OLLI Treasurer

Bob Drake

I was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, moved to Dayton, Ohio when I was four, then moved on to Peoria at the age of 12. I attended Peoria High School and Western Illinois University after which I went to work for Caterpillar. I started in the Engineering department where I worked for half my career before going into Sales and Marketing. With the exception of three years spent in England, working out of Caterpillar’s London Area Office, my whole career (38 years) was spent in the Peoria area. My wife, Dotty, and I have five children and ten grandchildren who keep us busy as they are scattered around the country. When I’m not at OLLI, I’m probably traveling to visit family, volunteering at the Red Cross delivering blood, playing the guitar and singing or taking photographs.

My involvement with OLLI began with the winter classes 10 years ago. It was hard to believe the variety of classes that were available, and all without the pressure of grades. The seemingly endless diversity of subject matter over these last 10 years continues to amaze me. I’ve also been very impressed with the depth of preparation and the quality of presentation the OLLI instructors provide. I find myself often sharing interesting facts with my kids, grandkids and friends, which I have picked up from an OLLI class. My grandkids get a kick out of the fact that grandpa is still “in college”. I tell them you’re never too old to learn something new.

I believe the tri-county area is so fortunate to have not only the educational opportunities that OLLI provides, but also the chance to make social connections with fellow retirees. Keeping one’s mind active and engaged is so important for a persons’ overall health and happiness.

I understand that OLLI is continuing to grow, and I believe that’s a result of word of mouth “advertising” by OLLI participants who have experienced the joy of attending OLLI classes and events. Part of that joy comes from the many volunteers that make OLLI happen. Volunteering at OLLI is fun and it shows.

If I had $10,000 to donate to OLLI, I would provide those delicious scones at all the breaks. Seriously, it would be nice to make OLLI available to those in our community who might otherwise not have the financial ability to participate.

When I talk to anyone who seems to have an interest in OLLI, I tell them, “Go for it, you won’t be sorry and you’ll definitely learn something new.”