So, what is a "summit"? Webster defines "summit" as "the highest point, part, or elevation; top or apex." He further defines it as a synonym usage as "literally refers to the topmost point of a hill or similar elevation and, figuratively, to the highest attainable level, as of achievement."
Back about 12 years ago, the Hays AARP chapter had the first summit in the state with support and backing from the state office of the AARP with their suggestions. It turned out to be a very well achieved and accepted event. Other cities in the state joined the movement and held their summit meetings. As it turns out, they were not very successful and most of them have not been done again.
What occurs at an AARP Summit? It includes a number of speakers who are experts in their area. Such topics have included information on diabetes, its cause and what can be done to control it; and heart problems, how to recognize symptoms and what can be done to control them.
We have also had a representative from the state attorney general's office on fraud, how to recognize it, and how the attorney general's office stands to be ready to help.
Experts have talked about physical fitness and its benefits to physical and mental health along with what each of us can do to promote health.
Over the last 12 years, other speakers on various topics have been featured.
The summits have also included visual help in the form of exhibits. There have been a number of these who have included handouts, which can be useful to the attendees.
We have had at each of these summits a noon meal at tables decorated with colorful and appropriate decorations. The meal was accompanied with various musical presentations. Previous to the opening of the summit, there always has been coffee and doughnuts to enjoy while you are visiting with other attendees you haven't seen for a while. In other words, it has been a day that people have enjoyed.
At the end of the summit, we have also had a drawing for prizes. When enrolling for the summit, each attendee receives a ticket, which might be good for a nice prize, some of them quite valuable.
We are proud of the success we have had here in the Hays area and will be having another summit Oct. 7 at Fanchon Ballroom. We will again have some good speakers and booth exhibits.
All are welcome to come to learn, to enjoy and to again have some good fellowship. And remember, you don't have to belong to the AARP to come. We hope you will.
This story has nothing to do with summits, but it is good for a laugh. It comes from Jack Krier of the Russell County News:
"The local restaurant was so sure that its host was the strongest man around that they offered a standing $1,000 bet. The deal is the host would squeeze a lemon until all the juice ran into the glass and hand the lemon to a patron. Anyone who could squeeze one more drop of juice would win the money. Many tried, but nobody could.
"Then, one day, a scrawny little man came in and said, 'I'd like to try the bet.' After the laughter died down, the host said, 'OK' and grabbed a lemon. After he was through, he handed the wrinkled remains to the little man.
"The crowd's laughter died away as the man clenched the lemon and squeezed six more drops into the glass. As the jeers turned to cheers, the host paid him $l,000 and asked. 'What do you do for a living? Are you a lumberjack, a weightlifter or what?'
"The man replied, 'I work for the IRS.' "
Arris Johnson, Hays, is a member of the Generations Advisory Group.