The Belmont Council on Aging is located at 266 Beech St.

Announcements

Volunteer Driver Program looking for volunteers: Our newly established Volunteer Driver Program is always looking to recruit new volunteers who are willing to drive seniors to medical appointments, social engagements, errands, meetings, etc. Did you know that the Council on Aging Transportation Department provides approximately 750 rides a month to individuals? Even with that robust number of rides offered, we are still not able to accommodate anywhere near the number of requests that we receive for transportation from our seniors. Transportation is a link to independence, quality of life, and social interaction. Older adults who no longer drive are vulnerable to social isolation and depression. For medical reasons, some seniors are temporarily unable to drive. The availability of affordable and accessible transportation is frequently identified as a gap for older adults. The Belmont Council on Aging Volunteer Driver Program is designed to help Belmont seniors remain interactive with their community. Volunteers have no minimum time commitment; you drive when your schedule allows! If you are compassionate, caring, and committed to making a difference in someone’s life, then we want to talk with you. Contact Marty Cloherty at 617-993-2989 or mcloherty@belmont-ma.gov to learn more.

Free Tax Preparation with AARP Tax-Aide: The preparers will hold office hours at the Beech Street Center on Mondays and Fridays from Feb. 10 through April 13. This program is meant for low and moderate income taxpayers. Preparers cannot prepare complicated returns involving such items as rental income, cancellation of mortgage debt, depreciation, moving expenses, extensive investment transactions and casualty losses, to name a few. General assistance, such as answering questions, will be provided to anyone regardless of income level. Assistance is offered free of charge as preparers cannot accept payments. But you are welcome to show your gratitude by donating to the Council on Aging. Tax preparation is by appointment only; call 617-993-2970 to schedule. We will send you a list of documents you will need to bring.

Community Teamwork Fuel Assistance: through April 30. Annual Income Guidelines (2019-20). Household Size Maximum Gross Annual Income: one, $37,360; two, $48,855; three, $60,351; four, $71,846; five, $83,341; six, $94,837.

Fuel Assistance can pay part of your winter heating bills. You can rent or own your home. If your heat is included in your rent, you may also qualify. If eligible, please call our front desk at 617-993-2970 and ask to speak with our social work interns Emerson, Tiana, or Volunteer Coordinator Marie Poore.

Do you have a smart phone? Are you interested in getting a smart phone?: Not sure where to begin? Emerson Fang, our social work intern, is here to help! He is offering individual meeting times to talk about smartphone service options, eligibility standards for the lifeline federal program, and how to use Uber and Lyft. You can schedule a meeting with him; Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. by calling 617-855-7705. Please leave a voicemail with your name, number and he will get back to you within one of two business days.

March programs

Open Rehearsals — Experience a BSO concert in the making second concert: March 5. Hannu Lintu, conductor Seong-Jin Cho, piano Anna Thorvaldsdottir Metacosmos Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 Sibelius Symphony No. 2.

Feature Film — “My Cousin Vinny”: 1:15 p.m. March 6. Bill and Stan are two friends who attend New York University together. They decide to take a road trip through the south as a celebration for both receiving scholarships to UCLA. As they are driving through Alabama, they stop at a convenience store and soon find themselves under arrest. Without any money, and in desperate need of a lawyer they hire Bill’s cousin Vinny Gambini (Joe Pesci). Without any experience, and a judge with very little patience, can Vinny convince the jury of their innocence? Watch this hilarious classic to find out! Approx. 120 minutes. Poster © Twentieth Century Fox. Cost: Free.

Why They Marched — Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote: 1:15 p.m. March 10. For far too long, the history of how American women won the right to vote has been told as the tale of a few iconic leaders, all white and native-born. Why They Marched uncovers a broader and more diverse story waiting to be told, providing a new account of one of the most significant moments of political mobilization in American history. Feminism and women’s rights are an ongoing struggle with no clear endpoint in sight, and the women’s suffrage movement is vital to that story. Since 2012, Susan Ware has served as the general editor of the American National Biography, published by Oxford University Press under the auspices of the American Council of Learned Societies. Ware has long been associated with the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study where she serves as the Honorary Women’s Suffrage Centennial Historian. The Library of America will publish a women’s suffrage anthology edited by Ware in 2020. Cost: Free.

