Jean Kozarich wants people to know that the Brookfield Over the Hill Gang is coming back.
Equally important, when the Over the Hill Gang, a social group for seniors, resumes its monthly meetings, probably in September, it will be in a new location, First Presbyterian Church of Hubbard at 22 Westview Ave.
Kozarich, the group’s president for the last 12 years, will hold an informational meeting at 11 a.m. July 30 at the church to introduce the new space; talk about activities people would like to have and changes in the meal plan; gauge interest so that she can order supplies; and introduce the group’s officers.
The group met at the Brookfield Township social hall up until the trustees closed the hall in March 2020
because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since then, Kozarich has had a falling out with the trustees. When Fire Chief David Masirovits told her in
April that she would need to remove the Over the Hill Gang items stored in the fire station – including a
bingo machine, public address system and supplies – she also removed the chairs and tables, which
Kozarich had acquired with a grant through the Over the Hill gang, she said.
Kozarich, who just turned 81, has said she is disappointed that Trustee Gary Lees, who has spearheaded
an effort to create a senior center at the fire hall, has not sought her input.
While the senior center plan is on hold while the trustees continue to gather information about how they
want to run it and what other communities would be involved, Lees has maintained that accommodations
would be made for the Over the Hill Gang as it only meets once a month.
Lees called Kozarich’s decision to remove the tables and chairs – leaving the hall with none – an
“overreaction,” especially since there had been no decision on whether to proceed with the senior center.
The First Presbyterian Church hall is nearly as large as the township hall, and has handicap access,
Kozarich said. The church has given Kozarich access to the kitchen, but she said she will not have the
same cook as she had before, and meals will be smaller.
“We’re not gonna have this big meal like we did before,” she said. “We’re gonna have a luncheon
Otherwise, the meetings – other than for the July 30 meeting – will be similar as in the past, with bingo, a
mix of entertainment and speakers, a raffle, and plenty of time to sit around and chat or play cards.
Masks will be optional, with Kozarich saying she wants attendees to be “comfortable.”
“Everybody’s invited,” Kozarich said. “I don’t care where you’re from.”
Although she knows of 12 people who used to attend who have died since the last Over the Hill Gang
meeting, and a couple who have gone into long-term care facilities, Kozarich said she has gotten many
calls asking when the group will return.
“The big thing is to make sure everybody knows we’re moving,” she said.
Questions can be posed to Kozarich at 330-240-6049. She asked that anyone who plans to attend the July
30 meeting notify her so she can properly order pizza and coffee.
Brookfield Over the Hill Gang is registered as a nonprofit limited liability company