On Wednesday, June 17, the Wilton Senior Center will honor and thank its volunteers at a noon luncheon at Ogden House. More than 150 volunteers have been 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 next move to Comstock Community Center 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 the Comstock Community Center for the exclusive use of the senior center rooms which became the café, lounge, game room, and crafts and arts studio. The new space was dedicated in March 2011.
There has been one constant in all the years of transition: the volunteers. Volunteers have contributed time and talent regardless of where the senior center was located or how much space it occupied. Whether leading a book discussion, giving a series of talks, planting flowers, painting, conducting an activity, or preparing a meal, volunteers have contributed to making the senior center a place with stimulating and creative opportunities for the social, physical, emotional, and intellectual enrichment of Wilton senior citizens.