Social Activities


Click here for the Event Calendar.

Willowbend is a vibrant and gracious community. Residents have rich and widely varied interests and life experiences. A focal point of the community is the range of social activities encouraged by the Board of Directors and enjoyed by many throughout the year. Whether your interest lies in exploring the area’s many excellent restaurants, joining one of the book groups, taking on the challenge of Bridge or Mah Jongg, you’ll find warm and welcoming neighbors and friends.

Following is a profile of regular activities in the community and contact information:

Book Clubs
An afternoon group meets at 1.30 p.m. on the second Friday of the month.
Contact: Kay Dellos at 941-966-2950 or
The group meets at 1:30 p.m. on the second Friday of each month, September through May.
An evening group meets at 7.00 p.m. on the first Monday of the month.
Contact: Joyce Cekander at 941-966-1802 or
During the time of the corona virus, book club discussions are being held on ZOOM. Books selected by members are usually contemporary fiction. They are chosen by consensus of the group or by the hostess who will lead the book discussion.
Bridge Club
An evening group meets at 7pm monthly on a day agreeable to all players.
Contact: Barb Hestenes at 941-918-8150 or
Meetings are held in the members’ homes from October through May. At present there are “two tables” and substitutes are being recruited. Beginners must have at least a rudimentary understanding of the game
Dining Out
Groups of Willowbend diners explore restaurants together, monthly from December through March. Register by Nov. 1.
Contact: Helen Eckensberg at 941-966-2190 or
One of the group, individual or couple, assumes the responsibility of host, selecting the restaurant for the month, making reservations, and inviting the group for hors d’oeuvres or dessert.
Knitting/Crochet Group
The group meets approximately every 2 weeks to share ideas and help one another with projects. The group has all skill levels from beginner to advanced.
Contact: Melody Jakubiak
Ladies Lunching Out
One group lunches out on the second Tuesday of the month, year round;
Contact: Roseann Santiago at
One group lunches out on the fourth Thursday of the month from October through April. From May through September groups merge on Tuesday.
Contact: Jacque Leonard at
A hostess of the month selects the restaurant and makes the reservations for her group.
Mah Jongg
Mah Jongg groups meet weekly at various times.
Contacts: Sally Wood at 941-223-4917 or
Meetings rotate between members’ homes. Meetings days, times, and frequency are flexible. Lessons may be available for newcomers.
Social Committee
The social committee holds social events throughout the year.
Contact: Joyce Cekander at 941-966-1802 or or Roseann Santiago at
Tuesday Men's Lunch
Men's lunch group meets on 2nd Tuesday of the month.
Contact: Hugh O'Connor at 941-375-8447
Meet the group at the Recreational Facility Gazebo at 11:15am to car pool to the restaurant. The host for the month selects the restaurant and makes reservations.
Water Aerobics
This group meets at the community pool, Monday - Saturday, 9 - 10:00 a.m. during the winter and 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. during the summer.
Contact Linda Delaney at 941-870-4481 or
When any changes are made, a notice will be posted in advance at the pool.
Wine Tasting
Wine tastings are held on the second Saturday of the month from October through May
Contact: Joyce Cekander at 941-966-1802 or, wine chair.
The host for the month provides the venue and selects the wines to be tasted. Since the events are held in the hosts' homes, participants take turns hosting the events in their homes. Participants bring hors d’oeuvres or desserts to share. At the end of the evening the cost of the wine is divided among those attending.