Commission on Aging to Host “Open Mic” Nights

With restrictions easing in relation to COVID-19, the St. Joseph County Commission on Aging wants to celebrate by offering something fun and different for its members, and really for any senior in the county who is eager to get out of the house and socialize with others.

This desire led to working with a local family known for its “Open Mic” nights and to offer something like that for COA members. The Balk Brothers (Billy Balk and Brad Balk) and Friends will be at the COA in Sturgis on Monday, June 21 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and at the COA in Three Rivers on Tuesday, June 29, also from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

At both events, COA members can sign up for picnic box dinner. Milk is served with the dinner and there will be bottled water available. Attendees are welcome to bring their own snacks or food and their own beverages.

“When the Balk brothers approached us and said they would love to have an Open Mic night for our older adults, I immediately said yes,” said COA Executive Director Pamela Riley.

“We know firsthand how difficult the pandemic has been for so many people, but especially for older adults,” she noted. “The socialization that our members get from coming to the COA and participating in an exercise class, or a Bingo game is so important – more crucial than we may have realized.”

The Open Mic night is something different and will be a night of music and laughter – something everyone – not just older adults – could use right now.

Riley said the COA Life Enrichment staff is excited to be able to offer more activities at the centers and is looking forward to a summer filled with fun things planned for COA members.

All are welcome to attend the Open Mic Nights. If you would like a picnic box dinner, you must make your reservation by Tuesday, June 15th. If you are not a COA member, it is easy to join. Anyone 60 or older – or if you are married to someone 60 or older – is eligible. It is free to join the COA, and membership forms are available on the COA website at or at both our Enrichment Centers.

Since 1973, the St. Joseph County Commission on Aging has been serving seniors with a mission to promote independence through our services and programs.

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