The Information Center
A Place for Prospective Buyers, New Residents and All of the Rest of Us
By Diane M. Loeffler
The Information Center sits at the southeast corner of Cherry Hills and North Pebble Beach. Some people think of it as our welcome center, a place where people who are considering moving into our community can learn more about who we are and what we offer. The Center does that job very well, and it also offers a valuable resource for all of us.
The Information Center is now in charge of orientation meetings for newcomers. If you are new to the community, never attended an orientation in the past, or just want to learn more about our community, show up at the Center at 1 p.m. on any Wednesday. There will be one or two volunteers who are well-prepared to tell you about our community and to answer any questions you might have. The only requirement for attending is being an association member.
I attended an orientation seven years ago and found it to be very helpful. Before writing this article, I attended another one on January 12, 2022. The volunteers were prepared with information which they presented in an informal way. This session lasted one hour. Discussions are encouraged, so the time can vary. Materials were handed out and questions were asked and answered. Because of the interaction at these meetings, no two meetings are exactly alike. However, the volunteers have a script to follow in order to make sure important items are covered.
One of the items covered in the January 12 presentation was to review the new phone book. Sound simple? Actually, the book contains more than phone numbers and addresses. It includes bylaws, emergency numbers, club contacts, maps, a brief history, support services, hurricane preparedness recommendations, and more. The tendency is to grab it to look up a phone number and not realize the wealth of information it contains.
The presenters showed the boundaries of the Community Association, referred to the website for additional information. They talked about sources of community information, which include this newspaper and email blasts. They discussed the consumer affairs notebook in the administration office and online. They also discussed how we are governed, county services, guest policies, golf car usage and volunteer opportunities. Other topics covered were based on questions from the attendees. Afterwards, tours were offered to anyone who wanted one.
Dick and Dee Babbitt have been volunteers at the Information Center ever since the building opened. The Babbitts volunteer two hours a week. They have lived in SCC since 1999.
Using the Information Center as a Resource
Janet Ditmore is the Director of the Information Center. Ditmore says, “Residents usually want phone numbers for rooms or the local post office or trash pick-up issues. They ask about lost and found, when events are happening, when a scheduled meeting is taking place, the location of meetings, how to find rooms, how to renew their badges, why did you shut down for the holidays, how do I get a guest pass, and how do I get in touch with directors, clubs, the sheriff, etc.”
Ditmore says, “People don’t realize that the firemen at the Sun City Center station will change out the batteries in a smoke alarm. We get calls from residents who cannot get on a ladder. The alarm is going off and they don’t know what to do. Post lamp maintenance is also not well known.”
Volunteering at the Information Center
Ditmore says, “If you like meeting new people and enjoy living in Sun City Center, then we would love to have you as a volunteer in the Center. Shifts are only two hours a week on a regular or substitute basis. Our volunteers have a conversation with visitors about our lifestyle. We do not sell real estate. Training and resources are provided. You can choose to be a greeter, tour guide or orientation leader.”
The Information Center is open from 9 to noon and 1 to 3, Monday through Friday. You can call the center by dialing 813 633-4670. You can also email the center at “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
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