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Educational Opportunities

Carol Duncan


January, 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. 

BEYOND PGI: Happy New Year! There will be no program on January 2 so that you might “wind down” from the holidays.

SANDWICH SEMINAR: Let’s Talk About Knee and Hip Pain
Tuesday, January 16, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
You are not alone on your journey to pain-free living. Have your questions answered one-on-one for all your hip and knee ailments. The seminar presented by Dr. Mark Davis, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon is designed to educate patients on their options, both surgical and non-surgical.
RSVP is required for this free lunch provided by Bayfront Health.
Call 941-637-1655 to register.

ROBOTICS DEMONSTRATION:Tuesday, January 23, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Tarpon Robotics Four championship and award-winning robotics teams from Charlotte High School will demonstrate their entries in the FIRST TECH CHALLENGE robotics competition. These students are competing for a place in the national championships. Come and support the Punta Gorda students.

Monday, January 8, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., (second class January 15, 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.

Let's Go Fishing

Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
for six weeks beginning on Wednesday January 10

An introductory course in Florida Fishing is being offered at the PGI Civic Association on Shreve Street in Punta Gorda. Topics to be covered include fishing techniques, tackle selection, rigging, knot tying, lures, baits, cast nets, fish identification, tides, and fishing regulations for fishing in fresh and salt waters of Southwest Florida. Rods, reels, lures, nets and other fishing equipment will be demonstrated during the class and there will be a number of useful hand-outs issued to students. The class is geared towards beginning anglers, but more experienced fishermen will pick up helpful tips as well. The instructor is long time local fishing guide Captain Ralph Allen who might even reveal the locations of a few local hotspots!  The course is open to all members of the public. The cost for the class is $45 and advance registration is recommended by calling 941-637-1655.

Mondays, January 8 through February 26, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Back by popular demand! We are looking for members to have some musical fun and join the PGICA choir. This is a new pop, rock, gospel and country choir concept backed by top classical orchestral arrangements in a fun, relaxed social setting. Group singing has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and relieve anxiety. So if you like to sing and can carry a tune, please join us. Cahal will provide practice CD's, so you don't have to read music, nor will there be auditions. Just come along, and if you like it, join us. There will be eight rehearsals at the Civic Association and a concert March 4 at 7 p.m. Cost is $80 which includes practice CD’s and sheet music. Instructor is Cahal Dunne, composer, pianist, comedian, story teller and television personality. Check out the website Register at the PGICA office or call 941-637-1655.

Large Fruit Basket

Tuesdays, January 9, 16, 23, 9 a.m. to Noon.
Pre-requisite: One beginner basket weaving class or prior basket weaving experience.
Learn to weave a large fruit basket. This class will consist of three, 3-hour sessions. This continuous weave basket will be woven around a wood base. New techniques will be taught while previous skills will be reinforced. The $70 class fee includes all weaving materials necessary to complete the basket. Class size is limited to six students. Register by close of business January 3. Refer any questions to the instructor, Teresa Comeaux, 941-347-7640 or

Basic Round Spoked Basket

Tuesdays, February 6, 13, 20, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
Level:  Beginner, Pre-requisite:  None.
Learn to weave a simple round basket. This class is for real beginners with no prior knowledge of basket weaving. It will give the student basic weaving techniques to be able to make a variety of baskets. The $70 class fee includes all weaving materials necessary to complete the basket. Class size is limited to six students. Register by January 31. Refer any questions to the instructor, Teresa Comeaux, 941-347-7640 or

Thursday, January 18, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Come and learn to create a necklace or bracelet using your choice of a variety of stones, crystals, metals, and/or other beads. Learn how to design using simple techniques and tools. If you have an outfit that needs a jewelry item, wear it or bring it along and match your necklace or bracelet to your outfit. Or make a holiday gift for someone special. All materials and tools for creating will be provided. Cindy Wheeler instructs this fun class. Cost is $30. Advance registration at least 2 days prior to class is required and payment is requested when registering. Minimum of five students. Call PGICA 941-637-1655 to register.

Mah Jongg 101Tuesday and Thursday mornings, February 6 to February 22, 9:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Learn Mah Jongg from experienced instructor, Gloria Walker, in 6 easy lessons, first two classes are mandatory attendance. Class size is limited so sign up early as this popular class fills up fast. $35 (couples $60). SIGN UP at the PGICA desk. You will receive a flyer with all the information on this class. If you have questions, contact Gloria at 941-769-4764.

