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Educational Opportunities

Carol Duncan


March, 2018

REMINDER: 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 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. 

Bob and Kerry (Foscardo) DicksonBeyond PGI:

Tuesday, March 6, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. - Thirty Days in New Zealand.
Join Bob and Kerry (Foscardo) Dickson on a tour of the beautiful New Zealand Islands, including a 5-day hike on the famed “Milford Track” located on Milford Sound on the South Island. Visit the Southern Alps, beautiful glaciers and thousand Islands of the North. Visit Auckland on the North Island and Christchurch on the South, before devastation by the big earthquake. Be sure to put this presentation on your calendar. Free and open to the public.

Peg and John BairdBeyond PGI:

Tuesday, April 3, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. - Planes, Trains, Automobiles and Narrowboats.
Join Peg and John Baird as they recount their adventures bouncing around Europe like a couple of billiard balls, all by way of Punta Gorda, Ft. Myers, Toronto, Paris, London, Wrenbury, Llangollen, Manchester, Dublin and Achill Island. The presentation will be punctuated with unsolicited hints AND tips on planning, packing and surviving for four weeks abroad while living in harmony and affection with your significant other.

Vietnam, Revisited:

Tuesday, March 20, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Jim Staley enlisted in the United States Army right out of college, graduated from Officer Candidate School and was sent to Vietnam for one year. He served on a 5-member mobile advisory team conducting combat operations with the local Vietnamese militia. Jim will talk about his Vietnam experience. He recalls it was not all good - and it was not all bad! He will speak about his travels from Hard Scrabble to Ham Tan. 

Sandwich Seminar:

Tuesday, March 20, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Joseph A. Hegleh, M.D., F.A.C.S., Ophthalmologist, will talk about recent Advances in Preserving your Eye Vision. RSVP is required for this free lunch provided by Bayfront Health. Call 941-637-1655 to register.

Introduction To French Language and Culture:

Thursdays, March 8 through April 12, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. In this class students will begin learning to speak French, including basic grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. The focus for this 6-week course will be on basic conversation and speaking for travel in France. Having lived and worked in France for over 20 years, instructor Billy Folchi provides students with an insider's perspective of the culture and language and teaches students the nuances and usages which go beyond "classroom French." The cost is $60 with a minimum of 5 students required for a class. Registration and payment accepted at the PGICA office. 

Intermediate Guitar Lessons:

Thursdays, March 8 through April 26, 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. This course is for students who already have some familiarity with the guitar and can play a few chords but may require some structure and guidance to expand their knowledge and ability and learn to play the songs they wish to play. Students will learn bar chords and new rhythm patterns and will increase their understanding of chords and song structures, as well as some single-note playing. Instructor Billy Folchi has been teaching people of all ages how to play the guitar for over a decade. The cost is $120 with a minimum of 4 students required for a class. Registration and payment accepted at the PGICA office.

Beginner Guitar Lessons: 

Thursdays, March 8 through April 26, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. This class is an introduction to the guitar for absolute beginners. Students will learn basic chords and common rhythm patterns and use them to play popular songs. Each student should bring his or her own guitar, and a music stand is optional but strongly recommended. For those without a guitar, a limited number of loaner guitars are available which students can take home for the entire duration of the 8-week course at no charge. Instructor Billy Folchi has been teaching people of all ages how to play the guitar for over a decade. The cost is $120 with a minimum of four students required for a class. Registration and payment accepted at the PGICA office.

Are You Prepared?

A series of seminars presented by Christine A. Hause, Vice President, Charlotte State Bank & Trust, Trust and Investment Management Services. These seminars are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. Please call PGICA 941-637-1655 to register for each session.

  1. Are You Prepared with a Will or Trust? March 2, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
    Ever wonder which estate planning tool is best for you?  Learn a Trust Officer’s perspective how a good will or a well-crafted trust may be best for certain estate and family situations. We will discuss what shapes your estate plan goals and how best to have your wishes carried out.

