Today’s destination for another Lights of the Lakes show was Harbour Village in Greendale, WI. This large senior community includes independent living, assisted living, and memory care. About 25 seniors attended today’s program.
6/6 – Vagabond Ski and Social Club
In a welcome change from a long string of Lights of the Lakes programs presented to historical societies and senior communities, tonight’s show was delivered to the Vagabond Ski and Social Club of Milwaukee as a “Roundtable Talk.”
Prior to the program, the club publicized the show on their web site as follows:
The venue was the Knights of Columbus hall in West Allis, WI.
Tonight’s program drew an all-time-high audience of at least 180 people, a 50% increase over my previous all-time-high turnout of 120. What a thrilling surprise!
6/11 – Newcastle Place, Mequon
Tonight’s show was actually the second performance of Lights of the Lakes at Newcastle Place, a large senior community in Mequon. I was invited back after a previous program four years ago. Same venue, different audience.
6/12 – Muskego Public Library (Muskego)
On a summery June afternoon, I headed to the southwest Milwaukee suburb of Muskego, WI to present Lights of the Lakes for the third time this month. Prior to the show, the Friends of the Muskego Library prepared and published the flyer below to promote the show.
6/20 – Pitch’s Express (McKinley Marina, Milwaukee)
The final Lights of the Lakes program in June was presented at Pitch’s Express, the snack bar located inside the Roundhouse at McKinley Marina in Milwaukee. The Roundhouse is a convenience/ship’s store and also serves as the nerve center of a busy commercial marina serving Lake Michigan mariners. It was a great location for a lighthouse show!
Today’s Lights of the Lakes program was sponsored by the Ovation Jewish Home of Milwaukee, as part of their monthly Memory Cafe series.
Memory Cafes are places where persons with MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment), early-stage Alzheimer’s, or a related dementia can go with their care partners to socialize and have fun with other people going through similar things. There is no real agenda or stated purpose except to enjoy each other’s company and in this case, enjoy some entertainment. Cafes provide a time where participants do not need to focus on their cognitive impairment, but have a great time connecting with each other as a family or creating new friendships.
Today’s audience was comprised of about ten seniors. The physical equipment setup to deliver the show was a little unusual, but did not detract from the enjoyment of the participants.
5/2 – Oak Park Place (Wauwatosa)
My first presentation of Lights of the Lakes this month took place at Oak Park Place, a large senior community in Wauwatosa, WI. The show was widely promoted by the professionally-produced flyer below. About 60 seniors attended.
5/14 – Menomonee Falls Library
The second show in May will be a free public presentation at 7:00 pm on Monday, May 14th at the Menomonee Falls Library, W156 N8436 Pilgrim Rd, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051. All are welcome!
Prior to the show, the library prepared the following notice and placed it on their web site.
In anticipation of the event, the library set up a display of lighthouse books in the lobby.
Lights of the Lakes was presented in one of the library’s large meeting rooms, which featured a built-in projector and large screen. Big screens really add impact to the photography in the show!
The meeting room featured a pair of ceiling-mounted screens near the back of the room. I’ve never experienced a setup like this in all my years of doing the show. Kudos to the Menomonee Falls Library for adding these extra screens!
As I was leaving the library after dark, I decided to take a photo of the library entrance at night. I was pleased at how this shot turned out!
5/25 – Oak Park Place (Menasha)
Today’s show was the third presentation of Lights of the Lakes at an Oak Park Place senior community. It followed an April 17th show in Green Bay and the May 2nd show in Wauwatosa. About 65 seniors attended today’s program.
Thus concludes another month in the 28-year run of Lights of the Lakes. The following shows are scheduled for next month:
- 6/6 – Vagabond Ski & Social Club (Milwaukee)
- 6/11 – Newcastle Place (Mequon)
- 6/12 – Muskego Public Library (Muskego)
- 6/20 – Ovation Jewish Home (Milwaukee)
Stop by again for the latest news!
4/6 – Ovation Jewish Home (R&R Club) – Milwaukee
The show went well. The audience didn’t come in until right around 10:30, and took their seats the Helen Bader executive conference room. The group was a mix of normal-looking and acting folks, and several with obvious health issues. Pretty typical for a senior care facility. What surprised me was the fact that there were three or four men in the audience, and they were all alert and seemed to be very interested in the program. I got a lot of compliments afterwards.
There was one unexpected disaster during the program. My foot bumped the surge protector/power strip under the table, turned it over, and shut it off. That killed the projector and sound system, which were plugged into that unit. I had to restart the projector and lost a couple minutes during the show as a result of this mishap.
