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"And to try to overcome that loss is a difficult thing to do.” Playing cupid: Speed dating Kim Phillips manages the Portage Senior Center.
She's heard similar stories from older adults as they seek to re-enter the dating world.
As the RSVPs rolled in, it became clear that the topic of seniors and love was striking a cord. It was around the time that the box-office-busting movie "Wonder Woman" opened.
“They actually shifted us into another (larger room in the) theater," says Phillips, in awe of how supportive area businesses and nonprofits have been. “Many of the men were ready to date, ready to find that woman to be with," remarks Gretta Jenkins, Senior Center afternoon receptionist, as the event gets into full swing.
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.
"They actually seem to kind of blossom, come out of their shell. They have something to look forward to every day, so it really brings them out of their shell and perks them up a lot.” Loneliness, isolation harms A 2011 survey of 350 seniors living in Kalamazoo County showed 29 percent of them reported feeling lonely or isolated. The results were part of the Kalamazoo County Senior Growth Needs Assessment.Here's where you can meet singles in Kalamazoo, Michigan.Our Kalamazoo County singles are in the 269 area code, and might live in these or other zip codes: 49008, 49001, 49019, 49009, 49005, 49048, 49006, or 49007 personals.So in July the senior center started offering its first ever speed dating events to address the social isolation some older adults feel.There's ones for people aged 50 to 65; another for those 65 and up.In Michigan, 28 percent of people over 65 live by themselves, according to the Census.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.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.He says it’s been hard to move on after the death of his wife of over a half century, who died three years ago."They traded us with ‘Wonder Woman’ because our numbers were higher.” It's showtime A month later, on a sunny Monday in July, the Senior Center put on its inaugural speed dating event in a private dining-room at Jac’s Cekola’s Pizza restaurant in Portage, which the owners are letting it use at no cost. Twelve men and 12 women aged 65 and higher sit for conversation at cozy, round tables, adorned with fresh flowers. Every five minutes, a bell rings, signaling that it is time to switch. So is Tammy, the 65-year-old who had the disappointing experience with a matchmaking service.'Was enjoyable' At the end of the evening, participants turn in a scorecard, indicating either “Yes” or “No” as to whether they wish to see any of their dates again.