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Osher Lifelong Learning Institute  

Special Interest Groups

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) offer a way to pursue interests Bridge playerwith 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, or Bob Mellor, 828.253.5031,  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.
  • Art - Fridays, 1-4pm. SIG contact: Diane Chambers, 828.271.4645,   
    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.
  • Beer on Tap-second Wednesdays, 4:30pm. SIG contact: Debra Benjamin, 828.708.3402, We live in a Beer City, so let's explore all the new beer tastings and new locations and events in and around Asheville! Singles encouraged to attend.  This is a participatory SIG with each member hosting and choosing a venue for monthly meetings.
  • Bridge Buddies—Tuesdays, 2-5 p.m. SIG contact: Debra Benjamin, 828-708-3402,   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 for Fun--1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 2-5 p.m.  SIG contact:  Patricia Grace 828-505-0046, or Marti Saltzman, 828-712-7502  This SIG is for those of us who prefer to emphasize the social and fun aspects of the game while still improving our bridge skills.  The atmosphere of the group is meant to be relaxed with a comfortable level of competition. Participants should be able to play at the experienced beginner or intermediate level.  Members will be asked to share in the management of the group (organizing materials, setting-up, and dismantling at the end of play.)
  • Bridge Grads—Thursdays, 2-5 p.m. SIG contact: Nina Hansen, 828.299.7711, or Kay Harrold, 828.257.4027, 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,  This SIG will provide a place that students can gather to engage in Spanish conversation in order to sharpen their skills.
  • Financial Strategies in Retirement—first Fridays, 1:30 p.m.  SIG contact:  Kate Beatty, 828.231.7710,  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, 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,  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,   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
  • Meditation - 2nd and 4th Mondays, 4:15 p.m.  SIG contact:  Eileen Ayers  A guided meditation group for members with prior experience with meditation, it is not a beginner group. Please bring your yoga blanket.
  • Men’s Wisdom Works—Call or email for meeting times. SIG contact: Curry First, 828-450-1118,  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: Karen Depew,   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,  or Sarah Larson 828.450-5462,  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,  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,  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,  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,   Enjoy learning about wines during tastings, discussing food parings, 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,   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,  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 on May 20, 2015