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Winter Park church wins award for Brain Fitness Club

Winter Park church wins award for Brain Fitness Club

On the Move

Rev. Gary Rideout reports that the Brain Fitness Club of First UMC, Winter Park, has won the Innovators Achievement Award from the International Council on Active Aging for excellence and creativity in the active-aging community.

The Brain Fitness Club, under the direction of Peggy Bargmann, RN, has been a ministry at the church for the past seven years. It is a program for those who are in the early stages of memory loss or dementia. The purpose of the group is to provide an environment for those with early memory loss to participate in a variety of brain healthy activities, such as socialization, physical exercise and mental stimulation.  Its focus is also to teach lifestyle adjustments and to help members recognize and adopt brain healthy behaviors  First UMC has two groups that meet twice weekly for four hours each. Additionally, the program collaborates with the University of Central Florida and Rollins College through internships and assistance with program material and facilitation.

The Brain Fitness Club has received a grant from the Winter Park Health Foundation to develop materials that can be used to host such a group in other churches.  If you are interested in hosting such a program at your church, contact Rideout, First UMC's minister of congregational care, at

To learn more about the program, click here.