Celebrating friendships has never been more important. The past year put physical and emotional distance between even the closest of friends.
But one group with a mature attitude towards relationships has kept in touch, and is ready to party. A Celebration of Friends (ACOF) is a group for senior men (and their younger admirers) to mix, mingle, and make friends.
Through the pandemic the group took the mixing and mingling virtual. Their weekly Saturday Morning Klassic Coffee Klatch moved to Zoom. ACOF President Tom “Tomcat” Pence said that it has made events more interesting. “I’ve learned more about my friends because on Zoom there’s no breaking off into separate little groups. Everyone is given a chance to speak and everything they say is heard by everyone else. It has brought us all somehow closer.”
The virtual meetings happened after members first got lonely, then got restless.
“When our frustrated members started looking for their pitchforks and lighting their torches to come after our board to solve this worldwide loneliness problem, we decided to take on the entire world,” Pence said.
Taking on the world has brought in an international crowd.
“Suddenly we’re all face-to-face with men from Canada, Cyprus, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and the rest of Europe,” Pence said. “Residents from India, China, and Japan also join in along with people as far away as California, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and many of the other 50 states.”
ACOF is designed to be a group for older men to meet other men in an environment different from the often youth-obsessed culture. Its mission is to promote self-worth, dignity, kindness and friendships within our senior population. But that doesn’t mean you have to be ready to receive a monthly Social Security check to be part of. Anyone over 21 can join the Saturday Klatch.
While the virtual Klatch is fun, ACOF members are ready to party, and they’re going to party in paradise: Key West.
“Over a hundred gay senior men and their admirers are looking forward to sun and fun at the end of the road,” Pence said. “There will be parties, games, costume contests, food, and fun for all, with maybe a pirate or two in attendance. Did I mention, Grog? Plenty of grog will be available in Margaritaville. It’s a good time for all to let your hair down.”
The get-together is set for June 10-13, and hotels are filling up fast. To learn more about their Key West party or sign up to join the Klassic Coffee Klatch, you can check out their website at CelebrationOffriends.org.