As I was packing up my gear to go home, a vicious wind cutting into me, it was snowing heavy flurries. No accumulation, but snow twice in the same week in April tests one’s patience. Some mild weather would certainly be welcome!
4/10 – Dickson Hollow (Menomonee Falls)
I left at 1:00 pm today, headed for Dickson Hollow to do today’s Lights of the Lakes show. It took me almost exactly my estimated amount of time to get there: 45 minutes. I got there right on time and quickly found the room where the show would take place. It was the back half of a large room also used as a chapel and church on weekends. Since this was a Presbyterian Home facility, that makes sense. The altar was at the opposite end of the room from where I presented.
I was able to use the house projector via an HDMI cable connection direct from my MacBook. There was a new type of projector I’d never seen before. It stuck out only a couple of feet from the wall above the screen, and projected down onto the screen.
4/12 – ElderCare Focus Group (New Berlin)
Today found me at the New Berlin Public Library at 9:00 am to set up for the ElderCare Focus Group Lights of the Lakes show. I was second presenter on their agenda. The first speaker was a woman who spoke on Wisconsin tourism and things to do and places to go to enjoy Wisconsin’s many attractions.
The morning commute was a hassle. As usual, there was an accident on I-43 which stopped southbound traffic at Mequon Road. The crash occurred just south of Brown Deer Road. In addition to that mess, there were at least three other places where the traffic flow came to a halt on I-43 and I-94. I profoundly hate driving the Milwaukee area freeway system at rush hour.
The show in New Berlin was a success. I didn’t do the Edmund Fitzgerald segment due to time restrictions, but everything else went well. They had a great ceiling-mounted projector that threw a 12-foot-wide image on the screen—wonderful! About 75 seniors saw today’s show.
On my way home, I went back to Dickson Hollow to get the location pictures I missed when I was there on Tuesday. I also stopped by Menomonee Place, the site of tomorrow’s show. I wanted to find the location, as well as take pictures of it, in case the weather is lousy tomorrow.
4/13 – Menomonee Place (Menomonee Falls)
Well, I’ve arrived at the last day of this busy week. This morning I head out to do my third and final show of the week, at Menomonee Place in Menomonee Falls. As mentioned yesterday, I scouted this place the day before, in order to find it and photograph it in good weather. Next week will bring even more travel and more shows during this busy season for Lights of the Lakes.
4/17 – Oak Park Place (Green Bay)
4:00 pm – Days Inn & Suites, Green Bay. I left early enough this afternoon to get here with time to spare before tonight’s Lights of the Lakes show at Oak Park Place on the east side of Green Bay. I’m closer to downtown, about five miles away. I decided to spend the night here after the show, in order to avoid a long drive home late at night.
This place really got dumped on over the weekend. I took a wrong turn getting to the motel and Google Maps directed me to take a side street to get back on track. That road was the pits: poorly plowed; rutted; narrowed by cars parked along both sides. At least the main roads are OK, but in poor shape. It’s obvious that a lot of work is needed, at least on Mason Street, which is a main east-west thoroughfare in Green Bay.
Later – The show was a success. Big crowd: about 70 people. The best “refreshments” I’ve ever seen a host provide: sandwiches, chips, lighthouse-decorated cookies, soda, beer, wine, and coffee. Amazing spread! I deliberately skipped dinner, as I often skip meals before I speak. This was another of those show-off events intended to draw potential residents to the facility. My host, Tonya Slack, offered facility tours after my show.
On the way back to the motel, I heard on the radio that Barbara Bush died today at age 92. She was married to George Bush (41) with whom she held the record for the longest marriage of an American president: 72 years. Incredible first lady.
4/19 – Menasha Historical Society (Menasha)
The next Lights of the Lakes show took place at the Menasha Public Library, hosted by the Menasha Historical Society. 47 people enjoyed tonight’s show. Afterwards, Nicholas Jevne, MHS president, said:
Thanks for your fantastic presentation of the lighthouses on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. The Library staff, attendees and the Menasha Historical Society were very enthusiastic in telling me how informative your program was. The Library informed me specifically that they would like to co-host future programs with us again.
4/19 – Oakridge Gardens (Menasha)
The final Lights of the Lakes show in April took place on the 19th at Oakridge Gardens Rehabilitation and Memory Care in Menasha. This was a small facility, which yielded an audience of about 15 seniors.
On Thursday, March 29, 2018 a sequel presentation of Lights of the Lakes was presented at Heritage Elm Grove. The popularity of last year’s presentation led to a repeat booking. Around 30 residents and guests enjoyed today’s show.
