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St. Marys Senior Center to celebrate Older Americans Month

May 22, 2011

Members of the St. Marys Senior Center are shown enjoying a game of cards, a popular activity at the center. Photo by Amy Cherry.

The St. Marys Senior Center is hosting a "Picnic on the Porch" event on Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. in celebration of Older Americans Month.
This free event is open to the public and will include picnic foods, prizes and music by Hap and the Gang. 
Current St. Marys Senior Center members who bring in three new members are eligible for a bonus prize.
"The center is full of active people. It is a fun and friendly atmosphere," emphasized Lesa Lamb, senior center director.
She noted that new members who join only have to pay $6 for half-year dues. 
The center, located on Erie Avenue in Marienstadt Place, is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Each weekday, a free light breakfast is served from 8 to 10 a.m. and a hot lunch is served at 11:45 a.m.
Lamb explained the cost of members' lunches are based upon their individual income, with a recommended donation ranging from $2 to $3.25. The meals are prepared in Ridgway by the Office of Human Services' Area Agency on Aging and are distributed to senior centers in Elk, Cameron and McKean counties. Menus may be viewed online at www.ohsaging.com. 
The OHS Area Agency on Aging has also provided each of the senior centers it services with funding to celebrate Older Americans Month. OHS is joining communities nationwide in celebrating this month with special activities and events.
According to Lamb, the St. Marys Senior Center currently has 100 members, with an average age of 75 years old. She added that membership is down, but is hoping it will increase once more parking becomes available.
"We are targeting our 60-somethings to stop in for a visit and see what activities you would like to participate in," Lamb added.
Additional activities offered at the St. Marys Senior Center are health and nutrition programs, such as Health Steps in Motion exercise class, availability of exercise equipment, a walking club and Gourmet Weight Wise classes. 
Lamb said bus trips, holiday parties, public card parties, Wii bowling, puzzles, movies and musical entertainment are just some of the recreational activities taking place at the center. A lending library is also available, as well as computer access and tutorials on how to use a computer. The center also offers Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) oppportunities.
Older Americans Month dates back to 1963, when it was established as a way to honor the legacies and ongoing contributions of older Americans while supporting them as they enter their next stage of life. 

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