Essex Junction Senior Center


Peggy Pearson Essex Junction Senior Center

Peggy Pearson
Essex Junction
Senior Center

Lou Ann Pioli, Senior Center director, organized a hugely successful luau recently with lots of help from the committee: Mary and Stan Carroll, Bud Conger, Donna and John Harnish, Connie Marshall, Bill Pearson, Brenda Rathe, and Mary Whitten. The center was transformed into an island paradise complete with palm trees, a tiki bar, flamingoes, a life-size Elvis cutout, and a surfboard. Dozens of seniors spent an afternoon laughing and enjoying themselves.

As each person arrived, she/he received a lei and instructions to go to the photo booth. Everyone put their heads through cutouts of a surfer or a hula dancer and Bud Conger took their picture. A pot luck luncheon featured tropical fare, such as chicken teriyaki/pineapple kebobs.

The committee put on a short musical skit to the tune of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Bill Pearson and Stan Carroll were great sports donning coconut bras for the occasion.

John Harnish then rushed to get the photos developed so everyone could take their picture home before the day was over.

Meanwhile, everyone at the center enjoyed activities such as Aloha Bingo, Jungle Juggle, Tropical Pictionary, Totem Toss, and Hot Beach Ball.

 Lou Ann Pioli, (front) teaches the hula to Bill Pearson (back left, Stan Carroll, and Joan Carr). PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

Lou Ann Pioli, (front) teaches the hula to Bill Pearson (back left, Stan Carroll, and Joan Carr).

Lou Ann was determined to find someone to give hula lessons, but how do you find a hula dancer in Vermont?   When she couldn’t find one, she went online, taught herself and gave a hula lesson to the delight of everyone.

Everyone raved about the fun they had, and at the end of the day, Wes Howard said “Can we do this again next week?”

Many area businesses donated gift certificates which were raffled off as door prizes. Special thanks to A.J.’s Kitchen, Erin & Co. Men’s Haircuts, Essex Cinemas, Essex Grill, The Hungry Dutchman, Price Chopper, and Quiznos. Thanks also to Micki Gados for loaning decorations, and to everyone who came out and made it such a successful event.

The next special event planned is on Aug. 20, when Sue Brown and Lianne Nielsen lead us on a nature walk on a paved path through a local park.   You might be surprised what you find!   Meet at the center at 10 a.m.

A Salad and Sandwich luncheon on Aug. 21 is at noon. The center supplies salad and you bring your own sandwich. It’s $1 for members, or $2 for non-members. Reservations are required.

Essex Senior Citizens Board of Directors meets Aug. 25 at 10 a.m. The next day there is a pot luck at Maple Street Park.

We begin exercise classes Wednesdays during late afternoons/early evenings starting Sept. 9. Strength 45 Class starts at 4:15, and Jazzercize Lite follows at 5:30. Your 10-visit punch pass is $30 for members or $35 for non-members.

We continue working to form a non-profit corporation joining together the Senior Center and Essex Senior Citizens. At the August meeting, Senior Center members overwhelmingly endorsed the name Essex Area Senior Center for the new organization. Essex Senior Citizens will vote at their pot luck Aug. 26. After that, draft by-laws will be available for review by both memberships.

Anyone 50 years of age or older is welcome at the Essex Junction Senior Center. Located at the 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 876-5087 or visit To make a reservation for the Senior Van call 878-6940.