The show was promoted to residents by the flyer shown below.
St. Paul Elder Services in Kaukauna, WI was the host for two Lights of the Lakes shows on March 26, 2018. The first program was presented in the morning to an audience of about 15 residents and guests at the Hoffmann Memory Care Resource Center (above).
The second program was presented in the audience to an audience of about 30 residents at the St. Paul Home (above).
ProHealth Care Regency Senior Communities is a prominent chain of retirement residences located in the western suburbs of Milwaukee. It was my pleasure to present Lights of the Lakes three times this week at the Muskego, Brookfield, and New Berlin locations. The shows were all open to the public.
On Tuesday, 3/20/18, Lights of the Lakes was presented in The Lodge at Regency Muskego. An audience of 37 seniors and guests from the Muskego area attended today’s show.
On Thursday, 3/22/18, Lights of the Lakes was presented at Regency Brookfield. An audience of 27 senior residents enjoyed today’s show.
Regency New Berlin
On Friday, 3/23/18, the final Lights of the Lakes show of the week was presented at Regency New Berling. Again, an audience of 27 senior residents enjoyed today’s show.
What do Lights of the Lakes sponsors think of the program? Here’s the latest endorsement from a satisfied client:
“On February 7th, the Hales Corners Historical Society presented a program, “Lights of the Lakes,” by Phillip Block, featuring lighthouses on Lakes Superior and Michigan. Our Society schedules four programs annually with a focus on Wisconsin history. With only a few exceptions, our speakers have provided photos, illustrations, maps, etc. using laptops with PowerPoint technology.
Mr. Block was the first to incorporate music and the sounds of waves lapping at the shores and even the foghorns of ships and lighthouses themselves. Phil’s knowledge of the subject was incredible. A majority of the photos used in the program were taken by Phil on location, and many of these lighthouses are difficult to reach. His research allowed him to show previous photos of these locations for comparison purposes. In addition, Phil’s narration provided details on lighthouse construction and their technology as well as insights into the various industries that depended on the lighthouses to help them ship their products safely across the Great Lakes.
Our audience was transfixed, and afterwards, asked more questions than any program before. On behalf of our Society, I can most assuredly recommend “Lights of the Lakes” as a HIT-storical program for any organization.”
1/11 – Evergreen Retirement Community (OshKosh)
On a very unusual weather day for January in Wisconsin, I headed out to Oshkosh to do the first Lights of the Lakes show of 2018. It was drizzling when I left Port Washington, but by the time I was north of Fond du Lac, a steady rain had set in under a dark, ominous sky. It was almost 50º, but that warmth wasn’t going to last. By the time I got ready to drive home, the temps had dropped to near-freezing, and the rain had turned to sleet. Thankfully, the roads weren’t icing up, although the salt trucks were out. I got behind two of them on my way home. I’m very grateful that I made it home safely, as hazardous driving conditions are what I least like about winter travel.
About 30 Evergreen residents enjoyed today’s show. They were a responsive and appreciative audience, which I always appreciate!
1/16 – Harwood Place (Wauwatosa)
Originally scheduled to take place in October, 2017; rescheduled for December, 2017, and rescheduled again for January, 2018, I finally got to present Lights of the Lakes at Harwood Place, a large senior community in Wauwatosa, WI. As you can see in the above photo, we were back to normal winter weather following last weeks warm spell. Driving to this destination was uneventful, and the temperatures were relatively mild, which made for an enjoyable trip.
Around 45 seniors enjoyed today’s presentation of Lights of the Lakes. They were engaged with the program, asked lots of questions afterward, and were a pleasure to work with.
1/31 – South Shore Yacht Club (Milwaukee)
January ended with a return trip to South Shore Yacht Club. This was the fourth time I’ve been invited to present Lights of the Lakes to SSYC members. Previous shows were presented in 1992, 1996, and 2014. When I booked the show, I was afraid that some of the older members would object to repetitive presentations of the show. However, club membership changes, and so does Lights of the Lakes. The show is continually refined, updated, and polished as opportunities present themselves for me to do so.
The largest audience so far this year enjoyed the show: 65 people. Because they were all boaters, many of them had seen various lighthouses in the show during their boating travels. Boat and yacht clubs make great audiences for Lights of the Lakes, and this was no exception. They loved the show, and I loved presenting to such an appreciative audience!
A new page has been added under the ABOUT menu: Past Sponsors. The page lists over one hundred past sponsors of Lights of the Lakes programs, organized into categories.