Toledoans of all ages are finding learning, shared interests, conversation and a whole world of fun through clubs, meetups, and organized groups. Here are a few local clubs perfect for making new friends and further developing old interests.
Frogtown Storytelling Guild
Do you often find yourself telling stories to family members which provide great amusement? Sharpen that skill even further by becoming a member of the Frogtown Storytelling Guild! The group usually meets on the second Saturday of the month from 9-11am at the Reynolds Corner Library, where they take turns telling stories of all kinds. Marion Hallauer is a member who specializes in humorous, ghost, and historical stories.
The major event that the Frogtown Storytelling Guild hosts each year is a telethon on the first Friday of November. The event, called Tellabration!, is held at the Maumee Indoor Theatre where members of the Guild workshop their stories, practicing to be the best they can be.
This Guild is open to novice storytellers and professionals alike. Many of the members, including Hallauer, charge a fee for telling stories at various events, so it can be a paying hobby.
“It’s a very nice group,” Hallauer said. “People are kind to each other and we’re very good listeners! Anyone is welcome to come, listen, and decide if they want to join.”
The yearly membership is $25. The Guild takes a summer break so check the website for meeting times. Learn more about the Frogtown Storytelling Guild at: sites.google.com/site/frogtownstorytellers.
Toledo Area Genealogical Society
If you’ve ever been interested in exploring the roots of your family tree, the Toledo Area Genealogical Society (TAGS) may be just your thing.
Meeting every second Monday of the month, September through June, TAGS is a group that works to inspire and assist its members as they trace the story of their ancestors. TAGS works in cooperation with the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library’s History and Genealogical Department.
“We often have people from the library come in, they’re very knowledgeable,” said Dana Schreder, who has worked with the group for 18 years and acts as webmistress for the TAGS website.
“We’re a group of like-minded people with an interest in exploring family history and working on these detective issues together.”
Each meeting of the club focuses on a different theme, from the founding of Perrysburg to the complex relationships of cousins and the meaning of terms like “fifth-cousin, twice removed.” The TAGS website also offers links to services and information sources for members to explore. The group also hosts events in cooperation with similar area genealogical groups.
“In this past year, three of the local societies went together to have a seminar,” Schreder explains.
The Toledo Area Genealogical Society meets at 7 pm on the second Monday of every month, September-June, at the United Church of Christ in Sylvania. For more information visit tagstoledo.org.
Toledo Astronomical Association
When the moon hits your eye and there’s stars in your skies — that’s Toledo Astronomical Association (TAA), headquartered in McMaster Hall at the University of Toledo. For almost three decades, the organization has provided a forum for amateur astronomers of every skill level to explore the nighttime sky.
There are plenty of enthusiastic 55+ participants, says longtime member Don Murad. “We have all ages represented, really. And you don’t have to own a telescope; the association owns scopes that are paid for through membership fees.” Individuals can experience regular outdoor “star party” viewing sessions held at area locations, including Sylvan Prairie Park and Beaver Creek Reserve. Guest lecturers are often part of the agenda, and congeniality reigns.
Member Barb Mauter says, “Many club members were willing to let me view through their telescopes, often explaining the celestial objects seen. Their knowledge far exceeding mine, I have learned more and more over the years of observing with the club.” Helen Palochko echoes the advantages for education and friendship: “My husband and I joined TAA to continue learning about, and sharing, astronomy. It’s a great shared interest for us, we’ve made good friends and are always learning.” There’s even a summer picnic.
Annual membership is $30 for adults/families, $10 for students. Enhancing the potential for multi-generational family fun. Find all the details, including info about free TAA meetings with visiting lecturers (often UT or BGSU faculty), at toledoastronomy.org.