Sheila Salyer – Going Strong for Seniors

There is a well-known company that positions itself as the “good-hands people.” But that moniker could also apply to Sheila Salyer. A uniquely solid, visionary and competent individual, Salyer has held the Tallahassee Senior Center in her own “good hands” for the last 20 years.

The Senior Center will hold a celebration of Salyer’s 20 years as executive director with a “Bucket List” Reunion luncheon on Monday, Aug. 29.

Salyer, 58, became executive director of Senior Services in 1996. Housed in the former Leon County Armory since 1978, the Senior Services Center then occupied only the ground floor, able to offer “square and round dancing and a few fitness programs.”

The large auditorium space on the building’s second floor was reserved for roller skating and toddler tumbling classes, says Salyer. But inspired by previous directors and community activists who had long lobbied for an expansive program for seniors, the center acquired the rest of the building. Salyer says that when she became director, part of her mandate was to put Tallahassee’s senior center on the national map.

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Presentation by NPR’s Ina Jaffe 9/19 at Ruby Diamond Concert Hall: The Power of Lifelong Learning

Nationally renowned veteran NPR correspondent Ina Jaffe will speak on “The Power of Lifelong Learning” September 19, 7:30 p.m., at Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. The event is hosted by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at FSU in honor of the 25th anniversary of lifelong learning at FSU. Ms. Jaffe covers the aging of America in all its variety.

Tickets: $15 available through the FSU Fine Arts Ticket Office,

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall – Florida State University

222 S Copeland St, Tallahassee, FL, 32304

Contact: 850-644-6500


Official Website



Chicago couple wins one year of rent-free living in Tallahassee

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Most people moving to Tallahassee don’t get a welcome greeting from the mayor himself.

But then again, they’re not Glenn and Loujean Nelson. The couple from Chicago are the 2016 winners of the “Why I’d Love to Retire in Tallahassee Contest.”

Put on by Choose Tallahassee, the organization grants one lucky couple 55 years and older a $41,000 prize package. Part of that includes rent-free living in Tallahassee.

The Nelson’s say they applied because the city offers the best of both worlds.

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Chicago couple wins Choose Tallahassee contest

Glenn and Loujean Nelson are leaving the Windy City and moving to Tallahassee.

Earlier today, the couple was named the winner of the Why I’d Love to Retire in Tallahassee, Florida contest, hosted by Choose Tallahassee, an all-volunteer organization that champions Tallahassee as a retirement city for Baby Boomers.

The couple, retired elementary school teachers originally from Dothan, Alabama, will receive one year of free rent plus a prize package valued at $41,000.

The couple beat out dozens of other retirees to win. A group of Choose Tallahassee volunteer judges whittled applicants to 25 semi-finalists, all of whom submitted a video about why they wanted to live in Tallahassee. The judges then interviewed the five finalists to determine the winner.

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Chicago Couple Wins Free Rent In Tallahassee For A Year

A Chicago couple will be moving to Tallahassee with one year’s worth of free rent. They’re the winners of Choose Tallahassee’s “Why I’d Love to Retire in Tallahassee, Florida” Contest.

On Skype Wednesday, Glenn and Loujean Nelson said they were drawn to Tallahassee because of the weather, healthcare options and college-town feel.

“Tallahassee had more than we really wanted, and one of the things above and beyond was it’s a football town,” Loujean Nelson said via Skype on Wednesday. “I love college football, so bam there we were. College football and close to the coast, you can’t beat that.”

The prize is $41,000. This will cover cost for a year’s worth of rent along with free meals at local restaurants and tickets to concerts and sporting events. The Nelsons plan on moving September or October.

The selection process requires finalists to submit a YouTube video saying why they want to move to Tallahassee, Choose Tallahassee Board Member Dave Bruns says.

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Choose Tallahassee Announces Winners of Free Year of Retirement

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – Choose Tallahassee announced the winners of a free year of retirement in the capital city!

Glenn and Loujean Nelson were declared the winners Wednesday. They’ll be moving to Tallahassee from the windy city.

