Clubs try to capture younger retirees - East Valley Tribune: West Valley

Clubs try to capture younger retirees

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Posted: Friday, January 28, 2011 9:45 am | Updated: 12:03 pm, Fri Jan 28, 2011.

With more than 200 clubs and organizations in Sun City and Sun City West, the challenge for residents is not finding things to do, it’s finding the time to do all they’d like.

“There is so much to offer here, that we just want to make sure everyone in this community knows about it and find something of interest to them,” said Dori Miller, charter clubs specialist for the Recreation Centers of Sun City West. “I want to create excitement, particularly for our new residents.”

Miller said it is critical that the RCSCW clubs adapt to changing times and the interests of new residents while maintaining organizations that have brought people to Sun City West over the years.

Miller helps promote the 109 clubs in Sun City West by showing newcomers facilities and working with organizations to better promote themselves.

Cheryl Johnson, activities and clubs director for the Recreation Centers of Sun City, said the RCSC heavily promotes its 100-plus clubs with everything from literature at the Visitors Center to fun fairs, where the organizations display information.

But change is inevitable as the demographics of the communities evolve.

In the last few years, some clubs have seen a decrease in membership as part of the population ages and younger residents with different interests move in.

Rolfe Blaess, vice president of the former Organ and Keyboard Club, has seen that first hand.

The club played its final concert on Jan. 11 and shut down due to a lack of members and volunteers for club officers.

“We provided entertainment once a month from October to May with organ and keyboard concerts, and well-known people would come in,” he said. “You would think people would want to hear that, but younger people aren’t as interested.”

In addition, many of the clubs are only offered in the mornings or afternoons. And Miller said many of the younger residents still work and can’t get to activities until the evening.

For this reason, Johnson and Miller said the communities have a club for the “next generation.”

Even though some clubs have seen a drop-off, Miller said certain organizations will always remain popular.

“There will always be interest in the artistic clubs and the crafts, such as wood, lapidary and metal, because there is a result, and you’re making it for yourself,” Miller said.

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