AARP Michigan recently added a new Detroit chapter to the fold in Ravendale, a 50-block community on Detroit’s far east side on Harper Avenue near I-94 and Chalmers Road.
The venture started when we connected with Toni McIlwain at a news conference last summer. McIlwain’s name is synonymous with Ravendale. She is a 62-year-old nationally honored activist who has led the Ravendale Community Center for more than three decades.
So if you want to start an AARP chapter in Ravendale, McIlwain is the person to see.
“We work with a lot of 55 and older residents at our community center,” McIlwain said. “Lisa and I talked about starting an AARP chapter in Ravendale. We wanted to give our people something to belong to, some way to make a connection to their peers.”
McIlwain completed diversity training in October and a month later Ravendale was a drop-off site for AARP’s highly successful holiday food drive in Detroit.
She recruited a couple dozen AARP members and found 16 others who were interested and are applying for membership.
A new chapter was born.
“We had a lot of people who were AARP members but had never been to an AARP meeting,” McIlwailn said. “We’re excited about getting together for bowling and other events.”
AARP is thrilled to launch an AARP chapter in Ravendale. AARP has chapters all over Metro Detroit and the Ravendale chapter will provide additional support, information and resources to our members and residents in this east side neighborhood.
Ravendale will meet the second Wednesday every month at 4:30 p.m. at the Community Center, 13903 Harper Avenue, Detroit.
There are six other chapters in Metro Detroit, including:
• Central Detroit Chapter #1962, which meets the second Friday of each month at 1 p.m. at Brush Park Manor, 2900 Brush St., Detroit. The president is Delores Wyatt.
• Detroit River Towers Chapter #2168, which meets the second Monday of each month at 10 a.m. at Connor Creek Village Center, 4777 E. Outer Drive, Detroit. The president is Reginald Hamilton. (No meeting in February.)
• Metro Detroit Chapter #4803, which meets the second Monday of each month at 10 a.m. at Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, 2080 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit. The president is Carolyn Ray-Barnett.
• North Central Detroit Chapter #5291, which meets the first Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. at Outer Drive Faith Lutheran Church, 17500 James Couzens Fwy., Detroit. The president is Danny Craig.
• Southfield Chapter #3483, which meets the second Thursday of each month at 1 p.m. at Southfield Senior Adult Center, 24350 Civic Center Dr., Southfield. The president is Kathy Haymer. (No meeting in February.)
• Wayne County Heritage Chapter #4676, which meets the first Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m. at Wayne County Community College Downriver Campus, 21000 Northline Rd., Taylor. The president is Jean Pisha.