Love is in the air as seniors step up for Waterfront Center speed dating session

The dates Thursday were marked by many smiles and much laughter.

Thursday evening’s speed dating for seniors event attracted a record crowd to the Edmonds Waterfront Center main ballroom, as participants moved from table to table to meet, greet and learn about each other, all with the shared goal of finding a compatible companion for fun and who knows – maybe romance. The event was limited to adults 60-plus years old.

“We started the speed dating parties in 2017,” explained EWC programs director Michelle Neu. “Since then, it’s been an annual event — with a break during the pandemic — scheduled to coincide with Valentine’s Day. This time we set a new participation record – 16 men and 16 women.”

Putting on an event like this takes more than just setting up tables — it includes planning and screening participants beforehand, finding sponsors, collecting registration fees and matching up potential couples afterward.

“I personally speak with each applicant to be sure they understand and agree to our format and guidelines,” Neu added. “I think that is part of what keeps it special and why people feel safe coming to the EWC to participate in an event like this.”

Speed dating alums Ginny and Greg, who met at last year’s EWC event and are still going strong, were on hand to provide inspiration to participants.

Special guests included Ginny (82) and Gary (88), who provided some first-hand inspiration to participants. The couple met at last year’s event and are still going strong.

The “dating” started promptly at 5 p.m., as couples took seats across from each other at tables covered with red tablecloths and decorated with Valentine’s Day-inspired flower vases.

Armed with a series of questions and evaluation sheets, the conversations were fast and to the point, but marked with much laughter and many smiles. Neu served as timekeeper, ringing a bell every five minutes and asking the men to move to the next table (the women remained at their original tables throughout).

On the evaluation sheets, participants not only commented on each other, but most importantly indicated if they would like to share contact information.

At the end of the session Neu reviewed all the evaluations and will be contacting those who had a “match” — requesting each other’s contact details. “We had seven matches this year,” she said.

The Edmonds Waterfront Center presented a stellar atmosphere.

Participants were also free to share contact information informally at the tables, and several took the opportunity to do so.

Comments ran the gamut, including the following:

• “Good smile”
• “Lots of notes on one sheet as to whether the person has cats (due to allergy)”
• “Politics” (this person did not match)
• “Flashy”
• “Genius”
• “Ziplining”
• “Nice guy but talked too much”
• “Santa during holidays”
• “Never looked in my eyes”
• “Very good looking”
• “Asked lots of questions but didn’t say much”

“Everyone seemed to really enjoy the event,” Neu said. “One commented that ‘even if I doesn’t make a match, it’s OK – I still had a good time,’ with others saying they’d like to see it happen more frequently than once a year.”

A total of 32 people participated on Thursday.

Based on this, Neu says that she’s looking into adding another speed dating event to the EWC annual calendar.

“There’s definitely demand, but the registration, setup and evaluation are time consuming,” she said.

The EWC thanks program sponsor Destinations Lynnwood for supplying refreshments and informational materials.

— Story and photos by Larry Vogel

    1. Patrice and Erika,
      Please read my previous comment which has a phone number and link to the EWC website. This should be helpful to answer both your questions❤️

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