Monday evenings, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. for 8 weeks, January 8 to February 26.
This class is an introduction to the guitar and will apply to both acoustic and electric. Students will learn the basic chords and common rhythm patterns and use them to play popular songs. Each student should bring his or her own guitar, a music stand is optional but helpful. For those without a guitar, a limited number of loaner guitars are available which students can take home for the entire duration of the course at no charge. The cost is $120 with a minimum of 4 students required for a class. Registration and payment accepted at the PGICA office or by phone, 941-637-1655. Instructor is Billy Folchi.

Mondays, 4:30 to 6 p.m. for 6 weeks, January 8 to February 12.
In this class students will begin learning to speak French, including basic grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. The focus will be on speaking and conversing and lessons will be partly geared towards tourism and how to "jibe" with the French when traveling in their country. Instructor Billy Folchi obtained a university minor in French and went on to live in different areas of France for over 20 years. In this course he shares his appreciation and understanding of the French and their language and offers students his insider's perspective, keeping in mind that the language learned from the textbook is not always identical to what is commonly spoken in the country itself. This is a 6-week course, January 8 to February 12. The cost is $60 with a minimum of 5 students required for a class.  Registration and payment accepted at the PGICA office or by phone, 941-637-1655.

Thursday, February 22, 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Discover Yourself in Writing
Have you always wanted to write? Do you love to write? Are there words in you waiting to come out if only you could get started? Are you in need of healing? If these questions intrigue you, you will love this is the workshop. Find connection, self-expression, encouragement, and inspiration in this facilitator-led writing circle. Pam Temple, singer-songwriter with award-winning Americana music group, Wild Carrot, and certified facilitator with Women Writing for Change®, will lead this workshop using WWf(a)C practices that provide a safe and confidential setting, which honors each other’s words and enriches participants’ lives. $30. Class size limited to 18 students. Call PGICA 941-637-1655 to register.

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.

Thursday, January 18, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
. DIY Essential Oils Post-Holidays Workshop
Looking for a way to unwind and lose the stress after the holidays? Want to do something that’s fun and all about YOU? Come and join us for a DIY Post-Holidays Workshop using doTERRA Essential Oils!!  We’ll make four different personal items that you’ll be sure to love, that smell great and you’ll have a great time preparing!! All materials included, you select from a wide variety of doTERRA Essential Oils to create the perfect scent for each item. Dotti Vaivoda and Debbie Jones will be your instructors for this fun workshop.  Cost: $25. Advance registration at least two days prior to class is required and payment is requested when registering. Call PGICA 941-637-1655 to register.

Health Care Crisis

THE AMERICAN HEALTH CARE CRISIS: WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?  Thursday, January 18, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Why does health care cost so much? How can insurance premium increases be slowed or reversed? Where is American medicine heading? Dr. Strube shares his vision of our future health care system based on the knowledge acquired as a physician, insurance executive, quality consultant and patient during the past 50 years. No charge.

Lew Bennett, CFP, partner of Landsberg Bennett Private Wealth Management, will present the following four educational programs designed to help empower women with financial decisions. These are not sales presentations and no product-specific investments will be discussed:

  • Introduction To Stocks & Bonds: January 11, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. 
    What are the differences between these two types of investments? We look at the difference between stocks and bonds on the most fundamental level.
  • Introduction To Mutual Funds & Exchange Traded Funds (ETF's): January 25, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. We will review the different types of Mutual Funds (Open ended vs Closed Ended Funds) and the various Fund Styles. We will also look at some common Exchange Traded Funds, their expenses and liquidity.
  • Introduction To Annuities: February 8, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
    What is an Annuity? Variable, Fixed, and Indexed Annuities defined. We will discuss the different types of Annuities, their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Identity Theft: February 22, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
    Help defend yourself against identity theft—We’ll discuss the warning signs of financial fraud, how vulnerable you are to identity theft and what you should do if it happens to you. Join us for a free seminar, Avoiding identity theft and financial fraud.

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

Thursdays, 10:00 a.m.
Essentrics Strenthening & ToningThis 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 e-mail:
Never tried ESSENTRICS? Come try a free first class! (Mention this at sign up)

ESSENTRICS GENTLE 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 Never tried ESSENTRICS? Come try a free first class! (Mention this at sign up)

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

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 Form

This class will run for 10 weeks on Mondays starting January 29, 10:00-11:00 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 10 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

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 carlap29@hotmail.

Crafting with Mary FrancisCRAFTING WITH MARY FRANCIS
Thursday, January 18, 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. or Thursday, January 25, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Join Mary Frances Adair and make three original items: a booklet holding four 3 x 5 note cards, a unique greeting card and a wine bottle 'collar'. The class fee of $20 includes all materials and instruction. Register 3 days ahead by calling PGICA, 941-637-1655. Payment due at registration.