Immerse yourself in the arts with SBO

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Carol Sorgen

“Senior Box Office is no secret, but still many seniors do not know about us,” said SBO Coordinator Karen McDonough. “When they find out about all the great opportunities we offer, they are thrilled and wonder why they have never heard of SBO.”

For those who don’t know, SBO is a volunteer-run organization under the auspices of the Baltimore County Department of Aging. Its members not only assist in a wide variety of activities supporting both SBO and its sponsors — such as planning events, ushering, helping in the office and promoting SBO — but also receive complimentary, deeply discounted or two-for-one tickets to a wide variety of entertainment events.

Travel near and far, too

In addition to the tickets SBO offers to theater shows, concerts, tours and more, there is also an active travel committee that plans and hosts trips, cruises and tours to such destinations as Ocean City, Lancaster, Washington, D.C., and even internationally. Next spring, for example, you can spend 10 days discovering Austria, Bavaria and Switzerland.

You do not need to be an SBO member to travel with SBO, but members have reservation preference.

Also part of SBO membership are a bimonthly book club, speaker series, and special events, such as an afternoon at the Orioles game or an antique auction. Throughout the year, SBO also offers free events that do not require a ticket, including outdoor concerts, lectures, and arts and crafts festivals.

The impetus for the creation of Senior Box Office began more than 30 years ago when cultural and entertainment organizations started offering the Baltimore County Department of Aging last-minute complimentary tickets. Eventually, the volume became overwhelming, and with the help of five volunteers, SBO was formed.

Today, nearly 150 sponsors make it possible for more than 700 SBO members age 60 and older to attend theatre, concerts, museums, lectures and other events at reduced prices or free.

“Senior Box Office offers its members an extensive set of opportunities that allow us seniors to experience a world outside our retirement communities,” said Art Lepley.

For those 60+

SBO membership is open to Baltimore County residents (as well as non-residents) 60 and older. The 2016-2017 membership year runs October 1, 2016, through September 30, 2017. 

Annual membership dues are $30 per household with brochures delivered electronically by email, or $38 per household with printed brochures delivered by regular mail.

“As an SBO member, volunteer and usher, Senior Box Office gives me and my wife, Judy, opportunities to enjoy the cultural and entertainment events throughout Baltimore as well as be a part of a fun and thriving organization,”  said Jack Pilecki.

“Senior Box Office allows me to interact with other engaging seniors, not only through volunteering in the SBO office, but also by attending many of the events SBO offers,”  added Eileen Lutts.

More information, as well as a membership application, is available on the SBO website, www.seniorboxoffice.org, by calling (410) 887-5399 or emailing sbo@seniorboxoffice.org.

Call SBO Travel at (410) 882-3797 for information about upcoming trips.