Essex Junction Senior Center

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Peggy Pearson

Peggy Pearson

Everyone 50 years of age or older are welcome at the Essex Junction Senior Center. Located at Five Corners between the fire station and the Brownell Library, the Center is open weekdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For information, call 878-6940 or visit essexvtseniors.org.

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By Peggy Pearson

 Friendships begin at the Senior Center, where programs are provided to help us stay active socialize, combat loneliness and improve our physical and mental health. I am happy to report an increase in the number of people who are taking advantage of what we offer.

On Mondays, it is not unusual to have two tables of people playing Mah Jongg in the morning, followed by several others playing Skipbo and another 20 playing bridge in the afternoon. Bingo on Tuesday is also attracting a larger crowd, and the rest of the week is filling in with new programs. People are now also enjoying New Canasta, a recent addition to the roster of activities, thanks to Connie Marshall, who suggested it and taught others how to play.

Currently, nearly 120 members enjoy the Center, and newcomers are always welcome.

Mah Jongg is Mondays and Fridays at 10 a.m. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, people play bridge and Skipbo from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Bingo is Tuesdays from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Seated Yoga is Wednesdays at 10 a.m. New Canasta is Thursdays from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Come join the fun!

When we get a senior programs coordinator, we will offer more programs, and be able to serve more people. Interviews for the job are beginning this week. The senior coordinator will help develop and coordinate programs, oversee the Senior Van drivers and volunteers, and work on fundraising and public relations. Although the coordinator will work out of the Senior Center, s/he will be funded through village and town budgets, and supervised by Ally Vile, Director of Essex Parks and Recreation. We look forward to welcoming a coordinator to help us serve the community.

Bingo wouldn’t happen without people to call numbers, and their efforts are much appreciated. Thanks go to Donna Harnish, Linda Himelstein, Maddie Lister, Therese Magnant, and Nancy Smith for calling during the summer and making bingo even more entertaining.

Many thanks to HomeInstead for providing valuable insight and lots of good information at a series of workshops for families and caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and other Dementias. The workshops were well received and helpful for several people in the community.

In the fall, we’ll be offering duplicate bridge as an alternative to party bridge for the more serious players. Because of our limited budget, we plan to purchase supplies for just four tables. We would very much welcome donations of any used duplicate bridge equipment.

The Senior Van provides free transportation for Essex residents aged 60 or more anywhere in Essex Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m.12 p.m. To make a reservation, call 878-6940 the previous business day between 9 and 11:45 a.m.

Baby slams were bid and made by the following people recently: Marge Shepard, Ariel Tose, Shirley Briggs, Gerry Follansbee, Donna Powell, Nancy Smith, Loretta Masi and Anne Kennison. Congratulations to all those who were dealt remarkable hands and knew what to do with them.