Educational Opportunities

Carol Duncan


September, 2018

All classes offered at the Punta Gorda Civic Isles Association are open to the general public.

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. 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: "5 African Countries, A 7 Year Adventure in 60 Minutes"

5 African Countries

Tuesday, November 6, 7:00 p.m.
Don & Teresa Sabatini worked and lived in Lagos, Nigeria, Africa. While on the African Continent for 7 years, they ventured out and explored many African countries and will be sharing their experiences (both good and bad). Come and here about the many diverse cultures and exciting and unique stories from Don & Teresa.

Sandwich Seminars:

Tuesday, October 16, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
See the flyer in the October Commentator for this month’s topic. Sandwich Seminar is open to the public and sponsored by Bayfront Healthcare Punta Gorda which provides lunch at no cost to attendees. You must pre-register by calling PGICA at 941-637-1655.

Master Gardener _ Landscape Palms of Southwest Florida

Tuesday, October 16, 2:00 p.m.
Palms, palms, everywhere there are palms…but what makes one better than another? Like people, palms come in many sizes. Some are easy-going and adapt beautifully to local growing conditions. Some are self-pruners; some are not. It helps to know about water needs, salt tolerance, and the ability to withstand cold. Our gardening year gives us extremes of temperature and rainfall, and these stalwarts of the South Florida landscape world are a significant investment, so it is important to choose the right one. All of us expect our palms to enhance our curb appeal and look great for a long time. Master Gardener Donna Worthley’s presentation will help answer questions about choosing and planting landscape palms. There are many options. She will walk us through several palms that do particularly well in the local landscape, covering various aspects of palm growth including overall size, water and fertilizer needs, salt and cold tolerance. Donna knows palms and their needs, so don’t miss this opportunity to learn something new and to have your palm questions answered. Following her talk, we will offer a brief update on timely topics to be aware of in the garden. If something questionable is going on in your landscape, take a photo with your phone for us to examine. If a pest needs identifying, remember to bring it in a sealed plastic bag; we prefer not to share some things. Master Gardener Plant Clinics are free and open to the public. For further information contact Nancy Palmer at 941-286-6111 or

Art, Oil Painting:

Monday, October 8, 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., (second class October 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 $60 fee includes a canvas and all materials needed to complete the painting. Class size is limited and fills fast 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.

Homestead Basket

October Basketweaving Class: Homestead Basket

Tuesdays, October 2, 9, and 16 - 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 
Advanced Beginner, pre-requisite: One beginner class or previous basket weaving experience. 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. Class size is limited to six students. Register NLT close of business September 24. Refer any questions to the instructor, Teresa Comeaux, 941-347-7640 or

Peace River Theatre Project:

Thursdays, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., October 4 through November 8.
Peace River Theatre ProjectLOVE THEATRE? In this class series, we will explore some favorite plays as well as brand new scripts; play reading, scene study, character development, importance of production and literary values. Whether you are experienced on stage, backstage or just really interested in theatre, this is for you. Leader: Sherry Campbell, experienced producer, director and actor in the Boston area. Fee for this 6-week program is $80 donation which will go to PGICA fund for improvements for A/V and theatrical lighting. To register, call PGICA 941-627-1655. For questions about the program, call Sherry, 617-827-0714 or

Unlock Your Inner Artist:

Beginning October 4, every Thursday - 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. or 1:30 -3:30 p.m.
Award winning instructor, muralist and decorative artist, Julieta de Palacios, presents weekly classes to instruct aspiring artists in the elements and principles of the artistic language of visual communication with the intention of facilitating progress at their own pace and from whatever level of skill and knowledge they bring. $60 per session.

The Art of the Written Word:

Wednesdays, 4:30 to 6:00 p.m., October 18 to November 19.

Some people have a book in them and some harbor a comic book. Free your inner writer with a series of classes that deconstruct the writing process and encourages group critiques. James Abraham, a book editor and publisher, will offer a series of five ninety-minute classes on writing. The courses are stand-alone or can be taken as a group. Sessions include plot and pacing, character development, grammar and dialogue, writing about conflict and romance and marketing your book. Cost is $20 per session or $90 for the series of five classes. Register at PGICA 941-627-1655.

Medicare 101

Just in time for the Medicare “Annual Enrollment Period” Blitz
(Oct. 15 to Dec. 7)


  • Thursday, October 11, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. in Room 1, or
  • Wednesday, October 17, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. in Room 1, or
  • Tuesday, October 23, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. in Rooms 4&5.

Three identical “Medicare 101” seminars will be conducted at PGICA on three separate evenings. This is an educational event, not a marketing or sales event. It has been particularly helpful as a primer for those who are approaching their Medicare initial enrollment in the next twelve months, and as a review for existing enrollees about options and changes during the Annual Enrollment Period. First, Medicare Parts ABC&D will be reviewed, in addition to the ten Medigap or Medicare Supplement Plan options available in Florida. Then we’ll discuss the differences and trade-offs between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans, and finally, why-when-how to consider Plan changes. There is no seminar fee, but seating is limited by room size, so if possible please inform the PGICA office at 941-637-1655 if you plan to attend. Medicare 101 will be conducted by Ralph Temple, who can be contacted at 941-286-6047 for more information.

Let's Go Fishing:

Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. for six weeks beginning on Wednesday October 24 to November 28. 
An introductory course in Florida fishing. 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 handouts 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 Capt. Ralph Allen who might even reveal the locations of a few local hot spots! 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.

