Concord’s ‘Old Geezers’ launch food drive
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Friday, Nov. 15, 2013

Concord’s ‘Old Geezers’ launch food drive

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- COURTESY OF THE OLD GEEZERS
The Old Geezers are an informal group of retirees interested in charitable good deeds: from left, Ken Glace, John Fahey, Terry Morgan, Harold Skelton, Jim Germain, and Jim Radlein.
  • Want to help? The Old Geezers Holiday Food Drive for the Barium Springs Home will be 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 23 (rain or shine) at the Laurel Park neighborhood clubhouse, 530 Georgetown Drive, Concord, NC 28027. The Old Geezers will be collecting nonperishable food; no glass, please. Examples: canned fruits and vegetables, pancake mix, packaged pasta, juice boxes, granola bars and so on. To learn more about Barium Springs Home for Children, visit www.bariumsprings.org.

At least six gentlemen in Cabarrus County don’t mind if you call them old geezers.

In fact, if you do, they’ll beam with pride, because it shows that their effort to get their brand known in the community is working.

It also raises the odds that, later this month, Barium Springs Home for Children will be inundated with boxes and boxes of food.

Ken Glace, John Fahey, Terry Morgan, Harold Skelton, Jim Germain and Jim Radlein make up The Old Geezers. One day the group of six retirees, in between their golf dates and lunch outings, kicked around the idea of launching a food drive for the 112-year-old nonprofit home.

Headquartered in Statesville, Barium Springs has provided safe places for children through therapeutic group and foster homes and adoption since 1891. Last year alone the organization served 3,000 children and families.

Barium Springs’ website keeps a running list of needs, ranging from new jeans to Slinky toys to baby food.

The Old Geezers – most of whom moved into the Laurel Park neighborhood in western Concord after retiring from careers in other states – had heard of the children’s charity and wanted to help out.

“I think you can recognize that we’re all well-fed, and that we all feel no one should miss a meal,” said Old Geezer Jim Radlein. “Anything we can do to help, we certainly want to.”

“We’ve all been blessed with good careers and good families,” added Terry Morgan, another Geezer. “It’s a good thing to put something back into the system.”

No one can get something done like a group of retired men from a variety of backgrounds on a mission.

Radlein worked 42 years in transportation logistics. Glace was a Navy supply coordinator for 20 years. Morgan often spoke in references that hinted at his long career as an airline pilot.

“This is going to be a good flight,” he said, as they discussed their hopes to reach a goal of 100 filled boxes.

The men divided responsibilities and relied on their wits to get the word out.

They hit up the local liquor store for sturdy boxes to use. They dropped 3,000 fliers in the rounders of neighborhoods like Kings Crossing, Carriage Downs and Sheffield Manor.

They plucked political candidate signs from around town once the elections were over and repainted them with “Old Geezer Food Drive” for the day of the drop-off.

The name may bring laughter, but that’s OK as long as it brings food, too.

They couldn’t call themselves the Young Whippersnappers, they argued.

“It wouldn’t have made us any younger,” said Glace.

“But I told them the other day I thought saying ‘old’ geezers was a little redundant,” he added with a grin.

“It lends credibility, and shows that we’re not flitting about,” said Radlein. “That we’re serious about this.”

“We figured we needed something catchy, instead of just saying ‘Barium Springs Home for Children Food Drive,’ so when we throw our fliers, people will immediately associate Old Geezers with it,” said Morgan. “And, well, it sort of fits.”

Lisa Thornton is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Lisa? Email her at lisathornton@carolina.rr.com.

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