Prime of their lives

For the Greater Nashville Prime Timers (GNPT), the opportunity to fully engage in their community has also afforded them a host of new friendships.

The group's members are men who choose to have their social lives enriched by the diverse activities offered by the organization. Prime Timers involve themselves in their community with volunteerism, politics, gay issues, arts, entertainment, and every other facet of healthy living. 

The purpose of the organization is to provide mature gay and bisexual men and their allies with opportunities to come together in a supportive atmosphere to enjoy social, educational and recreational activities.

GNPT has grown considerably since its inception in January, with 32 members enlisted in the organization. President Wresch Dawidjan is proud of the progress that's been made since the group's humble beginnings, but he has clear ambitions for the near future.

"I really want to expand our group," Dawidjan said. "The people that have joined us are really happy they've joined us. They've moved into different circles of friends. The bigger our base is, the easier it is to do certain things. Many places will offer group discounts if you have enough people."

GNPT started off with eight men, and soon formed a board of directors in an effort to organize local residents who were looking for to liven up their social schedules. The organization places an emphasis on cultural events and plans to schedule select engagements at the Nashville Ballet and the Nashville Opera in coming months. Most activities are reasonably priced for all members.

"We like to take advantage of the free events," Dawidjan said. "Many of our members are on an expendable income, so we like to do things at free or minimal cost."

GNPT participants must register on the website to gain access to contact information for their fellow members. While the group is exclusively for men, women are invited to attend any event. A yearly membership is $20, with a special rate of $30 for couples. Anyone 21 or older is welcome to join.

To broaden the group's social horizons, Dawidjan hopes to eventually plan events with regional chapters such as Indianapolis, Atlanta and Cincinnati.

"I've always been a go-getter," Dawidjan said. "I think it's important to network. By talking to people in other communities you can learn about other Prime Timer organizations and what works and doesn't work for them."

Webmasters Don Fischel and Mike Tate have created a website where both current and potential members can be updated on community events. Their most popular events are monthly potluck dinners and dining out events.

Regular appointments also include $1.50 movie night at Hickory Hollow Carmike Theater in Antioch and trips to local museums and musical performances. An offshoot activity group, FrontRunners, meets on Saturday mornings at Centennial Park, where participants can either walk or run together.

Dawidjan says that the original members have been developing the most ideas for upcoming events, but they keep encouraging people to begin new activities tailored towards their interests. His main goal is influencing members to meet and make lasting friendships.

"There are some people that have trouble socializing," Dawidjan said. "Not everyone is so outgoing and gregarious. Now they have an outlet to enjoy themselves."

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Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

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