residents to do what they would like to do as long as it is same for them.”
“I’m very strong on residents making their own decisions about their care.”
That’s near and dear to Klepac’s nurse heart.
You’ll see her in scrubs on some days helping out where she is needed.
“Scrubs wash easily,” Klepac laughs, recounting the times she’s pitched in to help wherever a resident might need her.
“My nursing foundation is probably the most important thing to me in serving as the executive director,” she said. “And I do believe it’s a service. It allows me to look at things clinically as well as from the business aspect in the community.”
It’s also why she’s looking to help Willowood expand its reach to potential residents with chronic illnesses that are often underserved by traditional senior living communities.
In the coming months Klepac said you’ll see Willowood offer services for chronic disease management not typically seen.
And she won’t do it alone.
Her staff is her extension throughout the building.
“I have a very strong team here at Willowood. They care for our residents. They put our residents first, which in this day and time is a hard thing to find in our industry,” Klepac said. “They are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week without exceptions to all of our residents and their families.”
“All of of our residents have our personal telephone numbers, myself and all my department heads.”
That means availability for Willowood residents. Whether it’s something that doesn’t work in the middle of the night or the middle of the day, residents have the ability to reach out.
And even if they don’t need anything, Klepac and her staff are their to love on them.
“The care I see them provide to the residents and their families is just exemplary,” Klepac continued. “In this industry it can be draining to give all day long and then go home to their families, yet my team never seems to be short on the ability to give.”

by Sheryl Presley, TRIAD Coordinator for all of OKC Police Department

An event that our Police Department is proud to put on for our seniors is Informed Senior Seminar. Event will be on April 12th at 8:30am at OSU-OKC 900 N Portland student Center 3rd floor. Event is FREE. You do need to register by calling our City of OKC action Center at 297-2535 by April 5. Event will start at 8;30am. We start with a panel discussion and this year our panel discussion will be active incident. We will have MSGT.
Loruse and Captain Samuel from our agency Oklahoma City Police Department and 2 other officers from other agencies on the panel. You will be able to ask the officers anything related to this topic. Then we will provide 4 breakout sessions that will repeat after the 1st session on nutrition and fitness, scams, Medicare updates and transportation for seniors. We have a wonderful committee that works hard to provide different programs every year to educate and inform our seniors. OSU-OKC has been a great partner to allow us to have Informed Senior Seminar here for almost 17 years.
We look forward to having this event and providing resources for our seniors for FREE. Any questions please contact Sheryl Presley at 405-316-4336.
Spring has arrived and with it the scammers come out of the woodwork. Some of the most common scams are home repair frauds. This is the most common and costly of all property crimes. Some tips and red flags to protect yourself from becoming a victim. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER agree or engage the services of anyone who solicits door to door. If the contractor does not have a local address and arrived in the area following the disaster. If the contractor claims to have materials left over from a previous job and offers to use them on your project for a steep discount. The contractor does NOT use a written agreement for the project. Always get 3 estimates and check the company and or name of person representing the company. This can be done by going to your computer and typing in OSCN.NET and checking to see if the person or company has any claims or lawsuits against them. Also check the company name by contacting the better business bureau by calling 405-239-6081. If you are needing roof repair to make sure the contractor is registered with the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board ( www.ok.gov/cib/ or 405-521-6550. Also avoid using workmen or services found in flyers delivered door to door or placed on your car in a parking lot. Ask for the business address and verify the address. Never pay upfront for services that have NOT been completed. Ask for references of other people that have used the business or person you are wanting to do the work. Deal with local contractors who have been in your community and have a good reputation. Make sure you have everything in writing that you are agreeing to have done and the exact amount it will cost. Never sign anything up front. Don’t allow yourself to be rushed or price is only good for TODAY only. If you are a person living alone if possible have someone with you when you have contractors out for estimates and then when you decide on having the work done. In today’s time you don’t want to let the worker or workers to know you live alone. You can also report and fraud to the Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Unit at 405-521-2029. In Oklahoma we have had our share of disasters. Tornados and Ice storms have hit us hard over the years. Having a plan and knowing what to do will help you. In our local Triad meetings in the metro we discuss how to handle the storms and prepare. We have
speakers and information that we provide in the meetings. This information will help keep you from being a victim.