The goal of Choose Tallahassee is to show off Florida’s capital city as a retirement option.

The Nelson’s will get a year of rent-free living, free dining at area restaurants, and tickets to concerts and sporting events. They will serve as ambassadors to help bring other retiring boomers to Tallahassee.

The organization says the area has a lot of draws for baby boomers.

“A community that attracks 3/10ths of 1 percent of the 20 million boomers that will relocate, over the next 14 to 16 years will add $1 billion in inncome to that community’s revenue,” explains Dave Burns, Chair of Choose Tallahassee.

The Nelsons have family in Tallahassee and Dothan, and say the city caught their eye because of the mild weather compared to Chicago, as well as the college football games.

“So I started making a list of what we wanted for a retirement area and matched that with Tallahassee,” says Loujean Nelson, “and Tallahassee had more than we even wanted and one of the things, above and beyond, is that it’s a football town. College football, and I love college football. So bam, there we were! College football plus close to the coast, you can’t beat that.”

The other finalists in the competition will get to take a trip to Tallahassee so they can consider retiring here as well.

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OLLI at FSU Receives $1 Million Endowment to Enhance Lifelong Learning Prograam

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Florida State University has been recognized for its excellence with a $1 million endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation of San Francisco. 

The highly competitive award, attained only by the elite institutions of the 119 OLLIs throughout the country, required meeting stringent criteria, including membership of more than 1,000, curriculum, leadership, staff excellence, sustainability and volunteerism. 

”Florida State University is proud of our commitment to lifelong learning and the 1,300 OLLI students who are such an integral element of our campus as learners, supporters and volunteers,” said FSU President John Thrasher. “My wife, Jean, and I have just become OLLI members ourselves, and we are looking forward to the intriguing classes and activities that OLLI offers.” 

With more than 1,300 members, OLLI at FSU annually offers an exciting, challenging, scholarly program of more than 100 classes and programs tailored for mature adults who love to learn. 

“We recognize that the program’s success represents the collective achievement of its excellent staff and dynamic community of intellectually vigorous members, who give generously of their time, talent and financial resources,” said Mary Bitterman, president of the Osher Foundation. “We applaud the university’s leadership for its steadfast support of the Institute and for embracing the notion that — at its best — education is a lifelong pursuit that has the power to elevate, delight and forge our connection to one another and to a larger world.” 

“We are most grateful for the Osher Foundation award and Florida State University’s ongoing support of lifelong learning,” said OLLI Director Debra Herman. The Osher endowment will be used to support and sustain OLLI at FSU in the years to come. It will help underwrite our ambitious plans to expand course offerings, lecture series and other activities and to maintain affordable membership fees and tuition rates.” 

Florida State University has sponsored a lifelong learning initiative since 1991, when seven eager students assembled to establish and participate in two classes. Growth since that time has been exponential, and 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of lifelong learning at the university. The organization is celebrating this landmark throughout the year, with special events, lectures and classes. NPR commentator on aging Ina Jaffe will be a special 25thanniversary presenter at a community event Sept. 19.

Carroll Bewley, 2016-2017 OLLI member president, said, “The timing of this endowment award could not have been better — during the 25th anniversary of lifelong learning at FSU — and it will make the celebration even sweeter. The award recognizes the quality program we’ve been able to create here through the dedication and hard work of a lot of people. It has been a true team effort.”

The program became part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute network in 2008. This is OLLI at FSU’s second million-dollar endowment from the Osher Foundation. The first was granted in 2012, based on membership growth to 500 and related criteria.

Over the past 25 years, OLLI members have participated in hundreds of classes offered by current and retired FSU faculty members, as well as many graduate students.

FSU faculty-taught classes during OLLI’s three-week “Maymester” include: history Professor Emeritus Jim Jones, cinema series: “Submarines and World War II”; English Professor Maxine Montgomery, “Talking Back to Pecola: Rereading Toni Morrison”; jazz studies Professor Leon Anderson, “The Evolution of the Rhythm Section in Jazz”; and communication science and disorders Professor Erin Ingvalson, “Healthy Cognitive Aging.” 

