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As they explore these projects, 4-H members build skills that can last a lifetime.
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"We got a call from a gentleman who was at the first speed dating event on (July) 17th, who said he has made a connection with a woman that night," Phillips says. Census, 14 percent of Kalamazoo County's 250,000-plus residents were over age 65 in 2015. The local Area on Aging expects this figure to grow significantly.
"They have been seeing each other practically every day, and they're happy. He was so nervous in the parking lot." What was originally supposed to be a handful of speed dating events will now be many ones offered several times a year on either an every-other-month or quarterly basis, officials say. Phillips says the agency projects 80 percent more people over age 60 in Kalamazoo County by the year 2030.
Tammy says she met four strong candidates, and two "maybes." "I’ve always been curious about speed dating.
I think that it is a good way to get out and try to make a connection with somebody, to make a new friend," she says. You go to church and you see the same people every week.
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Inspired by a film The Portage Senior Center got the idea to do speed dating from the 2014 documentary “The Age of Love,” a funny yet serious film about seniors participating in such an event in upstate N. In anticipation of launching speed dating here and with funding from New Friends Memory Care and Assisted Living, center officials presented a free showing of “Age of Love” at Celebration! Portage Senior Center Manager Kim Phillips says they were not sure what to expect."I've had some dates in between." But nothing turned serious. "It’s a paid service, where they do a background check and everything…It’s been three or four years since I signed up with them, and they never really got any matches for me.” Gordon is a 78-year-old man from Portage.The response from women has been especially robust, resulting in waiting lists and, ultimately, more sessions added.It's only been a few weeks since launching, but speed dating has already led to some older adults no longer having to spend their days alone.
He says it’s been hard to move on after the death of his wife of over a half century. He has taken a few women out to lunch since her death, but he says he wouldn't call that dating.