Senior Center News
On Wednesday, June 6, at noon, the Wilton Senior Center and Wilton Social Services Department will honor and thank its volunteers at a luncheon at Ogden House. More than 100 volunteers are invited to the festivities.
The senior center has come a long way since 1973 and the basement room in Center School that was designated the Adult Social Center. In the years following, Adele MacGregor and Dot Tracey initiated a program of weekly luncheons prepared and served by the Wilton Presbyterian, Zion’s Hill Methodist, Wilton Baptist, and Our Lady of Fatima churches. The Wilton Woman’s Club supported the early venture by arranging programming for lunch-goers. Cis Cohen was named the first official volunteer director. Dorothy Wright and Jody Heussner followed in her footsteps.
In 1983 the group moved to Ogden House where they paid rent to use the great room, library, kitchen, and craft room for activities. In 1992 came the move to Comstock where a single room, the present day café, was dedicated to seniors. Several years later, the name changed from Wilton Adult Center to Wilton Senior Center. The first town-employed coordinator, Marie Key, was hired in 1990 for 14 hours per week. Usage of the senior center increased under the direction of successor coordinators Tessa Donnelly and Jan MacEwen. Lizabeth Doty became the first full-time coordinator in 2002.
In 2010 First Selectman Bill Brennan designated space at Comstock for the exclusive use of the senior center. These rooms became the café, lounge, game room, and crafts and arts studio. The new space was dedicated in March 2011.
At that time the food pantry was expanded and moved to the lower level. Open four days a week, the pantry is staffed by a cadre of senior volunteers. At their helm is Del Overby, who assigns the monthly volunteers to their shifts. In addition to working in the pantry, several volunteers make a weekly pick-up and delivery from the Village Market while another group of volunteers from the woman’s club makes a weekly trip to the Lower Fairfield Food Bank in Stamford to shop for pantry supplies. Without the tireless commitment of the pantry volunteers, the Social Services Department would not be able to provide this essential service.
As a result of the Comstock Renovation Project in 2016, the senior center was refurbished with new ceiling tiles and energy-efficient lighting; enhanced handicap accessibility and security; improved heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning; remodeled café and kitchen; new technology room to replace the “old computer room” which was absorbed into the new lobby; and additional restrooms.
There has been one constant throughout the years: the volunteers who have contributed time and talent to the senior center and the Social Services Department, whether leading a book discussion, giving a series of talks, planting flowers, painting, conducting an activity, preparing a meal, or staffing the food pantry.
Friday, June 1 , Feldenkrais with Cathy Paine; 10, Jewelry Workshop with Viola Galetta; 11 to 2, Free Senior Swim at the Y; 12, Bridge with Eleanor Mihailidis; 1:30, Intermediate Bridge with Mike Hess.
Monday, June 4, 10:30, Line Dance Fusion with Beatriz Araujo; 12, Movie; 1, Bridge.
Tuesday, June 5, 9:45, BeMoved with Phyllis Hirschfield; 10, Oil and Acrylics with Althea Erickkson; 11, Yoga with Denise O’Hearn; 12, Duplicate Bridge with Lois Bruce; 12:30, Five Crowns with Nerina Klobas; 1, Studio Knitting.
Wednesday, June 6, 9:30, Sewing at Ogden House; 10, Open Bridge with Michael Hess; 10:30, Tai Chi with Joe Alampi; 12, Volunteer Lunch at Ogden House; 1, American Mah Jongg.
Thursday, June 7, 8:30, AAA Driver Improvement Course; 10, Yoga with Denise O’Hearn; 12, Lunch; 12:45, Bingo.