As one of Columbia’s newest residents, Murray Miller wasn’t sure how he’d like his new home. After retiring from a career in environmental science with a Florida water district, he decided to move closer to his grandchildren. He knew little about the area upon his arrival and started searching for community organizations to get involved in. With the help of the Lourie Center, Murray soon discovered his niche and found himself right at home in his new city.
The Lourie Center helps older adults stay independent, physically fit, intellectually stimulated and socially engaged by providing physical fitness, cultural and educational programs on a daily basis. The Center houses a fully equipped gym and circuit training equipment, and offers a variety of instructor-led fitness classes for all skill levels. Members can take classes in art and language, embark on travel opportunities, and attend social events such as dances and concerts. The Center also offers a free community transportation program for the elderly and disabled.
Since joining the Lourie Center in August 2013, Murray has not only enhanced his physical well being and expanded his skill set, but has also acclimated to his new community.
“It’s unusual to find such a diversity of activities in a senior center,” Murray said. “It has improved my physical condition as well as my mental outlook. I now adhere to an exercise routine because of the available classes, and through this I’ve met many people and made friends.”
Murray is enjoying an active and healthy lifestyle thanks to the Lourie Center. He is a regular in Pilates classes, works out in the gym several times a week, and enjoys sampling activities like yoga, Tai Chi, aerobics and meditation. “There’s a level for everyone in terms of physical activity – from entry level to advanced,” Murray said. “I like that the Lourie Center attracts seniors that are motivated to live well by staying active physically and mentally, no matter what condition they’re in.”
With more than 850 members, the Lourie Center offers a vibrant social scene. Murray’s involvement has helped him develop connections with other members and feel at home in his new community. “You can learn new things and participate in group activities while meeting new people,” Murray said. “Everyone there is really friendly. When you step through the door, you find others with similar interests and life stories to share, and expand your networks. It’s a place that fosters friendship.”
Murray couldn’t be happier with his new home and plans to make it permanent. He looks forward to getting more involved with the Center and is eager to lead some activities of his own. He hopes to one day start a poker club or musical instrument group, or even teach retro-style dancing.
“I never found a place like this in Florida, and it’s a big reason why I decided to stay in Columbia,” Murray said. “Being a part of the Lourie Center has made me think about what I can contribute to this organization in support of their mission. It’s motivated me to bring my skills to the table and offer some things that others would like to participate in. I’m looking forward to trying more activities, learning new things and meeting even more people.”
For more information about the Lourie Center, visit www.louriecentersc.com.