OLLI faculty also come from Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community College and include experts in a wide variety of fields.

For more information about OLLI at FSU, visit

June 14, 2016: Choose Tallahassee Red Carpet Reception

Choose Tallahassee Red Carpet Reception, Tue., June 14, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

The Red Carpet Team is inviting Tallahassee newcomers, recent retirees and interested persons who have friends or parents they encourage to “Choose Tallahassee” to a reception at the Tallahassee Senior Center (1400 N. Monroe Street) on Tue., June 14, from 5:30-7:00 pm. Join us and introduce yourself to local organizations and businesses. Light refreshments and beverages will be served. This is an informal gathering with lots of time to mix and mingle! Introductions will be made around 6 p.m.

Please feel free to share the invitation with your friends to help get the word out.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Tina Niggel, Red Carpet Team Chair, at or 850-891-4003.

Our 5 Favorite Lunch Spots in Tallahassee

  1. Andrew’s Capital Grill & Bar


Andrew’s Capital Grill & Bar provides Tallahassee customers with classic American comfort food. If you are looking for some down time during lunch, Andrews is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious BBQ sandwich or a juicy burger with some sports on the TV. Though their comfort food is to die for, there are still healthier options such as a black bean burger or a Santa Fe wrap, pictured above. If you are ever near S Adams street, make sure you stop by!


  1. Paisley Cafe


Paisley cafe is known for their core concept, “love on a plate”. Paisley believes that its customers deserve nothing but the best, which they provide through the highest quality ingredients and impeccable customer service. With lunch options such as lobster bisque and a prime rib press, what’s not to love? With an ever changing menu, you can stay in the know through their Facebook page or simply stop by! We recommend giving the farmhouse salad (pictured above) a try.


  1. Uptown Cafe & Catering


Locally owned and serving Tallahassee residents for over 30 years, Uptown Cafe & Catering is a classic choice in our community. Perfect for lunch, Uptown offers healthy options such as the chutney chicken salad, Greek garden wrap and even a tuna melt. If you want to bring Uptown to you, they also offer catering for all kinds of events just give them a call for more information.


  1. Madison Social


In the heart of Tallahassee’s Collegetown, Madison Social is in the hub of all things Florida State. Offering New American small plates and hand-crafted cocktails, Madison Social offers a unique social experience with more than just a great meal. Monthly themed drinking challenges and weekly trivia give MadSo patrons a chance to build relationships not only with each other, but with the restaurant. The MadSo burger, pictured above, might just be the best thing on their diverse menu.


  1. Sweet Pea Cafe


Located on West Tharpe Street, Sweet Pea Cafe is the perfect lunch spot for vegans, vegetarians, or simply anyone who likes good food. Locally owned and 100 percent plant-based, Sweet Pea takes pride in providing delicious, organic food to Tallahassee through local and fresh produce. As seasonal produce changes, so does their menu and updates can be found daily on their Facebook page. Pictured above is the “falawesome” wrap, made with homemade falafel, fresh vegetables, and lemon tahini dressing, all in a gluten-free, whole wheat wrap.

Leon County, Tallahassee piloting dementia care initiative

Tallahassee and Leon County are now Florida’s beta sites for a new initiative aimed at providing better care for dementia patients.

The area on Thursday was named the state’s first Dementia Caring Community, the pilot effort of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ Dementia Care and Cure Initiative. The effort was launched by DOEA Secretary Sam Verghese in 2015 to address the growing number of dementia cases in the state. It aims to make Florida more dementia friendly by promoting improved care for patients and pushing for a cure.

“This is where we can see amazing things happening with great innovations and great solutions to help people live a better life, a more productive life,” said Verghese, standing in front of dozens of people at the Tallahassee Senior Center on North Monroe Street. “Let’s make a difference today. Let’s do something about this.”

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