Dear Savvy Senior, Since retiring a few years ago, my husband has become increasingly irritable and apathetic. I’m concerned that he’s depressed, even though he may not admit it. Where can we turn to get help with this, and what, if anything, does Medicare pay for?  Concerned Spouse

Dear Concerned,
Depression is unfortunately a widespread problem among older Americans, affecting approximately 15 percent of the 65-and-older population. Here’s what you should know, along with some tips and resources for screening and treatments, and how Medicare covers it.
Identifying Depression
Everyone feels sad or gets the blues now and then, but when these feelings linger more than a few weeks, it may be depression. Depression is a real illness that affects mood, feelings, behavior and physical health, and contrary to what many people believe, it’s not a normal part of aging or a personal weakness, but it is very treatable.
It’s also important to know that depression is not just sadness. In many seniors it can manifest as apathy, irritability, or problems with memory or concentration without the depressed mood.
To help you get a handle on the seriousness of your husband’s problem, a good first step is for him to take an online depression-screening test.
He can do this for free at Mental Health America, a national nonprofit organization that offers a variety of online mental health screening tools at MentalHealthAmerica.net – click on “Take a Screen” in the menu bar. Or at HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org, which is offered by Screening for Mental Health, Inc.
Both of these tests are anonymous and confidential, they take less that 10 minutes to complete, and they can help you determine the severity of your husband’s problem.
Get Help
If you find that he is suffering from depressive symptoms, he needs to see his doctor for a medical evaluation to rule out possible medical causes. Some medications, for example, can produce side effects that mimic depressive symptoms – pain and sleeping meds are common culprits. It’s also important to distinguish between depression and dementia, which can share some of the same symptoms.
If he’s diagnosed with depression, there are a variety of treatment options including talk therapy, antidepressant medications or a combination of both.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a particularly effective type of talk therapy, which helps patients recognize and change destructive thinking patterns that leads to negative feelings.
For help finding a therapist who’s trained in CBT, ask your doctor for a referral, check your local yellow pages under “counseling” or “psychologists,” or check with the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (FindCBT.org), or the Academy of Cognitive Therapy (AcademyofCT.org).
And to search for therapists that accept Medicare, use Medicare’s Physician Compare tool. Go to Medicare.gov/physiciancompare and type in your zip code, or city and state, then type in the type of profession you want locate, like “psychiatry” or “clinical psychologist” in the “What are you searching for?” box.
Medicare Coverage
You’ll be happy to know that original Medicare currently covers 100 percent for annual depression screenings that are done in a doctor’s office or other primary care clinic. They also pay 80 percent of its approved amount for outpatient mental health services like counseling and therapy services, and will cover almost all medications used to treat depression under the Part D prescription drug benefit.
If you and your husband get your Medicare benefits through a private Medicare Advantage plan, they too must cover the same services as original Medicare but they will likely require him to see an in-network provider. You’ll need to contact your plan directly for the details.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

