ANDOVER – A woman celebrating her 100th birthday this week was shocked to learn at her party that she would no longer be eligible to attend any events intended for young adults. She had been attending many of the local mixers with some regularity, but now organizers say she doesn’t meet their age requirements any longer.
“We feel pretty bad about it,” said Chuck Springen, who founded the Andover Young Adults Posse (AYAP) in 1982 when he was 26 years old. “We’ve been relaxing the standards for years, and we had a great time with her as a member, but some of the younger fellas, you know, in their fifties, well, they sorta got to thinkin’ maybe somebody who hits a hundred maybe shouldn’t be in the group anymore. She seemed to understand, but I still feel bad.”
Membership in AYAP has remained fairly stagnant over the years, with the group mostly comprised of its original members. Though all in their twenties when the organization began, the average age of the members is now closer to 70.
“Not a lot of younger people moving in these days,” Springen says. “I suppose we could change the name of the group, but we’ve been together so long it would be weird to call it something else now. Plus, we are some of the younger adults around, so I think it still fits.”