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Osher Lifelong Learning Institute  

Special Interest Groups

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) offer a way to pursue interests Person playing bridgewith other like-minded OLLI members. Special Interest Groups meet on a regular schedule, weekly to monthly, according to the needs of the group. 

To propose a new Special Interest Group:

Review the guidelines and the SIG proposal process, then complete a Special Interest Group  proposal form and return the completed proposal form to the Reuter Center office.  Current SIG coordinators may  click here to download a SIG Membership form and click here to download a SIG Attendance form.

Current Special Interest Groups (SIGs) 

To join a Special Interest Group, please contact the person listed as the SIG contact.

  • Apple SIG—second Fridays, 1:30-3:30 p.m.  SIG contact: Paula Withrow, 828.350.8406, pvwithrow@aol.com or Bob Mellor, 828.253.5031, bob.mellor@charter.net  Provides a community for continued learning, problem solving and information sharing pertaining to Mac, its applications and hardware, useful websites, and associated mobile devices. All experience levels are welcome.
  • Backgammon—Tuesdays, 2 p.m. SIG contact: Bruce Jones, 828.338.0265, bruce_e_jones@yahoo.com  Backgammon enthusiasts play to enhance skills and have fun.
  • Bridge Buddies—Tuesdays, 2:15-5 p.m. SIG contact: Gary Soldow, 828.505.0478, Garysanta@charter.net  Laid-back bridge players at intermediate to advanced levels. No partner is required; the group plays with tallies and move around the tables as the tally indicates.
  • Bridge Grads—Thursdays, 2-5 p.m. SIG contact: Nina Hansen, 828.299.7711, hansenn@charter.net or Kay Harrold, 828.257.4027, karonharrold@gmail.com This SIG provides weekly playing opportunities for graduates  of Bob Evans’ bridge classes at the College for Seniors (Beginning Bridge, Intermediate Bridge, and Play of the Hand). Participants should be able to play at the intermediate level, expect to play in a relaxed atmosphere and to share in the management of the group (organizing materials, setting-up, and dismantling at the end of the group session).
  • Conversing in Spanish--first and third Wednesdays, 4 p.m., SIG contact: Gracemarie Warren, grc022412@gmail.com  This SIG will provide a place that students can gather to engage in Spanish conversation in order to sharpen their skills.
  • Creative Singles—first Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m., potluck at the Reuter Center; third Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. at a restaurant. SIG contact: Linda Lewandowski, 828.665.1787, themerrywanderer@yahoo.com  A large and active group of singles enjoy sharing movies, potlucks, restaurant lunches, and more!
  • Financial Strategies in Retirement—first Fridays, 1:30 p.m.  SIG contact:  Kate Beatty, 828.231.7710, kkbmom@yahoo.com  This group is geared towards people who already have a basic knowledge of investment strategies and wish to help research and evaluate ideas arising from its members and guests. We will not be investing any funds as a group, but hope to inform members of opportunities that may interest them.
  • The Forum: Dialogue to Challenge Our Thinking. Fridays, 1 p.m.  SIG contact: Lou Millin, 828.298.3863, lmillin@bellsouth.net A free-flowing dialogue designed to enrich and expand participants’ thinking on topics ranging from Changing Demographics of Retirees to Nuclear Disarmament.
  • Intermediate Bridge—Fridays, 1-4 p.m.  SIG contact: Ruth Hall, 541.490.6460, ruth2458@gmail.com  Bridge for fun and camaraderie in a non-competitive setting at the intermediate level.
  • Hooks and Needles SIG - first and third Mondays, 2-4 p.m.  SIG contact:  Barbara Stein, 828.505.0736, barb@mbstein.net   The purpose of this SIG is to bring knitters, crocheters, and other needle crafters together to share projects, tips, and creative ideas, in a casual social setting
  • Making Art Together - Fridays, 1-4pm. SIG contact: Diane Chambers, 828.271.4645, pdchambers@charter.net   
    A group of artists of all disciplines who meet once a week in the Reuter Center art studio-Room 230- to produce their art. The purpose is to inspire each other, help with new ideas and to keep us from being isolated while doing our artwork.
  • Men’s Wisdom Works—Call or email for meeting times. SIG contact: Chuck Fink, 828.713.2112, chuck@ascentleadership.com  Men hold frank, open, and confidential discussions about issues that impact men during life’s transitions in order to bond and build a social network. Topics include retirement, aging, career change, moving, and many more.
  • Poetry Lovers—third Fridays, 1:30-3:30 p.m.  SIG contact: Ann Karson, akarson@aol.com and Karen Depew, karendepew@outlook.com     An informal group of poetry lovers committed to helping one another in developing poetry writing skills. Members are encouraged to present their own poems, or include works by others, to facilitate constructive, supportive critiquing.   Meetings are also open to more general topics of poetry, including discussion of new books, publishing opportunities,  trends and other subjects.  All are welcome to join, whether novice or pro.  The main criterion is love of poetry.
  • Stories for the Third Act—third Tuesday, 4:30-6 p.m.  SIG contact:  Debbie Gurriere, 828.505.7453, Funtale@aol.com  or Sarah Larson 828.450-5462, slarso@gmail.com  What's your story? Are you a teller? A listener? Afficianado? A teller waiting to be born? Stories for the Third Act is a garden where stories can grow. Come be a part of an art form as old as time itself.
  • Texas Hold'Em Poker—Mondays, 4:15-6 p.m. SIG contact: Bruce Jones, 828.338.0265, bruce_e_jones@yahoo.com  Texas Hold'Em is an exciting fast paced game that is simple to learn and difficult to master.  The group welcomes all levels of players from expert to absolute beginner.  Beginners will be able to work with an experienced player who is well-versed in training new players.
  • Tile Clickers (Mah Jongg)—Wednesdays, 2-5 p.m.  SIG contact: Rosemary Walton, 828.667.8979, rh68@bellsouth.net  Mah Jongg is a game that involves skill, strategy, and calculation, as well as a certain degree of luck. Members play at the Reuter Center with a large set of attractive tiles based on Chinese characters and symbols using the book of Wright-Patterson rules and hands.
  • Wine Tasting—second Sundays, 6 p.m. at a member’s home. SIG contact: Ulana Mellor, 828.253.5031, Ulana.Mellor@charter.net  Small groups meet monthly in members’ homes to sample and critique several wines, enjoy hors d’oeuvres, and finish with coffee and dessert. Cost: $20 per person per wine tasting event.
  • Wine Tasting II the third Sunday, 7 p.m..  SIG contact:  Kathleen mainardi, 828.633.2119, kkmainardi@gmail.com   Enjoy learning about wines during tastings, discussing food pairing, vineyards, local wines, and more in a casual setting.  
  • Women's Group—Call or email for meeting times. SIG contact: Bobbie Bowen, 828.693.1523, ravery09@gmail.com   or Joannie Alston, 713.302.8453, joaniealston@aol.com  Women participate in non-judgmental sharing, for pleasure, friendship, and mutual enrichment. Topics may include such subjects as: grace; humor; guilt; joy; exploring beliefs about aging; how to say “no”; health; death of loved ones; retirement; working retirement; parenting “old” children; parenting our aging parents; sex in the second fifty years, in-lawing, grand parenting, etc.
  • A Writers' Gathering—second and fourth Thursdays, 4:15 p.m.  SIG contact: John Himmelheber, jxhimmelheber@gmail.com Bobbie Rockwell, bobbiemayrockwell@gmail.com  This group will offer in-depth discussion and feedback among participants about their creative writing, including short fiction, poetry, drama, memoir, and creative non-fiction.

Last edited by lpreston@unca.edu on June 20, 2014