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Lifelong Learning Collaborative Fund
By Jean Cohoon / December 31, 2013 /   Loading Disqus...
It isn’t often that a nonprofit organization is the beneficiary of a fund established at the Foundation by an anonymous donor, but it happened to the Lifelong Learning Collaborative (formerly BCLIR, Building a Community of Learning in Retirement) in 2013.

The donor explains, “When I joined the Lifelong Learning Collaborative a number of years ago it was still associated with Brown University. I have watched it grow in numbers as well as the variety of courses offered to its members for their continued intellectual growth and the resulting friendships they have made.

“I wanted to assure its continuation as a community organization and made a contribution to establish an endowment for that purpose. My hope is that others who have had the same experience with the LLC might follow my lead and contribute, through the Rhode Island Foundation, a part of their plans for long term personal giving in gratitude for the opportunity that the program has offered to each of us.”

LLC, which invites members and prospective members to “Learn, Discover, Enjoy,” offers peer-led classes and activities for adults, most of whom are retired. “Almost all of our learning is collaborative learning. Each person in a class takes a topic on the class syllabus and teaches a session. I think by our participating, it’s more stimulating to the mind,” explains Ed Mehlman, president of LLC.

The more than two dozen fall 2013 classes included topics that ranged from “Shoot your way to better pictures” to “History of Jerusalem” and from “Backstage at the arts” to “Race – let’s talk about it.” LLC also offers trips and other social activities to its approximately 425 current members.

While acknowledging that LLC is “growing rapidly,” Ed acknowledges that the organization has plans to further increase its membership. “We are putting a real effort into a diversity outreach program, and I hope it works,” he explains.

Of the new fund, Ed states, “It’s very important and I’m going to do everything I can to encourage members to add to the fund through memorial gifts or to mark a joyous occasion.”
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