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Educational Opportunities

Carol Duncan


October, 2017


NOTE CHANGE IN REGISTRATION: In order to participate in any class (unless otherwise stated) you must preregister and pay the fee at least three days before the date of the class. You may call and charge the fee by credit card or stop in the office and pay by cash, check or credit card. You will not be enrolled until the fee is paid. Most classes have a minimum enrollment requirement and the class will be canceled if that number is not met.

All classes offered at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association are open to the general public. Register at the PGICA office or call 941-637-1655. Please provide your telephone number and an e-mail address when you register so you can be notified in case of a class change or cancellation. 

BEYOND PGI: There will be no program this month due to the annual meeting on November 7. But be sure to mark your calendar for Tuesday, December 5, 7:00 p.m.  when Nancy Johnson will give an interesting presentation on their trip to Scandinavia.

SANDWICH SEMINAR: Tuesday, November 21, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Aging vs. The Onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Sandwich Seminar is open to the public and sponsored by Bayfront Health Punta Gorda which provides lunch at no cost to attendees. You must pre-register by calling PGICA at 941-637-1655.

FAWCETT MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: Tuesday, November 14, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 
GI Health Symposium with guest speaker John Rioux, MD, General Surgeon. This program, sponsored by Fawcett Memorial Hospital is open to the public and a light lunch will be provided at no cost. Please pre-register by calling PGICA at 941-637-1655.

Art, Oil Painting Sample

ART, OIL PAINTING: Monday, November 13, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., (second class November 20, if needed). Jan Britland teaches a fun and easy day long class using the “Bob Ross Technique”. Beginners are encouraged to attend. All students get to take their finished painting home with them the same day. The $50 fee includes a canvas and all materials needed to complete the painting. Class size is limited so call PGICA 941-637-1655 to register. Wear old clothes, bring your lunch, and enjoy a full day of painting. This class is offered monthly. Reminder - payment is required when registering.

MEDICARE MADE SIMPLE: Thursday, November 2, 7:00 p.m. This is a bona fide educational class with no sales solicitation. We will review all Parts and options of Medicare from Part A to Part D, Medicare Supplement (or Medigap) Plans A through N, the trade-offs between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans, and how-when-why to consider changing Plans. Classes will be conducted by Ralph Temple, who can be contacted at 941-286-6047 for more information. Attendance is free but seating is limited by room size, so please try to inform the PGICA office at 941-637-1655 if you plan to attend.

BALLROOM DANCE CLASSES: Weekly, Thursdays, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Lynn Pitz, former New York Athletic Club ballroom dance instructor, teaches classes suitable for the beginner and intermediate dancer, in a variety of Latin International and American styles. Leather soled shoes should be worn for class. The cost of each class is $10 per person. Don’t sit on the sidelines at the next party or event, learn to dance! For class information contact Lynn at 941-505-1506

Basket Weaving ClassNOVEMBER BASKET WEAVING CLASS:  HOLIDAY WALL BASKET: This class will consist of two 3-hour sessions on Tuesdays, November 7 and 14, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PREREQUISITE-One previous class. You will have the choice of red or green accents for your basket. Great for holiday cards, goodies, or a holiday floral arrangement on your front door instead of a wreath!  The $65 class fee includes all weaving materials necessary to complete the basket. Class size is limited to six students. Refer any questions to the instructor, Teresa Comeaux, 941-347-7640 or (The gift tags and holly accents in the picture are not included.) No basket weaving in December but check December Commentator for information on the January class.

CRAFTING WITH MARY FRANCIS: Thursday, November 9, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. or Thursday, November 16, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. You will make a seasonal card, gift tags and table favors. $20 includes all materials and instruction. Register three days ahead by calling PGICA, 941-637-1655. Payment due at registration.

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY ADVANCED: 9:00 a.m., second Wednesday every month. This group of dedicated digital photographers study both picture taking techniques and processing pictures with Adobe Photo Shop or similar software. The group occasionally takes photographic field trips. If you are interested in improving your skills, are familiar with Adobe Photo Shop or other similar programs, please come and join them. Free, no registration.

JEWELRY DESIGNING CLASS: Tuesday, November 21, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Come and learn to create a necklace or bracelet using your choice of a variety of stones, crystals, metals, and/or other beads. Learn how to design using simple techniques and tools. If you have an outfit that needs a jewelry item, wear it or bring it along and match your necklace or bracelet to your outfit. Or make a holiday gift for someone special. All materials and tools for creating will be provided. Cindy Wheeler instructs this fun class. Cost is $30. Advance registration at least two days prior to class is required and payment is requested when registering. Minimum of five students. Call PGICA 941-637-1655 to register.

Let's Go Fishing

LET’S GO FISHING: Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. for six weeks beginning on Wednesday January 10. An introductory course in Florida Fishing is being offered at the PGI Civic Association on Shreve Street in Punta Gorda. Topics to be covered include fishing techniques, tackle selection, rigging, knot tying, lures, baits, cast nets, fish identification, tides, and fishing regulations for fishing in fresh and salt waters of Southwest Florida. Rods, reels, lures, nets and other fishing equipment will be demonstrated during the class and there will be a number of useful handouts issued to students. The class is geared towards beginning anglers, but more experienced fishermen will pick up helpful tips as well. The instructor is long time local fishing guide Capt. Ralph Allen who might even reveal the locations of a few local hotspots! The course is open to all members of the public. The cost for the class is $45 and advance registration is recommended by calling 941-637-1655.

