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Brashinger: New business hopes to boost seniors’ social lives

Kris Mansour Doreen Moore work from their home office Mokena. | Ginger Brashinger for Sun-Times Media

Kris Mansour and Doreen Moore work from their home office in Mokena. | Ginger Brashinger for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: August 2, 2013 6:06AM



Senior citizens in the Southland who are looking to pass the time with more than a lunch buffet or dinner-theater outing have had their wishes granted.

Doreen Moore, a 20-year Mokena resident, is combining her experience as an event and seminar planner with the technological talents of her son, Kris Mansour, 27, and the graphic design skills of their business partner, Jessica Carter, 25.

The trio has founded the Senior Social Club, a club for active people 55 and over.

Moore, 57, said she’s “in that demographic” and brings her knowledge of the variety of activities that senior citizens would like in their social life. And Mansour and Carter bring fresh, youthful ideas while keeping the ever-changing technology aspect of the business up to the minute, she said.

The partners decided against membership fees or dues, Moore said, because they are “trying to make it as affordable as we possibly can.”

The market exists, the need is there, the partners said. Nearly 200 people made reservations for the first event in June, an afternoon and evening of cocktails, dinner, dancing and live entertainment from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Orland Chateau at a cost of $22 with a cash bar.

Moore said sponsors for the club were eager to sign on as well. The Senior Social Club has about 20 local sponsors, each contributing to a “goody bag” of discount coupons that was given to those who attended this month’s dinner-dance.

“The theory is that while we benefit (from the success of the business), the seniors not only make friendships, they support local businesses,” Mansour said.

Moore said it was important to her to make it possible for new businesses to become sponsors because of her experience with the difficulties that small-business owners encounter.

But she wasn’t prepared to be so moved during her conversation with seniors who called to make reservations for the club’s first event.

“There’s a lot of stories to be told out there,” Moore said. “The reason I’m so passionate about this is because when you’re young, you get married and have a family, and life seems to go along pretty smoothly. It’s a normal progression.”

Moore said as people transition into their senior years, they experience life changes such as ending a career and longtime workplace friendships, losing a spouse through divorce or death, suffering the loss of one or both parents or experiencing their children leave their home.

“You lose your support group,” she said.

The social club’s tag line, “friends you haven’t met yet,” is to reassure people that a support group can be rebuilt, the partners said.

Mansour said future club activities include weekday walks at local venues that will provide exercise and social time, followed by breakfast at a local restaurant.

Bowling and comedy show outings will be offered as well as the ever-popular casino trip. The plan, he said, is to offer a variety of both daytime and evening activities so there’s something for everyone.

“Jessica and I will be thinking outside of the box,” Mansour said. “We don’t want to think in terms of what the stereotypical senior is.”

He said the active nature of his 85-year-old grandmother, Jean Moore, is a constant reminder to him that seniors are not necessarily sedentary.

Doreen Moore said her philosophy for the club actually sprang from her mother’s words, that the “key to longevity is activity.”

For more information about the Senior Social Club, call (708) 942-1588 or visit www.seniorsocialclub.com.



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