Shepherd’s Center-Beachside changes leadership


Larry Boudrie, right, relinquishes the shepherd’s staff to Tony Armes to signify the new change of leadership for Shepherd’s Center-Beachside at Ascension Lutheran Church in Indian Harbour Beach.

SENIOR LIFE Courtesy of The Shepherd’s Center

Fourteen years ago, Larry Boudrie conceived the idea to invigorate more activity into the church he attended — Ascension Lutheran in Indian Harbour Beach. 

There was a need to provide a forum for its senior members’ continuing education and fellowship. The Shepherd’s Center-Beachside
was born.

Seven classes were held during that first term as 42 people participated.

Through the years, the Shepherd’s Center has evolved with seven sponsoring churches at four classroom locations in the beachside area.

Now, classes meet two days a week during the eight-week term. As many as 46 classes ranging from line dancing, yoga, current events, trivia, book club, computer skills, foreign languages, cooking and Zumba are offered.

During the last winter term, 472 people participated during the eight-week session at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church and Ascension Lutheran.

On June 1, Boudrie officially retired as Shepherd’s Center-Beachside director. Tony Armes, who initially began as a morning helper and became more active in the administration of the Shepherd’s Center each succeeding term, replaced him.

“The Shepherd’s Center-Beachside is a well-oiled machine,’’ said Armes, who worked closely with Boudrie during the past couple of terms.

Armes is gradually introducing social media such as Facebook into the mix of communication avenues for teachers, prospective students and staff. This could attract the next generation of interested seniors. He also has enhanced the organization’s website to include online registration that has proven to be effective.

“Our goal is to continue enriching the lives of our seniors by giving them a forum for further learning, physical activity and making new acquaintances,” Armes said.