I have always known meaning in life comes with connection to an individual or group and sharing in a common interest or activity. Back in Ohio, I felt those connections and common goals every day in my busy Allergy and Respiratory medical practice. After my wife and I relocated to this area from Ohio, we had all we needed in terms of “things” but … I was lonely and stuck in a rut. I knew it was up to me to take a first step if I was going to get out of my rut. I have always played basketball, so I visited a number of community centers and clubs to see their facilities. For what I had in mind, it seemed they were either run-down or too fancy-schmancy. I wasn’t comfortable with the people or the atmosphere at these places.
I know it sounds kind of “sappy,” but I felt instantly “at home” when I walked into the Levy Senior Center. The building was obviously well-maintained. It was nice without being too fancy. It has amazed me to see how everything has fallen into place since that first day. There is a great group of guys my age who play basketball twice a week. One of the players, Dorrance Halverson, and I became fast friends. When he told me about the Levy Senior Center Foundation and an opportunity to apply for a position on the Board, it was an easy decision for me to make. And what a warm welcome I have received.
I am still learning about the Levy Senior Center Foundation, the City of Evanston and how they co-operate to serve seniors in the community. The Levy Foundation helps by filling gaps for needs and services which may not be available through the City of Evanston budget. Just yesterday, I was thrilled when I saw the number of programs for the 2023 season. Truly, there is something for anyone who will make the step to call, go online or walk through the door to visit.
As a physician, I have had quite a lot of experience with issues of healthy aging and all kinds of respiratory conditions. There is so much a person can do to stay healthy, active and to live a great senior lifestyle. I know people are concerned about COVID and Flu. I hope we can develop programs to educate seniors with accurate information so they can make their own decisions.
John Given, MD