The Rebeca Sosa Theater at the Miami Springs Community Center offered into quite a bevy of activity on Monday morning, Dec. 10.
Thanks to the 11th-hour efforts of Miami Springs Senior Center director Karen Rosson and City of Miami Springs officials, including Public Information Specialist Carol Foster and City Manager Ron Gorland, the AT&T Senior Tech Rally was held at the facility.
Co-sponsored by the city and Alliance for Aging, Inc., this informative event was available for all senior citizens and served as a full day of interactive sessions that have been developed to immerse seniors in the latest means of mobile technology. The best part was that, because of the sponorship, the event was absolutely free. And judging by the crowded theater and full tables on Monday morning, many seniors took advantage of the opportunity.
Foster showed the reservation list off that had already reached 73 with six “walk-ins,” and that number likely only grew since it was late morning and the event was supposed to run until mid-afternoon.
“Apparently, there was a last-second cancellation with another location a few weeks ago and Karen Rosson did a great job of making a few phone calls and checking into seeing if we would be able to host the event,” said Gorland. “There were still a lot of logistics to work out, including the availability of the theater to hold the event and making sure the Wi-Fi was sufficient and everything worked out.”
“To be honest, I’m not exactly sure how they came to contact us but we were contacted by one of their representatives late on a Friday afternoon (Nov. 30) about a last-minute opening but that we would have to act quickly,” said Rosson. “It really sounded like an exciting opportunity, so I contacted city officials to see if we could put something together quickly.”
Gorland and company had little time. Event organizers needed to know by the following Monday (Dec. 3) whether the city would be able to accommodate them.
“Just a great job of everybody working together to make it happen,” said Rosson. “I was really excited when it was set up and even more excited today seeing what a huge turnout we’ve gotten. As it turned out, Miami Springs was the only location in Miami-Dade County to host the event. I think by the end of the day I’ll have quite a few seniors teaching me a few things about hi-tech.”
The “AT&T Reconnect Tour” is an educational program developed in alliance with Senior TechRALLY, an organization devoted to the empowerment of seniors through technology.
“What we’re basically trying to do here is bridge the gap between the seniors and the new age of technology,” said Jenny LeBrecht, the field manager for Senior TechRALLY and the architect of Monday morning’s setup in the Sosa Theater. “What can be so fundamentally sound these days for a lot of the younger people, including text messaging and sending photos through iPhones and whatnot, can be completely foreign to them because they simply did not grow up in that age. Some don’t even know where the power button is to an iPhone, but we set up different tables with a technician at each table and by the time they walk out of there, they’re good to go.”
“Just terrific, and it’s been a big help,” said Bill Greenhaw. “I think this is great that the city can provide us with something like this and I enjoy and appreciate everything the Senior Center does for us.”
LeBrecht said Senior TechRALLY, based out of Norcross, Ga., for lack of a better term is a traveling road show.
“We’ve been on the road since September, will be in Boca Raton tomorrow and we have two more weeks before we pack it up,” said LeBrecht, who lives in Chicago. “It will turn out to be a total of 112 events and I’m definitely ready to go home for a while and take a break. But something like this is very fulfilling because we recognize the importance of educating the senior citizens as far as the advancement in today’s technology.”