There is an exciting new group in town – Northside Seniors! The brainchild of Cleveland resident Eric Won, Northside Seniors is dedicated to bringing resources, programming and expertise to the seniors’ community in North Minneapolis.
The Northside Seniors’ Facebook page describes the group as “… a community conversation about building rich and fulfilling lives for seniors throughout the Northside of Minneapolis. Seniors, and the people who care about us, are members of this group … ”
What defines a “senior”?
Having attended a number of Northside Seniors’ events in the past two months, I’d encourage folks to not get too hung up on any preconceived notions of what constitutes a “senior.” This dynamic group is wonderfully diverse in age and background, bringing a wide range of life and professional experience to the table. Age is just a number after all!
Seniors tend to be the most socially isolated and least leveraged resources in any community. The impressive collective assets that can be found in this newly-formed group have the capacity to bring about some real positive change to this segment of the Northside population.
Founder Won has branded the events and programs of the Northside Seniors as “Senior Moments!” Since the group went live earlier this year, Northside Seniors has already held three brainstorming sessions designed to define specific program areas that members would like to develop, as well as create action items to move the group forward. Emily’s, Tooties and Webber Park Library were the respective venues for these meetings, keeping things local and supporting Northside businesses.
In addition, an ice-breaker event was held in the community room at North Market, with group members bringing snacks and drinks to share. And members met to attend a free concert at the Capri Theater, preceded by beverages at a group member’s house. At the time of writing, a dinner with an Italian-themed seven-course tasting menu is on the books for late April.
More “Moments” in the works
The brainstorming sessions generated some adventurous (and ambitious) ideas for future events and collaborative efforts, including:
- A wine tasting evening featuring wines priced under $10 a bottle (Northside Seniors boast two certified sommeliers within their ranks).
- Working with the University of Minnesota to offer training to group members to qualify them to become certified teacher’s aides in the Minneapolis Public School system.
- Meeting with Councilmember Phillipe Cunningham and First Avenue CEO Dayna Frank to explore the creation of a Northside Senior Center as part of the Upper Harbor Terminal development project.
- A tour of Minnesota vineyards. The group includes a licensed professional van driver who can act as designated driver.
- Nature excursions, river adventures, bicycling, local garden tours (and touring members’ gardens), forming a book club, field trips to museums, and attending concerts and lectures.
- Being advocates and fundraisers for causes that are central to the quality of life for seniors.
You can keep abreast of upcoming Northside Seniors’ activities by joining the Northside Seniors Facebook page (a public group), or simply show up for an event. Everyone is welcome!