  2. Are You Prepared for Family Controlling Your Finances? March 9, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
    Many people name a family member in their will to serve as personal representative or executor, Power of Attorney, or administrator of their trust. Are you able to choose one who is capable of making financial decisions for you as you would? Does distance and skill set limit your family member’s ability to handle the role? We’ll discuss the pros and cons of a friend or relative accessing your bank accounts, IRA assets, investment accounts, insurance policies, and safe deposit boxes, from the viewpoint of an experienced Trust Officer. 

  3. Are You Prepared to Handle Finances Alone? March 16, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
    Can a survivor access assets and manage financial affairs? Are they comfortable making investment decisions? Is there enough income for the survivor to maintain their lifestyle? Join us for a Trust Officer’s perspective on how to address these important questions.

  4. Are You Prepared for Disability or Incapacitation? March 23, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
    Learn the responsibilities of your Power of Attorney as defined in your documents and when they become activated. Have you named people you can trust with your financial affairs? Do they have the skills needed to carry out these responsibilities? These and other issues will be addressed by an experienced Trust Officer to ensure that your care and affairs will be handled according to your wishes.

Art, Oil Painting:

Monday, March 12, 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., (second class March 19, 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.

Mosaic Bird Feeder/Bird Bath:

Monday, March 26, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Create your own one-of-a-kind ceramic mosaic on a large terra cotta saucer, hung by a chain. This will hold water or birdseed and can be hung from a tree or shepherd’s hook, a beautiful, unique item for any garden. Cost of $35 includes all materials and instruction. Class size is six to fifteen students. Registration required by March 19.

March Basketweaving ClassMarch Basketweaving Class:

Tuesdays, March 6, 13, & 20, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. LARGE POCKET BASKET. Just a reminder for those that have registered for the March basketweaving class. The $65 class fee includes all weaving materials necessary to complete the basket and should be paid before the first day of class. You will not be able to attend the class if the fee has not been paid. Refer any questions to the instructor, Teresa Comeaux, (941) 347-7640 or

Photography Composition in NaturePhotography Composition in Nature:

Tuesday, March 13, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Do you love to take pictures but don’t have the advanced equipment? Would you like to capture an image in the natural world that just “wows” you? Join award winning nature photographer Starr Zachritz as she teaches you how to get that perfect shot (this is not a technical class). Bring your camera or just your cell phone. This class meets at Punta Gorda History Park, 501 Shreve Street. Cost is $25. Register at PGICA office.

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.

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 or

Hula and Polynesian Dance WorkoutHula and Polynesian Dance Workout:

Thursdays, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Come and try it for free. Research shows that dance has many health benefits. It helps you to:  boost memory, improve flexibility, reduce stress, diminish depression, help your heart, lose weight, balance better, increase energy and make friends. It’s low impact and fun! If you have a pareo, bring it along. Cost is $10 and the first class is free. Contact instructor, Nancy Schreiber, with your questions or 920-858-4030.

Essentrics Strengthing and Toning:

Thursdays, 10:00a.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 email: 

Essentrics Gentale 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 e-mail

Dao Yin Sheng Gong:

Wednesdays,10:00 to 11:00 a.m. 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. Contact instructor Richard Curtis 407-923-9310 or

Tai Chi/Qigong:

Fridays, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. The most basic and first ever tai chi form, "13 Postures" will continue through early 2018. This class is the very beginning of a tai chi practice and will lead to a more harmonious life and better health overall. Originally, the philosophy for this class was taken from Lao Tzu's "Dao Te Ching." The class remains open, no special clothing is needed, and no prior experience is required. Each class is $12, and students drop in, drop out as they wish. Registration not required.

Please note: BIGU (Traditional Chinese Water fasting for better health) and Guo Lin qigong targeting cancer and many other debilitating illnesses) both remain viable as possible classes. These classes will be scheduled based upon interest in the local community.

Tai Chi Single Fan FormTai Chi Single Fan Form:

This class will run for 10 weeks on Mondays starting January 29, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. This form is for everyone, men and women. It is designed to improve your balance, increase brain activity, and build strength. It is a fun way to relieve stress. 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 $20 cost of the fans. It is limited to ten students. Sign up at PGICA 941-637-1655. Contact Mary Cel Curtis at or through our website if you have questions.


Thursdays, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. This class is taught by Linda Anderson, Yoga Alliance Registered Teacher. 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

Zumba FiestaZumba 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 email