Estate Planning & Asset Management

Learning best practices by a corporate trust officer. A series of seminars presented by Christine A. Hause, Vice President, Charlotte State Bank & Trust, Trust and Investment Management Services. These are 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. Will vs. Trust - Friday, October 5, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
    Ever wonder which plan is best for you? Want to know what the pros & cons of each is? This seminar will delve into the details of each document and how they are implemented, administered, and settled. 
  2. The Differences between Corporate and Individual Trustees -Friday, October 26, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
    Learn what knowledge and experience is beneficial for each type of trustee. Calculate the cost involved with each and how best to structure your plan.

  3. Are You Prepared to Handle Finances Alone?  Friday, November 2, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
    Can a survivor access assets and manage your financial affairs? Are they comfortable making investment decisions? Is there enough income and credit for the survivor to maintain their same lifestyle? Join us as we share our expertise with surviving spouses to answer those questions.
  4. How Investment Costs and Risks are Calculated. Friday, November 9, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
    Consider all the elements that make up your “all-in costs”, i.e. taxes, cash drag, fees and trade costs for investing.  Analyze the risks (market, interest rate, liquidation, credit, concentration and horizon) each asset carries in the portfolio.
  5. Are You Prepared for Changes in Your Living and Care Expenses? Friday, November 16, 10:00-11:00 a.m. Consider what changes you may have to make to your assets if you need in-home health care, assisted living or nursing home care. What costs would you incur? Is there sufficient liquidity in your portfolio to cover them? What if the markets are down? How would that affect your options? We will explore how to select the best non-annuity investments to help alleviate a potential loss of capital.

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, from 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

Essentrics® Full Body Workouts:

Essentrics® is the technique seen on the PBS show “Classical Stretch”, taught by former ballerina, Miranda Esmonde White. The fundamental principal of this program is to elongate the muscles, challenging them to become stronger without the use of weights. These workouts will tone and shape your body, create long lean muscles and increase mobility, energy, flexibility and balance. Perfect for men and women of all fitness levels.  Certified instructor, Elissa Rioux is offering 3 different Essentrics® workouts this season.  If you have any questions, please contact Elissa at 207-967-5393 or email:

  • Essentrics® BARRE: Mondays 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. focusing on shoulder mobility, strengthening the core and liberating the hips and legs. We will use the chair as a barre to work our hips and legs gently but deeply while continuing our standing full body workout. 

  • Essentrics® TONING AND STRENGTHENING:  Wednesdays 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. This workout rapidly changes the shape of your body through a combination of strengthening, stretching and toning exercises standing and on the floor.  The technique develops lean, strong and flexible muscles with immediate changes to your posture.

  • Essentrics® GENTLE STRETCH:  Thursdays 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. This is a slow-paced and gentle workout that will help to release tight muscles, rebalance joints and restore the entire body.  Regain your flexibility and mobility while slowly building strength. This class is for people who are new to the technique or would like a relaxed pace exercise routine.  If you haven’t exercised in a while this is a great place to begin again.

Line Dancing Classes:

Beginning November 6, weekly, Tuesdays 9:45-10:45 a.m.
Love to dance but don’t always have a partner? Try line dancing. No partner needed. It’s a fun way to get your exercise, and a great way to meet people. Written step instructions will be included as the classes progress to include more dances. Cost is $10 per class. Contact Joanne for more information at 941-875-3643 or


Weekly, Wednesdays, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
A Tabata class is a workout protocol that has fitness and weight-loss benefits using different combinations of exercises for 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest in a four minute segment. There are eight segments with warm up/cool down in a class period. This fun, exciting class is for everyone as modifications can be given for each exercise. Level 1 beginner class will get you motivated and moving to great music. Melodye Down, “Off the Couch Fitness” offers this new and different way to get a workout. Try it out! Bring water, mat and a towel. Cost is $10 per class.

Balance Thru Qigong:

Weekly, Wednesdays, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
This class will improve mind and body balance as well as muscle and Qi strength with key QiGong moves, meditation and fun balance steps. It is an open class, no need to register, just come and enjoy. No experience needed. Wear comfortable clothes and bring water. Cost is $10. Contact Richard Curtis at for more information.

Tai Chi Double Fan Form Part 3:

(It is not necessary to know Parts 1 & 2).

This class will run for 6 Mondays, October 22 through November 26, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
The purpose of the Double Fan Form:

  1. to enhance the brain action with Yin Yang movements,
  2. improve balance and focus,
  3. increase self-esteem,
  4. have fun.

Tai Chi is a martial art form that is known as meditation in motion. Slow movements help the practitioner to increase muscle and joint health, blood circulation, focus, and balance. It is used especially for the more senior person to improve and maintain good health. Increasingly more Seniors are practicing Tai Chi because it is easy and fun. The Double Fan form is particularly challenging and satisfying. The focus is on building coordination using the Yin Yang principles. The form that is being offered at PGICA this November is similar to dancing and is designed for women only. It is not necessary to have any Tai Chi experience, only a desire to have fun and improve balance and health. The cost is $15 per class or $75 for 6 weeks plus the cost of the fans. Maximum 10 students, minimum 3. Contact Mary Cel Curtis at or through our website


Beginning October 4, Thursdays, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
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 at 941-575-3500 or

Zumba Fiesta

Zumba 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 at