Retired teachers showed they could still make the grade at last Thursday's meeting of the Tri-County Retired Educators Association.
"What a good crowd," said Jan McTier, the president of the club. "I thought we were getting too old to get out, but you're showing we're not."
Following Mrs. McTier's welcome, the group sang a spiritual that was directed by Josie Rogers, and then Albert Massey led a tribute to deceased members. "From the sublime to the ridiculous" is how Mrs. McTier introduced the icebreaker that followed.
For the icebreaker, the retirees enjoyed answering brain-teasers provided by Clara Roberts. As if she was taken back to her old days of teaching, Mrs. Roberts had to keep reminding the group to not shout out the answer, but write it down on their paper.
Local membership had increased from 77 to 120 since the organization's last meeting in November, according to business reports.
Other routine business at Thursday's meeting included reports about legislative activity pertaining to educator retirement and the nomination of new officers. Much laughter accommodated the suggestions of nominating members who were not present at the meeting.
The keynote speaker was Dede Keir, the general manager of HealthLink, who spoke about the benefits of exercise and weight loss.
"I'm not here to bore you with what you have already heard many times before. I am here to motivate you," Mrs. Keir said, using physical fitness expert Jack LaLanne and the late Senator Strom Thurmond as examples of how consistent exercise promotes longevity.
"There's something to that. Exercise makes you feel good, you feel upbeat, you feel younger, you have less headaches, less illness, less stress," Mrs. Keir said.
In her presentation, she emphasized the best types of foods to eat and correct portion sizes. She also explained formulas to figure the amount of water to drink, the number of calories to consume and to burn in order to lose weight. Mrs. Keir also shared programs at HealthLink that improves the ability of elderly people to keep their balance and prevent injury from falls.
"It shouldn't be painful to lose weight," she said. "You should think of exercise every day as an expression of thanks for having another day of living. It's never too late to start an exercise program."
Many of the retirees had questions for Mrs. Keir after her program. Their topics ranged from questions about membership at HealthLink to recipes for oatmeal.
For Bruce Blasingame, the information Mrs. Keir presented was not the problem.
"I understand what you said," he told Mrs. Keir. "But what I want to know is, do you have any classes on willpower?"
According to the Georgia REA website, membership in the local association provides retired educators with support and fellowship and an organizational framework through which they volunteer service. Membership in the state association promotes the economic, social and professional status of retired educators, the passage of legislation beneficial to them, and the distribution of information of value to them.
For more information on the local association, call Anne Poss at 595-2613, and for the state association, call Mrs. McTier at 556-6413.