Origami Box Making Samples

ORIGAMI BOX MAKING: December 7, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Plan to join Joann Stratos for some fun in making ornamental Christmas origami boxes with gift tags. Great to use as special, decorative gift boxes for small items, such as jewelry, gift cards, etc. All materials are included in price of $20. Call 941-637-1655 to register.

ESSENTRICS STRENGTHING AND TONING: Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. This is a full body workout that rapidly changes the shape of your body through a dynamic combination of strengthening, stretching and toning. The technique develops lean, strong and flexible muscles with immediate changes to your posture. Perfect for men and women of all fitness levels, this program rebalances the body, prevents and treats injuries and unlocks tight joints. With diverse music, this equipment-free workout leaves you feeling energized, youthful and healthy. ESSENTRICS is the technique seen on the show “Classical Stretch” which has been on PBS since 1999 and taught by Miranda Edmond-White, a former ballerina who has created this unique and effective program. All you need is a mat, a hand towel for your neck and an optional strap. Cost is $10, taught by certified ESSENTRICS Instructor, Elissa Rioux. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call Elissa at 207-967-5393 or Never tried ESSENTRICS?  Come try a free first class!  (Mention this at sign up)

Essentrics Clases


ESSENTRICS GENTLE STRETCH: Mondays, 8:30 a.m. This slow-paced and gentle, age reversing workout will help to release tight muscles, rebalance joints and restore the entire body. Regain your flexibility and mobility while slowly building strength and reawakening the power of your 650 muscles. Designed for men and women of all ages who are new to the technique, would like a relaxed pace exercise routine, may be less mobile, have atrophy-related stiffness, frozen shoulder, chronic aches and pains, want to work on improving posture, or haven’t exercised in a while. All you need is a mat, a hand towel for your neck and an optional strap. Cost is $10, taught by certified ESSENTRICS Instructor, Elissa Rioux.  If you have any questions, please call 207-967-5393 or Never tried ESSENTRICS?  Come try a free first class!  (Mention this at sign up)

DAO YIN SHENG GONG: Wednesdays, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.  Starts on Wednesday, Nov. 8. This Stretch and Balance is the most popular and most helpful class for recovering one’s balance. It utilizes an ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) system of gentle twisting motions, breath control, stimulation of acupressure points in the body and mental development. These fluid harmonious movements will improve energy circulation, loosen the joints, tone up and oxygenate muscles and relax the nervous system. Cost is $8 per lesson, registration not required, pay before class. Call PGICA 941-637-1655 or Instructor Richard Curtis 407-923-9310 or

TAI CHI/QIGONG: Fridays, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Starts on Friday, Nov. 10. The first of November will see a new beginning of taiji and qi gong at PGICA. Richard will introduce a new form known as 13 Postures, the form is quite easy physically. Emotionally and spiritually this form is the beginning of recovery in all aspects of our health. No previous experience is needed, just a desire to get well through slow, purposeful movement and mindfulness. Each class is $9 and students drop in, drop out as they wish. Registration not required.

YOGA: Thursdays, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. The yoga workout is designed to accommodate a beginner as well as an intermediate student. If you have difficulty getting down and up on the mat, the class can accommodate you while sitting in a chair. Sessions are $10, registration not required. You will need a mat and comfortable clothes. Please do not have a heavy breakfast. For further information or if you have questions, please call Linda Anderson 941-575-3500 or

Tai Chi Double Fan Form Part  II

TAI CHI DOUBLE FAN FORM PART II: (Not necessary to know Part I) This class will run for 10 weeks starting Monday, November 6, 10 - 11 a.m. The purpose of the Double Fan Form: 1) enhance the brain action with Yin Yang movements, 2) improve balance and focus, 3) increase self-esteem, 4) have fun. Tai Chi is a martial art form that is known as meditation in motion. The slow movements help the practitioner to increase muscle, joint health, blood circulation, focus, and balance. It is used especially for the more senior person to improve and maintain good health. More and more seniors are practicing Tai Chi because it is easy and fun. The Double Fan form is particularly challenging and satisfying. The focus is on building coordination using the Yin Yang principles. The form that is being offered at PGICA this November is designed for women only. It is similar to dancing and makes you feel graceful and pretty. It is not necessary to have any Tai Chi experience, only a desire to have fun and improve balance and health. The cost is $100 for the 10 weeks plus the cost of the fans. It is limited to 10 students. Contact Mary Cel Curtis at or through our website

ZUMBA FIESTA: Every Tuesday and Friday, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Cost is $10 a session, registration not required. Experience an absolute blast in one exhilarating hour of caloric-burning, body-energizing, awe-inspiring movements meant to engage and captivate for life. Zumba routines feature interval training sessions where fast and slow rhythms and resistance training are combined to tone and sculpt your body while burning fat. Add some Latin flavor and international zest into the mix and you've got ZUMBA. Contact Carla with questions at 941-276-1887 or