Jacqueline Lewis, former trainee, and Tonya Harjo, NICOA counselor

NICOA SCSEP – NATIONAL INDIAN COUNCIL ON AGING SENIOR COMMUNITY SERVICE EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM – is a federally funded program, serving the low-income job seeking population 55 and over. Arnetta Yancey, SCSEP Central Region Program Manager, NICOA stated: “The program offers paid on-the-job training, job search assistance, help in writing a resume and tips on improving interviewing skills. This is a four (4) year training program and is the only federal program for low-income U.S. citizens, age 55 and over. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor under the authority of the Older Americans Act of 1965. The program is free to participants and host agencies.”
NICOA SCSEP participants provide community services for public agencies or nonprofit organizations providing much needed staff in the workplace. Positions are 20 hours per week at minimum wage. The NICOA SCSEP staff focuses on matching job seekers with agencies offering job training in their field of interest. Information on Job Fairs, mentoring, and counseling are available to all. Participants are offered the opportunity to take part in trainings provided by NICOA SCSEP and host agencies. These trainings include ESL, computer literacy, telephone systems and other skills specific to their field of interest and job assignments.
While many seniors need to work to supplement their income, others want the workplace camaraderie and personal fulfillment working provides. NICOA SCSEP is an organization which can help in either case. For seniors’ educational barriers may exist in getting a job in this fast-paced, ever changing work environment. Some may not have the skill sets applicable while physical limitations may prevent others from working in their previous jobs. Some career fields impacted include construction, oil field, plumbing, welding, waitressing or any field requiring physical strength and stamina. For other seniors, becoming proficient in technology skills needed in the workplace is the goal. Many seniors need training in using the internet, social media and computer programs, such as Word, Publisher or Excel.
The goal is for each trainee to find a job outside of the NICOA SCSEP program. In Oklahoma County, NICOA currently has 60 elders enrolled and have placed over 30% of the participants in employment. In 2018, NICOA partnered with more than 35 community agencies including The Salvation Army, Lottie’s House, Department of Veterans Affairs, Heartline 211 and Oklahoma County Senior Nutrition. Diane Maguire, North Coordinator for The Salvation Army, oversees the Warr Acres and Danforth Senior Centers, stated “NICOA SCSEP trainees have been a blessing in many ways for us at The Salvation Army Senior Centers. Having them be a part of the staff has given us the ability to do more for our seniors. Throughout their training I have watched them build skills that have enabled them to serve our senior citizens, ‘the golden generation,’ with both skill and love.”
Jacqueline Lewis, a former NICOA trainee, gave a pep talk and shared her success story with Paycheck Club participants in Oklahoma City. Jacci’s story: “When I applied to this program, I felt defeated. The job-hunting process has changed so much from the earlier years. Beginning with my very first host site to the last one, the things I learned were invaluable. This program teaches self-worth for the aging population that still wants to work. The staff will listen to your concerns and guide you in the best direction. They provide workshops and interview techniques along with the onsite training to better prepare you to reenter the work force. This program is a confidence builder that at 55+ you can step out and succeed. I am now employed full time thanks to this program. If you have barriers to employment start here for help in overcoming them and success in job search.”
Jacci joined NICOA SCSEP to prepare herself to be a viable candidate for employment. She wanted to enhance her skills, learn new processes and techniques, become proficient in computer programs in daily use. At NICOA SCSEP Jacci said she found all of this and more; “The moral support, guidance, advice and workshops kept me on target and focused.” She has been full-time employed for over 18 months and loves having a meaningful job.
If you are looking for a way to learn, develop and refine marketable skills call NICOA SCSEP to learn of your options. NICOA SCSEP provides the opportunity for paid training, meaningful community service, skills development and a great support network.
Ms. Yancey stated: “Our elders have so much experience and knowledge to contribute we must give them viable options. NICOA SCSEP offers options. Contact our office at 405-254-3642”.

Photography and Text by Terry “Travels with Terry” Zinn t4z@aol.com

Allied Arts announces that their 2019 fundraising event, ARTini, will take place on April 12, 2019 at Science Museum Oklahoma from 7 P.M. to 11 P.M. ARTini is one of the year’s most popular fundraising events, bringing together local restaurants, entertainment and artists for a night of fun for a good cause. This year’s event, STAR-tini, will present a galaxy theme—from décor and lighting to entertainment and cocktails—and guests are invited to dress the part.
Having attended and exhibited at several previous ARTini events, I can vouch that this event combines Original Art from abstract to realism for purchase, sampling of fine restaurants’ finger food offerings, and imaginative sips of original and fanciful Martinis made and offered by a number of local venues. The congenial gathering is accented by patrons eager for a good time and to see and be seen by friends of art conscious guests. Music entertainment is usually a staple and there are always surprises such as one year; live mannequins, which were a delightful photographic attraction. Good natured selfies and group photos are encouraged.
Event proceeds benefit Allied Arts and the local nonprofit arts organizations it supports. Each year, Allied Arts contributes to more than 40 organizations that collectively impact more than a million individuals. Allied Arts grantees have programming in all 77 Oklahoma counties—working to ensure that the arts are accessible to everyone from all walks of life.
As a United Arts Fund, Allied Arts works to broaden support for the arts by raising financial support for cultural organizations, encouraging participation and attendance, advocating for arts education and promoting excellence in the arts and arts management. Since its founding in 1971, the organization has raised more than $67 million to advance the arts in central Oklahoma.
ARTini is presented by Catalyst, Allied Arts’ emerging professionals group. Joining Catalyst requires an annual donation to Allied Arts of $300 for a single membership or $500 for a couple. Membership includes ticket(s) to ARTini, as well as networking, learning and volunteer opportunities throughout the year.
Allied Arts contributes to approximately 40 organizations annually. Member agencies include: Ambassadors’ Concert Choir, Arts Council Oklahoma City, Carpenter Square Theatre, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma and Thelma Gaylord Academy, Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, also Oklahoma City Ballet, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC), Prairie Dance Theatre, Red Earth, Inc., Science Museum Oklahoma and The Sooner Theatre among others.
More than 800 guests are expected to enjoy a sampling of martinis from several Oklahoma City restaurants and partake in one of the largest silent art auctions in the region – featuring work from around 100 local artists. ARTini tickets are $100 and must be purchased in advance. Tickets will go on sale shortly, and sponsors, artists, and restaurants will soon be available. You must be at least 21 and display a valid ID to to enter the event.
For more information, about ARTini or Catalyst, contact Allied Arts at 405-278-8944 or visit alliedartsokc.com.

