Past Boomer Guide models still recognized today


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Tim Sparks of Cocoa Beach was a Boomer Guide model in 2016.

SENIOR LIFE photo

Each year, the Boomer Guide selects models to grace this annual resource publication on all things boomer. The time to choose a model is again upon us, so to dispel any doubts you might have about applying for this year’s cover, we’ve revisited some past models to get their take on the experience.

A friend alerted Cocoa Beach resident Tim Sparks to the Boomer Guide modeling opportunity for the 2016 issue. For Sparks, it was like coming home.

“I had modeled for Macy’s and Hallmark for about 10 years when I was in my 20s,” said Sparks, now 54.

“One of the Hallmark cards with me on it is still being sold. I laugh whenever I see it, but if my mother sees it, she buys them all out.”

Sparks had a great time with the Boomer gig.

“It’s lots of fun and you get to meet a lot of great people,” he said.

Sparks, a broker associate with Apollo Realty in Cocoa Beach, has become a celebrity with his clients.

“Whenever they see the Boomer Guide, they’re all excited that they know me,” he said.

He strongly recommends the modeling opportunity.

“You need stuff like this to appreciate life,” he said.

“Do it. You’re only as old as you feel and you can rest when you’re dead.”

Like Sparks, Lori Hershey and her favorite man, Luke Pentacoff, had modeling experience before signing up for the Boomer Guide.

“We had signed up with Viera Models prior,” Hershey said.

“I encouraged Luke, as Viera was looking for models in our age range.”

Hershey met Pentacoff through match.com and they have been together since. Hershey moved to Florida from northern Virginia about 3½ years ago, but continues to work long distance for her previous employer from her home in Rockledge.

“The move to Florida changed my life for the better and I fell in love instantly with the area,” she said.

“I wanted to get more involved with Brevard County. I had heard about the Boomer Expo and that is where it started. The Expo itself is fun and a great resource for us Boomers. When they said they were looking for people to be in the Guide, I thought it would be fun. Normal, everyday people who also love Brevard County. It was to my surprise that Luke and myself were chosen to be on the cover. We were, and still are honored and flattered!”

Working from home, Hershey doesn’t get out and about much, but when she does, she has had people recognize her because of the 2017 Boomer Guide.

“One day at the doctor’s office in Melbourne, a lady was looking at the Guide and came up to me.,” she said.

“We became instant friends! Another day I was at Tire Kingdom and the Guide was there. Again, a lady came up to me. I always tell people to take the Guide home and read it. It’s a wealth of valuable information. Both of these ladies asked me to sign the cover. I felt like a celebrity!”

Hershey encourages Boomers to attend the Expo and get their picture taken and enjoy the experience.

“You never know what it could lead to and of course, being in one of the best publications in Brevard, it is quite an honor!” she said.

You would think that posing as a model for a guide for boomers wouldn’t be that exciting to Hershey’s Luke, who has a unique career as an explosive detection K-9 handler for the U.S. Department of State, serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan. You might think that, but you would be wrong.

“I would highly encourage anyone considering participating to do so,” Pentacoff said.

“The photo shoots were left up to your creative, pose and personality.”

He considers the modeling gig one of the nice perks of reaching a “certain age.”

“Getting older is a privilege denied to many,” he said.

“You have experience, wisdom, education and training.”

You also have the opportunity to become a model.

By the way, Luke and Lori are still together. In fact, they became engaged on Lori’s birthday, Sept. 27.

“We haven’t set a date yet, but we are very excited,” Hershey said.

“You just never know at any age where life will take you.”

Mary Denni, who was on the cover of the 2015 Guide, so enjoyed the experience that she would love being able to repeat it.

“I would be interested in trying out again, if that is allowed,” said the Rockledge resident.

Denni, whose hobbies include reading, gardening, restoring furniture, baking and tennis, saw the modeling experience as a challenge that took her out of the routine and delivered new friends in the process.

“I had a great time doing something out of my comfort zone and meeting new, friendly people,” she said.