Conway Civic League met for its first Fall gathering in the Fireplace Room of Conway Country Club at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 17. The hostess committee had artistically decorated the tables with many different seasonal items including pumpkins, colored leaves, gourds and Jack o’lanterns. The mantel above the fireplace was festive with its attractive seasonal appointments.

Hostesses included Ruth Frenkel, Suzanne Brazil, Kathy Linn, Wanda Meador, Terry Hendrickson and Iris Scales Ziegler.

A prayer before the meal was offered by Kathy Linn. The menu consisted of cream of artichoke soup, salad greens with an assortment of vegetable toppings and a variety of dressings, a chicken/ham/cheese croissant sandwich, pumpkin pie and beverages.

Vice president Barbara Satterfield presided, filling in for President Sharon Lessenberry whose mother, Elizabeth Benton, a long-time Civic League member, had died recently. The meeting was dedicated to the memory of Elizabeth and in honor of Sharon. Barbara gave a short introduction to her mother, Marion Baker, program presenter, who reviewed Nora Ephron’s book, "I Remember Nothing." Ephron, a noted journalist, playwright, screenwriter, novelist, producer and director, had a wry take on life, love and loss. She died earlier this year. Her mother advised Nora as a child to take notes, that "everything is copy."

Secretary Nancy Williams called roll and reported 35 present. She also read minutes of the Sept. 19 meeting which were approved.

Meredith Wilbourn, filling in for membership chair Judy Holman, gave a brief background on prospective new member, Donna Hambuchen. After determining that a quota was present, a vote was taken and Mrs. Hambuchen was elected to membership.

Treasurer Sandra Hudson reported a balance of $978 with more dues to come.

Corresponding secretary Lulu Thompson read a letter of resignation due to health reasons from long-time member, Dora Libby Lamey.

Vice president Satterfield thanked the hostesses and suggested that "Happy Birthday" be sung to October honorees: Gay Moore, Molsie Osborne, Terry Hendrickson, Melanie Conner, Rosanne Johnson, Faye Hunnicutt, Polly Bumpers and Susan Standridge.

Motion to adjourn was made by Nancy Williams who used a Halloween poem, "Five Little Pumpkins," changing the final line to, "I move that we adjourn!" And it was done!

A large group attended the October Parkinson’s Disease Support Group meeting held at the McGee Center. Three new persons attended the session.

It was a lively participation session, conducted by Pamela Jones, an occupational therapist with the VA Hospital in Little Rock, currently working with the geriatric population making home visits.

"Symptom Management to Improve Daily Function" was the title of her presentation. Mrs. Jones discussed three non-motor PD symptoms — depression, low endurance and stress. She suggested PD patients eliminate non-essential activities, take mediation on schedule, exercise daily, avoid falls and allow plenty of time to get something done.

She discussed motor PD Symptoms, such as decreased arm swing, decreased facial expressions, decreased volume of speech, the inability to move, cramping and difficulty getting in and out of bed/chair/car. She made several suggestions for managing these motor symptoms.

Several ways to decrease the risk of accidental falls were pointed out to the group. Stress increases PD symptoms, and the symptoms increase stress in PD, creating a negative feedback loop.

Mrs. Jones discussed a fairly new walker designed for Parkinson’s disease patients. She gave a picture of the "U-Stop Rolling Walker" to those present. She is doing some research on this walker and hopes to purchase one soon.

Those present participated in several exercises from a sitting position bed and demonstrated by Mrs. Jones. Exercises to promote coordination, flexibility and dexterity were performed.

In closing, Mrs. Jones made several suggestions for maintaining quality of life:

• Report any side effects of medication.

• Exercise 20-30 minutes every day.

• Continue to be active with family and friends in the community with special interests and hobbies.

• Laugh often.

• Believe in yourself.

Mrs. Jones had an excellent handout for each one with the above information summarized in easy-to-read style and each exercise discussed in detail so the PD patient could take it home and follow it.

Bronnie Rose, group facilitator, presented Mrs. Jones a gift of appreciation — a fall dish cloth with pumpkins on it and a jar of pumpkin butter.

Mrs. Rose had five handouts including: "Fatigue in Parkinson’s Disease" from the APDA, "A Caregivers Bill of Rights," "Five Finger Prayer," "Lord, Make me an Instrument of Thy Peace" and a summary of the September support group where Dr. Melanie Smith, ophthalmologist, spoke to the group about eye problems and gave several suggestions for dealing with these situations.

Those present enjoyed refreshments. Mrs. Rose presented door prizes to Norbert Schedler — a jar of apple butter — and Sherry Dowdy — a yellowish-gold depression glass serving plate.

The next meeting of the PD Support Group will be 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the McGee Center on College Avenue. All PD patients and/or their caregivers are encouraged to attend this meeting. Call Mrs. Rose at 329-6282 or 246-1972 for additional information. New members are welcome.