Shingles Vaccine with Wegmans Pharmacy: 10 a.m.-noon March 17. The Shingles vaccine is a two-dose vaccine series recommended for adults over age 50. Wegmans will be hosting a Shingles vaccine clinic at the senior center. They will have both the first and second doses of the Shingles vaccine available, as well as pneumonia shots and flu shots. Please sign up if you are interested and provide your phone number, so that Wegmans can contact you ahead of time for your insurance information.

Meet Your Public Officals

State Rep. Dave Rogers’ Office: 9:30 a.m. March 10.

Professional Services

Podiatry Clinic: 11 a.m. March 5. with Dr. David Alper. Care for toenails. Register in person the day of clinic. Cost: $25 (no insurance is accepted). Next month — 11 a.m. April 2.

Reiki Sessions: March 5 by appointment. 30 minutes for $15.

Supper Club

BelderBus trips are limited to 16 passengers, all of whom must be registered members of the Beech Street Center with emergency contacts on file. Call 617-993-2970 to reserve your seat! Please consider driving yourself and friends to the restaurants nearby to meet other folks who took the bus.

Farmhouse Grill and Rotisserie: March 10 departing from the Beech Street Center at 4:30 p.m. In 1996, Savvas Iliades opened the Farm Grill & Rotisserie in Newton and the popular eatery hasn’t stopped serving up the area’s best authentic Greek cuisine. Start your meal with one of their many salad options, including Mediterranean ($11.45), Greek salad ($9.95) village Salad with kabob or gyro– lamb, beef, or chicken ($11.95). They have a variety of hot and cold appetizers you can put together as sampler platters for either $12.95 or $13.95. As an entrée, try something from the grill such as lamb and beef gyro plate or chicken gyro plate ($15.95). From their rotisserie, enjoy a half chicken ($10.95), or quarter chicken (dark meat $8), or quarter chicken (white meat $8.45). The farmhouse also offers a variety of Greek specialties such as moussaka ($15.95), stuffed grape leaves ($11.95), or spanakopita ($11.95). Cap your meal off with one of their many desserts, including baklava ($3.95), kataifi ($3.95), or orange pie ($3.95) — cost: $5 donation to Belderbus. Meal, drink, tax and tip are on your own.

Belmont Travel Club

All flyers can be found in the Lobby at the Beech Street Center.

Magic Wing Butterfly Gardens: April 22. Cost $82. Payment by check made out to Belmont Travel Club. Depart from the Beech Street Center at 8 a.m. and return by 5 p.m.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: May 11. Cost $92. Payment by check made out to Belmont Travel Club. Depart from Beech Street Center at 9 a.m. and return by 5:30 p.m.

Famous Boston Duck Boat Tour: June 29. Cost $102. Payment by check made out to Belmont Travel Club. Depart from Beech Street Center at 8:30 a.m. and return by 5:30 p.m.

Quabbin Foliage Tour: Sept. 30. Cost $87. Payment by check made out to Belmont Travel Club. Depart from Beech Street Center at 9 a.m. and return by 5:30 p.m.

Yesterday’s Once More: Nov. 17. Cost $95. Payment by check made out to Belmont Travel Club. Departure/return times to be determined.

Michael Bublé Christmas Tribute: Dec. 1. Cost $97. Payment by check made out to Belmont Travel Club. Departure/return times to be determined.

American Bandstand New Year’s Eve day trip: Dec. 31. Cost $ 95. Departure/return times to be determined.

