Read What Our Members Have to Say
Tim O'Reilly didn't let a chance to relive those long-passed days pass him by; in fact, he even got to reconnect to those memories on a discount.
In September 2009, the 70-year-old Chicago resident ventured nearly four hours southwest of The Windy City to the tiny town of Knoxville, Illinois. It was a journey decades in the making and one that held his excitement for weeks, an opportunity for O'Reilly to reconnect with his former comrades from the U.S. Marine Corps and step back into his glory days for a short weekend.
"It's always a good time to reconnect with those guys. We made a lot of memories together," says O'Reilly.
In his 4-hour journey to Knoxville as well as his stay in the western Illinois town, O'Reilly benefited from his ASBA membership, using a discount from National Rental Car and a 10 percent price reduction from Choice Hotels International to make his trip a touch lighter in the pocketbook, allowing O'Reilly to focus less on finances and more on interacting with his fellow veterans.
"I wouldn't have saved that cash if I wasn't in ASBA, so that was a nice bonus to the trip," he says.
O'Reilly, a father of two, joined ASBA in 2009 at the prompting of a family member. A former TV repairman and driver who now works part-time with a friend's security firm, O'Reilly's zest for life and action mirrors ASBA's lively mission to educate, inform, and support active lifestyles of those over age 50.
"I don't think of myself as a senior citizen, even if the rest of the world does," O'Reilly says. "I'm just not one of these retired folks who can sit still; I wouldn't know what to do with myself. You can only do so much fishing and golfing."
An avid reader, the ASBA e-newsletter immediately caught O'Reilly's attention. Impressed by the content he found, he soon began dispersing the monthly document to nearly two dozen friends, encouraging them to read and join the organization.
"From good, honest information to discounts on products and services, I felt right away that this was an organization that had something to offer," O'Reilly says.
What immediately impressed you about ASBA?
"First, the organization was no cost and I wasn't being sold anything. The organization seemed short and to the point and was upfront with its message and mission. Second, there were some fantastic discounts just for being a member, some of which we've already been able to take advantage of. And I really liked the scholarships they offer for high school students, even if I might not be able to take advantage of that myself."
You seem to be a particular fan of the ASBA monthly email. What's particularly attractive to you about that feature?
"I like that it's not a 40-page book full of advertisements. It's filled with helpful info that I can use. It provides information on finance and legislative issues—really helpful things that can be applied to my interests and lifestyle. It provides info relevant to me and other senior citizens. All ASBA asks is that you enjoy the letter and take advantage of the benefits."
What do you tell others about ASBA?
"Membership is free, they provide solid information, and you can take advantage of some great discounts, so why wouldn't you join?"
What do you want to see from ASBA in the future?
"Let me say that I'm satisfied with what the organization provides. But I hope the organization continues to keep the spotlight on issues that affect our lives, not only for folks my age, but also those nearing age 50 or 65. It's been a source of great information for me and I want to see them keep that up."
In the future, O'Reilly also hopes ASBA transitions from its current e-newsletter to a tangible document arriving through the mail.
"Not as much for me as for the others out there. Not everybody my age has a computer or wants one, so how else are they going to find out about the quality work this organization is doing? I think there's a lot of value in those newsletters and I just wish everybody had easy access to the good information contained in them."
by Daniel P. Smith