Don't drive at night? Try Senior Events Shuttle [Senior Circles]

In my book, it is always good when I get suggested topics from readers and friends. That way, I know that it is something of interest to older adults. The latest suggestion for Senior Circles is the "Senior Events Shuttle."

In pursuing the topic, I found that the Senior Events Shuttle is a service of the Columbia Association, sponsored by its Senior Advisory Committee, which advises the Columbia Association on "the needs, interest and concerns of Columbia's mature adult residents."

After an assessment of transportation needs 18 years ago, it was determined that supplemental transportation was needed for seniors and the Senior Events Shuttle was inaugurated. The utilization of the shuttle by seniors has increased over the years; during one winter month this year, 100 people were provided rides to cultural events.

The shuttle provides free curb-to-curb transportation to evening (after 4:30 p.m.) and weekend cultural events throughout Howard County. Available for groups of four to 24, this transportation service is offered to interested parties, age 60 and older. The shuttle will pick up passengers at multiple locations throughout Howard County. The vehicles are accessible for the disabled.

With the availability of the Senior Events Shuttle, you no longer have the excuse, "I don't drive at night," for not attending a cultural event. This shuttle service can open up a new world for you — one of theaters, art exhibits, lakefront activities, lectures, concerts, ballets and films. Get a group of friends together and go for it. Make it a regular outing.

Among the cultural venues you can choose from are the Smith, Rouse, Slayton House and Toby's theaters; Artists Gallery, Columbia Art Center, Slayton House and Howard Community Center for exhibits and receptions;libraries and Howard Community College for lectures and concerts; lakefront activities in Town Center and Lake Elkhorn; and all Howard County Senior Centers for music, dance and art. For a complete list, go to

Director of Life Services Bureau of the Columbia Association Michelle Miller said that it is a great service for residents and meets the needs of those who no longer drive or drive at night. She said that ridership has grown over the years and that she is happy that the Columbia Association and Howard County can provide this service. Howard County provides some of the funding for this transportation program. The Columbia Association partners with the vendors who provide the shuttle service, Vantage House and the Columbia Airport Shuttle. Both are paid for the transportation services they provide.

If you would like to take advantage of this transportation, reserve a ride by calling 410-715-3087 at least one week prior to the event and leave a message, including your name, address, including apartment number, telephone number and special needs. A Senior Advisory Committee member or a Columbia Association staffer will call back with a confirmation of your reservation.

Michelle Miller puts out a press release when there is a vacancy on the Senior Advisory Committee. If you would like to express your interest in volunteering to serve as a member on the Columbia Association's Senior Advisory Committee or to get more information, call Michelle at 410-715-3170.

April is National Volunteer Month. If you aren't already volunteering for an organization in your community, this is the time to seriously consider adding volunteering to your retirement activities. You have the power and skills to make a difference in the lives of others and in your community.

The Volunteer Center Serving Howard County, another program of the Columbia Association, can serve as a clearinghouse for you to find opportunities to volunteer. To find out about ways to volunteer, go to or call 410-715-3172 or email

Mark WomenFest 2014 on your calendar for Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The sixth annual health and wellness event for women will be held at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center at Glenwood, 2400 Route 97, in Cooksville. The day offers over 90 exhibitors, free health screenings and seminars: More Trash, More Treasure; Weigh 2 Go; Lil' Ms. Fix It; Fashions That Flatters; and It's Thyme to Boost Your Immunity.

Cookbook author Jackie Newgent gives the keynote speech at 1:30 p.m. on "The Dish on Plant-Centered Eating: Enticing Ideas for Creating Healthful Entrees Without Meat." Baking addict and food blogger Sally McKenney will be on hand to sign her new cookbook.

One of my Rosie the Riveter friends, Lorraine Miller, of Clarksville, attends WomenFest each year. Based on her interest in and enthusiasm for the event, I would say that WomenFest is for women of all ages.

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