Belmont Travel Club 2020 Trips

Emmet Cahill’s Ireland with Emerald String Quartet and the Dublin City Dancers: March 12. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Emmet Cahill, Ireland’s most exciting young tenor at Venus de Milo, Swansea. Meal Choices: Corned Beef & Cabbage or Baked Haddock. Cost: $95

Block Island Tour: July 9. Depart from Belmont and travel to Point Judith where we’ll board a ferry to take us to Block Island. Trip includes an island tour by a Professional Guide who will entertain us with tales and tidbits” of the island. Lunch at the National Hotel. Meal Choices: Baked Scrod, Pan Seared Chicken Breasts, or Pasta Pomodori. Cost: $103

The King and I: July 16. Depart from the Belmont Senior Center at 9 a.m. and join your friends for a fantastic day in New Hampshire enjoying one of the finest luncheon and show programs in 2020. You’ll initially travel to Meredith, New Hampshire, where a full course luncheon will be served at the famous Hart’s Turkey Farm (Please Choose Entrée at Signup!). After this meal, you’ll then attend the Lakes Region Theatre’s production of “The King and I.” You’ll arrive home at 7:30 p.m. Cost $102, includes driver’s tip, payable to Fox Tours.

Grease: Aug. 6. Depart at 9 a.m. for Lunch at Hart’s Turkey Farm in Meredith, NH. Then onto the Lakes Region Theatre’s production on Grease. We will arrive back in Belmont at 7:30 p.m. Cost: $102 includes driver’s tip, makes checks out to Fox Tours.

Freisens: Aug. 20. To be announced.

Taste of Providence: Aug. 26. To be announced

The Grand Bellevue Dinner Train, Portsmouth, Rhode Island: Sept. 2. Enjoy an elegant dinner in “Pullman Style” while traveling on a 90-minute trip through the county side of Aquidneck Island and the beautiful Narragansett Bay. Meal Choices: Steak Tips, Stuffed Chicken Breast, or Baked Cod. A stop will be made at the Brick Marketplace and Bowen’s Wharf, on your own, where you can browse the many unique shops. Cost: $91 includes driver’s tip

Quabbin Foliage Tour: Sept. 30. Travel along the scenic roads of Massachusetts. A Native Tour Guide will join us and give us a tour of the Quabbin Reservoir. Includes lunch at the Salem Cross Inn. Meal Choices: Chicken Pot Pie or Maple Salmon. Cost: $88 includes driver’s tip.

Vermont Country Store: Oct. 16. To be announced

Overnight Trips

Berkshires & Gardens Getaway Featuring the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood: Aug. 23-24. Two day, two meals. The first stop will be Stockbridge where we will visit the Berkshire Botanical Gardens, located on 15 acres with over 3,000 species of plants. Afterwards we head for Tanglewood — the summer home of The Boston Symphony — where we can enjoy a light lunch (on own) and reserved seating in the Shed. This afternoon’s Symphony performance will feature soprano Tamara Wilson, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and The BSO performing works by Brahms and Beethovan’s 9th Symphony. This evening we will check into the Hilton Garden Inn Lenox where we will enjoy a three-course dinner and amenities like outdoor fireplaces and lounge areas, bar and pool. On Day 2 enjoy a leisurely full breakfast before returning to Stockbridge to visit the Norman Rockwell Museum. Afterwards, spend some free time on Main Street in Stockbridge for shopping and lunch (on own). In the afternoon we will visit “The Mount,” home to Pulitzer Prize winning author Edith Wharton. We will take a guided tour of the mansion and hear stories of how the architecture, interiors and furniture were carefully selected by Wharton. Afterwards, enjoy a guided stroll of the gardens and greenery that surround the home and learn why certain flora and fauna were chosen. We arrive back in Belmont in the early evening. Price: $421 (per person, double); Single: $516; Triple: $393. $100 deposit due with sign-up. The full balance will be due on June 20. The Group Protection Plan has been purchased on behalf of all travelers. For information, call Belmont Travel Club at 617-993-2976. Make checks payable to: Landmark Tours & Cruises.

September Maine Getaway: To be announced.

December White Mountains: To be announced.