Mr. Terry Zinn – Travel Editor
Past President: International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association
http://realtraveladventures.com/author/zinn

by Corporal Kim Lopez, TRIAD Coordinator for all of Oklahoma County

Telephone scams, remember the good ole days when you just requested an unlisted number? Yes, those days are gone, I remember my parents saying, “this is an unlisted number” like all mankind would respect it. I’ve spent almost 33 years of my life dedicated to my community and as I look back on the good works of law enforcement officers of the past it’s laughable that we use to tell people “Just Hang Up!” this is no longer good advice. In today’s world you can no longer trust the caller ID boxes we worked so hard to hand out to seniors who couldn’t afford one. These scammers can use software to make calls look like they are coming from anywhere, even the pentagon. The first thing seniors need to understand is that other cultures believe that it is perfectly honorable, acceptable and smart to cheat others out of their money. Unlike our belief system here, they actually believe that they have harmlessly out smarted you to their benefit. There is no guilt associated with their actions to gain your money. The second thing to understand is that in other countries they believe every senior citizen is sitting on a huge three hundred thousand dollar nest egg! Hard to convince them otherwise when some people are sending over two hundred thousand dollars to crooks who promise to be someone they are not! Romance Scams, Solicitation Scams, Granny Scams and even IRS Scams require one thing, your cooperation!Telephone scams, remember the good ole days when you just requested an unlisted number? Yes, those days are gone, I remember my parents saying, “this is an unlisted number” like all mankind would respect it. I’ve spent almost 33 years of my life dedicated to my community and as I look back on the good works of law enforcement officers of the past it’s laughable that we use to tell people “Just Hang Up!” this is no longer good advice. In today’s world you can no longer trust the caller ID boxes we worked so hard to hand out to seniors who couldn’t afford one. These scammers can use software to make calls look like they are coming from anywhere, even the pentagon. The first thing seniors need to understand is that other cultures believe that it is perfectly honorable, acceptable and smart to cheat others out of their money. Unlike our belief system here, they actually believe that they have harmlessly out smarted you to their benefit. There is no guilt associated with their actions to gain your money. The second thing to understand is that in other countries they believe every senior citizen is sitting on a huge three hundred thousand dollar nest egg! Hard to convince them otherwise when some people are sending over two hundred thousand dollars to crooks who promise to be someone they are not! Romance Scams, Solicitation Scams, Granny Scams and even IRS Scams require one thing, your cooperation!I recently learned that some of my seniors in SALT (Seniors And Law enforcement Together) that they answer every call because they do not have voice mail, they feel more comfortable answering calls of their own area code and some even admitted feeling more comfortable if the prefix matched theirs. All are false, a gross false sense of security.  Many are intended to provoke you to call a number.  Many use sad emotional stories about one’s family being in fatal car accidents to entice you to make a call, unbeknownst to an adult entertainment network overseas.  All will come at a cost and all will have one common dominator: A SENSE OF EMERGENCY! In regard to IRS Scams, it’s important to understand that the IRS will notify you in writing should you need to be notified of lack of payment.  Criminal warrants are usually threatened that do not exist. If you know anyone who hangs their head at owing the IRS money and you feel they could be scammed, share this sage advice:1. Do not answer your phone unless you are certain of the caller.2. Never give any numbers associated with your financial well-being.3. Never call numbers back. Make a note of the number they are calling from and make a note of the number they want you to call back as many times these are different. Report these numbers to the IRS. These reports should be handled as IRS Impersonation Scams, report all of them to 1-800-366-4484 or complete a form online at WWW.tigta.gov.  If you do owe money for federal taxes or think you may owe taxes call 1-800 829-1040 IRS workers can help you with payment questions.Remember the IRS will never call to demand immediate payment, they will never demand you pay taxes without giving you opportunity to question or appeal and you will never be required to use a specific payment method such as prepaid debit cards.We currently hold 19 key core community groups about topics such as IRS Scams and many more. Get involved with local police and your Oklahoma County Sheriff’s office by calling 405-713-1950 and leaving your address, I will send you a reminder call every month to the Seniors And Law enforcement or SALT group near you. SALT works to prevent crimes against the 65 plus population and holds monthly meetings to be more accessible to you should you have questions or crime concerns. I am Corporal Kim Lopez, TRIAD Coordinator for all of Oklahoma County and I look forward to meeting you.

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