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Travel buddies plan trips for neighbors

The easiest thing to find at Cedar Crest is a friend'

Created date

April 26th, 2010

When Ruth Ellerthorpe moved to Cedar Crest four years ago this month, she never dreamed she d be running a nonprofit travel company. But when she met Betty Flanagan and Lucille Joseph, she found herself at the very nucleus of the community s Trips and Travel Club now one of the most popular groups on campus. The club plans day trips up and down the northeast coast as well as longer excursions to destinations ranging from the Panama Canal to Las Vegas. We try to plan trips that appeal to a variety of interests, Flanagan says. Some people like the arts, some like entertainment, some just like to travel; so we offer a variety. The trips draw an average of 40 travelers from all over the Cedar Crest community, and those who sign up are invited to bring along family and friends.

Finally time to travel

Like most people, Flanagan didn t have time to travel before she moved toCedar Crest, due to commitments at home. When she moved toCedar Crest, she joined the Trips and Travel Club, which didn t have a designated leader at the time. She took over and ran the group for about three years. She was joined by Lucille Joseph in 2007, who was closely followed by Ruth Ellerthorpe. Doris Anzalone is treasurer. As a group and with help from a few others they research destinations, bus offerings, tour companies, hotels, and any other information needed to create an enjoyable trip for their neighbors. They operate on a not-for-profit basis, trying very hard to come out at a zero balance for all of our trips, says Ellerthorpe. It takes a lot of time, but it s something we really enjoy doing, she says. I get so many thank you notes; it makes me feel so good. Flanagan agrees: If we didn t enjoy it, we wouldn t do it. When you do a successful trip, it gives you a great deal of satisfaction.

Upcoming trips

This year, the group has planned trips to the Poconos in Pennsylvania; Wildwood Crest, N.J.; Bavaria; and Las Vegas, Nev. In September, a group will spend ten days overseas to witness Passionplay in Oberammergau, Germany, in which villagers reenact the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The event started in 1633 and is held only every ten years. It draws thousands of people from all over the world. TheCedar Crestgroup will then travel to Munich, Germany; Salzburg, Austria; and Vienna, Austria. This trip is really a highlight for us, says Ellerthorpe, who planned it. In October, they will visit Las Vegas on an adventure organized by Joseph. I enjoy traveling with people here atCedar Crestbecause they are so cooperative and appreciative, Ellerthorpe says. I do the research beforehand, and we really just enjoy ourselves.

Coming home

Not only doCedar Crest stravelers enjoy getting away, they also enjoy coming home. When you come back from a trip, you don t get bored, says Flanagan. There are so many amenities and things to do. Ellerthorpe adds: Cedar Crestis a wonderful place to live; everyone is so friendly, and it s like living in a little town with stores, a medical center, a dentist, and a theater. But the best things atCedar Crest, they agree, are their friends. I always say, The easiest thing to find atCedar Crestis a friend, Flanagan says. Most of us came here on our own, and we ve all become close friends. In their travel group, the ladies often room together on overnight trips. And if plans change, they will even sub in on outings. We re there for each other, says Flanagan.