Tribune Print Share Text

Fab 40’s club covers all the bases

Charlestown contemporaries get together to socialize, volunteer, share ideas

Created date

May 22nd, 2012

Some clubs form around a common interest, others by people of the same profession, but the only prerequisites for joining the Fab 40 s club are your address and your age. If you live at Charlestown and were born between 1940 and 1949, that makes you eligible to join the Fab 40 s club, says Art Chenoweth. Art and the 78 other Fab 40 s members meet regularly to socialize, volunteer, and learn about issues that affect the Charlestown community. We come from a variety of backgrounds the medical field, education, military, government workers, clergy, homemakers you name it, says Art, a retired Baltimore City teacher and administrator who moved to Charlestown with his wife Michelle in 2010. But we all share a common desire: to stay active, give back to our community, and help shape the future of Charlestown.

At your service

Although still in its infancy, the club, which formed in late 2010, is already making an impression both inside and outside Charlestown s gates. We ve assisted on projects like the Rotary International Book Drive; offered support with Charlestown s Treasure Sales; collected school supplies for Riverview Elementary School, as well as participated with a Read-a-thon, says Art. We ve hosted an indoor golf tournament to benefit Charlestown s campus charity, as well as the many other endeavors our members do independently such as coordinating sports activities like softball and bocce, and serving on the residents council. Bert and Linda Clegern joined the Fab 40 s group a month after moving to the community in October 2010. The club provides so many wonderful opportunities for volunteering, says Bert. Volunteerism is really what makes Charlestown the community it is. The Fab 40 s club coordinates with Charlestown staff who provide a monthly list of new residents for prospective membership. We send out letters welcoming new residents to Charlestown and inviting them to join us and find out what the club is about, says Art.

Stay connected

Pat and John Kasuda were among the charter members of the club. Pat describes the group as energetic, fun, and resourceful. We really enjoy all aspects of the group, says Pat. So many people who live here are very active not only here at Charlestown, but outside the community as well. Clubs like this are a great way for us to connect with one another and share in activities. A new Gallup poll shows the more time Americans spend socially with family and friends, the more likely they are to report enjoyment and happiness in their lives without a lot of stress and worry. Overall, Americans self-reported mood improves with each hour of social time they spend in a day, up to about seven hours. Though the relationship is present among all age groups, Americans age 65 and older are more likely than their younger counterparts to maintain a positive mood with fewer hours of social time, the survey says. When John Chasse and his wife Fran moved to Charlestown in 2009, John still worked part-time. The Fab 40 s club offered a unique opportunity for him to interact with his contemporaries who share his interests. John says he especially enjoys the information sharing and interaction with Charlestown s management his Fab 40 s membership affords him. We plan on being here for a long time, says John. This gives us an additional opportunity to voice our ideas and form a relationship with the management here at Charlestown. One topic currently up for discussion is an alternative meal plan for Charlestown residents who may not be able to take advantage of traditional meal times in the community s six on-site restaurants. The topic appeals to Art, who still works part-time as an educational consultant, and Michelle, who teaches at Catonsville Community College. One of the things that attracted us to Charlestown was we liked the independence of being able to come and go when we want, says Art. We appreciate the fact that the management at Charlestown values our feedback about initiatives they are trying to implement. We hope the Fab 40 s group will continue to grow and help shape the direction of the community in the future.