Leisure Lifestyles still growing

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, March 10, 2016

Some people have enjoyed attending Leisure Lifestyles of Oxford and learning new things and they’ve decided to share their own hobbies with the community.

Leisure Lifestyles director Deb Helms said Wednesday at the Oxford Park Commission meeting that some of her regular attendees have turned into volunteers and are holding classes in a variety of subjects that are open to everyone.

“It’s people who are participants in our other classes, and these are their talents and hobbies and they want a place to socialize and do it with other people,” Helms said. “Some just like the idea of our program and wanted to be involved.”

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Some of the new programs include a creative writing workshop during the month of March, cooking classes, knitting, chess lessons and canasta, a rummy-like card game.

Most of the classes are held at the Oxford Activity Center; however the chess classes are held at noon at Avent Park where even children have become involved.

Leisure Lifestyles started as a wellness program for senior citizens, but became so popular the age requirement to join in on the fun was dropped to 40 a couple of years ago.

Helms said some of the new volunteer-led programs, like chess, are open to anyone.

Leisure Lifestyles continues to offer its regular programming, including aerobics, line dancing, pickle ball and computer classes for free.

Also at the meeting Wednesday, the commission granted its support to a new art project proposed by Earl Dismuke who helped spearhead the sculpture trail at Pat Lamar Park. Dismuke hopes to work with area nonprofit organizations geared toward children and local artists to design 26 different flags that will be hung up on wooden poles at Bailey Branch Park. Dismuke went before the Oxford Board of Aldermen last month but was told to present his project to OPC. Then, once OPC grants its permission to use the park, the Oxford Board of Aldermen would consider a request from Dismuke to pay $11,000 toward the project.

OPC director Seth Gaines said while Dismuke only plans to fly the flags for six months, OPC could continue the project with local schools and organizations. Dismuke said after the six months, the flags would be taken down and given to the nonprofit organizations to use as a fundraiser.

The board voted to allow the use of Bailey Branch Park for the project.