By Amy Palumbo-LeClaire

Courtesy of The Yankee XPress

Lynne Guittar and Richard Hedin pose from their decorative Auburn Travelers office at the Auburn Senior Center (Amy Palumbo-LeClaire photo)

Not every full time job comes with a headache. At least that’s the case for Lynne Guittar and Richard Hedin, a dedicated pair of volunteers who devote countless hours at “Auburn Travelers” to help assemble a variety of trips affiliated with FASCA (Friends of the Auburn Senior Center Association) and whose compassion for the elderly and mutual understanding for “going through the same things” has brought them together for the past few years.

“We get along very well,” said Hedin, trip assistant and “work husband” of Guittar—who manages forty hours per week amid her role as executive trip coordinator. “We are so much in sync. We both took care of our parents and grandparents so we know what’s it like, and we feel for them,” he added. “I’ll start a sentence and she’ll finish it.”

“It’s scary,” agreed Lynne.

Auburn Travelers, which has been active for twenty years, has a robust list of trips planned for 2017 and welcomes anyone over the age of twenty-one who’s looking to escape, socialize, and have some fun at the following upcoming destinations:

Providence Little Italy Tour (Plus Dinner Choice) April 18 $76.00
Newport Rail – Scenic Trail Ride & Dinner at Lake Pearl – May 16 $89.00
“Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gee’s Dinner at Lake Pearl – May 24 $89.00
“King and I” Musical Bushell Theater Dinner – June 3 $145.00

There are a variety additional trips planned through December, including a summer shopping spree to New York City and a final December “Michael Buble” Christmas tribute. Interested travelers may call Lynne or Richard at the Auburn Senior Center 508-832-7799 for details. Checks should be made payable to FASCA.

“Sometimes a family member will buy a gift certificate for a loved one. It’s a great way for a grandparent, for instance, to try out a trip. There are so many new people to meet on the bus. It’s a very social situation. Interacting and getting out there is important, especially after the devastation of losing a loved one,” said Lynne.

Along with interacting with others on a comfortable Coach bus, the over-twenty-one traveler might expect to collect a quarter each time the word “bus” is said (the rules for which are enforced by the one and only “Del”), enjoy a game of bingo, cards, or – pun intended – help soothe the hard head of Richard Hedin.

“One time our tour director grabbed a magnum sized bottle of wine from a high bus shelf. We had earlier stopped at a duty-free shop in New York. The bottle was saved but my head was damaged. It fell right down on top of it! Lynne was completely organized with ice and bandages. That must have been the hard (half) Swedish part of me,” the hardheaded Trip Assistant (also known to be a “sentimental old fool” while watching sad movies) joked.

Jokes aside, Auburn Travelers – who has worked with agencies such as Tours of Distinction, Best of Times, Landmark Tours, Collette, and Bloom Travel – manages both local and ambitious trips. Along with the highly anticipated “mystery trips” scheduled each year (such as Bolton Orchards) Lynne Guittar sets up island cruises aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line, and even international trips, such as the 2014 Kilkenny, Ireland, trip which found a younger and “more energetic” Richard Hedin atop the Viking tower to enjoy an unforgettable view, following his one-hundred step climb. “I was the only one of the forty people on tour that dared to climb to the top. It was a bit scary, but what a view,” the retired school teacher stated in the Flagtown Flyer (Senior News).

“A percentage of travelling dollars goes back toward the Senior Center,” Lynne added, while emphasizing the importance of younger individuals learning to commune with the elderly. “We try and encourage anyone over the age of twenty-one to join us. They are real people too. The young can learn from the old.”

It’s been said that investing in “an experience” versus “a material thing” provides a more assured path to happiness. Whether you are ninety years old or in your twenties, Auburn Travelers is hoping you’ll come aboard, escape, and invest in happiness.

Contact them at: (Fasca Trips)
508-832-7799 Auburn Senior Center (Ask for Lynne or Richard) (Lynee’s email address) (Richard’s email address)