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Cyber leap

Local seniors build resourceful website

Created date

March 14th, 2017
(From left) Maris Grove Computer Club cochair Jack Collette, club member Mary Ann Starkey, and IT manager Mike Hill helped launch the club’s website.

(From left) Maris Grove Computer Club cochair Jack Collette, club member Mary Ann Starkey, and IT manager Mike Hill helped launch the club’s website.

As computer technology advances, people who live at Maris Grove, Erickson Living’s retirement community in Delaware County, Pa., are keeping pace.

Last March, the campus computer club took a leap into cyberspace and set up its own secure residents’ website. 

The club’s mission statement pledges “to provide residents with a friendly creative environment in which they can keep up with the ongoing changes in computer and digital technology and are able to improve their individual capability to securely and safely use such technology.” 

“We want to reach people who live at Maris Grove in as many ways as possible,” says club cochair Jack Collette.

Robust resource

Community members run the club and manage the website. Even though the site itself is not connected with Maris Grove or Erickson Living, Maris Grove IT Manager Mike Hill has provided help and guidance since the computer club’s earliest days. 

When Mary Ann Starkey, the club’s TV, video, and publicity point person, needs help with the website, she knocks on Hill’s office door, and he comes to her aid.

Although the computer club boasts 100 members and holds twice-monthly meetings, people can’t always attend because Maris Grove’s 180-some other campus activities and special interest groups compete for their time. 

Hence the website. It’s stuffed with information helpful to those interested in computers or mobile devices. 

They can access meeting handouts, Hill’s columns about recent computer-related headlines, and a host of technology-related resources. There’s a “free computer stuff” page and scores of campus photos. 

Maris Grove’s TV station

The website doesn’t compete with the club’s already-established efforts of conveying information via videos produced in partnership with the campus TV station, MGTV.

Mary Ann and her husband Leonard, who both volunteer at the station, team up to make the videos. 

Leonard films Hill’s presentations at computer club meetings, and Mary Ann does a follow-up on-camera interview. Then she edits everything into a video that airs on MGTV, plays at club meetings, and is accessible in the campus computer lab. 

A sisterly helping hand

While building the website, the club turned to Bob Klimek, who lives at Ann’s Choice, Maris Grove’s sister community in Bucks County, for help in designing the site. (Bob had set up a resident activity website at Ann’s Choice.)

The user-friendly menu on the Maris Grove Computer Club’s website makes it easy to search for general computer information or news of the latest advancements, like Alexa, Amazon’s personal assistant that operates on voice commands. 

“The information is there,” Jack says of the site. “You just go get it.”