Greetings from the elected officers and board members of St. Mary AARP Chapter 4435 in Morgan City.
In this series of three features, we will do our best to convince all people 50 years of age and older, regardless of where you live, to join and enjoy the St. Mary Chapter of AARP. We look forward to having you as a participating member.
As president of this organization for nearly 25 years, Paul Vella has seen this local chapter grow from 88 members in 1988 to the present membership of nearly 3,000, making the St. Mary Chapter the largest in the nation.
St. Mary AARP grew from a home office location to monthly meetings at the Holy Cross Elementary School cafeteria. As the membership continued to grow, the office was moved to the Whitney Bank building in downtown Morgan City, with monthly meetings at the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium.
When the St. Mary Parish Council purchased the Knights of Columbus building at 4015 Chennault St. in Morgan City, they allowed us to move our operations to this multi-functional facility. The St. Mary Senior Citizens Center, home of St. Mary AARP, has since been doubled in size which allows us space to have our monthly dinner meetings. More than 400 members enjoyed last month’s meal, which is held the first Monday of each month.
The building is also available for weddings, anniversaries and parties of all types.
Vice president Curtis Leonard has served for the past two years and has just been re-elected to serve another two years.
As vice president, he assists the president by presiding over monthly membership and board meetings. He also will serve as coordinator for the 25th annual Mardi Gras Court set for Jan. 28, 2012.
Leonard is also a featured performer in the AARP Players group that produces bi-monthly comedy plays. He is also known as the “Bingo King” on Wednesdays when he is the caller for the St. Mary AARP bingo games. All proceeds from bingo are paid back to the winners, so come and pass a good time.
Leonard would also like to assure everyone that not one cent of your dues paid to the local chapter goes to national AARP and that you can join the local chapter without belonging to the national.
St. Mary AARP membership is for two years and is only $10 per person, both spouses must join.
Leonard and his wife, Tana, also coordinate the making and delivery of 360 Christmas fruit baskets to members that are 80 years and older. Fruit baskets will be delivered Dec.15.
Vella urges your membership renewal or to become a new member and get a newsletter by mail or email to learn about monthly activities.
Monthly activities include dinner meetings the first Monday of the month, senior meals on the second Tuesday of the month, a chapter meal at a local restaurant on the last Monday of the month, and monthly dances from 7-11 p.m. featuring live bands.
Other activities include social dance, line dance and art classes.
Members also receive a list of 62 local merchants who offer AARP discounts.
St. Mary AARP needs you to be part of a 25-year senior citizen service that never gets involved in politics or political endorsements.
Our goal is a good time for the seniors of this area.
Membership dues can be sent to: St. Mary AARP, P.O. Box 3171, Morgan City, LA 70381 or call 384-2277 to become a member.