• 39°

Co-Lin wants retirees for social club

The Institute for Learning in Retirement at Copiah-Lincoln Community College is gearing up for the fall semester.

The ILR at the college’s Wesson campus will host a membership social Tuesday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Thames Conference Center on campus.

“It keeps retirees active,” Program Coordinator Julie Wright said. “They make friends and keep their minds active.”

The event will give members old and new a chance to meet others, find new hobbies or interests and hear the calendar of events for the upcoming semester.

Co-Lin’s IRL program is an extension of the college’s mission to learn. The program for the Wesson campus was founded in November 1996, and the nonprofit organization’s purpose is to help older individuals socialize and participate in fun activities with other people their age.

To be a member of this program, individuals should be at least 50 years old and retired or semiretired. Yearly dues are $65, and offers noncredit classes and workshops, tours and trips, social events and access to luncheons.

Members aren’t obligated to attend each meeting, only the ones that interest them, Wright said.

“We have lots of members that come to every single thing,” Wright said.

The Institute for Learning in Retirement operates on the same schedule as the college, so the program doesn’t run during the summer months.

From learning about beekeeping to how paper is made, the members of the program get the chance to attend meetings that are both informative and entertaining, she said.

A luncheon is held once a month, either at the Thames Center or at the Anderson Building on Co-Lin’s campus. Most meetings typically occur at the Thames Center.

“It is member-driven,” Wright said. “The committee gets their ideas from members for what to do.”

The program offers three day trips and one overnight trip per semester. Day trips in the past have been to Jackson and Canton. Overnight trips have included destinations such as Branson, Missouri. Members pay the cost for any trips they attend, but Wright organizes everything for them.

Membership is over 100 seniors, but average attendance is around 60.

“We have all ages,” Wright said. “They just show up and enjoy.”

Membership isn’t limited to individuals living in Lincoln or Copiah counties. Wright says she has members from Lawrence, Pike and Jefferson counties, intermingling with Copiah and Lincoln.

“I think it’s a great thing all the way around,” Wright said. “It’s an opportunity to meet people you’ve never known.”

Wright has a lot planned for the fall semester and sees nothing but fun for the members.

“I hope they meet new people and cultivate friendships,” Wright said. “I hope they learn something new and have fun.”

For more information, contact Wright at 601-643-8705.

Story by Gracie Byrne