New classes and programs

50+ Job Seekers Networking Group: 1-4 p.m. first and third Tuesday of the month. Join this exciting new program if you are 50+ unemployed, underemployed, returning to the workforce and seeking employment. Learn the skills needed to obtain employment in the current job market, including resume writing that works, creating a pitch, confronting ageism, managing stress and locating senior friendly employers. Tom Patria, Career Coach, will facilitate each meeting. Speakers from Project Able and Cambridge Career Source will provide additional training. There will be time for networking as well. The multi-month series takes place the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month, from 1-4 p.m., and ends with a job fair for seniors in May 2020! For further information or to register: contact Co-Facilitator Janet, (617) 993-2983.

English Made Fun...With Food: Here, at the Beech Street Center, we are passionate about being a welcoming place for all. Spend some quality time with fellow Beech Street Center participants practicing what they have been working on in their ESL and English classes. In turn, make some new friends, learn about different cultures, and enjoy some snacks. If you are interested, please call Dana Leavitt at 617-993-2977. We do not have a formal day or time picked just yet but are gathering interest first. Cost: Free.

Buried In Treasures Workshop: 1:15-2:30 p.m. Wednesdays Oct. 23-March 5, 2020. A facilitator led group for people who accumulate. This 16-week structured workshop focusing on reading, exercises and homework from the book, “Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving and Hoarding” may be for you! Learn to prioritize what to keep and what to let go. The goal is not to get rid of everything, but to make your home safe and comfortable. For information, contact Tiana 617-993-2970. Cost: Free.

Sage and Seekers with the Lycée International de Boston - International School of Boston: 9:45-10:45 a.m. six-week program Fridays Feb. 28-April 3. Everyone has stories that are rich with wisdom. You may already know what you would like to share, or you may uncover past experiences while speaking with your student. Each week starts with an icebreaker to facilitate the conversations, so there is no pressure. All you need to do is share who you are, and your Seeker will weave your experiences into an essay honoring you. Many students say that in their fast-paced lives of texting, tweeting, and technology, they are relieved to have 60 minutes to have a real conversation with someone! The final presentation is a celebration. The Seekers will read the essays they have written about their Sages. You are encouraged to bring guests to the presentation to share your experience. Please speak with Dana Leavitt-617-993-2977 for more information.

Pen Pal Program With The Belmont Recreation Deparment: Do you enjoy writing letters? Share your life stories, favorite pastimes, and hobbies with a new pal! We are currently seeking Beech Street Center members who are interested in participating. We’ll have a party at the end of our program so pen pals can meet! Please speak with Dana Leavitt at 617-993-2977 or Chris Costello at 617-993-2766 for more information.

Classes seeking new members

Classes are open to residents of Belmont and surrounding towns, and targeted especially for participants age 50 and older. Scholarships funded by the Friends of the Belmont Council on Aging are available for Belmont residents with financial hardship; contact Nava Niv-Vogel to apply.

Duplicate Bridge: 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesdays. $10/day.

Bingo: 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays. Play several rounds of BINGO and 2 “cover-all” games, with a weekly raffle as well. Coffee and snacks are provided. This group welcomes new members to try it out! Cost: Varies based on number of cards played, approx. $3 per week.

Intermediate and Advanced French Fridays: 10–11 a.m. Formal meeting 1st and 3rd Friday. Informal meeting 2nd and 4th Friday. Free.

Social Bridge: Monday’s 1–4 p.m. call 617-993-2970 to sign-up


Free Folk Dance at the Beech Street Center: 11:45 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Cost: Free. Instructor Susan Lind-Sinanian teaches folk dances from a variety of traditions including Greek and Armenian cultures. Beech Street line dancers and new participants welcome! Cost: Free.

“Chess with Jason” is Back!: 1:45 p.m. Wednesdays. Learn this classic brain sharpening strategy game with our beloved Belmont High School student, Jason Tang. Stop in to join this ongoing group. Cost: Free.